When the Boston Consulting Group surveyed 20,000 workers in the US, they found that the main way to motivate them was through appreciation of good work. Work appreciation is important to keep morale high and performance strong. 

However, according to a 2019 report by TINYpulse, only 25% of employees feel valued at work. A third of them never felt appreciated or recognized for the extra work they put in and the quality that they delivered. And this was despite most organizations having staff recognition programs in place. This meant that they were handing out ‘employee of the month’ awards, perquisites, bonuses and increments and still failed to appreciate employees for good work.

Trust, honesty and teamwork are at the core of great work culture, but organizations need to learn how to show appreciation of good work. Traditional employee appreciation ideas are ineffective because they’re boring and inauthentic and therefore mostly fail. The right kind of appreciation for hard work involves a more personal approach. Hesitation or not having the right words is a common impediment, so managers must learn how to appreciate employees for good work instead of ignoring it entirely. A team leader has to appreciate a team for good work if they want their objectives met. Teamwork appreciation is fundamental to effective collaboration. 


  1. Appreciating A Team Member Or Employee 

  2. 20 Ways To Appreciate Employees For Good Work 


Appreciating A Team Member Or Employee

Employee appreciation is classified into three main types. They are:


  • Formal Work Appreciation

    Formal work appreciation is a structured process that involves nominating and rewarding employees. There’s usually an event to celebrate achievements and hand out awards. It’s less frequent as it involves a large budget

  • Informal Work Appreciation

    The modern approach to appreciate employees and connect with them ranges from an afternoon at a cafe or an evening at a pub to a fun reward. Informal work appreciation is for recognizing progress and milestones, especially for teamwork appreciation on the completion of projects. Even though it doesn’t happen every day, it’s not a rigidly planned event

  • Micro-Recognition

    Micro-recognition is an ongoing process where managers can thank employees via notes, cards, phone calls or posting messages on a bulletin board. They can appreciate a team for good work through an announcement in the office. These quick, everyday gestures make employees feel highly valued and preserve an organization’s values without involving huge resources or grand ceremonies.


An organization can use any or all methods for employee appreciation. Just because informal events involve awards and a formal setup, doesn’t mean they can’t be authentic. If an organization values its employees, it will reflect in its conduct, be it formal or informal. 


20 Ways To Appreciate Employees For Good Work

Employees feel extremely demoralized when they give their best but appreciation for hard work is missing. However, what could be worse than not appreciating a team member or an employee?  Empty praise! 


Managers must not only recognize individual employees and appreciate a team for hard work but also do it meaningfully. Without genuine appreciation of good work, employees rarely feel motivated to go beyond their formal responsibilities. Employee appreciation must be sincere and at the same time, backed by facts. Otherwise, it can be damaging to morale.


Let’s look at 20 ways to show meaningful appreciation for good work:


  1. Start With A Thank You

    Never think that thanking an employee is too small a way to show gratitude. Courtesies like these make a huge difference. Thanking employees for what they achieve for the company can go a long way.


  2. Recognize Hard Work Publicly

    Public appreciation of hard work is probably one of the best and most underrated ways of showing faith in an employee. It acts as a great morale booster when they’re praised in front of colleagues and team members.


  3. Peer-To-Peer Recognition

    Peer-to-peer recognition plays a vital role in impacting an employee’s experience. Appreciation from peers can boost engagement, retention and employee happiness. Peer-to-peer programs can help with teamwork appreciation.


  4. Host A Lunch Or Hang Out In A Cafe

    Take the team out for lunch or drinks after work. Catching up informally can build team chemistry. But remember, teamwork appreciation doesn’t mean meetings in executive lunchrooms or office cafeterias.


  5. Have Some Entertainment In The Office

    If work pressure is low or the team needs a break, find ways to entertain them. Arrange an open-mic night (or afternoon) for music and comedy, a movie screening, or a traditional field trip.


  6. Employee Of The Month’ Isn’t Out Of Fashion

    An ‘employee of the month’ award is a good way of appreciating high-performing employees. It builds a competitive culture that doesn’t disrupt teamwork and benefits the organization. It’s a way to boost performance and promote healthy competition.


  7. Social Media Recognition

    Social media profiles are a key part of employee portfolios. Mention star employees on websites and social media pages. They’ll feel appreciated and use the opportunity to share their profiles more, which will increase the firm’s reach, too.


  8. Cut A Cake

    Celebrating a team member’s birthday is a classic way of showing appreciation. Make their special day happier by arranging a surprise celebration. This shows that a manager cares and it motivates the employee, while others get to take a break during a hectic day.


  9. Send A Note

    Use a sticky note to leave an appreciation message or a thank you. Tell them why you’re thankful and how they impacted the organization’s mission. Make it timely and specific to their actions so that they can repeat such behavior in the future.


  10. Find A Unique Rotating Trophy

    Make targets and goals fun to work toward. A stuffed toy, a classic ink pen, or even the paperweight from your first desk can be a trophy. Pass it on each week or month to the top performer.


  11. Employee Appreciation Day Or Week

    People in the United States celebrate National Employee Appreciation Day. Managers can celebrate such events to recognize teamwork and individual performances. They can even organize fun week-long events that include wellness and team-building activities, along with food and contests.


  12. Help Them Grow

    A leader must always analyze an employee’s strengths and offer them development opportunities. Assign them projects that will aid their growth and sharpen their skills. Developing talent is an integral aspect of employee appreciation.


  13. Create A Mentoring Program

    A mentor can give junior employees valuable personal training in practical, behavioral and cultural skills. Developing a structured approach to mentoring adds velocity to their learning curve.


  14. Be Inclusive When Making Decisions

    There are fewer ways of appreciating a team member better than involving them in the process of decision-making. Taking their opinions on new technology or project operations can make them feel valued and build confidence.


  15. Appreciate Daily Achievements

    Encourage team members to share individual and team victories. Whether it’s a huge account or a project milestone, recognize it during meetings and discussions or in chat groups. It’s an effective way to appreciate a team for good work and to keep them motivated throughout a project.


  16. A Day Off Can Boost Performance

    When employees are overstressed and overworked they may need an extra day to recover. Let them have an extra day off so they can watch a movie, sleep some more or catch up with friends. It’s not only a generous way of appreciating a team member for their tireless efforts but also a great way to boost their performance.


  17. Use Little Tokens Of Appreciation

    Show appreciation for good work by handing out gift cards, tokens, movie tickets and special coupons to the top performers. Show them you want them to have fun for the hard work that they put in every day of the week.


  18. A Wall Of Fame

    Dedicate a wall of fame to display the achievements of employees. It’s a fun way to appreciate a team for good work by showing them that their efforts are recognized and appreciated.


  19. Hackathon To Spark Ideas

    Hackathons let an employee choose a project they can work on for a day or half a day. They work alone or with a group and in the end present their ideas to the leaders. This allows appreciation for good work and talent and lets an organization implement top ideas.


  20. Give Away Some Merchandise

    Make custom merchandise such as T-shirts, coffee mugs or caps. They should display employee achievements and how they exhibit the values of the organization. 



Managers must remember that appreciation for good work is integral to healthy work culture. Surveys have shown over the years that work appreciation makes employees work harder. Appreciating a team member or employee helps them align with the organization’s values which positively impacts the bottom line. Employee appreciation is more than just a medal or a certificate; it’s the chance an organization has to show how much they value their workforce. And with rivals always looking to lure star employees away, appreciation for hard work is equally important to retain talent.

Harappa’s Establishing Trust is an insightful online course that will teach how to build trust in teams. It’s based on collaborative teamwork to provide the tools necessary to build trust-rich relationships. Focus on honoring commitments, credibility, openness and prioritizing the needs of the team. Learn to rebuild trust with empathy and authenticity. The trust toolkit will teach you to assess, map and score trustworthiness. Cultivate trust actively and deliberately if you’re looking to foster partnerships both personally and professionally.

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