8 min read
Expressing gratitude can have a host of benefits for the morale and engagement of your team. And it might seem obvious, but when it comes to employee recognition, words matter.
Crafting an appreciation message should be done with care and purpose.
But we know how daunting the blank page can be. It’s not always easy to find the right words for the moment. So we’d like to help get you started by sharing some words to consider as you compose your own employee recognition messages.
Below is a list of some powerful employee recognition words that have been proven to have an impact and may be just what you need to give your message life.
Let’s start with five core words you should always consider including in employee appreciation:
You – You is a powerful word. It makes things personal and relevant. It gets people’s attention. And on top of being sincere and kind, you want your words of appreciation to be personal and relevant. It also prompts you, the writer, to really think about the verb that will follow the word “you”. “You really blew us away with the innovation you showed on the Lewis project, Tom.”
Names – No, not the word “names”, but the name of the person you are talking to. Studies have proven that your brain lights up when it hears your name. Try using names not as a salutation but in the middle of your message, where it is more personal and less likely to be glossed over. “That was a masterful presentation that you gave on quantum theory, Nate. We thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Because – “Because” is a great word because it always precedes a proof point. It means you’re backing up what you have to say with specifics—and that makes it more credible and more powerful in prompting repeat behavior. “Mark, because of your effort to build rapport with this client, we were able to save their account.”
Thanks – It’s the classic. But you’d be surprised how few people actually use the word “thanks” or “thank you” in employee appreciation. This may be because it puts the speaker in a slightly more vulnerable position, admitting they are indebted. But you ARE indebted. The whole point is to acknowledge it. “Thank you for your unfailing support for new ideas, and your passion for excellence, Tom.”
Results – Using the word “results” (“result,” “resulting,” or something like it) shows that the action your employee undertook had a positive outcome and that you recognize their hard work in pursuit of that outcome. In social recognition, where peers will see the message, this also lets everyone else know what an effective impact the employee has had. “The result of all of your effort, Nina, was a 25% increase in call volume over the past month.”
Quick aside. That’s five down. As promised, here are 96 other words that light the flame of creativity.
You might also like: 11 Employee Recognition Letter Examples & How to Write Your Own
Overcome, succeed, excel, achieve, grasp, generate, develop, design, productive, accomplish, volunteer, produce, discipline, create, resolve, execution, triumph, victory, complete, masterpiece, conquest, initiative, outcome
Organize, improve, excellence, exceptional, striking, aware, brilliant, elegant, eloquent, intuitive, strong, outstanding, merit, talent, distinction
Thoughtful, responsible, creative, energetic, enthusiastic, resourceful, motivated, dedicated, innovative, reliable, vibrant, wise, flexible, versatile, consistent, considerate, commitment, confidence, imagination, passion, tenacity
Capable, oversight, vision, navigate, command, conduct, cutting-edge, star, champion, vanguard, role model, respect, direction, insight, inspiring, admired, courageous, engaging, enterprising, invincible, masterful
Help, support, benefit, advocate, save, encourage, revive, dependable, reliable, prepared, cooperation, advice, fortify, sponsor
What are some of your favorite words to use in recognition?
For more information around the return on investment recognition can bring to your organization, check out this white paper.
When recognizing employees’ contributions, it's important to choose words of appreciation that not only inform employees of the reason for your gratitude but also acknowledge the impact they have made.
There are numerous benefits of employee recognition, including helping employees recognize their value.
Feel free to use these employee recognition examples and employee appreciation quotes to convey your gratitude and recognition effectively:
"Fantastic job on exceeding your targets! Your exceptional performance and determination have truly raised the bar for the team."
"Your innovative ideas and practical thinking have significantly improved our processes. Thank you for your outstanding performance and commitment to excellence."
"I wanted to express my appreciation for your exceptional work on the recent project. Your extraordinary attention to detail and ability to deliver high-quality results have been invaluable to our company’s success."
"Your consistent drive to go above and beyond in your duties is truly commendable. Your exceptional performance continues to set a great tone for the entire team."
"Your dedication and exceptional performance have not gone unnoticed. Your contributions have a direct impact on our team's success, and we are grateful for your hard work and commitment."
"Have a happy workplace anniversary! Your dedication and fantastic attitude towards our team over the past years have been invaluable. Here's to many more years of collaboration and achievement!"
"On this employee appreciation day, we want to congratulate you on your well-deserved promotion! Your dedication and perseverance have led to this milestone, and we couldn't be prouder of your accomplishments. Your success inspires us all!"
"Wishing you a happy birthday! Your presence in our workplace brings joy and positivity. Thank you for being an amazing colleague and for the meaningful contribution you make every day!"
"[Name], your work ethic is truly admirable. Your unwavering commitment and diligence in every task you undertake are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for setting such a high standard."
"[Name], your positive attitude is contagious. Your optimism and enthusiasm uplift the entire team, creating a harmonious work environment. We appreciate your ability to be such a positive force and maintain a can-do spirit even in challenging situations."
"Your work ethic aligns perfectly with our company values and the mission of this organization. Your integrity, honesty, and just approach to work provide such a great example to everyone around you. Thank you for being a beacon of strong company values."
"You consistently deliver high-quality work and are such an invaluable asset to our entire team."
“[Name], I consider myself fortunate to have someone like you on my team. I hope to see you succeed in all your future endeavors.”
“We are all impressed by your sincere approach to every task, [Name]. You are the kind of employee every manager hopes to have on their team.”
“Has anyone ever told you that you are an exceptional employee? Your work is incredibly valuable to us, and we look forward to continuing our professional journey together.”
“As managers, we truly appreciate hard-working employees like you. Your dedication and support mean a lot to us, and we are grateful for the effort you put into our work every single day. Thank you for being such an integral part of our team [Name]!”
“Thank you for always being there to lend a helping hand.”
“Your exceptional problem-solving skills have saved us countless times.”
“Thank you for being a reliable team member.”
“[Name], your expertise and invaluable insight have been irreplaceable to our projects.”
“I admire your strong work ethic and helpful attitude.”
“Your positive energy and team spirit make working together enjoyable.”
“Our team appreciates your professionalism and integrity on every project.”
“Your support and encouragement have motivated me to grow and succeed.”
"I want to express my appreciation for your consistent punctuality. Your ability to arrive on time for meetings and meet deadlines is commendable and sets a positive example for the team.”
"Thank you for your commitment to completing tasks on time. Your dedication to meeting deadlines ensures our projects' smooth progress and makes you a reliable employee and a tremendous asset."
"Your punctuality is greatly appreciated. Your timely presence and promptness in delivering work contribute to our company's success and efficiency. Thank you for always respecting everyone's time."
"I want to acknowledge your exceptional time management skills. Your ability to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines consistently is impressive. Your commitment to timely completion is crucial to our team's success."
"Your exceptional skills and expertise have been invaluable to our team. Your ability to share your knowledge has greatly contributed to all the success that our company has incurred."
"I want to express my gratitude for your extensive knowledge and expertise. You have such insightful comments that have been instrumental in solving complex problems and driving our projects forward."
"Your proficiency and attention to detail put you in a class of your own. Thank you for sharing your expertise with the team.”
"I am continually impressed by your deep understanding of our target customers. Your expertise and ability to navigate complex concepts have elevated the quality of our work. Thank you for your valuable contributions.”
"Your unique skills have significantly improved our team's performance. Your commitment to continuous learning has elevated the level of excellence we strive for."
"[Name], I just wanted to take a moment to let you know I truly appreciate your incredible teamwork and active participation. Your collaborative nature and unwavering commitment to working together have made a real difference in our mutual efforts and played a vital role in our team's remarkable success."
"Thank you for your active participation and contribution to team projects. Your commitment to supporting your team members and fostering cooperation has built a positive and productive work environment."
"[Name], I appreciate your strong sense of involvement and engagement as a team member. You are such a team player, and your proactivity to support your colleagues has created a sense of unity within the company."
"Your team-oriented mindset and ability to collaborate have not gone unnoticed. Your unique perspective in team meetings, brainstorming sessions, and problem-solving efforts have made all the difference in our collective achievements."
"I want to acknowledge your exceptional teamwork skills. Your ability to coordinate efforts, listen to diverse perspectives, and find common ground has been instrumental in achieving our team's goals. Thank you for your invaluable contribution."
"You went above and beyond, and while it wasn’t expected or required, it demonstrates your exceptional commitment to our team's success. Thank you for your unwavering dedication."
"Thank you for your exceptional commitment and the extra hours you put in to meet tight deadlines. Those weren’t expected, but your determination and hard work in completing projects have been instrumental in the achievements of our whole team."
"You took on additional responsibilities and brought your work to new heights. It is truly commendable. Your efforts have been invaluable in successfully completing challenging tasks."
"I want to acknowledge and appreciate your extraordinary effort in resolving complex issues. Your perseverance, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail have saved us time and resources."
"Your initiative and ability to go the extra mile are highly appreciated. Your proactive approach and the extra effort you invest in your work inspire others and contribute to ensuring excellence within our company."
"Your innovative thinking and creative ideas have brought a unique perspective to our team. Your ability to think outside the box and propose new solutions has sparked new possibilities and enriched our projects."
"I want to express my appreciation for your valuable contributions in terms of ideas and creativity. Your ability to generate innovative concepts and translate them into practical solutions has elevated the quality of our work."
"Thank you for your valuable contributions that have sparked new possibilities in our team. Your imaginative ideas and unique approach have added a special flair to our projects."
Effective appreciation for employees rests on five fundamental pillars:
Some appreciation words that you should always consider using in employee appreciation messages are: you, because, thanks, results, and employee names.
In addition, different expressions of appreciation of effort, quality of performance, and attitude can be used, such as: capable, energetic, responsible, and resourceful.
These words have a powerful impact and can make your recognition more personal and meaningful.
During team meetings or a company-wide recognition program, publicly recognize and appreciate exemplary employee or two for their achievements and high-quality work.
This not only boosts their morale but also inspires other team members. Take the time to personally thank team members for their hard work, either through handwritten notes, personalized messages, or one-on-one conversations.
During employee appreciation, your feedback must be genuine, specific, and timely.
The best employee appreciation quotes provide specific examples of what the employee did well and why it was exceptional. Communicate your praise with sincere words and enthusiasm.
Use your praise as an opportunity to inspire the employee to continue their outstanding performance. Appreciation for employees can help them feel valued and motivated to keep striving for success.
Employee recognition words are vital in creating a positive and productive company culture. It not only boosts morale but also fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty among employees.
By implementing effective employee recognition programs, you can harness the power of words to fully express gratitude and genuine appreciation, retain your top talent, and mold the perfect employee, all of which will help in your company’s growth.
Remember, the best practices of employee recognition dictate timely, specific, and genuine recognition to leave a lasting impact.
Whether it's a simple thank you, a public acknowledgment, or a tangible reward, the key is to make employees feel valued and appreciated for their hard work and contributions.
Investing in employee recognition is an investment in the success and growth of both the individual and the organization.
So let's celebrate the accomplishments, promote a culture of appreciation, and build a workplace where employees thrive and shine.
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