Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day:

Recognition that resonates through an understanding of values


Today, March 1, we recognize Employee Appreciation Day, an occasion for organizations to celebrate the teams that drive their success all year long. While conventional gestures of gratitude like gifts, perks, and parties have their place, leading organizations tend to seek out even more impactful ways to appreciate employees, using approaches that reflect an understanding of team members’ priorities and values.

Increasingly, in the realm of human resources, recognizing the unique psychological and social dynamics of the workforce is not just beneficial – it’s essential. Employees’ individual values, beliefs and aspirations help to determine which approaches are effective in motivating them and making them feel valued. Diversity in personal Social Values and psychographics means that a one-size-fits-all approach to appreciation can miss the mark, leaving some team members feeling underrecognized or misunderstood.

Leveraging Environics Research’s new Workplace Culture Solution, we’ve developed a method that helps to ensure that gestures of appreciation truly connect. Our approach lets you gain insight into the diverse values held by employees across your workforce, and use those insights to move beyond superficial gestures and cursory interactions toward practices that help your team members feel valued and understood.

Our workplace culture measurement tools reveal a range of values that may be of greater or lesser importance to different employees – with important implications for how employers can most effectively signal appreciation.

Empowerment and Autonomy: Employees who value empowerment and autonomy are driven by the desire to make independent decisions and take charge of their work. For these individuals, appreciation is most meaningful when it recognizes their ability to navigate challenges and drive results without micromanagement. Appreciation for these employees shines brightest when it comes in the form of trust — in their decisions and their ability to lead projects to success.
Flexibility and Adaptability: Employees who place high importance on flexibility and adaptability thrive in environments that embrace change and encourage innovation. For these individuals, feeling appreciated is closely linked to the organization’s acknowledgment of their versatility and willingness to embrace new challenges. Expressing appreciation for these team members can take many forms, from offering opportunities to work on diverse projects to providing tools and resources that support work-life balance, such as flexible scheduling or remote work options.

Trust and Trustworthiness: For employees who prioritize working in an environment of trust – where they trust the organization and feel trusted in return – feeling appreciated is closely tied to being recognized reliable and integral to the organization’s success. Entrusting them with critical projects or decision-making opportunities can serve as a powerful form of recognition and appreciation, affirming the organization’s faith in their judgment and character.

Acceptance and Belonging: For those who value acceptance and belonging in the workplace, appreciation is about being recognized as a unique and essential part of the team. Group acknowledgments, inclusive events, and personal gestures that show appreciation for their background and perspective – as well as the contributions they bring to the organization – help to reinforce a sense of belonging and community.

Challenge and Advancement: Employees who thrive on challenge and advancement seek recognition that acknowledges their drive for professional growth and achievement. For these strivers, opportunities for advanced training, certifications, or challenging projects are meaningful forms of appreciation.
Purpose and Fulfilment: For those whose values centre around purpose and fulfilment, appreciation is most meaningful when it connects their individual work to a larger impact. They may experience even greater satisfaction when they can contribute to initiatives that align with their personal values, and when leaders and colleagues can share stories about how their work has made a difference, either within the organization or in the broader community.

As organizations craft appreciation strategies, it’s critical to remember that the most effective forms of recognition are those that reflect an understanding of what truly motivates their employees. By understanding and embracing the diversity of values within our teams, we unlock the door to more authentic, meaningful, and effective appreciation — not just on Employee Appreciation Day, but every day.

Find out how our team can help your organization

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