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110 Wordings for Employee Recognition & Appreciation (Shout Outs!)

Find out the most memorable appreciation words for employees to show you recognize their efforts.

Rana Bano
HR Tech and Business Journalist
April 8, 2022
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Do appreciation words for employees have an impact on a company’s growth?

In a nutshell, yes. 50% of employees believe that turnover would decrease if managers recognized their efforts more frequently. The same study also found that 40% of employees won’t continue to put in extra efforts if they aren't being appreciated. Yet another survey showed that 37% of respondents believe more personal recognition would encourage them to produce better work more often.

A pie chart with the most important drivers of great work

But there’s a problem.

Despite being widely preached, employee recognition is also the least practiced initiative in the modern workspace. This is often because employers simply don’t know how to express their appreciation or are unsure about how to write memorable appreciation words for employees.

That's where this guide comes in handy. Below, we've listed effective some employee recognition words and examples to help you boost morale and establish a positive work culture and environment for your employees.

Why Employee Recognition and Appreciation Are Important

Before discussing the importance of employee recognition and appreciation, it’s essential to understand what these terms even mean. 

An HBR article titled Why Employees Need Both Recognition and Appreciation highlighted how recognition and appreciation are often misunderstood. Despite being used interchangeably, the two words have very different meanings. And if you want to create an engaging and high-performing work culture, it's important that you understand the distinction.

Employee recognition involves giving employees positive feedback based on results or performance. This can happen formally (in the form of an award, a promotion, or a raise) or informally (as a verbal thank you or a handwritten note). While they’re both meaningful, recognition is often limited. This is because:

  • Employee recognition is performance-based; it’s conditional and focuses on what’s already done. 
  • Recognition is scarce. You can’t give every employee a bonus or raise. 
  • Recognition has to come from the top, i.e., senior leaders or board members.

Contrarily, employee appreciation acknowledges a person’s inherent value as a colleague and a human being. 

Simply put, recognition is about what people do; appreciation is acknowledging who they are as individuals. 

This distinction matters because areas and challenges are inevitable. If you only prioritize recognition, you’ll miss out on tons of other opportunities to support your employees—to truly appreciate them. That's why employees need both recognition and appreciation to thrive.

Colleagues high-fiving each other

When managers recognize and appreciate their employees‘ performance, they increase employee engagement by 60%. This makes sense considering 67% of employees rated praise and commendation as the top motivators for performance, choosing them over other cash and financial incentives.

Let’s not forget the isolating effect of a remote/hybrid work culture.

1 in 3 employees feels less connected to the company culture and co-workers because of the increasing prevalence of remote work. Employees desire connection and appreciation, and your job is to provide it, so your entire team feels constantly acknowledged and appreciated.

Using employee recognition software can help you uncover opportunities to make your employees feel appreciated. Then, using the power of words, you can encourage them to keep up the good work and improve collaboration. 

Employee Recognition and Appreciation Words Examples

Finding words that fully express your genuine appreciation for employees can be hard. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. 

Memorable appreciation words for employees typically meet the following conditions:

  • Informs employees of the reason why they’re being appreciated
  • Acknowledges their impact, helping them realize the value they bring to the table
  • Be personalized to make them feel special
  • Have an appreciative tone that strikes the right balance between formal and personal 

Keeping this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of employee recognition examples you can use based on specific situations.

Appreciation Examples on Performance

  • In the words of Aristotle, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Your work is at that level of excellence.
  • You work passionately, and that’s why you always succeed. Your exceptional performance has taken this company to new heights. You are an inspiration for your colleagues and coworkers. 
  • Your remarkable performance at work is an inspiration to all and we are incredibly impressed and proud. Keep up the great work!
  • Your level of quality work is outstanding, really. We love seeing you in action and the way you manage challenges.
  • Your work has always exceeded our expectations and has meaningfully contributed to our company's success. We want you to know we are super proud of what you do and your contributions are always valued.
  • Your work performance surpasses all expectations. Your constant efforts to do your best mean a lot to our company. Thank you for all you do, and keep up with the good work.
  • I'm extremely lucky to have an employee like you. You have raised the bar with the quality of your work and service. It's a privilege to have you working for me.
  • You show unparalleled grit and grace for each project I've worked on with you. Thank you for bringing your A-game to work every time. 
  • The project's success is a direct result of your incredible efforts. We want you to know you are invaluable to our company!
  • Some people are natural leaders. You are one of them. It's a pleasure to witness your willingness to always help steer your colleagues in the right direction. Thank you!

Appreciation Examples on Hardwork & Dedication

Two women working hard together at a computer

  • Your hard work is the fuel to our excellent company culture. Thanks for always going the extra mile and driving us to greater heights.
  • Your dedication to always putting forth excellent work has contributed tremendously to our company’s success. Thank you for inspiring us to do our best every day.
  • The enthusiasm and dedication you bring to work isn’t something that can be taught—it’s God-gifted. Thanks for being the heart and soul of our company.
  • We cannot express enough gratitude for your continuous dedication and efforts to excel at work. You have taken our work philosophy to a new level. We hope you continue to inspire and soar higher.
  • We are constantly amazed by the results you produce. You are an incredible team player and have contributed tremendously to our organization's success. Thank you!
  • Your continuous dedication to improving your skills has been an inspiration for me and your teammates. You’re amazing, [Employee Name].
  • You faced innumerable challenges during the project, and I’m impressed to see how well you overcame them all. Continue to nurture your drive to keep going. You’re the epitome of never giving up. 
  • I can only succeed with the support of hard-working employees like you. Thank you for the hard work and dedication that you always put in your work. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate it.
  • Thank you for all your hard work on Project X! Everything you did was admirable, and I’m sure we’ll make the best team that always gets work done.
  • It’s rare to come across people who are as dedicated and hardworking as you. Thank you for all your efforts—both big and small. It hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Appreciation Examples on Work Ethics & Attitude & Values

  • Your work ethic and values are praiseworthy. I’m very fortunate to have someone as dedicated and dependable as you on my side.
  • Your dedication to work harder than yesterday is an example to everyone on our team. Thank you for giving your best every day.
  • Having someone who can easily manage themselves and their team members is a great relief for me. I want to thank you for all your hard work and efforts. I really, deeply appreciate it.
  • I’m deeply impressed by your work ethic, initiative, and hard work. You’re a superstar!
  • Your incredible dedication to your work is helping us succeed. Thank you for making this company better.
  • You inspire me every day. You’re an exemplary employee, with a great attitude and values. Thank you for setting such a great example for our company!
  • You don’t do a good job—you do a great one. Thank you for all the hard work you put into everything you do!
  • Thanks for always taking initiative and going above and beyond. You make my job easy, and I know your career will take you far.
  • Your work ethic is admirable, and it’s a joy to see your work always done well and on time. Appreciate everything you do—thank you.
  • Your “can do” attitude and work ethic really embodies our company values. Thank you for all your hard work!

Appreciation Examples on Anniversary

  • On your work anniversary, I want to express how grateful we are for your first-rate work. You’ve never disappointed us, and we know you never will.
  • From Day 1, you’ve amazed everyone with your high-quality work. So thrilled to be a part of your work journey!
  • I don’t know how we could’ve ever made it through this year without your constant guidance and support. Thank you for choosing us. Happy workplace anniversary!
  • Working with you has been an incredible experience, and I speak on behalf of everyone. I look forward to many more years to come. Congratulations!
  • We’re blessed to have you with us. Here’s to a more promising future in our organization. May you soar higher and achieve everything you desire!
  • Your exemplary commitment to drive our company to the pinnacles of success hasn’t gone unnoticed. Thank you for everything you’ve done, [Employee Name]. Happy work anniversary!
  • We‘re so grateful to have you working beside us for these past years. I look forward to celebrating many more of your work anniversaries!
  • It feels like yesterday you joined our team. Since Day 1, you’ve proved what a valuable addition you’re to our organization. Words cannot describe how much we appreciate all the hard work and talent you bring to the table.
  • Saying a few words of recognition will never be enough to express our gratitude for all your great work. I would still like to take this opportunity and convey my best wishes on your work anniversary. You rock!
  • We've ​​hit the lottery with an employee like you. Happy work anniversary, [Employee Name]! May you continue thriving.

Appreciation Examples on Punctuality & Completing Tasks on Time

An employee checking his watch while working

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  • A reliable employee is the best gift a leader can ask for. Thank you for being someone I can rely on.
  • The efforts you put in to deliver high-quality work on time for the organization are commendable. May you continue the same every single day for the rest of your career. Kudos!
  • Every single day, you inspire us with your punctuality and reliability. Kudos!
  • Do not think that your commitment to your work goes unnoticed. Thank you for always sticking to the deadline!
  • Every single day, you show us what excellence looks like—and on time.
  • Thank you for a job well done! It makes my work easier knowing I can depend on you.
  • You do more than just show up; you show us all how it should be done more effectively, and even before the deadline!
  • Your performance at work was timely and your professionalism and commitment embody the company's philosophy perfectly. Thank you for the vigor you bring to the table.
  • Thank you for always being so reliable; we can always count on you to be there and that’s pretty special!
  • I just wanted to say a ​​big thank you for completing Project X on time. You're the very pillar of our company's success!

Appreciation Examples on Completing a Difficult Task or a Milestone

  • Heartiest congratulations on your great victory! You stepped up, blazed trails, and led by example. You’re the only one who could’ve got this done.
  • Your hard work and commitment helped us deliver Project X on time. So very grateful to have you on my side!
  • Thank you for always going above and beyond to help us achieve our goals. We wouldn’t have made it without you!
  • Thank you for the fantastic job you did with Project X! It was your extraordinary attention to detail that helped us deliver results on another level.
  • We couldn’t have reached this milestone without your invaluable insight and creativity. Thank you!
  • Here's what you're going to do: sit back and take pride in a job well done. You’re the reason we achieved our goals! 
  • With you on our team, nothing can get in our way, and this project is an example proving just that.
  • You’ve been working so hard towards completing this project, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed! Heartiest congratulations on your phenomenal work.
  • The results you produce have continuously impressed us. You’re a pillar of our team and play a crucial role in our company's success. Congratulations on today!
  • Hey [Employee Name], congratulations on hitting your milestone! I know it wasn’t easy, but you handled it beautifully. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you’re an asset to our team.

Related Article: Unique & Creative Employee Recognition Award Ideas

Appreciation Examples on Employees Skills

  • Thank you for using your extraordinary skills and talents to fuel our joint efforts. I really appreciate you, [Employee Name].
  • Taking the “im” out of impossible is what you do! So glad to have you on my team.
  • A perfect employee isn't someone who comes early and leaves late. It's someone who brings everything they have to the table and proactively uses their skills to do their best. You are that employee.  
  • Your ability to approach every task with utmost sincerity is honestly stunning and inspirational. You're the employee every employer desires, and I'm grateful to actually have you on my team.
  • Your skillset is truly commendable, and that's putting it lightly. Only the best appreciation words for you, [Employee Name]. Keep advancing, and keep up your great work!
  • Thank you for bringing your incredible skills and capabilities to the table. You're the reason why [Company Name] is where it is.
  • Your expertise about X has given us a wealth of valuable insights. It truly helped us grow and push our objective forward. Thank you so much!
  • Your unique perspective is a tremendous asset to our team. Thank you for always brainstorming new and different ways of approaching problems.
  • A few words will never be enough to applaud you; the work and talent you bring to the table consistently exceed my (and everyone else's) expectations. Kudos to you!
  • We deeply, deeply appreciate your leadership and self-discipline for Project X. We could've never reached this far without your efforts and skills. 

Appreciation Examples on Team Work & Involvement

A team working on a project together

  • You always take out the time to help your coworkers, and I'm very grateful for that. It’s really made our team come together and thrive.
  • Thank you for being such a team player. We appreciate everything you do, you rockstar!
  • Your unique perspective adds so much to our team and helps us uncover so many opportunities. So grateful to have you with us!
  • Team members are always talking about your hard work and helpful attitude. Thank you for being such an inspiration, [Employee Name]!
  • It gives me immense pride to say you're a great team member. Your diligence and detailed approach towards work has set a benchmark for the rest of the workforce. Always cheering you on!
  • Having you on the team is a privilege for us. Thank you, [Employee Name]! We couldn't have done it without you.
  • You mean a lot to me as a colleague. You're special, and your work is inspiring. 
  • Thank you for being a great addition to our team. I really admire your willingness to always deliver high-quality work on time.
  • The 'Employee of the Month' is just a small term. You're the brightest star of our team who shines and inspires us every single day. Thank you for everything you do.
  • You have exceeded our expectations as a team member, and we're proud to have someone like you on our side. May you keep progressing. Onwards and upwards!

Appreciation Examples on Employees Extra Efforts (Working on Weekends, etc.)

  • Your consistently incredible performance, even when you take on more work, has always amazed me. You’re a superstar!
  • It’s nice to have an employee who is always up for a challenge. Thank you for being such an asset to our company.
  • I’ve noticed you're always making an effort to encourage your coworkers. I want to thank you for it, and for being such a positive force on our team!
  • The office kitchen is always spotless because of you! Thank you for keeping it so clean.
  • Thank you for volunteering to take on the fundraiser. Your dedication is what made the cause so successful!
  • You probably thought nobody’s noticing you staying back late at the office. Well, you missed me out. Thank you for your efforts. – Yours sincerely, [Your Name].
  • I just want to thank you for initiating our game night the other day. You care so much about our culture, and hiring you was the best decision. 
  • Hey [Employee Name], thank you for the cookies yesterday. They were awesome! You made my (and my family's) day. 
  • Thank you for working overtime to solve problems in the X department. We really appreciate your dedication!
  • I know sending the details for Project X this weekend was sudden, but thank you for coming through. You're the best, [Employee Name]!

Appreciation Examples on Ideas & Creativity

  • Your innovative and creative thinking makes you a class apart. No one else can compare to you, and I mean it.
  • You maximize every shared idea and seize every opportunity. You're the reason why we're achieving the heights of success. Thank you!
  • Your creative ideas and the willingness to implement/execute them fuel our mutual efforts and guide us to success.
  • You're an idea machine, [Employee Name]. The whole project runs smoother thanks to your creativity!
  • I want you to know how proud I am of your accomplishments. With your innovative ideas and out-of-the-box thinking, you're an irreplaceable member of this team.
  • Your enthusiasm for sharing your ideas is truly inspirational. Thank you, you wise ol' [Employee Name].
  • What’s your secret, [Employee Name]? You come up with such fantastic ideas every time! I'm super impressed.
  • You and your innovative ideas are why we completed this project. Kudos to you!
  • I hope you continue to embrace your creativity and use it in your work. You're meant for great things, [Employee Name]. Best of luck!
  • Your unique ideas have saved us countless times. Thank you for having our backs.

Appreciation Examples on Employees Knowledge

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A knowledgable employee instructing his coworkers in a training

  • I appreciate your wealth of knowledge and strongly believe it's one of the main reasons for our success. 
  • You made such insightful comments during the meeting. It helped me and others gain more perspective. Thank you for making my job easier!
  • Your deep knowledge about our market and target audience puts you in a class of your own. Keep up the good work.
  • Your vision and knowledge play a huge role in turning our plans into success. We value you and your work to the moon and back.
  • You're amazing, [Employee Name]. Your analysis has been on the money every single time. You rock!
  • As an employer, it is a joy to witness how readily you share knowledge and skills. Because of you, others can also grow in their abilities.
  • You always manage to distinguish yourself with your market knowledge and valuable suggestions. Excellent stuff!
  • ​​Thank you for taking over Project X, and wowing the clients with your product knowledge. We're now reaping the seeds you sow. 
  • Your knowledge about our target customers has always amazed me. Thank you for taking charge and leading our project to success.
  • You're one of the wisest people I know. Thank you for always sharing your knowledge with us. 

Appreciating Little Things!

  • You make our office a happier place. Thanks for the laughs and giggles, [Employee Name]!
  • I really admire how you always come to work with a fantastic attitude and an even brighter smile.
  • Your excellent sense of humor makes work delightful. You always keep our spirits high and bring a smile to our faces. Thank you!
  • You're a gem who never fails to make everyone’s day better.
  • I’m so grateful you’re not afraid to ask questions! It helps me understand where I can be clearer and makes me a better leader.
  • Love how beautifully decorated your workstation is! It's nice to see employees giving their desks a personal touch.
  • Coming to work is a pleasure when you're around. I'm very grateful that we work together.
  • [Employee Name], I truly admire your level-headedness and kindness. You're an incredible addition to [Company Name].
  • You should hear all the nice things your colleagues say about you behind your back! 
  • Hey [Employee Name], thank you for your advice today. It may not seem as much, but it gave me a new perspective on solving the issue. Really appreciate you. 

Conclusion

Employees laughing together

In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey wrote, “Next to physical survival, the greatest need of a human being is psychological survival, to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated, to be appreciated.“

Expressing gratitude and acknowledging achievements have profound effects on employees. They work harder, become more loyal, and are more productive. On the other hand, if you fail to recognize and appreciate your employees, you’ll find yourself dealing with a demotivated workforce that’s unsuitable for running a successful business.

Don’t make this mistake, and take your first steps to recognizing your employees. Invest in the best employee recognition software to create an effective recognition program that prioritizes your employees’ welfare and appreciates their efforts.

Read More:

The Best Virtual Gift Ideas for Your Remote Employees and Coworkers

5 Ways to Improve Employee Experience

How to Measure Employee Engagement

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Rana Bano

Rana has been creating expert HR Tech content for SelectSoftware Reviews and other publications for over five years. She uses her platform to help business leaders pick the appropriate tools and apply the right strategies to grow their businesses. When she isn't writing, you'll find her binge-watching or binge-reading.

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