Connect Employee Appreciation, Performance & Recognition

LaDonna GreinerWorkplace3 Comments

How can you tie employee appreciation and recognition to performance reviews for improved productivity? By connecting the dots between these activities. With this winning combination, you can  improve the skills of mediocre performers as well as retain the top performers within the team.

Managers often dread annual performance reviews. Sadly, a previous supervisor managed to avoid the process for the first 24 months of my employment, giving excuses and alibis when the subject was mentioned

Performance Feedback Is Important

Dedicated employees want feedback. While daily feedback is preferred by some—especially millennials–everyone needs advice, affirmation, or guidance at least once a week. Get in tune with how your employees prefer feedback.

Most employees take to heart the comments made in the performance review. Countless times, efforts are made by engaged employees to improve on behaviors or actions cited in their review.

When their efforts to improve go unnoticed, employees can become discouraged. So, managers, if you feel these things are important enough to bring up and put in writing in the annual review, please take notice when an employee shows improvement in these areas.

If it’s worth writing in the review, it’s worth a note of encouragement. Otherwise, you are laying the ground work for disengagement.  Employees can easily take the attitude, “What difference does it make? Management only notices the negative.”

Master the Skills



The performance review process can be affirming and helpful to all involved if we view it as a way to reinforce the positive and help employees master the necessary skills.

A good performance review covers the areas of excellence and, in addition, outlines the specific steps needed to improve. The goal is to help the employee master the desired skills. Use what you have existing tools, like the annual performance review, to improve employee productivity.

The performance review.

 Take a moment to review each employee’s most recent performance review.

What criteria are you seeking?

How do employee’s actions and work line up with these criteria?

Focus on the positive.

Where do you see evidence of these actions?

This is an excellent place to start showing appreciation by recognizing even the slightest efforts to master the skill. Take the opportunity to write a note letting the employee know that you notice a specific action that is in line with the results you seek. It can be a card, a sticky note, or an email. Make it personal, start with their name, “I appreciate your efforts to get to meetings on time. You’re an important member of the team. We value your ideas.” and be sure to sign it.

Mission, vision, values and performance reviews.

What are your company’s mission, vision, and values?

Echo the mission, vision, and values in the recognition programs and performance reviews. Seize every opportunity to help employees master the skills needed while reinforcing the company’s strategy and beliefs. When you see an employee demonstrating these attributes don’t hesitate to share the story. Recognize them at the next staff meeting by telling the story of what you noticed. Let peers, supervisors, and other’s know of the positive examples you see.

Encourage peer to peer appreciation.gratitude, appreciation, performance

Recognition and appreciation from management is important and motivating. Peer to peer recognition is just as impactful—possible more so. Why do we crave both? Because management sets the bar for the company—often seen as the big political picture whereas peers set the bar for day to day efforts.

Coworkers need recognition and appreciation from each other.  Although peer to peer recognition can be based somewhat on popularity and politics, if done right it can foster a culture of collaboration, connectedness, and support. Peer to peer appreciation and recognition can break down department silos. Combine recognition and appreciation from management and peers to balance results and effectiveness. There are many ways to appreciate and recognize coworkers. Next week we’ll explore some ideas.

Unproductive Dollars

Employers spend billions of dollars for employee recognition, 1-2% of payroll is spent on plaques, watches, pins, etc. According to Forbes, 87% of recognition awards goes to those who have been there the longest.

Are these your top performers? Do they have a positive impact on productivity? Are you maximizing your recognition efforts in both time and money?  Reviewing performance and the recognition process is a good place to look for answers.

Maximize Time & Money

In conclusion, remember that appreciation and recognition involve everyone. It’s important to productivity and the long-term health of the organization. Make the most of the time and money spent on these efforts. Do your best to include appreciation in every form of recognition across the entire organization.

Next week: How to Appreciate Coworkers!

3 Comments on “Connect Employee Appreciation, Performance & Recognition”

  1. I am very IMPRESSED with your products and so wished that I could have heard
    you talk at our EWC meeting.
    I would love to meet you and tell you about my ideas of sending Thank You cards
    to our customers when my husband and I had a mailing machine business 8 years
    ago in Nixa, Mo.
    He had retired at that time from Pitney-Bowes Inc. after 24 years of a Service Rep.
    and we took on another mailing machine co. and started another business and I
    worked in the business but also did the statements, bookkeeping and company

    1. Hi Judy,
      Thank you for your kindness and encouragement. I’m always excited to hear from others who are living the grateful life with enthusiasm!

      Thanking customers is one of the best ways to let them know they are appreciated. It’s also great for word-of-mouth referrals. Let’s talk! You can reach me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.

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