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Why employee appreciation programmes are so important

According to a recent survey by Nectar HR over 81% of employees agreed that recognition for their contributions improves their engagement. An employee appreciation programme is a way of formalising praise into a balanced, structured, and effective method of continually recognising and motivating employees.

Though a one-off ‘thank you’ from a line manager is a positive step, it will not be a sufficient driver for true employee engagement. The best employee appreciation programmes are those with a systematic approach, with frequent recognition, that are culturally embedded and that senior leaders truly invest in.

Employee appreciation can become of particular importance when companies change or grow. This is the time in a business when relationships need to be at their strongest between employees, managers, and senior leaders.

As a brand engagement agency we place particular focus on how to encourage employee appreciation through online programmes and incentive travel.

Employee Recognition

What does employee appreciation involve?

Employee appreciation is designed to recognise employees and boost performance and it can happen anywhere in the workplace, via email or face-to-face. There are some notable software platforms out there that can make the task of running and managing an employee appreciation programme much easier and we’d recommend businesses take time to research the right tool to achieve their objectives before investing.

Once you have your preferred method of managing your employee appreciation programme it is time to consider how it will be structured. The advantage of a platform is the flexibility it provides managers to create a balanced and effective structure to appreciation. You will be able to set-up your recognition model, ensure it’s fair and equitable and assign budget to specific regions, divisions and teams.

The frequency at which employee appreciation is awarded will largely depend on your type of business, size of employee base and budget availability. Be mindful that appreciation can often weaken if there is too much time between the action and the recognition so keep it energetic and regular. Of course, not all employees wish to be recognised in the same way or at the same frequency so consider individual employees and what truly motivates them. Even a yearlong ‘team of the year’ programme can maintain momentum with monthly touchpoints to participating staff members.

Employee appreciation can take on different forms from a simple thank you to team performance incentives. According to Nectar HR 40% of employees rank managers as the group that has the most impact on them recognition wise. These already busy people – managers – will need support from central HR to make the issuance of appreciation quick and easy to execute whilst feeling considered and thoughtful.

As an engagement agency we have seen businesses implement many things to introduce a culture of employee appreciation. From launch events and desk drops to virtual award ceremonies and digital reward codes, there are many initiatives that can support your new employee appreciation programme and ensure its longevity.

Employee appreciation ideas for your organisation

Employee appreciation involves acknowledging and recognising employees’ efforts and achievements and it’s important to get it right. This often involves coming up with ideas that businesses could incorporate into their employee appreciation strategies that are bespoke and tailored to their specific needs.

Below are some employee appreciation ideas for your organisation:

Social Recognition

We are all familiar with ‘liking’ a post on Instagram or ‘sharing’ an article on LinkedIn, specific actions that show others we are interacting with them and their posts. Employee appreciation is no different and programmes should include functionality that is familiar to people in their everyday lives, whilst being intuitive and easy to use on both laptops and mobile phones. Companies should look beyond their immoveable intranets and intransient HR systems and adopt modern technology with social recognition embedded. Give your direct report some ‘kudos’ or send an e-voucher for a birthday and see employee engagement levels increase.

Employee Engagement Programme

Live Appreciation Events

Depending on how your business operates, employee appreciation ideas could come in the form of employee appreciation events. These are where employee gatherings and team-building activities are organised to celebrate employees’ accomplishments. They can take place virtually for global teams and disparate employees or face-to-face bringing employees together at annual awards dinners and celebratory events.

Launch with Impact

The success of your employee appreciation programme will be dependent on its awareness amongst employees. The way you launch it will be critical to securing staff buy-in and their desire to engage and use the programme as part of their ongoing role. Create a programme identity that is easily translatable, has visual impact and transfers well between website and printed communication materials. Consider a fast start launch with extra budget to communicate, reward and engage those employees who immediately participate.

Employee appreciation programmes with FMI

Our employee appreciation solutions are trusted by global brands to deliver effective employee engagement. From platforms and rewards to recognition tools and events we help businesses create a culture of appreciation.

Our digital platform is fully customisable to your brand and business objectives, providing you a cost-effective engagement tool. Platform features, layouts and functionality can be designed and developed to meet your needs, adopting and reflecting your brand guidelines, culture and values.

Our events team has been delivering live experiences to a range of businesses to recognise employees of major brands for over 30 years. Our employee appreciation events have helped brands such as Heathrow Airport to award and celebrate staff performance and recognise those who go above and beyond their role. For over seven years we designed and delivered a ‘Team of the Year’ group travel incentive for insurance giant LV= taking winners to exclusive destinations including Morocco, Iceland and Croatia to boost engagement.

We are passionate about elevating your business and can help with this through the effective implementation of the best employee appreciation programmes. We will ask the right questions and build an understanding of objectives, influences and barriers.

Contact us to start a collaborative and successful relationship.


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