Appreciation, like love and fear, is one of the oldest and most primitive emotions that are known to humanity. And it has a surprising tint of employee appreciation in it—dating back 2600 years ago.

While rebuilding a giant temple, Cyrus the Great witnessed the sheer physical labour of his workers, making him involuntarily celebrate and recognize their hard work by arranging a grand festive feast.

Though time elapsed quickly, as only time could, the sentiment of appreciating employees remained undiminished by percolating in the modern world—only to get established as an official day. This year, it falls on the 4th of March.

National Employee Appreciation Day: A Brief History

Appearing for the first time in 1995, National Employee Appreciation Day began as a response to Boss’s Day, where employees were reminded of the importance of appreciating their bosses. Though Boss’s Day started in 1958, it took 40 years for the sentiments to reciprocate and find their way as an official day.

With the onslaught of globalization, the mid-1990s saw a heated discussion from a founding board member of Recognition Professionals International, Bob Nelson, to create a day that rightly estimates and conveys employees' worth.

In essence, he wanted them to be mindful of the following axiomatic truth:

You can run the office without a boss, but you can't run an office without secretaries. Jane Fonda

But before going in-depth, let's understand the basics first.

What is Employee Appreciation?

Employee appreciation is an act of employers or organizations to acknowledge the inherent value of employees. Instead of focusing only on their performance, it celebrates their worth as a member of the team and as human beings.

Appreciating an employee for supporting other departments or helping a struggling team member in a complex project or addressing the hard work of a colleague to keep the motivation of the co-workers high during tough times are a few examples of what employee appreciation is all about.

Why is Employee Appreciation Important: Stats to Justify

A lot of ink has been spilled in explaining how appreciating employees make them feel valued, fill their hearts with happiness and satisfaction. But framing it in concrete numbers—covering all the conceivable aspects—will practically demonstrate the absolute power of appreciation. Man, after all, is wired to comprehend through numbers.

why is emloyee appreciation important

1. Recruiting

  • According to SHRM, 56% of HR leaders reported that employee recognition or appreciation programs help them recruit top talent. With enhanced employee satisfaction and experience, employees are prone to serve as employer brand ambassadors.
  • People want to associate with employers that recognize and appreciate their employees—it’s one of 10 top employer traits they look for. They look for organizations that are honest and have integrity.

2. Retention

  • Employee appreciation sees improved retention rates and lower turnover. In fact, 70% of HR professionals said that employee recognition helps with retention.
  • For 55% of employees, lack of recognition was the top culprit in driving their decision of switching jobs. Even more telling: 69% would have stayed if their employers offered more rewards and recognition.
  • 53% of employees said feeling more appreciation from their immediate boss would help them stay longer at their company.

3. Productivity

  • According to a survey from HR services firm Alight, appreciated employees were 7x more likely to say they were engaged at work than employees who were not appreciated.
  • 56% of employees who felt belongingness at their company had a higher level of overall job performance.
  • According to a report from Oxford University, happier workers are 13% more productive at work.
  • 84% of HR professionals said employee appreciation had a positive impact on employee engagement.

4. Work Relationships

  • 87% said that employee appreciation programs improved workplace relationships.
  • 41% of employees want more appreciation from their immediate co-workers.

5. Management

  • Gallup says that managers’ ability to inspire team members is one of the top leadership skills that drive high-performing teams. This ability includes not only sharing the vision and mission but also recognizing and appreciating employees for exceptional efforts.
  • Managers themselves consider appreciation as a key factor in their own happiness. 83% of senior managers considered appreciation critical to their work satisfaction.
  • Recognition and appreciation also correlate with a team’s sense of meaning. The same study from Gallup found that 74% of U.S. employees who said their teams receive praise agreed that appreciation made them feel that their tasks were valuable and useful.

6. Employee Trust and Morale

  • According to Netsuite, nearly one-third of a worker’s desire to stay with an organization is the result of trusting their boss.
  • The same study says, 78% of employees believe that how a company treats its employees is one of the best indicators of its trustworthiness.
  • Two-thirds of those on “adequately praised teams,” Gallup mentions, strongly agreed they trusted their colleagues.
  • According to 82% of HR leaders, employee appreciation boosts employee happiness. These programs also elevate organizational culture (86%) and employee experience (89%).

It’s then highly unsurprising that the list of industries regardless of their core potency, who have been enamored by the importance of employee appreciation is endless.

Types of Appreciation for Employees

Though employee appreciation can take many forms—from instantaneous to planned out programs—it can be broadly divided into three main categories.

types of appreciation for employees

1. Micro Appreciation

Micro appreciation, known as day-to-day appreciation, is a frequent and ongoing appreciation. It generally takes a simple form of sending handwritten notes, giving cards, putting wishes on bulletin boards, or anything that can help you appreciate employees quickly and easily.

Though less pompous, micro appreciation is best suited to support organizational values frequently and make employees feel valued without shelling out a grand level of time and resources.

2. Informal Appreciation

Informal appreciation comes into play when individuals or teams successfully progress toward shiny milestones or when they complete the arduous project with panache.

Though informal appreciation doesn’t necessarily happen every day, it can become memorable by exhibiting itself through a low-cost memento, modest pizza party, culturally-integrating potluck, or a trip to the pub for happy hour.

3. Formal Appreciation

Formal appreciation is more structured, involving a nomination, a thorough selection process, and a ceremony or special event. It's characterized by lesser frequency and demand for enhanced planning and preparation.

Regardless of the type of appreciation you are using, its efficiency will depend upon the quantity of the meaning into which it's been mounted.

Instances that Deserve Employee Appreciation

To make employee appreciation blaze like fire in the whole organizational consciousness, it’s just not enough to appreciate employees rightly but to appreciate them for the right things.

That's because the actual worth of an employee’s effort and sincerity is measured not just in what they achieved but in how they achieved it. It could be something that aborted untimely despite a herculean effort but not without producing a valuable learning curve.

Or, on the opposite front, employees might have cracked the perceivably difficult task with the minimum expenditure of time and energy—benefiting your organization eventually.

By keeping in mind such vibrant and defining moments, which usually fall off the radar of traditional methods of appreciation, we have compiled a list of instances that don’t just demand but deserve a profound and sound employee appreciation. Remember: What gets appreciated gets repeated.

The possibility of the success of an organization is directly proportional to the amount of appreciation-worthy tasks and behavior that employees demonstrate with the regularity of a pendulum.  

1. Appreciate employees for things you’d like to see them perform more often

When employees do something you genuinely want them to keep doing, then appreciate it. They will take it as positive feedback—one of the sweetest feelings ever known to humanity—and thereby a powerful tool to encourage the actions you want to see again and again.

2. Appreciate employees for something you want to see others doing

Do you see an employee doing something desirable, exemplary that you want others to follow? Considering the infectious power of peer behavior, it alone emerges as the key criterion to appreciate him—particularly when you have the means to make it public. It can become a megaphone to other employees about what your company values the most and what it expects from them.

3. Appreciate that which has helped your company in achieving goals

With a diverse and geographically scattered workforce, employees may feel increasingly disconnected from the organization's goals, mission, and vision. Appreciating the activity that moves the needle on your cores is important. It’s the cheapest modus operandi to make core values real in your employees’ daily lives.

4. Is it above and beyond the drafted call of duty

When employees do tasks they weren’t bound to do or take on the responsibility, which was a punch above their weight, it’s a prime indicator of their unmatched engagement. According to Forbes, the worth of an engaged employee is measured in glittering gold (those teams who score in the top 20% in engagement see a 41% reduction in absenteeism and 59% less turnover), nothing deserves appreciation more than engagement.

5. If others are noticing something nice in your employees

It’s perfectly possible that despite working with your subordinates every day, you may not get exposed to the qualities that make them special. But your customers, vendors, managers, senior executives, or other employees may buzz in your ear about something special related to your employees. It, then, cuts out to become a perfect opportunity for special appreciation.

6. If it’s otherwise thankless

Most of the jobs in the organization are like goalkeeping. You don’t realize their significance until they falter in performing. Being of a mundane and regulatory nature, they end up being thankless. Though there is no need to go overboard with this sort of appreciation, an occasional acknowledgment of such regular yet key contributions goes far in building employee engagement and a culture of appreciation.

7. If they have been recently recognized

Recognition is sweet, its memories even sweeter. Letting employees revisit those moments when they were recognized not long ago through a public mention of it, thus, can make your appreciation memorable.

8. Something that has profoundly impacted business results

Ideally, you should draw a direct line between employees' efforts and business results. You can make that line further sharper and visible by including it in the appreciation mix.

9. If they are innovative in their daily tasks

Innovation and appreciation feed on each other, sharing a symbiotic relationship. The more you appreciate employees, the more they will innovate. That’s why keeping a strong vigil on employees to see if they are bringing something unique to the organization and appreciating them on the spot is key.

10. If employees made your life much easier

To the eyes that are new to the world of employee appreciation, this point may look a little too personal. But, appreciation, in all its contours, is personal. You may need more fingers on your hand to count the instances where employees have been overly thoughtful and bequeathed upon you tiny yet important favors of time, attention, or energy that made a high-seismic impact.

send peer to peer recognition cards for free

Get your Languages of Appreciation Dead Right 'Always'

Dr. Gary Chapman took the world by storm in 1992 with his book called The 5 Love Languages. In it, now the world-famous book, he coined the term “love languages” to point out the fundamentally different ways we express and receive love, sentiments, and wishes.

Since appreciation, in its deepest entrails, means nothing but showcasing love and respect, employee appreciation cannot turn a blind eye to it. Businesses, therefore, should be mindful of the language, which usually breaks the chrysalis of traditional words, that their sincere appreciation emanates.

Remember: Like all communication, employees have their understanding and preferences for the appreciation language. 

1. Quality Time

In the world of cold meetings and ephemeral water cooler conversations, some people love and long for deep 1-on-1 time. The only way to placate these souls is to set aside weekly 1-on-1s where you will be with them, giving them your genuine attention—gentle and human eye contact; no cell phones or zoom calls.

2. Gifts

A person who doesn’t love gifts is a rare occurrence, as rare as a pure diamond. The language of gift, thus, is universal. Get down to the basics, know what heaves your employees’ hearts and what repels them as gifts, write a personal note with it and present it to them with poise.

Remember: The art of gifting should rise above the tall head of generalization and touch the feet of personalization.

3. Physical Touch

A warm and gentle physical touch sets the feel-good chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin in motion. Though giving physical touch to those who love it may be difficult in a professional setting, particularly in the times of forced work-from-home norms, you can activate the same chemicals by maintaining good eye contact and infectious laughter—even through the webcam.

4. Acts of Service

Some people appreciate tiny actions of generosity more than oodles of verbosity about generosity. The sane and easy way to replicate this love language is to finish a task for someone—it can be anything from helping them create a tedious PPT presentation, providing insights about the project they are trying to complete, or even opening them the whole yet-uncharted vista of coveted resources.

5.  Words of Affirmation

Unalloyed, direct-from-heart words of affirmation are a sure staircase to satisfaction for most mortals. We all love to hear that we have done well. A simple thank-you email or a nice comment on their LinkedIn can effectively conjure up this love language.

How to Measure Appreciation Efforts?

The thumb rule of any organizational initiative falls in this pervasive gamut: if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. It, undoubtedly, applies mirror-reflectively to your appreciation efforts, albeit with a touch of added complexity.

Unlike the stand-alone performance of the sales team, the culture of appreciation is a homogeneous monolith. It’s a collective responsibility of all those directly or indirectly involved with the organization, making it impossible to view it through the prism of one single department.

That's where the fervent need for detailed analytics and reports arrives like a comet. With Emplus, the prime employee appreciation and reward platform, you will have on-demand, real-time access to the tools to stay connected and informed.

With the analytics dashboards that put clear, easy-to-understand, and actionable data into the hands of your key people, Emplus empirically mounts your culture of appreciation in an evergoing action.

how to measure employee appreciation efforts

1. Employee

The moment your employees feel that they are playing a vital role in shaping the bigger picture, their march towards becoming your ardent and mild advocates begins. But, the precursor to it is the evocation of “that” feeling.

Even though we are living in the technically advanced 21st century, feelings in employees are still birthed by peer pressure and inner motivation. Knowing what others are doing, thus, can prove a powder keg, reinforcing the significance of analytics and reports.

How employees benefit from analytics:

  • Learning about various ways in which their peers demonstrate the company's core values.
  • Understanding how they can spin the gigantic wheel of continuous appreciation by appreciating a certain person or team for a sterling achievement or displaying organizational values.

2. Team lead

Your frontline employees are in regular contact with their immediate team leads - more than the C-suite executives. Since no one in the organization is more well-placed than them to measure the pulse of your employees, they should be considered as your “on-the-ground” observers who can provide ground-zero analysis to leaders about what needs to be kept intact and what needs to be thrown away to keep the momentum of appreciation ticking away.

How team leads benefit from analytics:

  • To identify gaps within their teams and plug them with creative methods of appreciation.
  • In determining where their team stands by looking at cross-departmental appreciations.

3. Manager

A manager exists to run important initiatives in his respective team, construct and destruct what you are trying to achieve. That makes it imperative that managers have achieved absolute oneness with the mission, vision, goals, and values of an organization—making them the prime shaper of the organizational culture, including appreciation.

How managers benefit from analytics:

  • Identifying an individual employee in their team who has never shied away from going above and beyond to help other team members.
  • Listing out employees who are “at-risk” for disengagement based on the level of appreciation they’re getting.
  • Creating opportunities for their team members to receive or give appreciation from other team members/departments and thereby boost cross-collaboration among departments

4. Leadership

What emerges at the top gets percolated towards the bottom. Everyone else in the organization is just an enabler of the appreciation culture, senior leadership (CEO, CFO, COO) being the origin.

Until they don’t have the X-ray-esque view of your recognition and appreciation efforts, they cannot act rightly in setting the appreciation philosophy in stone. And since time immemorial, right action is an utter impossibility without right actionable insights.

How leaders benefit from analytics:

  • Underlining “at-risk” teams that need employee satisfaction and appreciation.
  • Knowing top performers who can be potential leaders in driving new appreciation initiatives.
  • Gaining a high-level, bird’s eye view of appreciation across the entire organization to find prevalent patterns or areas of improvement (for instance, are only a few managers getting appreciated? Does it require more training to ascertain the culture of continuous appreciation?)

Data-Driven Questions: A Key to Ensure Ongoing Success

Where data generates absolute power, only to become unavoidable, is its ability to tell a story in a way that makes perfect sense to you, enabling you with actionable insights.  

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The most important thing while measuring the culture of appreciation is to keep asking the questions that actually matter!

However, since subjectivity is the hardest thing to dust off, employees perceive things differently. It renders formulating the general, one-size-fits-all approach based upon mere assumptions useless. The reaction of the wise mind, then, is to ask data-driven questions.

Though your insights will be specific and unique to your own organizational culture, the following questions are potent enough to get you started on developing a holistic view towards appreciation.

  • Is there a team that is not being recognized or appreciated for their efforts?
  • How often is your team appreciating others?
  • What values make employees feel appreciated and recognized?
  • At which periods of the year did you see the highest engagement?
  • What is the difference between peer-to-peer and manager-led recognition at your organization?

Note that it can be overwhelming and error-prone to unravel what data is key to your appreciation program's success. The timely help of the right appreciation partner can navigate you unabashedly and un-damagingly.

Is Employee Appreciation Same as Employee Recognition?

Mike Robbins revealed in the recent TED Talk: 'The Power of Appreciation'

  • 23% of people who feel 'recognized' are more effective and productive.
  • 43% of people who feel 'appreciated' are more effective and productive.

It directly implies that moving perceptions from "recognized" to "appreciated" results in a 20% rise in effectiveness and productivity - stamping their own independent existence. However, what makes them widely interchangeable is their major and common impact on employee productivity and retention.

When you look at the differentiating factors between them, it’s not far-fetched to deduce that when you appreciate employees, you actually recognize them in a way—making appreciation a small subset of a vast recognition.

Employee Recognition vs. Appreciation

Appreciation focuses on creating a strong foundation where employees feel valued, respected, and supported. Recognition is all about the instant celebration of a particular behavior or success, which you want to see happen often. Since it's based on specific results and performance, it's finite.

Let’s understand both these elements in detail.

  • Recognition is about sending out positive feedback depending upon results or performance. It can be when an employee hits a huge target, closes a high-profile customer, or finishes a mission-critical project much earlier. In these scenarios, you may celebrate these achievements by giving them awards, bonuses, promotions, raises, verbal thank yous, or handwritten notes. This, in essence, is recognition.
  • Appreciation is slightly different since it’s not tied to a specific event or result. It’s more about acknowledging who someone is and what s/he brings to the organization. When you appreciate an employee, you celebrate his worth as a colleague and human being. As Josh Berman of Culture Amp says, “Showing appreciation to employees on their worst days is just as important as providing recognition on their best.”
employee recognition vs appreciation

In short, appreciation is a long-term approach that aims at building a strong foundation where an employee feels really valued, respected, and supported. It’s more about supporting and respecting them for who they are and not for what they accomplish.

Recognition, on the other hand, is a short-term and instant celebration of a particular success or behavior, which you want to see happen again and again. Since it's based on specific results and performance, it's finite.

The following insights shared by Gary Chapman can further deepen your understanding of the difference between appreciation and recognition.

“Recognition is majorly about behavior.” The book says: Catch them doing what you want and recognize it. Appreciation conversely focuses on performance and the employee's values as an individual.

Recognition is all about enhancing employee performance and focusing on what's good for a company. It emphasizes what's good for the person (that might sometimes mean supporting them to find a position that’s better for them than their present job role).

The relational direction of recognition is top-down coming for leadership. On the other hand, appreciation can be communicated in any direction.

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Responsibility of Leaders

Employee recognition and appreciation, in tandem, are of paramount importance in keeping the employees motivated. It's, therefore, crucial that leaders don’t just understand the difference between recognition and appreciation but also understand that recognition is a subcategory of employee appreciation. Appreciation, thus, may begin with recognition, but it shouldn't stop there.

Employees Appreciation Ideas: A Comprehensive List

For appreciation is a culture and thereby a year-long activity, the care must be taken that it doesn’t cost you a leg and an arm. At the same time, your appreciation endeavors shouldn’t miss their innate ability to overwhelm and delight the employees.

The wisdom, as always, is in finding the golden mean. The following employee appreciation ideas are enunciated to nudge you towards that path of wisdom without missing even a filet of appreciation possibility.

1. Small, simple yet powerful gestures

Though small, uncomplicated gestures might sound basic, it’s a grave mistake to underestimate them. They are low-cost,high-impact ways to show employee appreciation, perfectly capable of fulfilling the archaic need in humans.

Say thanks more often: A plethora of research screams aloud how appreciation makes people feel happy and worthy. The overall settlement of your appreciation strategy, thus, should hinge upon finding ways to say thank you to your employees more often.

Give sincere compliments when the opportunity arrives. More than a policy, it should be a habit. It’s, then, unsurprising that three-quarters of professionals said a simple “thank you” is all it takes to make them feel recognized.

Establish a company thanks feed: Whatever may be your way of announcing things internally, whether it’s a software tool, a detailed email chain, or even a physical tannoy system, ensure that you are establishing a company thanks feed as a vital part of your cadence. Soon it will become the bedrock of your appreciation and recognition culture.

Hand out simple certificates: If special achievement has been there in the kitty of an employee if he has “really” displayed the vigor to go beyond the call of duty and ignored the ticking clock, don’t shy away from handing out certificates.  

Of course, you don’t want to bequeath certificates at the drop of a hat. But if done in moderation, certificates can do wonders in boosting employees’ feelings of pride and satisfaction.

Note that certificates aren’t just good gestures. By staying on employees’ desks or walls, they can become a visible and enduring part of your appreciation drive. Think about WALL Of FAME.

Peer to peer appreciation at Deloitte

2. Tactical time-outs

One of the greatest perils of modern times is skewed work-life balance—paucity of the time being its prime culprit. Allowing your employees to breathe the air in a manner that pleases them the most for a little more expanded time, thus, can ring as the most sonorous bell.

Extended breaks: Research vehemently suggests that extra screen breaks or movement breaks during the day can even improve productivity. The reason for it is amply clear. By engaging in tasks different from official ones, strategic breaks break the monotonality of the employees’ minds.

Employees can replenish themselves with good music or a lazy stroll and come back to the office chair only with a cheered-up soul. You can also think about late start or early finishes depending upon your project needs and employees’ job roles.

Power naps: When employees are working round-the-clock, grinding day in day out, they will hit the nadir where the brain shuts down, and even keeping eyes open becomes a battle.

To keep up the momentum of productivity in ascending order, it’s ideal that they should rest for a few minutes in a recreation room. Experts believe that 10 to 20 minutes of a power nap is enough for a quick and effective jolt of alertness.

3. A team appreciation

Like all the business leaders, you are as good as your team. The need to tap on the back of the entire team is as important as making an individual employee a cynosure.

Team lunch and team drinks: Taking out your gladiators for drinks and lunch serves two purposes: first, they get out of the regular, tedious, and monotonous environment of the office. Second, it’s a classic tool for team building where ice breaks, unknowability drops, and camaraderie among employees start to build up.

Melbourne design team went for lunch and drinks

Create an annual yearbook: Though an old-school way to show employee appreciation, it's still potent enough to wave up a giant emotional construct. A tool to ensure that their hard work, achievements, out-of-the-box thinking get cemented perpetually, an annual yearbook is a salvo that never misses the emotions of employees.

Pick the best picture of your employees, craft a unique line to write about them, and enclose it within their sterling achievements. Needless to say, it's an aesthetically beautiful and pleasantly durable branded keepsake.

Mention teams on your ‘About Us’ page: Where traditional top-down hierarchies are starting to fade and nurturing and not ordering is emerging as the de facto mojo of leadership, giving a little bit of real estate of your website to your teams and members can truly accentuate the sentiment of appreciation.

It may lengthen the About Us page. But if you can get innovative with designing techniques available in bundles, this is a fine, low-cost initiative. You can at least try this out for a special day like employee appreciation day.

Have a team trophy: Can there be a better appreciation for a team than a shiny trophy with the team’s name engraved on it? Allow employees to take it home or display it on their office desks. You can award it to another team next month or quarter depending upon the achievements.

4. Get personal

As stated earlier, appreciation is more about valuing the employees for being what they are and what they embody as a person. However, it's the gestures that reflect how much you know about employees. Personalization, the Beatles of modern appreciation, was, thus, born.

Two-thirds of employees are more likely to value two tickets to a concert of their choice versus getting three times the value of those tickets added to their paychecks over a year.

Personalized gifts and rewards: Personalization is not about wrapping the name of the employee around a gift. It’s a passé. What personalization means in a spirit and letter is, the gift should resonate with the employees thoroughly.

Find out which current musician they like and hand them over tickets of his show. Find out their hobbies and give them vouchers for those hobby classes. Remember: if gifts aren’t aspirational, they are mere accessories.

Custom caricatures and poems: Creating a funny, colorful caricature of your employees and borrowing a wordsmith to pen a custom and special poem for each employee is a guarantee of memorability. All you need to do is select the creative theme and persist with it, albeit with a strong taint of your employees’ unique traits.

Ask for the feedback: You won’t find a simple tool, even if you try with all your might, to instill a sense of importance among your employees by simply asking them what they think. A simple fact that a company cares about your opinions can fan a feel-good sentiment.

The best way to do it, as Emplus allows, is to run a survey. Along with the heightened sense of importance among employees, it hands over the pulse of what employees think and want - raw material to eke out a sturdy and accurate business strategy.

5. Get professional

Research by EdAssist and the University of Phoenix found that 74% of the employees believe that assisting in their own career development is a responsibility of their company or managers.

Indeed, providing employees with cutting-edge professional development opportunities sends a clear clarion call that you genuinely care about their careers and that you believe in their capacity.

Provide training and learning opportunities: Training employees in the skills they are passionate about is a classic example of a win-win scenario. Apart from loving and respecting you for taking them seriously, training will upskill them and improve their ability to perform their tasks with added mastery and perfection—resulting in overall operational efficiency.

Meeting and pitching ideas to leadership: Getting a chance to rub shoulders with the brains and hearts of the company is an uncommon and happy occurrence in an employee's life. However, you can further amp it up by taking a leaf out of the TV series Dragon’s Den and allowing employees to pitch their ideas and vision in front of top leadership.

If their ideas get selected and implemented, it will be the greatest and biggest reward for their business acumen and creativity. But even if they get rejected, the very fact that they stood in front of the top leadership and pitched something meaningful will remain ingrained in their psyche forever.

Role shadowing opportunities: It’s not uncommon to see the glaring gap between how employees are and what their respective job roles demand from them. A simple way to illuminate what the job actually tastes like is to provide role shadowing opportunities. It will deepen their understanding and knowledge of the roles they might be interested in.

Remember that it’s demanding on the person who is being shadowed. It’s advisable to limit the time spent to one day per quarter.

Write a LinkedIn recommendation: It may sound counterproductive, but writing a great LinkedIn recommendation helps you retain employees. At its core, it shows that you trust and believe the skills of your employees, not emotionally but rationally, and are genuinely interested in their career growth.

Note that the very fact that you care about your employees’ careers on a serious level and not just about how it will boost your bottom line will earn you a lot of respect.

6. Go public

Employees don’t just crave a dream house, posh car, and a multidigit bank balance. They want to find meaning in their work and want to stand tall in the eyes of their colleagues and family members.

Maslow's Theory Of Hierarchy was ablaze with this truth. It hints at making the appreciation public and letting others know why a particular employee is appreciated.

Social media shoutouts: The simplest, cost-effective, interactive, and memorable method of showering a public appreciation on employees is to give them a shout-out on various social media feeds. Abuzz with congratulatory comments, it’s bound to trigger a feel-good sensation for the employee in the question.

Mentions in your periodic newsletters or magazines: Another way to make appreciation delightfully public is a round-up in your customer newsletter or magazines.  

Publish it on the company website: Making appreciation go live on a website doesn’t just make it public. It makes it enormously satisfactory for employees since the company website is the first official touch base for most people. It can emit a faint waft of celebrity status.

7. Go big

Since appreciation can become an effective tool for branding and attracting the brightest talent in the market, it’s not unreasonable to think grandly about your appreciation initiatives.

Though it will cost a little more than the typical initiatives, they are more than worth it. This is especially when you get to know (stats about how costly the employee attrition is):

Once-in-life experiences: Mere goods are not good enough. Being ubiquitous, tried, and tested, they are forgettable. A great experience generates the yet-unfelt feeling and therefore becomes unforgettable.

You can think of gift vouchers for skydiving, bungee jumping, hot air balloon rides, a weekend getaway to a quaint place, or even a car race. Food vouchers to great restaurants can satiate the gastronomical pangs of your employees. A time spent in a spa or yoga retreat is a great way to heal the souls of your employees.    

Annual holiday: Why not treat your entire workforce to a holiday away in the lap of nature? There is no dearth of companies that rent out a hotel for a weekend. It can be a great idea for employees who have been loyal to you and who have spent a significant amount of time with you. Remember: annual leave (43%) is the most beloved reward of employees.

Don’t Forget: Appreciation is not an Event, It’s a culture.

Though it’s a must to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day, it’s imperative to understand that employee appreciation shouldn’t remain bound to one single day. It should emerge as a movement, not as a stand-alone event, and culminate finally into a vital culture.

The first step is to start thinking about creating your own employee appreciation program keeping in mind your overall business goals and employee philosophy. With countless creative ideas and methods to appreciate your employees memorably, a comprehensive employee recognition platform like Emplus can strengthen your will and action to appreciate your employees all year round.

Kickstart your meaningful appreciation now!

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Mary Madhavi Reddy

Mary Madhavi Reddy LinkedIn

Mary is a content marketer with 20 years of experience. Her career spans GE Money, Google, and some growth-stage startups. At Empuls, she handles product messaging and positioning.