Somehow I Manage: Acknowledge Your Employees, 1 Kudos at a Time

Acknowledge Your Employees

Picture this: You’ve been guilted into going to your local Chili’s by your boss to accept what he thinks is employee appreciation, but in reality, are shallow superlatives that don’t carry any recognition. The acknowledgment is a lot of “Whitest Shoes in the Office” and “World’s Longest Engagement” as opposed to “Busiest Beaver”. Then to top it all off, while the group is being heckled by the other customers in the restaurant, you get your driver’s license xeroxed and get told you arent allowed back. Just as soon as you were starting to have a good time! 

Is that what would you consider “employee appreciation”? If so, you may be living in a real-life episode of the hit television show “The Office”.

While a lot of managers and supervisors think that to acknowledge your employees only consist of things like a reserved parking spot near the entrance, a catered lunch for quarterly meetings, or a plaque on a wall (or in this case, a Dundie award) but in reality, it’s not nearly that extravagant. It’s a lot less shallow and a lot more appreciative. 

Here are some examples off the top of our heads that can give you an idea of what we mean when we say you should acknowledge your employees:

“Jenna, wow, today makes it two years you’ve been with our company. We’re so grateful for your commitment to making this place a better place.”

Or

“Toby, your idea of how to improve our customer support process has saved tons of time and money. Let me buy you some lunch today as a thank you.”

Or if you REALLY want to go the extra mile 

“Dwight, I know it has been crazy and we’ve been working lots of overtime. Now that we’ve got that new system in place, we’d like to promote you over an entire area AND you get a 25% pay bump.”

The most effective acknowledgment happens when your employees hear words like that from leadership in person. Face-to-face acknowledgment makes the recognition personal and can be delivered with emotion.

Knowing how your employees prefer to receive recognition is imperative. For some, nothing feels better than to have praise rained down on them in front of their peers. Go big and social with all the hoopla you can muster.

That’s when you really want to channel your inner Michael Scott and make a show out of it. Just remember that everybody’s different, so if your employee is detail-oriented and craves the no-frills approach, leave the karaoke machine behind and be sure to praise them using specific details about her work.

Lastly, acknowledging employees is more than just a one-time event; it should be happening consistently in events, moments, meetings, and conversations, The important letter here is the ‘s’. Acknowledgment should be a cornerstone of building your workplace culture.

Rewarding Middle Managers – A Win-Win Approach

In the fast-paced world of business, reducing employee turnover is a priority. And guess what? Whether they are the middle managers or the assistant to the regional manager, those individuals play a crucial role in achieving that goal! So, let’s show them some love! Financially rewarding managers who successfully cut down turnover rates is an excellent way to acknowledge their operational triumphs. After all, a happy team means happier employees and a thriving organization.

Anniversary Cheers: Celebrating Milestones, Building Loyalty

Did you know that job hunting increases around an employee’s work anniversary? But fear not, we’ve got the perfect antidote! Let’s shower our team with appreciation on their special days. By giving recognition awards on work anniversaries, we show our gratitude for their commitment. Remember, loyalty is built on appreciation, and these heartfelt gestures will foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie.

Pay More, Sell More: A Henry Ford-Approved Approach

Now, you might wonder, can we afford higher wages? Well, let’s take a page out of Henry Ford’s book! Promoting employees based on merit and increasing wages in high-turnover industries can be a game-changer. By providing pay bumps at specific milestones, like day 90, 180, and 365, we say, “You stay, we pay (more)!” Happy employees lead to happier customers and a flourishing business. The evidence is clear – when Henry Ford paid his workers more, they sold more cars!

Who are the unsung heroes on your team this week? Picture their faces and seize the opportunity! Put down that smartphone (yes, I mean it!) or step away from your computer, and head straight to their desk. Let them know that their efforts are valued, cherished, and making a real difference. This acknowledgment isn’t just heartwarming; it pays dividends tomorrow.

So, let’s make today the day we spread appreciation like confetti – it costs nothing but means everything! 

Put down your smartphone (or get up from your computer), walk over, and tell them how much you appreciate all their efforts. Acknowledgment of this kind pays for itself tomorrow.


#TEAMworks empowers every layer of leadership within your organization. Great teams work because they communicate well, are equipped to perform at the highest level, are repeatedly acknowledged for their efforts, and are unashamedly measured to achieve peak performance.

#TEAMworks | Talk, Equip, Acknowledge, Measure