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10 Easy Ways Leader Can Express Appreciation in the Workplace

Jul 22, 2021 by Donna Coppock 2 Comments

10 Easy Ways Leaders Can Express Appreciation

Individuals in the workplace need to feel appreciated in order to enjoy their job, do their best work, have positive work relationships, and stay with their organization long-term.

The key ingredient in meaningful, significant, and effective appreciation is individualization—expressing appreciation in the recipient’s preferred “language.”

Varying the ways company leadership communicates appreciation will improve chances of hitting the mark, so we've compiled 10 ways leaders can express appreciation in the workplace and foster positive work relationships in order to establish a recognition culture:

1. Give a Verbal Compliment

A simple, verbal compliment can make your associates workday. Say “thanks for . . .” or tell them, “I’m glad you are part of the team.” Be specific when showing recognition to encourage favorable behavior. 

2. Write an Email

“I just wanted to let you know, I appreciate that you . . ." or “It is really helpful to me when you. . .” Send a quick email highlighting how an employee is contributing to the team and how it makes a difference. 

3. Stop By and See How Your Colleague is Doing

Spend a few minutes just chatting and checking in on them. Ask how they are doing in, and outside of their job. A little goes a long way when leaders show interest in their team members' well-being.

4. Do Something Together

Spend time with your team by celebrating individuals' birthdays with a lunch gathering, or go to a local event as a reward for a team achievement or as a team-building event.

5. Do a Small Task for Someone Spontaneously

Hold open the door for a colleague or offer to help carry something.

6. See If They Need Any Help

Stop by an associate's workspace and see if they need help getting something done.

7. Bring in a Treat

An easy way to show appreciation is to buy a small treat for a coworker. Surprise them with their favorite coffee, drink, snack, or dessert.

8. Show That You Care About Their Interests

Get them a magazine or share an article related to an area of interest they have—sports, hobbies, or a place they would like to visit.

9. Give Them a High-Five or Elbow Bump

Leaders can show their excitement and support by high-fiving (or an elbow bump) colleagues when they have completed a task—especially one that has been challenging or they have been working for on a while.

10. Greet and Welcome Your Colleague

When your associates arrive to work, greet them with a smile and give a warm welcome—something like “It’s good to see you!” or “How is your day going?”

How does an employee appreciation program positively impact my business?

  • It builds trust between workers and bosses.
  • It boosts productivity among employees. 
  • It decreases turnover and improves morale (onboarding and training is time-consuming and costly).
  • It improves your business's reputation (online reviews & social media).


Learn more tips and best practices for establishing a recognition culture.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Leadership, Rewards and Recognition

Donna Coppock
Written by Donna Coppock
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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.