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Employee Appreciation: The Key to Retaining a Strong and Motivated Workforce


It’s the people you hire that drive your organization's decisions, actions, and achievements – which is why retaining strong employees is just as important as hiring them in the first place.


Consistently showing employee appreciation is one of the best ways to keep your workforce happy and performing optimally. However, many companies fail to keep their workers engaged, with only 1 in 4 employees strongly agreeing that they feel connected to their workplace culture. With more than half of the U.S. workforce quietly quitting their jobs, organizations must use strategies to combat workplace passivity and foster positive employee sentiment.


Research identifies 5 essential pillars to employee appreciation, and we’ve outlined them below. Continue reading to learn how you can implement these principles into your own talent retention strategy.


Employee appreciation should be: FREQUENT


Organizations should strive to consistently and dependably create an atmosphere where employees feel appreciated. For example, recent findings from Gallup indicate that employees are 74% more likely to say that they do not plan to stay at their current place of work when their leaders only show them recognition a few times a year. Although there is no "magic number" of times workers should be shown appreciation by management, more than 40% of employees say they want to receive recognition a few times a week – as long as it's appropriately deserved. 


Employee appreciation should be: AUTHENTIC


Providing appropriate and authentic recognition is essential, as empty words or gestures will not produce the desired effect. Merely one-third of employees strongly believe that their recognition is genuine, highlighting a significant opportunity for employers to increase the perceived meaningfulness of their rewards. The true impact of appreciation lies in what it signifies to employees, and if that recognition is ingenuine, it can undermine the entire experience. A few examples of how to show authentic appreciation include throwing spontaneous workplace celebrations, expressing gratitude for an employee on the company's social media, and rewarding stellar workers with bonuses, raises, or extra time off. 


Employee appreciation should be: EQUITABLE


While recognition should be individualized and specific, the amount of recognition others receive also holds significance. When employees perceive an imbalance in appreciation, especially when they feel unfairly overlooked, it negatively impacts their overall employee experience. To put this in perspective, Gallup research shows that only 19% of Black and 21% of Hispanic employees receive the same recognition as their coworkers compared to 28% of Caucasian employees. Therefore, it is crucial to remember that an organization's recognition methods can reflect its inclusivity or expose underlying attitudes and biases.


Employee appreciation should be: EMBEDDED IN CULTURE


For some companies, employee recognition is noticeably an afterthought or mere obligation to attend to. But for other companies, showing appreciation is an integral part of the workplace philosophy, making a massive difference in how employees regard their treatment. Studies support that when organizations go above and beyond to show their employees appreciation, especially via public displays, the largest percentage of workers (37%) report that their workplace has a solid culture of recognition. Overall, companies should cultivate an environment where employees feel empowered to celebrate others' achievements and expect to receive acknowledgment for producing exceptional work. 


Employee appreciation should be: PERSONALIZED


You can count on employees having different preferences concerning where and how they ideally wish to receive recognition. In light of this, the best way to determine how to personalize your appreciation efforts toward an individual is to ask them. While some employees enjoy public displays of recognition, others do not. In fact, the highest percentage of workers (64%) do not prefer one or the other but are happy with a mix of both. Whether your employees favor private or public displays of appreciation, it is highly beneficial for companies to cater their recognition methods to the preferences of individual workers. 


Recruit and retain worthwhile employees with Beyond TalentEdge

Before you can appreciate your extraordinary workforce, you have to hire the most extraordinary people. Need help finding them? Partner with us at Beyond TalentEdge and peruse our pool of the highest-quality candidates in the region. Learn more about Beyond TalentEdge's robust recruitment, onboarding services, and additional HR solutions such as staff training and development in partnership with Greater Rochester Chamber – a great way to show employee appreciation with an investment in your talent. Contact us today to get started!