Employees crave appreciation for their work. In our recent Engagement & Retention Report, 82 percent of workers wished they were recognized more often. What if you could provide deeper appreciation, in ways that your most valuable team members find truly meaningful?
Research indicates that 1 in 3 employees feels less connected to company culture and coworkers because of the increasing prevalence of remote work. Whether remote or on-site, all employees desire connection and appreciation. This is even truer of younger team members. While remote work can remove some of the connection and sense of belonging your teams rely on, it’s important to provide recognition to your entire team so they feel constantly acknowledged and appreciated.
If you’re looking for what to say to show appreciation to employees in any situation, you’ve come to the right place. Employees need both recognition of past achievements and regular appreciation to stay motivated. Read on to discover examples of employee appreciation quotes you can easily tailor for anyone.
How to show your appreciation to employees
Saying “thank you” seems so simple, but expressing gratitude and acknowledging achievements have profound effects.
When showing appreciation to employees, we recommend following the principles of R.I.S.E.
- Regular. Frequently recognize your employees. Research shows that frequent appreciation produces the strongest employee engagement. According to Brandon Hall Group’s Culture of Recognition Pulse Survey, organizations that recognize employees frequently are 41 percent more likely to see increased retention and 34 percent more likely to see increased engagement.
- Immediate. Don’t delay gratitude. Acknowledge achievements in real time, to provide fast feedback while it’s most relevant and top of mind for the recipient. If you wait to send words of appreciation, they may come too late and feel less valuable.
- Specific. The more specific, the better. Avoid sending boilerplate thanks to multiple people. Personalize acknowledgements to each person and each achievement, describing specific actions your team members took, their attitude or approach, and the results for the organization It’s important to be specific in your appreciation—92 percent of employees agree when they’re recognized for a specific action, they’re more likely to repeat that action again in the future.
- Encouraging. Publicly thank team members and encourage them to do the same with each other. This helps build a culture of appreciation across your entire organization.
To make recognition personal, include names and specific messaging about what is being recognized to give meaning and value. We all appreciate working with people who take the time to know us well; they stand out from leaders who rely on generic praise that could apply to anyone. And by hearing about public, personalized recognitions, other team members are likely to jump in and publicly praise peers, too.
Frequent recognition is a strong performance motivator, especially in the form of individual and team recognition tied to your company values. Consider an easy way to show and track appreciation by using recognition technology like Achievers Recognize. Tracking recognition manually is challenging and cumbersome. Why not leverage the latest technology to streamline and simplify the recognition experience for employees?
With the right recognition software, you can easily send and receive words of appreciation on a public newsfeed, tie recognition to company values, personalize, and even measure the effectiveness of your program with insightful data. A best practice on how to spread appreciation is to build the foundation for your company's recognition program with the right technology, enhancing and simplifying the experience of connecting employees and building a culture of appreciation.
38 employee appreciation quotes
How can you ensure every team member feels seen and stays motivated? In the following sections, we’ll explore best practices in sharing your appreciation for each employee’s work, providing examples you can easily adapt.
Peer recognition plays a key role in setting the tone for a successful team. According to Achievers’ State of Recognition report, nearly two in three organizations include peer-to-peer recognition in their recognition program, considering it a must-have for a recognition initiative. As you think about ways to spread words of appreciation, don’t neglect to regularly recognize your peers.
Team members: recognizing your peers
According to our data, every time an organization doubles the number of recognitions within the organization, their overall engagement increases five percentage points. But praise doesn’t just come from above. Meaningful appreciation comes from colleagues and peers across the organization. Make it easy for team members to regularly recognize each other’s work. This breaks down silos and supports collaboration instead of cut-throat competition. Plus employees who are recognized by their teams feel a stronger sense of belonging.
In fact, peer feedback can have a particularly strong impact, boosting employee performance as much as 14 percent. Here are some great examples you can reference to show appreciation to your coworkers:
1. Thank you, Mike. I learned so much working with you last week on the end of quarter numbers and hope we get a chance to work together soon.
2. We would never have finished this project on time without Maya’s contribution.
3. Ed keeps all of us laughing, and he’s helped me so many times in a jam. I’m really glad you’re on our team.
4. Carla, you’re a fantastic teacher. I know I’m not the only one who wants to work on projects you’re assigned to.
5. Brandon’s new templates for presentations are gorgeous. You make everything I do look good.
6. When I need an answer for a major client, Sarah is great about sharing her knowledge and advice. Grateful we get to work together.
Team members: appreciating your manager
Don’t forget to also provide opportunities for team members to recognize their managers. Managers have so much impact on the employee experience and on setting the tone in your organization. Are you making it easy for the people they manage to celebrate excellence and let you know how they’re doing? Here’s what that might look like:
7. Janelle is a great coach. This past month, she encouraged me to share with the team the research I’ve been doing, and she worked with me on the presentation.
8. Lately, I’ve struggled to balance work and home demands. Gregg is always there when I need him, willing to listen and take action on the issues we discuss.
9. I look forward to work every day because of Ana. She’s so good at recognizing our individual contributions and promoting our team. And she’s a great cheerleader for the key projects our company is focused on.
Managers: appreciating your team
Let’s start with a surprising statistic: 67 percent of managers think they’re above average in offering praise and recognition, but only 23 percent of workers agree. If you’re a manager, you may be busy, but your team needs to hear from you and know you’re paying attention. They’re hungry for feedback and recognition for their hard work. By giving more appreciation, you might see stronger loyalty and dedication as a result.
Managers who express gratitude empower their teams to work harder. According to a recent experiment, researchers at the Wharton School divided fundraisers soliciting donations from alumni into two groups.The first group jumped in and made calls; the second received a pep talk from a leader who expressed gratitude for their work before they started. “During the following week, the employees who heard her message of gratitude made 50 percent more fundraising calls than those who did not.”
Start with words of appreciation, remembering to follow our principle of R.I.S.E. (Regular, Immediate, Specific, and Encouraging):
10. I was so impressed with your contribution to the new website. I know how hard you’ve been working since we launched in June.
11. I want to let you know how much I appreciate the way you support our team, even with everyone working remotely. Thank you, Janie!
12. Let me start by thanking you for your feedback on our new sales strategy, Jenn. We’ve all benefited from your perspective and your clear commitment to the project success.
13. I really appreciate you staying to wrap things up after the meeting yesterday. It means a lot to know we can always count on you.
14. You are amazing. Your analysis has been on the money every single time.
15. I want to single out Maria for uncovering that flaw in the installer. None of us wanted to hear it, but she was right, and we averted a major disaster thanks to her persistence.
Want to learn what makes your best employees choose to stay and grow or look elsewhere for recognition? Take a look at our Engagement and Retention Report.
C-Suite: recognizing your employees
Yes, employees are motivated by appreciation from teammates and their managers. But they also love to hear their work has been noticed by executives. Recognition for meaningful contributions is critical for reinforcing behaviors that align with company values and goals, but only 46 percent of organizations give their leaders and managers high ratings for it.
In a recent Gallup poll, the most memorable recognition comes from an employee's manager (28 percent), followed closely by a high-level leader or CEO (24 percent), their manager's manager (12 percent), a customer (10 percent), and peers (9 percent).
Nearly one-quarter said the most memorable recognition comes from a high-level leader or CEO. Employees remember personal feedback from the CEO—even a small amount of time a high-ranking leader takes to show appreciation can yield a positive impression. Employees especially remember recognition from CEOs that’s shared with your department or in front of the whole company - public recognition from a CEO can make a much bigger splash than private recognition.
16. We’ve all been burning the midnight oil to get this new release out before the quarter deadline. I want to single out our quality assurance team under Dana’s leadership and thank every one of you for your dedication for getting us across the finish line.
17. Today I want to take a few minutes to thank our help desk advisors. The past few months haven’t been easy, but you’ve kept your cool and helped keep employees productive and online. We couldn’t do it without you.
18. I wanted to share the positive feedback we’ve gotten from customers. Member satisfaction numbers are up 4 percent this quarter, during incredibly challenging times. We all have a lot to be proud of, especially Dre and Stef. Thanks for your contribution.
19. Erica, I heard our new diversity hiring program is the result of your initiative. We’re grateful you spoke directly and shared your experiences. You have a lot to be proud of.
20. The project director contacted me personally to single out your contribution, and ask for more of your time. I notice your hard work and dedication to this company.
21. Meg took 20 minutes in our staff meeting to praise the project and the people who made it happen. Including you. Well done, Dave!
Check out this recognition sent from Achievers’ President and CEO, Jeff Cates to every team member at Achievers after our sudden shift to a 100 percent remote workplace during the coronavirus pandemic:
Showing appreciation for living company values
What does a value like “honesty” or “diversity” look like in practice? Highlight employees who exemplify company values through their accomplishments and actions. Regularly recognizing people who model company values illustrates what your organization stands for. It encourages them to proudly continue to represent, contributing to a better company culture.
Here are a few examples of employee appreciation quotes relating to company values:
22. Our customers rely on us even more to deliver for them, even when shipments are delayed. This makes your follow-up video meetings even more important to our organization, illustrating our company values of persistence and focus on consumers.
23. One of our company values is excellence, and no one epitomizes that more than Maddy.
24. We all strive for a diverse, inclusive workplace. But Scott really lives it and breathes it every day. We are so much the better for his recruiting, coaching, and mentorship.
25. When I think of service, the first name I think of is Jorge. And here’s why….
Making milestones unforgettable
Best practices encourage regular appreciation. In addition to day-to-day successes, this includes recognizing work anniversaries and major project milestones. This is critical for motivating high-performing employees over time and for long-term retention.
Celebrate milestones together and encourage achievement by drawing on these helpful examples:
26. At the end of last quarter, we sold a record one million subscriptions, and none of this would have been possible without Kevin’s passion and determination. Bravo!
27. I’m so fortunate to have worked with Priya since she started five years ago, and to have seen her responsibilities and territory grow larger and larger. I can’t wait to see what she does here in the next five years.
28. We all know what a challenging year this has been for our whole team and for our customers. Which makes JJ’s three-year anniversary in September even sweeter. I want to take a moment to appreciate what we can do together.
29. Three months ago, we launched the new version of our product in the midst of shelter in place, and since then, our reviews have gone through the roof. Let’s give a big round of applause to Shawn and his incredible crew for getting us to this point.
Appreciating everyday wins
Don’t save all your praise for milestones—they’re too few and far between. Besides, sometimes it’s the little things that frustrate us the most.
In the middle of an overwhelming week, employees really appreciate knowing their work matters. And while a private thank you or a written note feels good, nothing beats being acknowledged and recognized publicly. It benefits your whole team to know they can receive and give public recognition at any time; and it encourages a supportive workplace culture.
Take a look at these employee appreciation quotes for inspiration:
30. We had a mad scramble this week meeting the proposal deadline. Thanks to Christina’s calm focus, we got it submitted on time, and are all still talking to each other.
31. I want to take a minute to highlight Lupe’s contribution this week and note the high quality of her work. She deserves a round of applause.
32. Jason is doing an amazing job on his new client account. Maybe he can tell us how he got an upsell so quickly.
33. Ginny gave a stellar presentation last week to the sales team. Be sure to watch the recording if you weren’t on the call.
34. Wow. I am so impressed that you were able to get that finished so quickly. Your dedication and attention to detail really shows.
Recognizing personal wins
The boundaries between personal and professional life are more fluid than ever today. Many employees balance supervising schoolwork and taking care of family members on top of their work responsibilities. Acknowledging and supporting personal achievements is one way you can ensure team members bring their best selves to their work, and feel valued for doing so.
Here are some effective ways to recognize others for personal accomplishments:
35. Thanks for always bringing your unique perspective to our team, Rob. We rely on your practicality and your humor.
36. Two weeks ago, Jessica returned from family leave. I just want to say how happy we are to have you back and impressed at how quickly you’re getting up to speed on projects.
37. Derek is not only a top performer on the job, but he also led a fundraising team at his local food bank last weekend.
38. Let’s congratulate Sonia for completing a degree in computer science. She’s been taking classes in her spare time, with her usual precision and determination.
Bonus tip: To find more examples on how to thoughtfully recognize others, take a look at these five sample employee recognition letters.
Make recognition a core part of your culture
Incorporating everyday recognition into your company culture starts with you. Employees who are engaged and feel appreciated are less likely to look for another job; 90 percent of workers say receiving recognition motivates them to work harder. Provide specific, personalized praise and timely words of appreciation today and watch it grow and spread across your organization. In turn, a focus on employee engagement and appreciation benefits the organization and its ROI.
Would your organization benefit from fostering a culture of recognition and appreciation? Achievers Recognize is an award-winning platform that allows your employees to easily send and receive both monetary and social recognitions. Achievers Recognize provides a fun user experience where employees can easily like, share, and comment on teammates’ recognitions, add photos, personalize recognitions, and tie recognitions to company values. It features a company-wide newsfeed, celebration cards, and robust reporting to provide detailed insights and analytics. According to a recent report:
- Achievers customers are 3.6 times more likely than customers of other providers to give recognition multiple times each month.
- Companies that use Achievers Recognize are 2.5 times more likely to see increased employee retention and 36 percent more likely to see increased engagement.
- Achievers customers are 107 percent more likely to give their culture of recognition a high rating than organizations that don’t use recognition technology.
Explore how Achievers Recognize can help your organization build a culture of recognition and boost employee engagement. Get a free demo of Achievers Recognize today.
Do you have any thoughts on this article? Share your comments below.