Building a Healthy Organizational Culture by Showing Appreciation


Showing members of your team that you appreciate their contributions is smart business, and it doesn’t have to be limited to big events and achievements. Studies show that recognition helps keep retention rates low, while keeping enthusiasm and energy on the job high. 

Having trouble coming up with ways to show appreciation? We’re happy to help. Here are some useful ideas to get you started:

Send handwritten Notes

Don’t underestimate the impact of a handwritten note in this age of electronic communication. Do you have a team member who has gone above and beyond, stepped in to assist unasked or just naturally makes your workday a little more pleasant? Taking just a few minutes to send them a handwritten note says in a very personal way that they matter to you. They won’t forget it. 

Pro tip: Referencing a specific example of something you appreciated will make the note more heartfelt and genuine.

Encourage your team members to practice self-care

Most people know that a little self-care goes a long way to help us lead happier and healthier lives. While we strongly encourage our assistants at VAUSA to create work-life balance by setting boundaries, we also encourage them to invest in themselves. We say we like to help them “fill their cups” by taking actions such as:

  • Offer flexibility in their workday
  • Sponsor events that encourage movement and physical activity (like a virtual race)
  • Host monthly virtual team meetings when people can choose to show up in their favorite comfy clothes, a favorite drink in hand, and make personal connections with no expectation of work conversations
  • Organize a book club that chooses titles based on personal growth
  • Use a company like Happy Box or Greetabl to send impromptu care packages; we personally love the spa-themed ones!

Show appreciation by choosing experiences and services as gifts

Some of the best ways to show appreciation go beyond giving something tangible. Get creative by taking a hard look at the person you are focused on recognizing and asking how they enjoy spending their down time. Some of our favorite ideas for experience and service-related gifts we’ve tried include: 

  • A house cleaning service for a team member whose husband is returning from a deployment
  • Movie tickets for our favorite team movie buff
  • A donation to a non-profit that is near and dear to a team member’s heart
  • A membership to a cooking class, spa, or museum
  • A subscription to a magazine, book club or meal kit
  • Tickets to a concert or amusement park. 

We’ve included just a few examples of ideas that can show appreciation for team members’ contributions to an organization’s success. Even small gestures, conveyed in a genuine and heartfelt way, can go a long way in building a healthy organizational culture. Get creative, send us your ideas, and know that we appreciate YOU!


February 17, 2021


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