5 Ways to Show Appreciation for Your Top Performers

By Jasmine Williams

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

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Wise managers recognize the importance of showing appreciation for top performers. A little praise can keep the best employees motivated for a long time. 

Neglect is a surefire way to lose your all-stars to a competitor. Since it is common knowledge that dedicated, hard-working employees are not easy to find, a symbolic pat on the back is a small price to pay for a loyal and high-performing team player. 

A good leader is responsible for the success of any team. Every leader needs to work on their soft skills in order to inspire and lead people. 

When a leader finds the best formula for motivating and appreciating their team, then that’s when the magic happens.

Below are some proven ways to show some love for those employees that are making it possible to meet or exceed your corporate objectives.

1. Verbal Acknowledgment

Managers should make an effort to catch an employee doing something right. All too often, workers only hear from supervisors with feedback about how they need to improve.

Regular positive feedback goes a long way toward a happy workforce and a pleasant work environment. 

Waiting to say a big thank you at an annual awards banquet or conference is simply not enough. Even small companies can afford to train managers and supervisors to regularly thank team members for a job well done.

Smart managers should make a point to visit with their employees weekly, taking that opportunity to personally get to know each contributor.

Asking about the family and how a son and daughter are doing in school is an excellent segue way into a sincere compliment given for outstanding work.

2. More Flexibility for Proven Key Players

Working from home has become much more prevalent in the past decade as technology has made it much more viable. 

The flexibility and freedom associated with remote work and telecommuting provide an excellent way to show your key employees how much you trust them and appreciate their effort.

Showing remote workers they are appreciated just as important as singing the praises of in-house team members.

Sending a small gift or saying thank you in an email are two good places to start. Public praise in the next meeting is always another sound choice. 

Like so many work policies, there are pros and cons related to telecommuting. It is always a good idea to do some research before jumping into telecommuting.

Know what you can expect should you decide to use this type of incentive to say thank you to your top performers. Not all employees can handle that much freedom.

3. Display Awards

Display awards are a sound way to honor the best members of your team. Permanent visual proof and praise about past accomplishments like engraved commemorative plaques prominently displayed in the office, offer a constant reminder of employee excellence.

This tried, and true old favorite is a winner and is a lasting thank you that keeps on giving. 

Another new twist on this type of display award is to allow winners of these awards to have the award displayed on their business cards or email signature.

Incorporating this type of recognition into common practice can yield remarkable results. 

4. Continued Education and Conference Opportunities

High-achievers respond well to learning opportunities. Providing outstanding team players with valuable educational incentives is viewed as both good for the employee and company.

Paying for attendance to conferences and classes is a win-win proposition whether it is a one-day class or a more expensive conference; employees like this type of break from the regular routine. 

Conferences held in nice resort areas are not surprisingly popular. What better way can a company say thank you than to send a valued employee to a conference in a warm weather area in the middle of the winter?

This type of perk definitely gets the attention of top performers, letting them know that they are appreciated. 

5. Quarterly or Monthly Peer-Nominated Award

Who better to truly understand how much effort a worker is putting in than a peer? This type of employee accolade is a particularly meaningful way to recognize employees.

When your peers vote for you, it often means a lot more than when it comes from a hands-off supervisor who isn’t working in the trenches with you side by side. 

A quarterly or even a monthly award is recommended over an annual event. Keeping this motivator front and center means ongoing goodwill between co-workers and some healthy competition.

Cherish Your Top Performers

The high cost of not recognizing your top performers is too great for any organization to bear.

Business leaders who want to keep their best talent must incorporate employee recognition policies as an important business strategy that translates directly to the bottom line.

Unappreciated employees will move to greener pastures if they feel taken for granted. The good news is that savvy corporate executives can minimize turnover and build a better corporate culture by providing ongoing positive feedback. 

How Can Leaders Appreciate their Top Performers?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Jasmine Williams
Jasmine Williams
Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today's business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so).
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