10 Ways To Show Appreciation To Your Employees

It’s important to show appreciation to your employees if you’d like to keep them around for the long haul. The top two reasons employees leave a company is because employers fail to care and do not recognize hard work. 15Five Blog shared an experiment about the effects of being unappreciated.


Noted MIT professor, Dan Ariely, has conducted a variety of studies on workplace behavior. One of his most interesting studies involved the relationship between appreciation and desired compensation.

The Study: Ariely gave study participants — students at MIT — a piece of paper filled with random letters and asked them to find pairs of identical letters. Each round, they were offered less money than the previous round. People in the first group wrote their names on their sheets and handed them to the experimenter, who looked it over and said “Great” before putting it in a pile. People in the second group didn’t write down their names, and the experimenter put their sheets in a pile without looking at them. [Those] in the third group had their work shredded immediately upon completion.

The Results: People whose work was shredded needed twice as much money as those whose work was acknowledged in order to keep doing the task. People in the second group, whose work was saved but ignored, needed almost as much money as people whose work was shredded.

This study proves how the smallest gesture can make the biggest impact. Employers have a wide range of ideas to choose from. Zuplift is happy to help businesses of all sizes treat their workers. If you are interested to learn more about how they can help, email karen@zuplift.com. Here is a list of 10 ways to show appreciation for your employees.

Give a Gift Package

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

People will love this, especially if it is out of the blue. They can be personalized for a single person’s birthday or work well for your whole team as a Christmas gift. These can be big or small and customized. Gift cards, mugs, food, coupons, company swag or a seasonal theme are a few ideas. Zuplift has been specializing in these during quarantine for many clients.

Give a Holiday Bonus

During that the holiday season, people need a little extra money to splurge on gifts for their loved ones. Taking care of your employees during this time will make them grateful.

Speak Words of Affirmation

As seen in the experiment, saying a single positive word can make a big impact. A simple thank you will never go out of style. And when it comes to giving criticism, it’s all in how you say it. Phrase constructive criticism with a positive and negative. This way you are less likely to tear down the employee.

Offer Free Food

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Whether it’s random or a scheduled day every week or month, people look forward to getting food at work. Bagels in the morning, pizza on Friday, Taco Truck Tuesday, whatever the stick is, find one and make it work for you.

Celebrate Them

Most people like to have the spotlight on them, even if it’s only for a little bit. Keep that Employee of the Month wall. Celebrate a new sales record. Offering praise in front of the whole company makes that individual or team feel special.

Be Flexible

Everyone has a life outside of work, so being understanding when life happens is ideal. Many personal things may come up last minute, making someone late or having to take a few days off. In these cases, be respectful, understanding, and listen to the reason. On the flip side, COVID-19 has changed the way people do business. There is a growing expectation for flexible work hours and desire to work from home. Is that something you will be offering?

Ask For Feedback

Don’t ask if you aren’t willing to listen. Employees can offer valuable insight to different levels of the company. If improvements can be made, they should be considered. To make them feel more comfortable with sharing, create a suggestion box for anonymity. Leave it in the kitchen or at the main entry way for easy access.

Host Company Parties


Take a lesson from Michael Scott. He never was one to shy away from a company party. And according to his mug, he’s the #1 Boss. Now you don’t need to go overboard like him, but having holiday celebrations a couple times a year can be a lot of fun. For a larger company, it allows people in different departments to mingle, share some ideas, and relax.

Encourage Continuing Education

At some point in your employee’s career, he or she may want to get a master’s degree or PhD. If they bring this to your attention, they are looking to see how you can help them achieve this goal. You may offer to pay for their schooling or part of it. You could also be flexible with them if they need adjusted work hours. They are trying to better themselves and want that support. At the end of their journey, you may want to promote the employee. Think of encouraging your employees’ continuing education as an investment and how it can positively affect you in the log run.


It’s a great PR move to volunteer as a company every now and then. Take your employees into consideration though when making the selecting the charity. Is there someone who has been affected by breast cancer and would like to do a fundraiser? Maybe as a collective, they feel passionate about cleaning up littered streets and highways. If people have a greater connection to what they are doing, it puts more meaning and effort into the service.

How do you show appreciation for your employees?

Featured Image: Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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