How to Show Employee Appreciation 

Happier workforces are generally more productive, and one of the best ways to keep your employees happy is by showing them how much you appreciate them. Most managers understand the importance of recognizing employee achievement, but many fail to properly demonstrate gratitude and appreciation. Some leaders assume they’re showing their emotions when they’re actually leaving their employees in the dark. Others use impersonal, inauthentic employee-recognition tactics that ultimately do more harm than good. To make sure your workers feel respected and supported, try out some basic best practices for effective employee recognition.

Engage in Regular Communication

Never underestimate the importance of simply talking with your employees. While constant check-ins might seem like a waste of time, they form the foundation of a meaningful employee-manager relationship. Humans are social by nature, and they feel a greater connection with people who engage with them regularly. You don’t have to become a veritable chatterbox around the office, but you should at least make a point of speaking with each team member several times throughout the day.

Provide Fair, Useful Feedback

Most employees are more motivated than their managers give them credit for. They genuinely want to excel at their jobs, and they appreciate constructive criticism almost as much as enthusiastic praise. With this in mind, make sure you’re providing your employees with meaningful feedback on at least a weekly basis. Let them know what they’re doing well, and give them specific advice on how they could get better. When employees see that you’re invested in their improvement, they’ll sense that you value their role at the company.

Give Employees Opportunity for Growth

Every worker wants to develop new skills and progress in their career. Savvy managers know how to provide these types of opportunities. You should be constantly thinking of ways to give eager employees larger roles and more responsibilities. They might find the new tasks challenging, but they’ll also appreciate that you’re helping them advance.

Provide Ample Flexibility

The best way to show appreciation for your employees is by recognizing that they’re human beings with lives beyond the workplace. Some team members are caring for young children and elderly parents. Others are pursuing a passion project on the side. Whatever their outside dreams and responsibilities, your workers need the flexibility to work around other commitments. By offering flexible schedules and providing plenty of time off, you show your employees that you sympathize with the hectic nature of modern life.

Develop the Habit of Showing You Truly Care

For some people, expressing appreciation and gratitude comes naturally. For others, especially introverts, these shows of recognition can feel forced or awkward. If you fall into the second category, you need to make a conscious effort to change your ways. Build basic shows of appreciation into your daily routine. Try to write a thank-you card every morning, and kick your meetings off with a quick burst of praise. Before you know it, recognizing your employee’s contributions will become second nature.

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