Words Of Appreciation

How to Leverage Appreciation for Employee Engagement

5 min read
Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland

Showing your employees that you appreciate their work and contributions is one of the best things you can do for them and your organisation. 

According to research from Zippia, recognised and valued employees are almost six times more likely to stay at their jobs than those who aren’t. Even more impressive, 80% of employees said they’d work harder if they felt better appreciated. 

Knowing you want to start sharing messages of recognition is just the start. You want to make sure those messages hit the spot too. Here’s our handy guide to offering meaningful words of recognition – the kind that can make a real difference. 

Recognition is Key to Good Culture

Feeling unsure about when is a good time to offer words of encouragement or recognition? Here are just a few suggestions to get you started:

  • When an employee completes a task to the best of their abilities
  • When you recognise some efficient and caring teamwork
  • When someone achieves something they haven’t managed before
  • When a team member chooses to share their skills with everyone else
  • When you can see that someone has been working on a problem area
  • When a work anniversary rolls around

Make Sure Your Appreciation is Effective

There are a few simple things to bear in mind for your efforts to have the highest impact. The most effective recognition is:


Generic encouragements are better than nothing, but when you add specifics, you make them much more valuable. 

State why you are sharing your appreciation in enough detail for it to be easily recognised. It will make a big difference! Analysis from Gallup found that it’s not uncommon for employees to feel that their best efforts are routinely ignored – and that those who felt they were being ignored were twice as likely to quit. 


Employee recognition should be timely and targeted. 

There is no point in waiting three weeks to pat someone on the back. 

There’s a good chance they’ll have moved on and solved three other problems by then. They may even be left wondering if you’ve not noticed anything they’ve done in the intervening time. Save your roundups for regular meetings or appraisals and ensure recognition is done in the moment. 


Showing appreciation for a team member is a way to make them feel seen and valued, especially when you add a personal touch. 

Whether it’s a reference to a private joke, an acknowledgement of their particular skills or a mention of how you noticed them overcome a challenge you’ve addressed in the past, the more personal you can be, the more likely it is that you’ll foster a high-performing team

Best Words for Showing Appreciation 

Here are just a few phrases and words that can make an employee feel valued.

Appreciation around team building

A strong team spirit is essential to creating a good office culture. Here are some ways to show you’ve noticed someone working towards connection: 

  • We are lucky to have you here. Your dedication and attitude make us a better team!
  • The way that you encourage those around you to do their best is inspiring.
  • You are such a great team player. I always know I want you on any new project!
  • We’ve noticed you looking out for your team members and want to commend you for your compassion. 

Appreciation of particular skills 

We all bring different skills to the table, making us unique – and uniquely valuable. Here are a few suggestions for making sure it’s clear you’re celebrating the skills an employee brings. 

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts in the last team meeting. They gave me a new perspective.
  • Your unique vision has helped us grow in ways I hadn’t anticipated.
  • I know I’m not the only person who has benefited from your X this week.
  • You are so good at X. It’s a real strength of yours and one that makes our organisation a better place. 

Appreciation around personal growth

No one is perfect. Knowing where and how you can grow and improve is essential, and some encouragement can go a long way in helping employees excel. 

  • You are always open to feedback and comments, and it’s amazing to see you take them on board and thrive. 
  • The progress you’ve made in the areas you wanted to improve on has been evident. Good work!
  • Thank you for sharing your goals with us and for consistently looking for ways to grow as a person. 
  • There has been a big improvement in your X over the last few months – we can see just how much you’re growing. 

Make Peer-to-peer Appreciation a Habit

There is much to be said for the kind of appreciation that is passed on from a manager to a team member, but there’s also a great deal of value in peer-to-peer recognition

Build a culture where sharing and showing appreciation is part of the fabric of the working week, and watch employee wellbeing and retention levels rise. A report by SHRM found that 57% of HR professionals in companies that introduced peer-to-peer recognition programs reported higher levels of employee engagement.

How to Communicate Words of Appreciation 

There are lots of different ways you can share your words of appreciation, and all of them have the potential to be effective. However, if you want to build a culture of appreciation in your organisation most smoothly and simply possible, we’ve got just the platform for you. 

Our employee recognition software will seamlessly blend in with your day and is a whole lot of fun, making it easy to share messages of appreciation! 

Transform your culture with Mo

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Book a free demo to learn how Mo can help you:
  • Improve employee engagement scores
  • Reduce employee churn
  • Build a collaborative culture
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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues.

Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today!

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