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10 Ways To Express Employee Appreciation

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Lots of organizations claim to value every employee’s contribution. They’ll often express that employee appreciation or the act of being appreciative is a core value. As a consultant, trainer, and coach I hear a lot of good stories, some of the most common underlying themes of workplace dissatisfaction seem to develop from a lack of respect, trust, and appreciation. Do you feel appreciated? What about your team?

employee appreciation in the office

Appreciation doesn’t just happen; it is intentional, but only with your good effort. The old news is, people don’t quit jobs because of the organization, they quit because of their boss. This applies not only to many root causes for turnover but also to absenteeism, unhealthy workplace conflict, and in some extreme cases even theft.

Increase Employee Appreciation

Do you want a healthy organization culture? Do you believe that you are showing appreciation for a job well done? Here are ten expressions of appreciation, use them (or create your own) frequently:

  1. That was so valuable!
  2. You did something no one else could have done.
  3. You really impressed me.
  4. This was beyond expectations!
  5. Can we clone you?
  6. That was absolutely amazing!
  7. I know you will have great success with this.
  8. I don’t know how you did it, but it is fantastic!
  9. Where would we be without you?
  10. Thank you.

Most employees know all the usual buzz phrases so try to use them sparingly, here are a few:

  1. Nice job.
  2. Great work.
  3. You rock.
  4. Awesome.
  5. Thanks.

While these are better than nothing, they are often too simplistic, are taken for granted, and do not generate lasting meaning.

I’ve heard countless stories about the manager who tries to say or do the right things but the delivery is terrible. Employees end up feeling like it is sarcasm, that it is not genuine, and provides no value.

Doing It Right

What is the difference, or how do you do it right? You have to feel it and believe it. Your level of integrity with improving employee appreciation comes from you understanding and valuing what it really means to appreciate the work or accomplishments of someone else. Truly consider what your workplace life may be like without them. What additional work load would you have to endure? What would the customer experience be like or what would your sales volume be?

Lastly, make sure your gestures, body language, and other actions align with your words. Recognize all of this in your mind first and then express why you appreciate them so much.

Always remember it is not what you intend to deliver, it is how it is perceived. Perception is reality.

Appreciate them more.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC and the owner of the registered trademark Appreciative Strategies®. Dennis is a four-time author and his latest book is titled, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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