Building a Sustainable Business Through Employee Appreciation

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Building a Sustainable Business Through Employee Appreciation

04 Jul, 2019

This article is part of a series where we’re covering why sustainability in the workplace is so important and how you can be the leader for sustainability in your company. To learn more about what sustainability in the workplace means, you can read our first two series posts, covering how to define your workplace, how to get organized with technology and how to gather feedback here:



In the last post, we covered employees and how to get open feedback for your business. In this fourth installment of our sustainability in the workplace series, we are going to cover the power of appreciation in business and why showing appreciation to employees is important. You’ll also learn about how to show appreciation to employees for better sustainability.


Why is Employee Appreciation Important?

According to Gallup, showing your employees appreciation is very good for business. Employee recognition not only improves overall engagement at the individual level, but it also: 


  • Increases loyalty 
  • Improves productivity 
  • Helps retention rates remain high.


Bersin by Deloitte found that companies that regularly appreciate their employees have 31% less staff turnover. Let’s not forget, high turnover rates amongst staff can cost your business a lot of money because of the loss of production and the time taken away from other business tasks to find a new employee. So, it's worth investing in your employees by showing them appreciation, which is also a key component of having a sustainable business in the long term. 


While there is a ‘National Employee Appreciation Day’ we definitely don’t recommend only reserving appreciation for your employees one day out of the whole year. Appreciating employees should be something that is ingrained into your company’s culture, and there are many benefits to doing this on top of having higher retention rates. Appreciated employees can mean:


  • Happier employees
  • Higher levels of productivity
  • Boosted engagement
  • More loyalty toward the company


All of these items equate to having a more sustainable business. The great part about employee appreciation is that it doesn't require a whole lot of time, nor does it have to cost your business a lot of money. Appreciation can be as simple as congratulating someone at the end of a meeting, so really, it's a win-win for all parties involved. Employees feel good by being appreciated, and leaders can feel that they've made an impact.


Ways to Appreciate Your Employees

Like we mentioned earlier, employee appreciation is not just something that you do once a year or per quarter; this is something that should be practiced on a daily to weekly basis. Here are several different ways to appreciate your employees:


Celebrate Birthdays and anniversaries

Appreciation doesn’t have to be shown only when an employee has accomplished something. You can appreciate employees for occasions such as birthdays and work anniversaries, too. Have the office sign a birthday card with a gift card included, take the team out to lunch to celebrate an individual, cater a nice meal, throw a happy hour, or bring in a cake. In anything you do, make sure to celebrate the particular employee that day so they feel appreciated.

Ask employees what they want

Showing appreciation doesn’t have to be guesswork; It’s a good idea to ask your employees directly what kind of appreciation they would like most because it is very likely that everyone will be different in their preferences. For example, some employees might not like public displays of appreciation, while others thrive on it. This is important and easily overlooked, but if the appreciation you show will not be well reciprocated, it greatly diminishes the value.

Come up with a plan

This may sound silly, as appreciation sounds perhaps like it should be more of an in-the-moment thing, but planning ahead of time to show appreciation to your team members can ensure that you follow through with showing appreciation. Some ways to do this are making a list of the different ways you want to show appreciation (you could start from taking items in this blog post) and implementing those suggestions into a plan to execute. You might even want to try setting calendar dates to make it easier to remember.

Facilitate appreciation between employees

Appreciation doesn’t only have to come from the top down. You want to create an environment for your employees and team members to show appreciation for one another as well. A way you can do this is by closing a meeting by asking if someone would like to highlight someone else on the team for something they did. Recognition doesn’t just have to come from managers, in fact, facilitating opportunities for employees to show appreciation for one another is a great team-building and trust-building practice that can help with overall sustainability. You can even have a monthly award that teammates can nominate one another for.

Show appreciation publicly

There are many ways to show public appreciation. You can publicly appreciate someone for a job well done or a good deed in a meeting. You can even tag employees and feature them in a post on social media, or give them a special award or trophy for their accomplishments.

Write a thank you note

While it may be a little old-fashioned, giving someone a personal thank you note or sending an appreciation email to an employee is a very sincere form of appreciation. This is an especially good way to show appreciation toward employees that might shy away from public displays of appreciation.

Surprise treats

Take the team out for a surprise celebratory lunch, a fun retreat after completing a huge project, or you can even cater a surprise lunch or breakfast one day. The element of surprise can be nice and it’s a simple way to show appreciation for your employees. You could even take everyone out on a Friday afternoon for bowling or another activity.



Appreciation is a Two-Way Street

Not only does recognition and employee appreciation make employees feel happier overall, but it helps employees learn to express appreciation to an employer, too. Appreciation contributes to creating a more positive work culture. What’s more, appreciation ends up coming back to leaders and managers, too. 


As a leader, when you spread and facilitate appreciation, it helps to foster an environment of trust between coworkers, which comes back around to leaders. When you implement strategies of appreciation in your company, leaders and managers benefit from this positive environment as well. It will help you as a leader of the business experience greater happiness and satisfaction in your job. 


We hope this article on how to show appreciation to employees has helped you understand why appreciating your employees is incredibly important not just for retainment purposes, but also for creating a more sustainable environment in the workplace. 


If you’re feeling overwhelmed with how to start appreciating your employees, we recommend beginning with the list above we’ve given you. Use these tips to come up with an action plan that you can put in place. 


The right software may be just the key you need to helping align your company and improving overall appreciation within the organization, thereby achieving sustainability in the workplace. Read more about our performance management and alignment software here and contact us today for a demo to see how Heartpace software can improve your workplace sustainability.

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