Employee Appreciation Day

The old saying, “you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar”, is a slightly quirky one but with timeless pertinence.  In the workplace it’s a simple reminder to treat people well, in order to get the best out of them.

It’s not rocket science of course. When a person feels valued, they feel good and are more likely to be productive, creative and committed. On the other hand, an employee who feels their contribution goes unrecognised has less incentive to try, and their care factor diminishes.

At COS we have a simply Reward & Recognition (R&R) program, where everyone has the opportunity to vote for anybody they think deserves a shout-out.  An employee of the month is then chosen from amongst the latest votes and eventually an employee of the year.

You may already have a similar program in place and ideally appreciation is already a part of your workplace culture, but there are so many very simple ways to show a little care and appreciation.


The most basic and often overlooked courtesy in the workplace, simply acknowledging someone’s hard work and effort can be enough to make a huge difference to someone’s mindset.

Some research shows that frequent recognition makes work more meaningful, and meaningful work is one of the top three reasons employees remain with a company. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to say, “Thank you” and the effect of a pat on the back is far more powerful than ignoring those who help to keep the business functioning.

Encouraging appreciation between staff can be just as effective. Some businesses have an official nomination system where staff can be recognised for an act of kindness or the extra effort they make within the business. Building an environment where mutual appreciation is central to staff happiness makes for a more positive workplace overall and may encourage employees to go above and beyond their basic duties.

Celebrate Wins

Completing projects on-time, winning new contracts, achieving a particular goal – these are the results of team work and effort.  Celebrating as a team helps to build a sense of belonging and accomplishment, as well as rewarding people for a job well done.

Host a morning tea, provide a financial bonus, take the team out for lunch or a round of put-put, or hand out certificates of recognition or gift vouchers. Anything which rewards people as a team for their contribution can boost morale and improve productivity.

Thoughtful Gestures

While the team work together to achieve big things, each individual member plays a different role. Celebrating birthdays with a cake or some surprise desk decoration is a lovely way to appreciate people for simply being part of the team and makes them feel individually valued.

Fresh fruit in the office is always welcomed, as a healthy morning or afternoon snack, and helps maintain both health and motivation. Other options include a personalised gift or the opportunity for career advancement, perhaps via a course or workshop. Take the time to recognise the quirks and interests of every person on the team and make them feel special for being a part of it.

Official Awards

Some businesses choose to incorporate ceremony into their recognition program. Whether at the AGM or the Christmas party, the presentation of certificates, trophies or badges are a great way to formally acknowledge a job well done.

Take it a step further and create an individual trophy that reflects your business – it can be as fun or as official as you like. A great idea is to incorporate a range of awards which reflects the different qualities of a successful team, such as: Hardest Worker, Best Coffee Maker, Most Organised, Office Prankster or Employee of the Year.

Ultimately, providing recognition for people is beneficial for everyone in the business, as well as the business itself. A happy and satisfied team will be more productive and more likely to remain with the business as a positive contributor.

The emotional and practical rewards of employee appreciation far outweigh the effort of implementing a recognition program, and will lead to a more satisfying workplace all round.


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