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12 Strategies to Help Your Employees Feel Appreciated

By Erika Miller
Image grid with headshots of all the contributors to this blog.

What is one peer-to-peer recognition strategy that can help employees feel appreciated?

To help you make your employees feel appreciated, we asked small business owners and HR leaders this question for their best insights. From creating a dedicated slack channel to engaging with your employees outside of work, there are several tips that may help you implement peer-to-peer recognition strategies in the future.

(Hint...Motivosity can do all of these, and more! Using Recognize, you can be sure you will have the best—and most comprehensive—employee recognition program in existence!)

Here are twelve strategies to help your employees feel appreciated:

  • Create a Dedicated Slack Channel
  • Give Public Shout-Outs
  • Build a Peer Recognition Team
  • Vote on an Employee of the (Semi)-Month
  • Recognize Employees with LinkedIn Endorsements
  • Leverage Birthdays
  • Nominate Peers for Social Posts
  • Make Your Recognition Timely
  • Allow Peers to Submit Awards
  • Individually Tailor Recognition
  • Use a Point-Based Strategy
  • Engage With Your Employees Outside of Work

Create a Dedicated Slack Channel

We use a Slack channel called #you-are-awesome where team members can share peer-to-peer praise. At any time, any employee can post a shout-out to any other coworker, and team members can echo the sentiment with comments and emojis. This channel spreads a daily dose of positivity throughout our organization and gives employees more visibility and recognition than if compliments were streamlined through management.

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

Give Public Shout-Outs

image with text - The most impactful recognition actions are those that pair gratification with a merit-based review.

The most impactful recognition actions are those that pair gratification with a merit-based review. Only when we are praised for something that is genuinely credited and hard-earned success, we take pride in it. Being precise about how and in what way someone achieved a goal can go a long way and be much more than just an empty compliment from a business leader. Also, making it public strengthens the message and earns a person a position of an expert in the group.

Michael Sena, SENACEA

Build a Peer Recognition Team

Employees can share their appreciation one-on-one, but it’s also helpful to have a group that keeps track of the team’s accomplishments. This team can collaborate on ways to publicly recognize their peers as important professional and personal milestones pass. They are recognition warriors holding the company accountable for showing their appreciation for one another.

Hector Gutierrez, JOI

Vote on an Employee of the (Semi)-Month

One peer-to-peer recognition strategy that can help employees feel appreciated is voting on an employee of the (semi)-month. Now in our experience employee of the week is a little too often, while an employee of the month is a tad too infrequent, and thus we've arrived at the aforementioned compromise. It's important to make the process as organic and grassroots as possible. Thus the nominations should come from the bottom-up, and anonymous voting should occur a couple of days before the 15th and 30th of the month. When announcing the winner it's key to recognize the accomplishments and how they've gone beyond the call of duty so that the recognition doesn't just become a popularity contest. This approach has quickly become an all-time favorite at our company and we highly recommend this strategy to any organization out there.

Peter Bryla, ResumeLab

Recognize Employees with LinkedIn Endorsements

LinkedIn endorsements for skills is a modern peer-to-peer recognition strategy that can help employees feel appreciated. For instance, being acknowledged for capabilities like leadership and management, marketing and promotion, or finance makes working professionals feel happier and more fulfilled at work. As they earn extra credibility and visibility online, other professional connections can read about their expertise. When this happens, it’s easy for individuals to get discovered or relied on for project collaborations and partnerships. Providing LinkedIn endorsements produces a positive impact on engagement. It is a mutually beneficial way of appreciating each one’s skills, improving reputations, and building stronger connections in a digitally advancing workplace.

Abe Breuer, VIP To Go

Leverage Birthdays

One part of my employee engagement strategy is to always make a splash on birthdays. Whether it's one employee per month or 10, we always recognize birthdays and take the opportunity to let them know how much they are valued. We are a remote team, but we still make it a point to send virtual birthday cards that contain a gift card to a hand-chosen place they like. We then create a google doc for everyone to write a nice message in, and we package it all together in a custom digital card that our graphic designer creates as a day task.

Stephanie Venn-Watson, fatty15

Nominate Peers for Social Posts

Invite your team to nominate their coworkers for a monthly social media shoutout on your business Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social pages. You’ll allow your team to recognize their coworkers and help give social followers a peek into your company culture. You can name the award based on the individual achievement - perhaps they’re an excellent teammate, problem solver, or go above and beyond for clients. If the recognized employee feels comfortable with it, post their photo along with the big thank you!

Cliff Auerswald, All Reverse Mortgage

Make Your Recognition Timely

image with text - Timing is vital for peer recognition; it's most impactful when it's done at the right moment.

It's all in the timing. Timing is vital for peer recognition; it's most impactful when it's done at the right moment. No one wants to get recognized two weeks after completing a challenging task, which can build up negative energy toward the workplace. Your employees are less motivated to work if they don't feel appreciated in a timely manner. It's crucial to recognize the employee immediately after an important achievement and encourage your employees to congratulate their peers. When workers see this type of behavior coming from the top, they are more likely to emulate it. When your employees appreciate each other for their hard work at the right time, it will boost their overall morale. When employees are celebrated immediately for their success, you will see more enthusiasm in all your workers, and their efficiency will improve on future projects.

Mark Daoust, Quiet Light

Allow Peers to Submit Awards

Allowing peers to submit recognition awards and tokens of appreciation can boost morale and increase employees to be more team-spirited. Employers can institute an anonymous dropbox or create digital options for submissions. Once a week HR could collect the entries and place the announcements on a digital board, newsletter, or weekly email distributed to staff. The key is to give employees the path to recognize their peers. It promotes teamwork, collaborations, and a more positive work culture.

Shell Phelps, Phelps Strategies, LLC

Individually Tailor Recognition

There definitely isn't a one-size-fits-all peer recognition strategy that suits all employees and personality types. It's extremely important to be mindful of the fact that each individual colleague will have a preferred form of recognition, whether that be public or private. I highly recommend quizzing new hires during the onboarding process to determine their preference, before then using that information to inform future recognition.

More reserved colleagues might benefit greatly from a thoughtful hand-written note outlining your appreciation for their work, whilst an outgoing colleague could potentially appreciate public praise in front of the rest of the office. Ensuring that your peer-to-peer recognition is personalized to be inclusive of all employees is vital to long term success and company culture.

Clare Jones, OfficeSpaceAU

Use a Point-Based Strategy

A point system is a great way to demonstrate that you value your employees. By permitting workers to choose incentives that are meaningful to them, you can create a points system, which will increase enthusiasm as points accumulate. Employees can then get the gift that they like using their points. The points are awarded by co-workers and this can have a really positive effect on morale. Knowing your peers appreciate your hard work can go a long way.

Rebecca Gunter, CovidTests.co.uk

Engage With Your Employees Outside of Work

If you're a small business, after-work barbeques or an extended Friday lunch hour ordering in from a local takeaway joint can be inexpensive but important team-recognition events. Sharing a meal and a laugh; literally breaking bread with your work circle disrupts the high-pressure psychology of the workweek and recognizes your employees as human beings. Niggling work issues can also be brought up in this casual environment where employees may feel more comfortable, outside the office or warehouse to voice any concerns...or may even have a great idea for the organization.

Evan McCarthy, Sporting Smiles

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