Staff playing ping pong at work

Businesses that cultivate a strong feeling of belonging and have a motivated team, will see a lower turnover of staff, higher productivity and improved customer service. A sense of belonging is created when people feel appreciated and ‘buy-in’ to the culture, ethos and values of the business they work for.

'Appreciation' is the subject in hand, as today is Employee Appreciation Day, something that has us in a bit of a quandary. 

On the one hand, we hold the fundamental belief that recognising the value of your people is absolutely an everyday occurrence and we’d like to shun any activity that deems it a one off special occasion! On the other hand, some bosses are so far from recognising the business and societal benefits of an engaged team, that maybe a special day to get them thinking is a good thing.

It is in this vein we continue – if you’re a boss who thinks employee appreciation is about paying wages on time, providing toilet roll or allowing holidays, this is for you.

Ten quick ways to demonstrate care and attention, all achievable today:


  • Call an impromptu team meeting and tell your team how much you value what they do.

  • Bigger team? Send a thank you email to all staff, recognising the contribution of the entire workforce, outline successes, be heartfelt and honest.

  • Handwrite some thank you cards and pass them out.

  • If you are usually tied to your desk, take a walk. Get out of your office and talk to people, find out how they are.

  • Ask people what you could do to make work a better place for them and then use that information to instigate change.


  • Make a round of tea! How many have been made for you over the years?

  • Buy some biscuits or cake to go with that tea.

  • Organise a treat for your team, take them out for lunch, get a nice lunch in or take them for a drink.

  • Who couldn’t you do without? Everyone has someone … buy your most valued person a bottle or send them some flowers. Don’t be afraid of singling people out, it doesn’t need to be showy. Discreetly done ... an unexpected, unprompted gift demonstrating heartfelt thanks will never be forgotten.

  • Ask your team to nominate a colleague who they think deserves special recognition. Review the suggestions and reasons then pick someone to receive a treat.  A meal, a night away, whatever feels right. This can be showy! Facilitating peer-led recognition is a great thing to shout about.

A caveat … if your ‘niceness’ is met with snorts of derision, engagement across your business (for whatever reason) is low. For example: “He won't pay us properly, but he’s bought me a cake … great.” 

If you get this kind of response, from this day forward, we’d urge you to do things better ... go beyond tea & cake to create a happy healthy business where everyone is ‘on-brand’ and contributing to commercial objectives.