How Do I Appreciate You? Let Me Count the Ways.

golden-star-11289575366K88From gold stars on the forehead to gold wrist watches, tokens of appreciation are given out and appreciated at every stage of life from preschool to retirement.

Appreciation appears to be a natural human craving, a basic need.

Certainly not as necessary as food and sex for survival, but appreciation ranks high in terms of developing confidence and self-esteem.

In the business world, expressing appreciation to employees, colleagues, prospective clients, clients, those you are in partnership with as suppliers or vendors, goes a long way in developing confidence, respect and ultimately loyalty. And, there are numerous appropriate methods of expression starting with the most basic: a sincere thank you.

In this piece, I’m focusing on ways to express your appreciation for employees. In a way, employees are truly business partners or you might even think of them as your first clients. How you treat your employees is how you treat everyone. I heard this expression that applies here: “How you do anything is how you do everything.”

While money tops the list of the most popular way many employees like to be shown appreciation, there are so many other ways that people appreciate and sometimes even more so than money.  

Use this list as idea starters. Share with managers and team leaders to inspire them to express appreciation as often as possible. And, please note the bold italicized items are those things that we at Gossett Marketing can provide! We always appreciate you calling on us to help you express your appreciation to clients, colleagues, employees and suppliers.


  • Base salary raised
  • Bonuses
  • Gift certificates
  • Cash awards

Written Words

  • Handwritten thank you notes (Gossett Marketing can provide logo’d notecards.)
  • letter of appreciation in the employee file
  • Handwritten cards to mark celebratory occasions
  • Recognition posted on the employee bulletin board (We can also provide recognition boards!)
  • Contribution noted in the company newsletter

Positive Attention From Supervisory Staff

  • Stop by an individual’s workstation or office to talk informally
  • Provide frequent positive performance feedback – at least weekly
  • Provide public praise at a staff meeting
  • Take the employee out to lunch.

Encourage Employee Development

  • Send people to conferences and seminars
  • Ask people to present a summary of what they learned at a conference or seminar at a department meeting
  • Work out a written employee development plan
  • Make career development commitments and a schedule


  • Buy pizza or another lunch for a team
  • Bring in cookies, gelato, a deli tray, or fruit basket to share
  • Bring in an ice cream and toppings bar
  • Rent a popcorn machine for a week

The Work Itself

  • Provide cross training opportunities
  • Provide more of the kinds of work the employee likes and less of the work that he or she does not like

Provide opportunities for empowerment and self-management

  • Ask the employee to represent the department at an important, external meeting
  • Have the employee represent the department on an inter-departmental committee
  • Provide opportunities for the employee to determine his or her own goals and direction
  • Participation in idea-generation and decision-making


  • You need to keep drawings on the light side, especially if only one employee can win, but quick, fun drawings are ways to say thank you.
  • Hold a drawing for company logoed merchandise and other inexpensive items, for things like most product sold, best customer service, project completed, sales leads obtained and so forth. (Gossett Marketing can help with providing these items!)


  • Company logo merchandise such as shirts, hats, mugs, and jackets (Gossett Marketing can help provide these items!)
  • Gift certificates to local stores
  • The opportunity to select items from a catalog (We can also set up an online incentive program catalog.)
  • The ability to exchange positive points for merchandise or entry into a drawing for merchandise (Ditto: same as above!)

Symbols and Honors

  • Framed or unframed certificates to hang on the wall or file
  • Engraved plaques (Call on Gossett Marketing when you need these items!)
  • Larger work area or office
  • More and better equipment
  • Provide status symbols, whatever they are in your organization

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