Team Appreciation: Don’t Whine It, Shine It

Team Appreciation

Ah, the corporate round table of gratitude. 

You know what I mean – managers commemorating an employee’s awesome performance with a word of thanks and an gift card. 

Which is nice, but sending your team a smiley face in the form of an Employee of the Month plaque, doesn’t really affect their behavior or connection with you and your organization.

Everybody loves to be appreciated. Doesn’t it make you feel great when someone appreciates your efforts, no matter how big or small they are? The fact of the matter is, that a slight appreciation can mean a lot to your team. 

So here’s what I would like you to do today: tell them why they are a valuable part of your team.

A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way

Employee appreciation


While the importance of feeling appreciated varies by individual, it is essential to foster a positive relationship — be it the workplace or at home. We usually listen to our teams saying, “We don’t just want to know that our work is valued, we want to know that we are valued as people too.”

Why Appreciation is Important in the Workplace?

“Customers will only love a company when the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek

Why Appreciation is Important in the Workplace

Showing appreciation and gratitude is scientifically proven to benefit your health, happiness, and productivity. It not only feels good but also builds a diverse environment and provides extrinsic motivation. It’s also really empowering.

Most certainly, it will make your employees enjoy coming to work, feel relaxed at work and allow them to deliver their best work.

A Harvard Business Review article “Reward Your Best Teams, Not Just Star Players,” turns it into simple math: a 50/50 split.

“For every executive utterance praising a high-impact individual, there should be an equally emphatic expression of support for a high-achieving team… Teams, not just individuals, should get their fair share of bonus pools. A perceived — or real — absence of fairness can cripple team culture.”

Michael Schrage, MIT

Finally, team appreciation actually has a return on investment (ROI) for your business. Because happier, more fulfilled employees mean lower turnover and higher quality work.

How to Make Teams Feel Appreciated And Valued

A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.”

As a leader, you have to ensure that you make employees feel appreciated and valued in their workplace. How do you appreciate the team? There are lots of ways for this. Let’s get started.

1. Praise in public, criticize in private

You know the guy Abeer — majorly contributed to campaign failure because of missing two key deadlines. This kind of behavior makes the efforts of others fruitless. During the meeting, prefer to not say anything to Abeer, but privately tell him how he let the team down. Often criticizing in public leads to negative consequences.

In fact, public praise gives more weight to appreciation, thus encouraging the person to do more of the same.

2. Be intended with everyday conversations

Conversations are a big part of making employees feel appreciated and build relationships. Meet and greet your employees every day and when you speak to employees, make sure they apprehend that you’re thankful when they bring something to the company that nobody else can.

Highlight their values within the company. For example, “You did great work on your last task, here’s a new task that I think you’ll be ideal for.” Remember, the more you recognize through appreciation announcement for good performance of the employee, the more irreplaceable they’ll feel.

3. Celebrate the work done, not just the final results

Do you praise your team members’ hard work and accomplishment? You are pushing them to work as hard as possible to achieve the company’s goals, it’s your duty to make them feel good. Tahir has been coming in early the whole week, stayed late, and put in some serious efforts, he’s been doing everything he is asked for and even more, but did you clap for him?

It’s your responsibility as a leader to praise them. Simply say it out, “I know you’ve been really pushing yourself this week, you’ve done a great job – thank you.” To an extreme, this can really positively impact your company’s ability to innovate.

4. Give them a (thoughtful) gift

It’s been proven that employees prefer recognition over money. Gifts are obvious when it comes to giving thanks. A thoughtful gift can keep your staff motivated throughout the year. Keep it something that shows an interest in their personal life, while also showing you care about their growth.

5. Modernize the workspace

Your work environment has a great impact on employee morale and overall work culture. We spend a lot of time at work, a smart workplace will have smart technologies to make jobs easier and more satisfying.

Does the workspace mobilize teams and facilitate learning and development?

An environment-friendly office can go a long way for creative constructive thinking. Upgrade to smart devices, move to cloud-based storage, organize teams online, opt for open office space, and whatever you can do to make them “fit in”.

6. Get creative with your perks

To attract the best and the brightest, you just need a little time and creativity. Some 66% of employees consider perks as a good way to show appreciation for their loyalty. Google, John Lewis, Virgin, and many other companies excel in this space – are known for their deep understanding of their people, where employee incentives range from bi-weekly massages to promoting napping hours.

The right perks can build a meaningful relationship between employees and leaders, add value to employees’ lives, and it ties back to your company’s culture and identity. Identify perks that match your employees’ needs, and get creative!

7. Let them leave early or work remotely

31% of Americans describe the holiday season as “frantic.” Help your employees have a work-life balance by giving the option of flexible working hours. Sure, work needs to be done and deadlines must be met, but letting your team work from home could be a stress reliever for some.

You know this little act of kindness simply means;

  • A ‘thank you’ for the months of effort.
  • A gesture of appreciation for the hard work.
  • A generous acknowledgment.

A survey conducted by Fractl found that employees place great value on benefits such as flexible hours, more paid vacation time, and work-from-home options. As a result, they will be happier and more productive at work!

8. Create a fun work environment

Employees who are in good spirits are more likely to be productive. Joyful workplaces are filled with people bursting with energy and enthusiasm.

Of course, your employees need to be focused on their job but creating opportunities for a little bit of play at work attracts people and profits. It builds up the atmosphere of good vibes and encourages team innovation.

Here are a few ideas to make your office more fun: add fun to meetings, team-building games, and activities, dance or baking contests, open the seating plan, bring your dog to work day, etc. A few more ideas that might interest you:

  • The spotlight/employee of the month —  Give it a try. Set the criteria to select an employee of the month. Give them little rewards. This will bring positive morale in the environment and it comes with real perks like employees becoming concerned about their performance.
  • Celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries, and more— Everyone likes to be spotted on their special day. Just give their desk a special feel. Bring a cake and notify the whole office.

Prove Your Appreciation to Your Team With ProofHub

We all love our teams, don’t we? I mean, what would we do without our wonderfully-talented teams?

Would we be on top of the business world? Would we be able to display our awesome cloud apps and grow our clientele and increase our revenues? Would we have a team that is different and inventive, yet collaborative like never before?

Our goal at ProofHub (yes, ProofHub) is to create teams who are not only productive but also happy in all that they do.

And it doesn’t matter if your team comprises people from other countries or not! 

We’ve got features that will help you bring those people together so that you can take the best possible decisions for the welfare of your company or clients.

Let’s make this team celebration a special one! This way everyone can feel valued for his/her role and care for each other to help us forward!

Try ProofHub, our powerful project management and team collaboration software, for free!

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