5 Easy Ways To Make Employees Feel Appreciated

When employees feel appreciated, their productivity increases—partly because they're happier at work and more invested in your company's success.

Conversely, not feeling valued is among the top reasons people quit their jobs.

"More often than not, it's not because they are underpaid or overworked, rather it's because they feel undervalued and unappreciated," explains David Hassell, cofounder and CEO of the performance management platform 15Five.

"Two of the most basic human desires are validation and appreciation — we need to feel like we matter," he writes in a blog on the company's website.

Research by the career resources site Zippia showed that 69 percent of employees reported they'd work harder if they felt more appreciated at work, and 37 percent ranked recognition as the most important factor for job satisfaction, according to a Zippia article by Elsie Boskamp.

Further, a poll by Achievers of 2,000 working adults indicated more than half (52%) were looking for a new job, with 46 percent citing not feeling engaged or connected to their company and 42 percent saying the company culture was lacking.

So, while financial compensation and incentives, such as wages and bonuses, certainly play a major role in how employees feel about their jobs, other definitive ways exist to make employees feel appreciated and want to continue working at your business. Here are five ideas.


Give Recognition

"Paying tribute to important moments or a job well done goes beyond making employees feel warm and fuzzy," writes Lee Haftner, an editor at Employee Benefits News (EBN). It has a direct connection to productivity and employee retention.

A Gallup poll cited by the EBN article indicates employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they'll quit in the next year. Employee recognition programs reduce turnover by 31 percent.

Workplace recognition also translates into motivation. In the Gallup poll, 92 percent of those surveyed said they are likely to repeat an action if recognized for it.

"The easiest way to recognize your employees for good work is to acknowledge their contributions right away," writes Bennett Conlin in a Business News Daily article.

"The quick recognition reinforces the action when it's still fresh and lets employees know you're always paying attention to their work."



Employee flexibility comes in different shapes and sizes, and understandably, not all businesses can accommodate all types.

However, your attention to flexibility remains valuable to employees who are juggling life-work balances, such as parenting or other caregiving responsibilities, and time for their own physical and mental health care.

 "Life happens and there's a lot of things you just can't plan on," says entrepreneur Jennifer Barnes, founder and CEO of Optima Office, in an article by EBN Editor in Chief Alyssa Place.

"When I started my first company, I said, I want to create a place where I would want to work," she says in the EBN post. "That means having flexibility and being kind and empathetic to your employees and treating them like humans."


Listen, Understand, and Trust

Take the time and effort to listen to employees who are willing to talk with you about their concerns and needs, from schedule changes to the tools they need to boost their productivity and success at your business.

 "Simply listening to employees can make them feel appreciated, especially if you're willing to take action when they offer their constructive feedback," writes Bennett in the BND article.

"When employees can offer input that meaningfully changes the work environment for the better, they're more likely to feel appreciated and respected." 


Solve Workload Inequities

Pay attention to possible labor inequities, whether perceived or real, so you can better anticipate problems and solutions.

"An essential aspect of ensuring that employees feel appreciated is taking the time to evaluate workload distribution," writes Jessica Perkins in a blog for AIHR, which provides online training programs for HR professionals.

"Unevenly distributed work can lead to undue stress and feelings of being taken for granted, especially among those who consistently carry a heavier burden."

Review how tasks and shifts are assigned, she suggests, to see if and where any employees are disproportionately handling an unfair amount of the responsibilities. If that's the case, make changes as soon as possible to create a more equitable workload — before any disgruntled feelings or lack of appreciation come into play full force.


Public Recognition

Every employee feels more appreciated when they're recognized for their work, but the way you provide recognition may vary depending on your business size and employee preferences.

Sometimes, public recognition can be the way to go, particularly for employees who get that extra kick of appreciation when praise is doled out in front of co-workers.

Look for opportunities to incorporate public recognition for employees, whether it's weekly or quarterly staff meetings. Or establish something new, such as a time slot that allows for employee recognition on a more regular basis. If your business is not big enough or set up for such, plan on adding shout-outs to employees at your year-end party or event.

Get TheWire Delivered to Your Inbox

The trends, insights, and solutions you need to grow your business.

By signing up, you’re subscribing to our monthly email newsletter, The Wire. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Your information stays safe with us. Learn more about our privacy policy.