Appreciation and Recognition Hacks

LaDonna GreinerWorkplace21 Comments

Express your Appreciation

We often lump recognition and appreciation into the same group. However, they are not the same! There is a significant difference in the outcome of the two.

Impact on Productivity

Every organization wants maximum productivity from their employees.

According to Gallup, over 70% of employees just show up for work, producing just enough results to get by. With some recognition, those employees could improve their productivity by 23%. Want an even greater increase? Show appreciation to your employees and you could increase productivity by a whopping 43% based on a study by O.C Tanner.

Do I have your attention?

Why the dif?

The fundamental difference is: recognition targets performance, while appreciation focuses on the value of the individual.

Organizations that lean toward recognition have performance goals in mind and reward a single person or team for outperforming everyone else. The focus of recognition is on the company, sales, output.

Appreciation is directed toward the individual. It is more personal because it notes an attribute or characteristic that you value in the person.

Close but no cigar

While recognition can serve to motivate people over the short-term, it can backfire by discouraging and de-motivating them long-term. Often, those who work as hard or harder fall just shy of the goal. The performance of those who frequently land in the second or third position can actually decrease if they become disengaged, adopting the attitude, “What difference does it make, no matter how hard I try I’ll never outsell Jessica or Jason or……”

Recognition or Appreciation?

Typically, recognition looks at one aspect of the individual – their performance. Your recognition program could be rewarding the Recognition cluttermanipulators, trouble-makers, or bullies on the team.

Recognition can create discord and destroy harmony in the workplace by pitting colleagues against each other in a negative way. The top performer may feel uncomfortable about being singled out. For these reasons and more, recognition can be more costly than appreciation.
Appreciation looks at the person and speaks to what you value about them. It is often private but can easily be public without harming the culture of the organization.

Appreciation can be offered at any time and has positive long-term results. Appreciation supports a true team environment and recognizes that everyone has down days or goes through difficult times and needs encouragement.

I’ll take the combo

Don’t misunderstand, there are times when recognition works—a 23% increase in productivity is good! I’m not saying drop all recognition programs. The best organizations combine the two, appreciation and recognition, into efforts that produce amazing results. Does this mean you’ll see the 23% plus 43% increase in productivity? Who knows!


Try changing up your program by putting more money and effort into appreciation and recognition. Combine the two for stellar results! Next week, I’ll give you at least five ideas on some great recognition and appreciation combinations!

21 Comments on “Appreciation and Recognition Hacks”

  1. Thank you LaDonna! This is perfect timing as I am on a committee to come up with new ideas for our employee recognition program at my job. Wonderful thoughts in your article.

    1. Thank you! I really like your comment! Hopefully, I will continue to provide you with relevant, helpful info for the workplace and life!

    1. Thank you for the many compliments. You’ve made my day! This is my first attempt at blogging. I started earlier this year on my own but felt I needed someone to nudge me forward and proof my work. So, now I work with business coach and the blog is just one of the things we work on! He’s also helping simplify and improve my website! Your comments are greatly appreciated. We are always looking for ways to improve so feel free to submit more comments! Enjoy your day!

    1. Thank you for the praise and request! It is so helpful to know what you are most interested in reading. It would be a pleasure to expand on how recognition can be more effective when it includes a generous dose of appreciation! You can look for more ideas in one of the October posts. Your request is greatly appreciated!

      1. Quick note, I neglected to mention the four additional blog post on appreciation & recognition that are available now. They should be listed at the top right side of the webpage. Enjoy!

    1. It is good to know you find this information helpful. Please thank your cousin for referring you to my website! Thank you for taking time to share.

    1. So glad to know that you found the article helpful. I hope you will continue to visit my website and blogs. Thank you for your encouragement.

  2. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. An excellent read. I’ll definitely be back.

  3. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back in the future. I want to encourage continue your great work, have a nice afternoon!

  4. I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  5. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and will come back down the road. I want to encourage one to continue your great job, have a nice holiday weekend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *