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4 Ways to Create a Culture of Appreciation

Mark your calendars; Employee Appreciation Day is on Friday, March 5, 2021.

While this day is the perfect opportunity to make a special show of your gratitude towards your employees, it’s also a great time to ensure you’re embedding employee recognition into your company culture. Creating a culture of continuous appreciation helps employees feel valued, which ignites their growth and development and helps organizations become more effective and successful.

A culture of appreciation happens when people are valued as individuals and are recognized for their unique contributions and their impact on the business. In turn, employees feel valued and empowered to take more initiative. This leads to a cooperative and appreciative culture. A culture of appreciation also contributes to building high-performance teams.

Creating a culture of appreciation starts at the top, with leadership setting the tone for employees. This tone shapes how motivated people feel and how employees approach each task and workday. As you prepare to amplify this aspect of your organization’s culture, consider the following strategies:

  • Show appreciation for the little things.

    Along with recognizing their major accomplishments, employees also want to be appreciated for small actions and behaviors. What gets recognized gets repeated. Every day thank-you's can reinforce employees’ behaviors and are a vital source of motivation to keep up the good work, even with potentially mundane tasks. Embedding appreciation for the small things helps employees feel seen and that their work is worthwhile.

  • Encourage appreciation in all directions.

    Obtaining recognition from their colleagues or other leaders within the organization can be a great source of motivation for employees and increases collaboration. Appreciation breeds appreciation and can be expressed from anyone to anyone within a business.

  • Appreciate employees in ways they want to be appreciated.

    As individuals, practices that make people feel appreciated differ from employee to employee. Employees want to be thanked in ways that are meaningful to them and each employee has their preferred method of appreciation. Leaders should observe how individual employees appreciate others and how they best receive it, then begin speaking to the employee in their preferred method.

  • Create opportunities and ways to give thanks.

    In order to spread a culture of appreciation, employees should have a way to participate. Some ideas could be to begin or end your weekly or monthly meetings with employee recognition and shout-outs, setting up an email box where employees can give “thanks,” and/or creating a formal peer-to-peer recognition system.

Each organization’s approach to employee appreciation will be unique, just like the individuals within their workplace. A positive company culture can be an organizations' greatest tool. A culture that fosters appreciation promotes employees to be more motivated while helping them see their individual value to the organization and how their contributions impact the team and organization’s success. Recognizing and appreciating employees allows them to thrive, take more initiative and be more motivated to do great work.