I recently went to Sea World theme park.  I was amazed by the extraordinary shows of the whales, dolphins and sea-lions.  After every good show, they were given loads of fishes by their trainers in appreciation of their performance.  In fact, it had become such a regular expectation of the whales, sea-lions and dolphins that they did not go back into the water, without receiving their award for performance.  Well, who does not like to be appreciated?

Humans being social in nature have an innate need to be appreciated. This need for appreciation starts right from when we are small children.  Children expect everyone to pay attention to them and clap for them after they recite nursery rhymes.  A student feels proud when appreciated by his teacher.  This need for appreciation continues until adult-hood.

In an organization setting, an employee feels elated when appreciated by his or her manager for their good performance.  Employee appreciation can do wonders for the morale of the employees.  It motivates them to strive for better performance all the time.

A manager can appreciate employees in various ways.  It can be a simple thank you note, a pat on the back, an email appreciating the work, an award (like an outstanding employee award), a memorable gift or can be in the form of monetary rewards.

Employee appreciation need not always be expensive! A sincere word of appreciation would help employees to remain motivated for months!  I think that more than the type of appreciation, the intention to truly and sincerely appreciate is what matters a lot to the employee and will be cherished by the employee.

A lot of success in organizations also comes from the co-ordinated efforts of a team or team-work. In such cases, managers would have to take care to appreciate the efforts of everyone involved.

Benefits of employee appreciation:

1)      It improves the morale of employees and motivates them to perform better.

2)      It engages employee.  Employees feel cherished and become more loyal to the organization.

3)      Reduces attrition.  Employees who are appreciated for good performance usually do not leave the organization for just for an increase in their salary.

4)      It leads to better organization goal achievement because of better performance.

5)      Employees more willingly participates in organization related activities, because they are more engaged.

6)      If employees are appreciated when it is due to them, they would not mind to hear negative feedback now and then.  In fact they would be willing to listen to their weak-areas and would make an effort to improve them.

7)      Employees who receive appreciation would be willing to pass on the appreciation to people who report to them. So a culture of employee appreciation would develop where there is mutual admiration and respect of everyone’s performance.