If you had a job where you often invested significant time and effort that, ultimately, went unappreciated or didn’t even get a nod of acknowledgement, you probably wouldn’t be inclined to stay with that company for long. This is a scenario that, as a manager, you need to carefully heed.

Otherwise, you could risk losing employees who often hit targets that the average job candidate wouldn’t be able to hit. Fortunately, here’s what you can easily do to show your appreciation…

Be specific with your praise

Each member of your staff wants to feel as though they are fulfilling a role none of their co-workers quite could. Therefore, when you do give effusive feedback to a particular worker, it can pay to be specific – such as by praising their oral skills, attention to detail or any other quality.

Lolly Daskal, the author of the bestselling book The Leadership Gap, puts forward this example in an article for Inc.: “Thanks for having the courage to speak up in the meeting. It made a big difference in breaking the ice when everyone else was too fearful to talk about the problem.”

Reward individual workers without playing favourites

You might occasionally arrange something special for the whole team, like a day out at a local restaurant or perhaps just servings of doughnuts for everyone to enjoy in the office. However, paradoxically, such occasions can be dispiriting for your top performers.

That’s why you should remember to single them out for praise – while remembering to seek opportunities to reward everyone individually on their own merits, just not all at once…


Show that other people genuinely need them

You shouldn’t be – and, indeed, probably aren’t – the only person who recognises the special efforts your staff make. Perhaps a client has recently emailed you to enthuse about their recent experience with one of your employees, or someone just from another department is similarly praiseworthy.

As tech business manager Avery Augustine writes for The Muse, sharing this praise either in a one-on-one exchange or publicly will remind employees about their work’s importance.

Set them challenging tasks

If you only assign easy, repetitive tasks to a particular worker, you are sending out the message that they aren’t up to the job of handling the trickier stuff. However, you would be conveying the exact opposite message if you handed this worker responsibilities that genuinely challenged them.

Besides, doing this can help your workers to further hone and develop their existing skills. After all, to become the best, you have to take on the best.

Give your workers the tools they need

You can’t expect your recruits to deliver their best work if you don’t equip them with what they need to make this possible. This “what they need” can include good lighting, ergonomic fixtures and, for when they might fall on hard times mentally, an Employee Assistance Programme from LifeWorks. The implication will be clear: you truly want to help your employees reach their optimum productivity.