Employee Recognition Messages and Templates

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The ‘Great Resignation’ has effectively taught us one thing above all: a lot of employees have been unhappy in their jobs. The fallout from people resigning from their positions in large numbers – coupled with 79% of UK businesses struggling to recruit new staff in the wake of this increased turnover – has seen a lot of focus placed on retention strategies.

But the question remains for HR leaders: what can be done to improve happiness in the workplace? I’d like to answer that with another question: are you doing enough to recognise the hard work of your employees? Do your managers consistently show appreciation for the great work done by their team members?

Employee recognition is a necessary – and yet curiously underrated – tactic to improve the happiness of your employees. Sharing gratitude for the good work done by your people not only rewards them for their work ethic and motivates them to continue striving, but it also has a huge impact on morale, engagement, and retention.

I say underrated, because studies have found that 81% of HR and business leaders do not consider employee recognition programs to be a strategic priority. But organisations that do offer meaningful recognition to team members have found that employees are 73% less likely to feel burned out and 56% less likely to search for opportunities elsewhere.

Further, one survey found that 82% of employees feel that recognition impacts their happiness in their role. And there is a clear link between employee recognition and retention, with 36% of responders to a separate poll reporting that a lack of appreciation was the main reason they were considering searching for a new role.

It seems that nothing can quite sap employee engagement and morale as much as a lack of appreciation.

Employee appreciation and recognition programs then are low-cost and effective ways to reward hard work and maintain high levels of job satisfaction and engagement.

And appreciation doesn’t just need to be top-down. Receiving great feedback in a performance review or 1-2-1 with a manager is valuable, but receiving recognition from colleagues and peers can be just as effective. 65% of employees say they would stay in a job with an unappreciative boss if they received recognition from their co-workers.

So, recognition programs – especially ones that enable peer-to-peer recognition – can help to make people inspired, empowered, and engaged in their roles.

But the workplace has not always been the best environment to give and receive praise and gratitude. How can organisations change that?

How to do Employee Recognition

Many organisations are turning to employee recognition tools and software to encourage their people to show appreciation to one another. These tools can make adopting employee recognition programs easier and enable businesses to cultivate cultures of gratitude and feedback.

Our own tool for employee recognition, XCD Appreciation has been designed to be easy, intuitive, and to make sharing recognition messages as easy as possible. It also enables businesses to align their own values to the behaviours and achievements that they recognise.

Everyone in the company can send Appreciation to their peers with a click of a button, sharing positive message with the whole organisation through the friendly ‘Chatter Channel’. This allows employees to interact with their peers’ recognitions and achievements, building community and company culture together.

Yet, realistically, purchasing a great new tool to enable appreciation messages is only half the battle. As anyone who has ever implemented software in the workplace knows: getting people to adopt the new solution can be a major hurdle.

While we have previously covered employee recognition ideas to help give teams a good starting position for sharing and showing employee appreciation, one of the biggest barriers to timely and effective employee appreciation messages is simply that people don’t know what to say; don’t know how to express themselves, and this can be compounded when their messages can be seen by everyone company-wide.

One of the best ways to get people actively engaged with sending appreciation is to provide them with some templates and messages they can send to their colleagues.

Let’s explore some ideas of the kinds of messages your people could use to show their peers that they appreciate them.

Employee Recognition Messages and Templates

Recognise Hard Work

One of the most straightforward ways to send employee appreciation messages is to do so in recognition of the great work someone has done. Acknowledging performance is not only a great way to show gratitude but can also help to motivate others, as they can see that hard work and dedication is appreciated and rewarded.

Message Ideas:

  • We’re thrilled by your performance! Keep up the great work.
  • You’re consistently going above and beyond. You are an inspiration to everyone in the team!
  • Your results are consistently impressive. Thank you for all your hard work!
  • We are so grateful to you for everything you have achieved in the last quarter. Your success is great to see.

Recognise Specific Goal Achievements

Acknowledging employees for attaining certain goals shows a great appreciation for how people are developing, and the success they have brought in completing certain tasks or reaching certain targets.

This is similar to showing appreciation to employees for their hard work but allows you to be more timely and specific with your appreciation messages.

Message Ideas:

  • You have been working so hard towards this goal, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed. Thank you for everything you have achieved.
  • Your results have been excellent this quarter. You’ve played a crucial role in the success of both your team and the organisation as a whole. Well done!
  • You have exceeded our expectations in smashing your targets this quarter. Congratulations on your outstanding performance!
  • Our success this quarter has a lot to do with the hard work you’ve put in to help us reach our goals. Thank you for doing your very best each day.

Recognise Attitudes and Behaviours

Building a high-performing culture means acknowledging the ways in which people embody your company values and demonstrate behaviours that engender positivity in the workplace, such as a willingness to upskill and develop. Somebody expressing certain attitudes or showing off certain soft skills are not the types of accomplishments that businesses particularly formally appreciate. But recognising this type of effort is vital to company culture.

Message Ideas:

  • Your positive attitude is infectious and has made a huge difference to our team.
  • Thank you for always being so conscientious and willing to lend a helping hand. We couldn’t do it without you!
  • Your care and willingness to help out always eases the stress and burden on the rest of the team. Thanks for being you.
  • Your curiosity and desire to always learn and improve is truly an inspiration to the rest of us.

Recognise a Work Anniversary or Other Milestone

Work anniversaries can matter a lot to individuals and employs notice when their service receives only a cursory acknowledgement – or worse, when their milestone is ignored altogether. Thanking a team member for their years of service and encouraging others to do the same means that people always feel appreciated for their loyalty and contribution to your organisation

Message Ideas:

  • The time has really flown by since you started here! Thank you for sticking with us and making the organisation what it is today.
  • We are so grateful to you for the past [X] years. Looking forward to celebrating many more milestones to come!
  • Congratulations on your [X year] anniversary! We appreciate how hard you’ve worked from day 1.
  • [Employee] has been with the company for [X years] today! Can’t believe it’s been so long already. Thank you for everything you have done and brought to the company!

Are you interested in finding out more about how XCD’s employee appreciation software can make your people feel happier, more motivated, and boost their productivity? Download XCD Appreciation from the Salesforce AppExchange.