Making your employees and team feel valued and appreciated, and providing feedback is an important aspect to running a successful business. It drives motivation, productivity and excitement, and sends the message ‘you matter’.

Understanding how to genuinely and authentically appreciate and acknowledge employees is crucial for managers and employers. It isn’t just about recognising good work, it needs to be a part of the wider employee engagement strategy.

I have listed 7 ways below that as a manager or employer, you can implement in order to show, and voice appreciation.

1. The power of listening

Effective recognition is rooted in the power of listening—a skill that extends far beyond the act of hearing. For managers, it is about tuning in to the nuances of their team’s feedback, both verbal and non-verbal, and understanding, and being receptive to it. Actions can speak louder than words, so when your team isn’t being motivated, or you have a low retention rate, it means that your team isn’t feeling valued or engaged.

When managers listen attentively, they acknowledge the hard work, innovative ideas, and dedication that often remain unseen. By truly listening, and leading with empathy, they provide a form of acknowledgment that resonates deeply, fostering a culture of mutual respect and appreciation.

2. Fair recognition

There is no I in team – it’s an old saying, but still rings true, especially when it comes to business development and employee engagement. Your team all have various strengths (and weaknesses), and it’s important to tap into these, as a whole team, without bias or ‘favourites’, and use them to meet your goals. Work with your team to make them all high achievers, dedicated team players and encourage them to bring fresh perspectives to the table, and reward them as you do. This approach creates an atmosphere where every accomplishment regardless of its scale is appreciated fairly.

3. Respecting diversity & inclusion

What motivates, or works for one person may not inspire another in the same way. How one person approaches a challenge, may be different to another, or one person’s strength is another person’s weakness. Treating your team as individuals and keeping  these distinctions in mind, will ensure that everyone feels visible for who they are, and what they can do. You don’t judge a fish by his ability to climb a tree, and having this level of awareness fosters an inclusive environment and shows that each team member’s background is valued.

4. Multifaceted, Personalised Approach

Acknowledgement in the workplace is a multifaceted concept, where financial rewards such as bonuses and salary increment play a significant role, they are not the only ways to show appreciation, and don’t have long term benefits to either the employee or the employer. As we have discussed, everyone is different, and needs different strategies in order to grow and thrive in a working environment. Implementing mentorship programs, learning and development opportunities, personalised guidance and training and team building activities are just some of the ways that you can boost employee engagement, and improve overall performance and employee experience.

5. Embracing feedback

Responding to recognition gracefully is a skill that all managers should have. Feedback from employees is essential in order to drive the business forward, and address any challenges or problems that may arise. But it isn’t enough to accept it,  implementing is vital in order to create change and make employees feel valued and listened to. Create an open door policy, where employees can feel safe, and confident enough to come to you with feedback, needs and issues.

6. Using recognition for improvement

Acknowledgment can be a major driver for professional development within the workplace, and a great tool for learning and growth. Praise, appreciation, feedback and development led initiatives can consistently encourage growth and progress, as well as boost morale, productivity and engagement.

7. Supporting Employee Wellbeing

There is a significant link between recognition and employee wellbeing, and this should not be overlooked in the workplace. When you make an employee feel appreciated and valued, their mental health, confidence and positivity improves, therefore boosting their health and wellbeing. Managers who lead with empathy, and a passion for supporting their employees, and who appreciate qualities such as resilience, adaptability and dedication help create a workplace culture that values well-being.

In the workplace, expressing appreciation can make a significant difference. When managers communicate effectively, they can transform the work environment into a sanctuary of health, wellbeing and productivity. Implementing the above will increase team involvement and performance, and by understanding the impact of acknowledgment and empathetic leadership can have on a workforce, can successfully shape a positive working environment and culture, and will also have a broader influence on stakeholders, customers and the wider community.

Chirag Mehta
Chirag Mehta
Co-founder at Know You More
Chirag Mehta is the Co-founder of Know You More. Know You More is a global coaching provider combining accredited coaches, an innovative platform, and the latest technology to deliver high-quality digital coaching. Their solutions help organisations integrate coaching into growth strategies, enhancing team skills, career transitions, performance, and wellbeing. Committed to community, their Social Reinvestment Initiatives, Level Up and Build Up, ensure everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.