How Employee Appreciation Can Improve Productivity and Retention

How Employee Appreciation Can Improve Productivity and Retention

With WHO classifying burn-out as an “occupational phenomenon,” and a Work Institute study discovering that “35% of employees will leave their jobs by 2023 to go work somewhere else,” employee appreciation has never been more important. 

employee appreciation productivity and retention

In an eight-year study by Professor Paul Zak that measured brain activity while people worked, it was discovered that “organizational trust is a key part of culture that directly influences how willing your employees are to go above and beyond in their roles.” A chemical in the brain called Oxytocin, which makes us feel cared for, is released when we trust others and bond socially. Recognition and trust has been proven to increase morale, improve engagement, and reduce turnover.

So, you can see how a little bit of employee appreciation could go a long way in improving the productivity and retention of your employees.

March 6th is National Employee Appreciation Day, and we have 10 ways you can appreciate your employees to improve their productivity and retention. Check it out!


10 ways to show employees your appreciation


1. Remember Birthdays

Sometimes it truly is the little moments that can add up to a big difference. Wishing your employees a Happy Birthday acknowledges their lives outside of the office and celebrates them on a day that is uniquely their own. While office treats, a team lunch, and peer-signed cards are great gifts, even a company-wide message can send some much-needed love to your employees.


2. Celebrate Work Anniversaries

By celebrating employees’ work anniversary, you’re recognizing all the hard work they’ve done and the milestone in their career. It’s a thank you for being there one, five, or even ten years. Anniversary gifts can be great motivators as well as celebratory messages from co-workers. 


3. Upgrade an Office Essential

Is there something in your office that could use a little TLC? Microwave? Coffee machine? Printer? Chairs? Upgrading an office essential shows that you care about the well-being and happiness of your employees. A new toaster that doesn’t risk setting off the fire alarm when used or printer that doesn’t jam can go a long way to easing everyday tension and demonstrating that you hear your employees’ concerns. 


4. Summer Fridays

Or should we say Summer FriYAY! Most employees will happily work a few more minutes the rest of the workweek to have a half-day on Friday. By giving summer Fridays, you’re showing your employees that you value their work-life balance. 


5. Random Acts of Fun

Spontaneous office fun can do a lot to ease stress, create team-bonding, and develop an enjoyable company culture. Taking a 10-minute break from work to do a mini-golf competition, play fetch with office dogs, or other shenanigans will keep employees looking forward to coming to work every day.  


6. Special Treats (Just Because)

Bringing in donuts, fruit, homemade desserts, or even ordering pizza when the office is experiencing a particularly tough deadline can go a long way to boosting morale.


7. Team Celebrations

Getting everyone together, even for 20 minutes, to celebrate achievements in employees’ personal lives (e.g. getting married, having a baby, running a marathon, winning a short-story contest, etc.) demonstrates that you care about them as a human being, not just as a resource. 


8. A Little Thank You Goes a Long Way

The “Thank You card” is not obsolete. Sending a little note (physical or digital) for moments such as hard work on a project, an achievement, a happy new year, for joining the company, and other milestones can make an employee feel noticed and appreciated.


9. Get Your Employees Out of the Office

The bonding that happens outside of the office is just as important as the work that happens in the office. Take your teams out to lunch, happy hour, holiday parties, quarterly kick-offs, team bonding, you name it. By treating your employees well, they’ll be more motivated to work harder and recommend you to others.


10. Peer to Peer Recognition

Recognition from managers and leaders is great, but creating an environment where co-workers congratulate each others’ successes, anniversaries, and celebrations are vital to a company culture that employees want to work for. 



While Employee Appreciation Day is a great occasion to celebrate the hard work your employees contribute to your company, we also encourage you to appreciate your workers year-round. Keep up the gratitude, and your employees will keep up the good work! 

Have any other ideas for how to appreciate your employees? Share them with us on social!


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