Proven Ways Showing Employee Appreciation Benefits Remote Teams

People don't just like to feel appreciated; they need to feel appreciated! This article provides six concrete tips for leaders to ensure their team members know they are appreciated, no matter where they work.

People want to know that their work is appreciated. Just as human beings have a basic requirement for food and shelter, according to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, we also need self-esteem and the confidence that we made a positive impact in some way. As our CEO Mark Abbott says, "To matter, you have to matter, and we all want to matter." Our desire for love and connection extends into our need to be recognized for the impact we make. Doing meaningful work that makes the world a better place—and being recognized for it—isn't just a nice-to-have in one's life. It is vital.

That's why team members who regularly hear from leadership that their work is appreciated are five times more likely to remain in their job than those who don't. And while we certainly shouldn't ignore financial compensation, kudos don't pay the bills. A Harvard Business Review study found that pay makes up only 12.8% of workplace satisfaction for people who earn less than $40,000. It's even less for those who make more than $120,000.

"Team members who regularly hear from leadership that their work is appreciated are five times more likely to remain in their job than those who don't."

We've written before about how we can't necessarily rely on spontaneous, organic communication in a Work From Anywhere™ (WFA) environment. Instead, we must be purposeful and mindful about it. The same goes for showing appreciation to team members working from anywhere, especially those not frequently (or ever) in the office. Setting up structures and creating space for appreciation helps to ensure their good acts are not overlooked and that their hard work doesn't go unnoticed. This can be as simple as a shoutout during a meeting with the rest of the team, but it's even better to take a planned and purposeful approach. 

Consider the company values and culture to find ways to align team appreciation around them. Here at Ninety, we do something called "Core Value Shout Outs," where individuals are publicly recognized for contributions that reflect one or more of our six core values. Not only does this show appreciation, but it also highlights the importance of those values to others across the organization.

The ability to connect individual achievement to something bigger and show how that person's work made a positive difference in our company and the world. So, we need to ask ourselves:

  1. How can we strengthen company culture and values through acts of team member appreciation?
  2. What kinds of accomplishments do we most want to recognize?
  3. Who provides the recognition, and in what way?

What structures can be put in place to ensure team members feel appreciated?

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