Recognition and appreciation. These words are often used interchangeably. While both of them are important, there is a distinction.
Recognition involves giving positive feedback based on a person’s results or performance. This can happen formally sometimes, like an award, bonus, promotion or a raise. Informally, it would entail a verbal or a handwritten thank you note.
However, recognition is sometimes limited around these categories:
- Being performance-based, so it’s conditional.
- Based on the past, so it’s about what the employees have already done.
- It is sparse. There is just a limited amount to go around.
- It generally comes from the top management.
Appreciation, on the other hand, is about acknowledging a person’s innate value. It’s not about their accomplishments, but rather their worth as a colleague and a human being.
To simplify it, recognition is about what people do; appreciation is about who they are.
Here are a few quick ways to show appreciation for those around you:
Listen: The best thing you can do for your employees is also one of the simplest — put down your phone, turn away from your computer, and genuinely listen to them when they’re talking to you.
Value: Tell people how valuable they are. Always communicate with your employees and tell them what you value about them. Do this proactively. It can positively affect how your team feels about themselves, improves your relationship with them, and contributes to the culture within the team.
Check-ins: Ask your employees how they’re doing genuinely, what challenges they are facing, and show them you care by helping them out when required.
If you are a manager, showing appreciation for employees is essential. Our survey results indicate that 67% of employees said more appreciation from their manager would help them stay longer at their company.
Recognition is necessary when it’s earned and deserved. Appreciation, however, is required all the time.
Leaders have to focus on cultivating both employee appreciation and recognition.
The more you do it, the better.