True Employee Engagement: Appreciate & Recognize | #LeadMorale

For true employee engagement, should leaders praise everyday efforts or only exceptional performance and results? It’s a debate that rages on and on. Yet, as The People Skills Coach™, I can tell you for sure that praising talents and efforts along the way, is critical to employee engagement, performance, and morale.

True Employee Engagement: Image is the word Grow w/ fingers walking up the letters.

True Employee Engagement: Appreciate & Recognize Image via FreeDigitalPhoto.Net


True Employee Engagement: Appreciate & Recognize

If leaders only acknowledge great performance, they run the risk of low morale — especially among those whose daily efforts in the mundane tasks are indispensable for end results. If leaders over recognize average performance, as Terry points out, they may send the message that average is good enough.

Here is a balanced approach that respected successful leaders use.

  • True Employee Engagement: Appreciate & Recognize

    Know Your Team Members. Amiable personality types will thrive with mega appreciation. It doesn’t stifle their growth; it fuels it. Drivers benefit from seeing the high bar and being praised when they reach it. If you always move it just before they reach it, they disrespect your lack of foresight and see you as fickle. Expressives value all your expressions of appreciation and recognition. Analytics want to know why the bar is set at that point and appreciate kudos on reaching it.

    Message: Avoid using the same stock communication with everyone. The better you know the employees, the better you can engage them.

  • True Employee Engagement – Triple Header

  • Show appreciation to create a growth culture with high morale.

    Appreciation, correction, and coaching keep the momentum of employee engagement going. It tells them that you’re committed to them individually, to the team, and to the organization’s goals. It builds their respect of you and trust in you. Related Post: 12 Worthy Kudos to Spark Employee Engagement

    Message: If you overlook the appreciation and their passion wanes. If you shy away from correction you facilitate their crash. If you withhold coaching they stagnate


  • Recognize Growth as Well as Achievement. Lessons learned just once and quickly applied for tangible success are worthy of high praise. Some leaders focus on the mistakes while successful ones focus on the insight acquired and bravely shared throughout the organization. Related Post: 10 Ways to Ignite Greatness Without Leaving Scars

    Message: If you want continuous improvement, highlight and recognize lessons learned along the way.

  • Applaud Talents That Are Constantly Applied to New Challenges. One of the biggest employee engagement mistakes leaders make is to take employees’ talents for granted because they are always there. Remember, consistency of talent is valuable since employees must apply it to different challenges and goals every day.

    Message: Recognize all employees’ talents because they sustain the organization.


Casual repetitive praise means little and does little for growth and success. Sincere frequent appreciation of effort and specific recognition of growth and achievement ignite and sustain success.

So leaders, in answer to my opening question: Should you show appreciation for everyday effort and talents? The winning answer is yes.

Make it kool to care, kool to grow, and kool to achieve. This is the trifecta of leading morale and success!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

©2012-2020 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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4 Responses to “True Employee Engagement: Appreciate & Recognize | #LeadMorale”

  1. Kevin Nakao says:

    This critical nuance you brought up “add a distinction between appreciating effort and recognizing performance” is spot on. I really appreciate the articles you write on employee recognition. There is both an art and skill in doing this right and you help us get further along on that learning curve.


  2. Another great post, Kate. Thanks!

  3. Alli Polin says:

    Great points and it applies to parenting too! We’re busy shaping our kids and praising results and too often forget to recognize effort and progress. Growth happens when seeds are nurtured…


    • Kate Nasser says:

      What a great summary line Alli — “growth happens when seeds are nurtured.” Nurturing is a key leadership trait and behavior that all leaders need to address within themselves.

      Many thanks for your addition to this discussion,

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