The Importance of Recognising AND Appreciating Your Employees

By Natanya Rutstein


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Many studies have shown the link between recognising employees for a job well done and its positive impact on performance, including team performance, engagement as well as employee retention. However I recently came across an article in the Harvard Business Review – “Why Employees Need Both Recognition and Appreciation”- by Tim Robbins where he makes a distinction between Recognition and Appreciation and highlights the importance of giving both to employees.

According to Robbins “recognition is about giving positive feedback based on results or performance” whereas appreciation “is about acknowledging a person’s inherent value. The point isn’t their accomplishments. It’s their worth as a colleague and a human being.”

Robbins argues that if we focus on recognising and praising our employees only when they achieve an objective or for positive results in line with outcomes desired by the organisation, we will neglect all those opportunities which occur on a daily basis and which allow managers to support and build solid connections with their employees. In other words we need to show our employees that we appreciate and value them even when they fail.

An employee’s career is made up of a multitude of successes, failures as well as lots of hard work and effort in between, all of which require support and appreciation from management. Employees who feel appreciated are more willing to recognise the efforts and appreciate the value of their team members. Managers who practice appreciation also help to cultivate a culture of appreciation within the organisation.

Robbins argues that successful leaders must be able to give both recognition and appreciation. For more insight into how this can be achieved practically, I recommend that you read his article “Why Employees Need Both Recognition and Appreciation as well as watch his TEDx talk, The Power of Appreciation, on this subject.


Natanya Rutstein
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