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Employee Appreciation Q&A - The Extended Cut

Read extra content from Anne’s recent Q&A video on how employers can celebrate their employees daily! Watch the full video here.

How can leaders tailor their appreciation efforts to accommodate their employees' different personality types and preferences?

  • Be specific in your praise—link it to performance and company vision

  • Offer a choice between a range of perks (gift cards, company merchandise, etc).

How can leaders adapt their employee appreciation tactics to accommodate remote and hybrid work environments, ensuring that team members feel recognized and valued regardless of their physical location?

  • Have routine meetings where you make time for sharing human experiences (What did you do over the weekend? What books have you enjoyed recently?  How’s the family doing? Birthday celebrations, etc.) This builds friendship and empathy.

  • Praise the remote workers in front of the in-house group and vice versa

  • Pair a remote worker with an in-house colleague to work on a project together to bridge the physical gap—even consider having a game to play together.

What are some common mistakes leaders make when trying to show appreciation to their employees, and how can they avoid them?

  • The main mistake is doing nothing. Also, being too vague can cause you to miss an opportunity to show the employee and others what the company values.

  • Be specific about what you’re saying. For example, instead of simply saying “Good job.” Try to add something more specific. For example: “You showed persistence and cultivated a new client for the team.”

Can you share an example of a time when you received a thoughtful gesture of appreciation from a leader, and how it impacted you?

  • When I worked at AT&T Capital Corp, the president told me that I was an invaluable and insightful counselor to management and their teams. I felt valued and appreciated.

What are some creative ways to recognize and reward employees beyond a simple "thank you" or pay raise?

  • It depends on a company budget, but in general, it seems to be popular and celebrated when companies can offer a choice between a range of offerings (gift cards, company merchandise, a mental-health afternoon off, etc.).

What role does communication play in employee appreciation, and how can leaders use different communication channels to show their gratitude and support to their team members?

  • A hand-written card or letter offers a personal touch, sharing positive feedback in front of others can be very validating for the employee and for the team to see good behavior being recognized and celebrated.  

Can you share an example of a company that has successfully implemented an employee recognition program and seen positive results?

  • Southwest Airlines has a terrific employee recognition program. One of the most interesting elements of their program is how they encourage peers to recognize a colleague’s performance (instead of the praise just coming from management). This empowers the employees to encourage each other and shape positive behavior in the team as well as reinforcing company values.

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