How to Foster a Culture of Employee Appreciation - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

How to Foster a Culture of Employee Appreciation

Appreciation has to do with acknowledging someone for the good work that they have done. When you are running an organization, your goal is to develop a culture that motivates people to keep working. Appreciation is one of those practices that you would want your team to embrace.

In case you are wondering; is it important to acknowledge people for the work they were hired to do? Well, you should know that the efforts that go unnoticed in the workplace are likely to impact your company’s culture significantly. Recognition does not need to come in the form of awards or monetary value. It means simply saying “thank you” when someone does something, and “good job” when they demonstrate creativity. Here are 3 reasons why you should endeavor to appreciate your employees:

1. a) You will retain them

Imagine a good and experienced employee leaving your organization because they were not recognized for the outstanding work that they did. When you think about it critically, their departure might affect your organization in a big way because training a new employee is both expensive and tedious. When you appreciate your staff, it is unlikely that they will quit and go work for another organization.

2. b) It creates harmony

When you demonstrate that you value an employee, there will be harmony in the workplace. The thinking behind this hypothesis is that valued people are happy and happy people do not initiate conflicts with others. Recognition has people oozing “good vibes” all day in the office.

3. c) It results in good ratings

While you manage a team, at some point they have to rate your work too. Valued employees are bound to rate you more positively, most especially because they enjoy working with you.

So, how do you foster a culture of employee appreciation? Here are three ways how:

Award deserving professionals with promotions

Promote those employees who demonstrate true leadership. Before giving any staff that corner office and an increased salary, you would want to ensure that they possess the qualities of a good leader. These features have to align with your organization’s culture to avoid backlash.

So, how do you achieve this? Before giving that promotion, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Does employee X maintain a good rapport with their colleagues?
  • How well do they advise the junior staff?
  • How fast are they willing to help out solve a crisis at work?

To crown it all, take into account how they recognize others for the small milestones they make.

Emphasize peer recognition

Workplace functions like an ecosystem where people are constantly interacting with one another. As a leader, you have to nurture this ecosystem by introducing cultures that make a happy place to work. How do you achieve this? You need to lead by example such that you create something for others to emulate. Employees need to look at you and think that if you can do something, they can do it too. Therefore, when you show them how to appreciate people, they will follow in that manner. Additionally, encourage employees to keep on recognizing each other’s contributions every time. Eventually, they will develop a peer to peer recognition system and you will have achieved your goal of fostering appreciation in the workplace.

Recognize people for little things

There is a quote by Ellen Hopkins: “Sometimes the little things in life mean the most.” It is the same thing with employee appreciation as people want to be recognized for the smallest actions or behavior not only for the big ones. There are numerous small but significant things that employees do in the workplace that go unnoticed. For instance, one employee decides to give their colleagues a quick tutorial on how to unzip and zip files using software such as WinZip, or other tools for different purposes. That calls for recognition. This action is not only a good gesture but it saves time for other employees who need to share big files among themselves.


Appreciation will always matter and when it is made into a culture, it redefines a working environment. Employees will go out of their way to explore new ways of doing things and solving problems because they are assured that their efforts are valued no matter how small. Promoting such a culture also enhances trust, and ensures effective team building. When you are a leader and send those thank you emails to employees, you make them develop a deep connection to the organization’s leadership.

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