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How to Appreciate Employees Without Breaking the Bank

According to Workforce Institute, 82% of employees say they are not being appreciated enough.

Appreciating your employees is the fastest, cheapest, easiest, and most impactful way to boost moral and employee performance.

HR Teams and Managers provide value in employee recognition, but it is not solely their responsibility. If only managers and HR are doing the recognizing, it does not infuse culture or values into the team. There needs to be active participation from every employee.

Making a shift to peer-to-peer appreciation allows every employee to participate and recognize their co-workers. It not only makes employees feel appreciated, it contributes to a positive workplace culture and creates active involvement on the part of every employee. The only proven way to infuse workplace values into employee behavior or employee recognition. A great way to do this would be to create a "kudos" board and provide ways for employees to celebrate one another. This could be created online or in a common space, depending on your workplace dynamics.

The truth is that everyone loves feedback and clarity of that they are focused on the right things and that the work they do matters. There is a big difference between praise and recognition.


Praise: "Fantastic work!"

This example is not detailed, it does not provide clarity, and it is not specific.

Recognition: "The work you did on the project was detailed, well researched, and provided exactly what we were looking for. Fantastic job on this project!"

This example is specific; it tells the employee exactly what they did well in the project and what they can focus on in future assignments.

Recognition doesn't need to be something that takes a ton of time. A simple example that does not require a lot of time could be showcasing customer or client feedback and celebrating employee shout-outs from outside feedback. Appreciation does need to be frequent to be effective. If you only went to the gym once a month, are you going to see the same kind of benefits as if you went every day, every other day, or even every week? Set goals for your team to increase your appreciation of your team. Simple ideas for employee appreciation

  • Purchase gift cards to local businesses and have a raffle to win

  • Contact local food trucks and invite them to park during lunch

  • Plan an outing for Team-building (like an escape room, or obstacle course)

  • Provide a stipend for employees who work from home to upgrade their home office

  • Write hand written thank you notes

  • Celebrate birthday's and work anniversaries

  • Provide an extra paid day off for the employee to use at any time

  • Create a mentoring program where a senior employee can partner with a newer employee

  • Involve employees in the decision making process

Appreciation of your workforce is the cornerstone to developing a positive culture in your workplace. There may be some costs initially, but it will lead to several long-term benefits for your employees and your business.

How we can help? Please reach out to our B.Stephens, HR Consulting team for help appreciating your employees!


If you want to review research provided by Workforce Institute, please view their website here: If you want to learn more about Achievers, please view their website here:

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