Recognising your employees – small gestures can have a big impact | Moorepay
February 29, 2024

Recognising your employees – small gestures can have a big impact

woman shaking mans hand and smiling

It’s essential employee’s feel like their hard work is being acknowledged, and so we’ve put together our best tips and tricks for making your team feel appreciated. Lets dive in and say ‘cheers!’ to the unsung hero’s!

Employee recognition is a way to engage and motivate your employees showing that you appreciate them and all their hard work. We know employees are not all motivated by the same thing and it’s important to acknowledge that employee recognition strategies will also be received and valued in different ways.

British Gas conducted a survey of 2000 employees found that 61% felt they performed better because of small gestures of appreciation with 84% stating that this is what makes their job worthwhile. 

Recognising and praising employees can be a powerful tool. Praise can have the effect of affirming the standards required, encouraging better performance, and improving the organisations chances of retaining and attracting employees.

Small gestures that have a low cost can have a big impact. Here’s what to consider:

Consistency and fairness

While there are lots of different ways to recognise your employees, managers should ensure that employees are acknowledged and thanked equally for all of their contributions and achievements. To ensure the recognition is meaningful, for example, you are not required to say ‘thank you’ to everyone each day but do it when it is earned and when you really mean it.

Know your employees

While it may not be possible for all organisations to conduct a structured employee survey, obtaining feedback will be key to reviewing the impact and success of the recognition strategies you use.

While it’s human nature to want recognition for contributions, it comes in many forms. Consideration should be given to the individual. For example, for some employees formal recognition in front of other employees may help with their engagement and motivation, while others may prefer more personal and private praise. Knowing your team and deploying good people management skills is key to success.

How do your employees feel? The British Gas survey also found that 33% of the employees surveyed felt underappreciated. How do you make sure your employees feel appreciated and valued in the workplace?

Don’t forget your home or hybrid workers

You may not actually see some of your team face to face regularly. It is important to ensure your methods of recognition are inclusive of your home or hybrid employees along with office-based workers. Meetings held on Teams also give you an opportunity to thank and publicly recognise them. Think how you can include them if you are planning a lunch or providing a breakfast.  

10 small ways to recognise your employees

According to the British Gas survey, a ‘thank you’ from a manager was the top small gesture of recognition that meant the most to employees. Here is the top 10 from the survey:

  1. A manager saying ‘thank you’
  2. A customer or client saying ‘thank you’
  3. Getting a ‘pat on the back’ for a job well done
  4. Someone helping you out, even though they are busy themselves
  5. Being able to finish work early, due to family commitments
  6. Someone offering to make you a cup of tea or coffee
  7. Getting a cake or card on your birthday
  8. Someone picking up an extra job for you, to help you out
  9. Free lunches or breakfasts
  10. Being included in team activities

Small gestures count and leave employees with a positive feeling to give them a boost in their working day. We know that this is one tool and won’t improve performance, the chances of retaining and attracting employees on its own. The survey also found 54% valued a good work life balance the most, 20% said quality leadership and 15% stated training and development opportunities.

Further information on recognition can be found on How to give employee recognition | Moorepay and Getting recognition right | A fair, strategic and inspirational process | Webinar | Moorepay.

Share this article

Want a round-up of stories like this delivered to your inbox?

Pop in your email address below.

Louise Gillibrand
About the author

Louise Gillibrand

Louise is a generalist Human Resource professional with over 18 years’ experience across a variety of sectors including care, medical, retail and telecommunications, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Louise provides sound practical and business-focused advice in line with employment legislation and best practice, and has worked in partnership with line managers, senior operational managers and directors. Typical consultancy projects include advice on complex employee relations issues, redundancy programmes, restructures, TUPE, recruitment, policy writing and grievance/disciplinary handling. In addition to her generalist knowledge she is experienced in delivering training on a wide variety of employment law and HR subjects. Louise joined the Moorepay consultancy team in October 2007.