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Employee Appreciation: Definition, Examples and Best Practices 

Employee appreciation has proved to drive better business results. Find out what is employee appreciation and how to recognize your employees’ efforts this year.

user icon Martin Angjelkoski date icon March 8, 2020 clock icon 1 minute
best practices for employee appreciation
best practice for employee appreciation

Many companies today want to drive employee retention and maximize profits. Since it is proven that business success starts with employees, many companies have realized that they should appreciate their employees for good work. 

In this article, you will find out the benefits of employee appreciation and learn some inspirational employee appreciation examples. 

What is Employee Appreciation 

Simply put, employee appreciation is an effort a company puts into recognizing their employees’ direct and indirect contribution to their company. It can have many forms, with a simple “Thank you” being one of the easiest to apply. 

Employee appreciation is a vital part of Employee Experience that takes in consideration everything an employee encounters in their work life. 

🔎 See how you can implement an Employee Recognition Program in your company with this comprehensive guide.

employee recognition playbook

5 Benefits of Showing Appreciation to Employees 

Showing appreciation to your employees will result in many benefits. You can take a detailed look of 5 reasons why you should recognize your employees’ work here.

Employee appreciation drives employee engagement  

With employee disengagement costing $500 billion annually in the US alone, it is useful to know how to tackle this issue.  

Cost of employee disengagement

🔎 The benefits of engaged workplaces are numerous, and that is why more and more companies are investing their resources in improving employee engagement. 

 Since employee appreciation boosts employee engagement, try implementing a recognition program that will reinforce the culture of appreciation in your company. 

Look at how JobPts, our Recognition & Rewards platform can help you do that. 

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Check out JobPts, our Recognition and Rewards solution.

Employee appreciation increases employee productivity  

Employees want to be recognized for their hard work to stay motivated. Your business success starts with your employees’ performance. Therefore, showing appreciation will spark your employees productivity. 

Employee appreciation motivation statistics


Employee appreciation boosts employee retention 

Employee turnover is costly. It takes 6 to 9 month’s salaries to replace an employee. For this reason, it is crucial to appreciate your employees. It will make them feel recognized for their hard work and less likely to leave your organization. 

🔎 Find out 20+ Employee Program Benefits and Ideas. 

Employee appreciation enhances customer satisfaction 

Admittedly, the goal of your company is to make customers happyAccording to SHRM’s research, 35of companies that have recognition programs noticed an increase in customer satisfaction. 

Employee appreciation promotes a positive company culture 

One of the main HR professionals’ goals is creating a work environment employees love coming to every day. According to research by Hero and Mercer, 85% of HR leaders agree that employee appreciation programs had a positive effect on company culture. 

Company culture effect on employee appreciation

What Can You Appreciate Employees for? 

You can appreciate your employees for many of their work-related achievements. Additionally, you can show your appreciation not just for what your employees do, but for who they are. 

Here are some ideas: 

Praise employees for hitting their performance goals  

You can congratulate your sales team for closing a big deal or your marketing team for driving more visitors to your website. 

Appreciate your employees’ hard work 

Have your employees been a part of a project with a tight timeline? Let them know you appreciate the extra time and effort they have put in. 

Trust effect of employee appreciation


Thank your employees for sticking with you through thick and thin 

If your company went through a tough transition or is underperforming financially, this situation probably left your employees worried. Therefore, acknowledging that your employees were loyal to you will make them reassured they made the right decision. 

Applaud your employees for patience 

Your customer support team probably deals with not-so-pleasant customers. Let them know you appreciate their patience and excellent customer service skills. After all, they are the ones that should represent your company values in the best possible way. 

Compliment your employees for their soft skills 

You don’t have to wait for your employees to hit their performance goals. Let them know you appreciate their communication style, their adaptability, creativity or work ethic.  

Promoting healthy lifestyle 

🔎 Did you know that unhealthy eating is linked with a 66% increased risk of loss of productivity? You can build a healthy company culture by implementing a wellbeing platform. 

See how it would work with Healthain, our Employee Health and Wellbeing Solution. 

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Try out our Wellbeing and Sustainability solution.


Teamwork is essential for your company’s success. You can set up an appreciation program for employees that excelled in joint endeavors. 

Out of the box thinkers 

Thinking outside the box is an important asset of any team, and it can result in outstanding business results. Reinforce this exceptional quality among your employees by recognizing this skill. 


Did you know that employees who are supervised by highly engaged managers are 59% more likely to be engaged? Good leadership can make or break teams. Make sure to appreciate employees who display positive leadership skills. 

Manager engagement effect on employee appreciation


According to LinkedIn, employee referrals are #1 channel for quality hiresThank your employee for saving you time and finances with referring a good candidate! 

Reinforce your employees’ good habits – desired skills, quitting smoking, eating healthy 

If there are certain type of behavior you want to promote in your company, applaud employees that display them. 

🔎 For example, if an employee stopped smoking or brings healthy snacks to the office, reinforce these good habits with a small gesture. 

Show gratitude for your employee’s fun nature 

It’s not all about performance! Employees that tell great jokes or have a positive nature should know that you appreciate how they brighten up everyone’s day.


Inspirational Employee Appreciation Examples

There are many ways of showing your employees you appreciate them. Let’s look at some of them.

Thank you cards

A gesture as simple as a “thank you” can go a long way. You can send Thank you cards through email, print them in smaller or bigger formats, or post them on your company’s social networks and virtual walls.

🔎 Take our editable templates to show appreciation to your coworkers!



Who doesn’t like cake, right? Surprise your employees on a rainy day with fruit, cakes or a team lunch. Clearly, this appreciation example will work the best if you want to acknowledge a team of employees rather than an individual. 

Tickets to an event  

Tickets for a non-work-related event can be a great way of showcasing employee appreciation. Is there a concert, a show or a movie your employee would like to see?  

Not only will your employees be able to enjoy an activity they like, but they will also realize you really know their interests by heart 

Be careful to provide these kinds of gifts only when you’re sure of a certain employee’s interest in it. You can ask their co-workers for help. 

Good parking spot  

Having a parking spot close by can become a non-monetary prize your employees will want to win. You can make it a temporary prize and give the best parking spot to employee of the month. 

Achievement trophy or medal 

Even though traditional trophies are a good idea too, try setting up your company’s own achievement awards. Think about how Dundies from The Office brought the whole team together and became a beloved prize! 

Gift card 

Gift cards are great monetary prizes, especially if your company is big and you don’t know your employees by heart. Having a wide range of gift card providers can allow your employees to choose a gift that they really like. 

Leave early or day off 

You can apply this common employee appreciation idea for several occasionsSome companies give their employees a day off on their birthday. Furthermore, you can give a day off to employees who welcomed a newborn or worked hard on a project. The possibilities are endless. 

🔎 For more examples, check out our 19 Employee Recognition Ideas Your Employees Will Love. 

13 Employee Appreciation Best Practices 

Even though employee appreciation programs are not so easy to implementthere are some best practices that can help you plan your employee appreciation program. 

employee recognition best practices

Get your leaders on board 

For a recognition program to work, leaders must be on board. Define the real ROI of employee recognition and present them to your CEO.  

Examine the current state of your employee appreciation 

Examine if there’s a culture of appreciation in your company. Did you already have a similar initiative? If it did not work as you hoped it would, research what went wrong and follow these next steps. 

Set up recognition program goals 

You should start your employee appreciation program with a clear goal in mind. Do you want to promote a culture of innovation, or improve customer satisfaction? Determining your desired outcomes is a crucial step in developing your employee appreciation plan. 

🔎 See how AsianPaints has supported innovation and employee growth by implementing Recognition & Rewards platform JobPts. 

Define policies and procedures 

Depending on the outcomes you want to achieve, your recognition program can be nonmonetary or monetary. Furthermore, you must decide for which actions should employees receive points and how many points will be given. 

Implement the right technology 

Setting up an employee recognition program is a tremendous task, especially if you are an HRO in a large company. Rewards and recognition solutions like JobPts are designed to help employers implement and manage rewards programs that best fit their business strategy.   

Communicate internally 

If you want your appreciation program to succeed, you should get internal communications on board. Communication experts within the company can help you get the right message across. This is a vital part if you want to engage your employees to participate. 

Educate your employees on how to give appreciation 

It may sound foolish but think about how uncomfortable it might be for someone to give a verbal “Thank you” or “You did such a good work”. Culture of appreciation is built on top of these small tokens of gratitude.  

Implement peer-to-peer recognition 

Most companies have implemented a top-down recognition program. However, peer-to-peer appreciation could have a greater effect. 41% of companies that use peer-to-peer recognition have seen positive increases in customer satisfaction.  

Make it social 

Many employees like to show their rewards to the others. Social appreciation drives more team collaboration and engagement.  

Empower your employees to give, receive, but also observe appreciation within your organization. This will enable them to collaboratively celebrate the successes and behaviors they experience each day. 

Encourage continuous and frequent appreciation 

Employee appreciation programs should be active all year round. Make it about an actual work your employees do every day, and not about Employee Appreciation Day only. 

Gamify the employee appreciation program 

Gamifying the whole recognition experience often increases adoption among employeesThus, track the nominees and rankings of your recognition programs in real time. 

Track your progress 

You should be able to measure the success of your appreciation campaigns and programs. Analyze your data to see if you’re achieving your appreciation program’s goals. 

Learn and repeat 

It is important to learn as you go. Compare the goals you set and if you achieved them. Check out why some appreciation programs succeeded, while others failed. Learn from your own experience and adjust your strategy accordingly. 

Important Statistics About Employee Recognition

In this blog, you have learnt about the importance of appreciating and recognizing your employees’ hard work, devotion and loyalty. Building such culture has a direct impact on employee morale, wellbeing, satisfaction, engagement and, therefore, the overall business success.

When trying to prove the ROI of your employee recognition initiatives, the best way to go is to show statistics from existing business research. This way, it is much easier to get the executives’ buy-in regarding the importance of employee appreciation.

Take a look at our short video with some of the most important facts and statistics about employee rewards and recognition.


Employee Appreciation Synonyms 

There are several terms used in HR world that have the same or similar meaning as Employee Appreciation. 

  • Employee Gratitude 
  • Employee Recognition 
  • Employee Acknowledgement 
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Try out JobPts, Recognition and Rewards Platform.