Employee Onboarding

Recognition and appreciation

Find out why recognition is performance-oriented and appreciation is person-oriented and how these two concepts can have a positive influence on the working atmosphere.

Konrad Schäfers
Co-Founder & CEO
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Recognition and appreciation are not the same thing.

Leading up to the event, a good friend hosted a webinar with other HR leaders on employee engagement, recognition and appreciation. One of the key takeaways was the distinction between recognizing and appreciating employees. Employees need both, but they are not the same thing:

Recognition is about what people do and about giving positive feedback for specific achievements and contributions.

We often use employee recognition and employee appreciation interchangeably, but it's not quite right to say that they are synonymous.

Recognizing teams means offering praise, providing moments of celebration and highlighting what they have achieved (e.g. completing a big project or being an outstanding performer). Recognition is much more performance-oriented and a very important aspect of employee engagement. According to studies, 1 in 5 employees (20%) say they feel their contributions at work are not recognized. When employees' contributions are not recognized, satisfaction, well-being and motivation suffer.

Employee appreciation is about the person themselves and recognizing their inherent value.

Appreciating employees is not just about performance, but also about recognizing their value as a person. Appreciation makes employees feel seen and valued. It is recognizing employees and team members for more than just their contributions in their role at work.

A simple "thank you" paired with time spent letting team members know how much you enjoy their sense of humor, project management skills or attention to detail are part of creating a culture of appreciation in your company.

Appreciating coworkers is important because it opens the doors to more support opportunities for team members, even in moments of challenge or failure. Sharing appreciation for who your team members are and the value they bring to work each day is validating and lets them know you see them. Appreciation builds trust and connection.

Four simple tips for your strategy to share both recognition and appreciation with employees:

Have a strategy.

Sharing appreciation doesn't always come naturally, and that's okay. Developing a strategy to show appreciation authentically, and even linking goals to employee recognition and appreciation, is the first step to getting started.

A defined strategy helps teams develop habits around employee recognition and build a culture of appreciation. When there are specific goals associated with employee appreciation, it becomes more seamlessly and authentically embedded in the company culture.

Link employee recognition and appreciation to company values: When company values and principles are linked to moments of employee appreciation and recognition, they become more deeply anchored in your company's DNA.

Know your company values. Make sure your employees know your company values. When you accomplish this, the why behind why you offer recognition and appreciation to your employees becomes much clearer and more authentic. Tying values to recognition and appreciation allows employees to understand and see how they fit into the company culture.

Give everyone a platform. Create the moment.

When people have a special moment, such as a weekly standup, to share their ongoing appreciation for their colleagues, teams and customers, it's easier to share their appreciation on a regular basis. Employee appreciation can come from any level and at any time. Make it easy for everyone to share why you appreciate others.

Sharing employee recognition can be a bit more structured and should still have a designated platform and time. Employee recognition could be done at the end of each quarter to celebrate recent accomplishments. Team members can take the spotlight at an all-hands meeting to share about a recent launch or the closing of a big sale.

When we take the time and space, we simplify the process and allow more people to share their gratitude and praise for a job well done.

Stop overcomplicating employee recognition and appreciation gestures; it's okay and often welcome to implement a clear process for managers, employees and leaders to show their appreciation and recognition to others. Appreciating and recognizing employees shouldn't feel like extra work. You want people to look forward to giving praise and celebrating successes. Make it easy to share appreciation and make people feel valued.

Create employee recognition moments at regular intervals, such as quarterly business reviews or project presentations. Automate moments of gratitude with tools like clap, clap provides gift givers with a dedicated platform to seamlessly send quality gift collections in any budget to recipients around the world, spreading joy, appreciation and employee recognition through the power of giving.

People have a lot to do. Teams are wearing many hats and juggling a lot of work. Listen to what your employees want and how they want to be recognized. You don't need all the bells and horses. Sometimes sharing appreciation is as simple as sending a gift and a personalized message. There's no need to overcomplicate something that can be done easily and efficiently, it's just about making sure you get it done!

Start sending meaningful gifts today...

Want to share your appreciation with your employees? Start sending meaningful gifts with clap today.


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