Meaningful ways to show appreciation to your employees

Posted on October 27, 2023 in Starting Strong - Calf Care
By Ann Hoskins, Vita Plus calf program manager

There are many ways to show your employees appreciation.  Showing employees that you appreciate them will help them feel good about themselves and their work.  Recognition also creates an atmosphere of trust between employees and managers, which builds a positive work environment that fosters collaboration and innovation.

Each of us gives and accepts appreciation differently.  Ask yourself, “If I were an employee, what would make me feel appreciated?  What would I enjoy or find valuable?”  The easiest way to answer this question is to simply ask your employees what is important to them.  Be ready to listen and learn from their comments.

From my years of traveling from farm to farm, I’ve listened to and learned from watching some amazing managers.  The key is that, regardless of the means the manager uses to show appreciation, the act must be sincere and genuine.  Following are some great ways to show employees your appreciation.

  • LISTEN with intent.  Communication is vital and valued in all cultures and environments.  Listen to understand and respond accordingly with appropriate actions.
  • Tell an employee when they do something well; give praise and positive affirmation.  Don’t assume people know what you are thinking.  We tend to be critical of ourselves and hearing genuine praise from others helps increase morale and build trust.
  • Show interest in each of your employees and their abilities.  Be kind, ask a question about what they are doing, or ask about their family or what they did during the weekend.
  • Offer a helping hand, especially if you know it is a difficult chore or task.
  • Pause and enjoy the moment.  Days go by quickly.  A moment to pause and reflect can go a long way for everyone.
  • Offer a smile or another kind gesture.
  • Offer a consistent, well-thought-out bonus plan.
  • Offer additional training.  Most employees want to do better.  By offering training on or off the farm, you can ask that they come back and share what they have learned with their co-workers.
  • Write down, discuss and review job expectations.  Most employees will work better if they know what the expectations are.  Offer constructive feedback to help people learn and understand.
  • Bring in a treat or prepare a meal.
  • Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries.

Employees are much more likely to be engaged in their work when they feel appreciated and valued as part of the team. As a manager, showing appreciation can have real and positive impacts on your team’s productivity.

Category: Employee management
Starting Strong - Calf Care