It’s the Thanksgiving season, and naturally we’re reflecting on all the wonderful things in life we cherish.  To us, this means more than the cool objects we acquired.  (See: Autumn’s new red scooter!).  It means the people we spend hours and hours with, brainstorming, pushing boundaries, working tirelessly beside, and who continue to make our days bright.  It means we are ever so grateful for our colleagues.

We pulled out the iPhone camera at and around Kazoo World Headquarters (YEIHQ) to learn what employees appreciated about one another— that they hadn’t ever revealed.

Take a moment to watch his short video by clicking on Jessica’s right eye.

 Kazoo superstar Jessica Groff on video.


What do you appreciate about your employees?  Is there a kind word you’ve been meaning to say, but haven’t? Send in your own video or a short sentence to our Facebook or Twitter.  We’d love to share in an employee appreciation group hug.

Please see our other recent posts about Employee Appreciation and Employee Engagement


If you asked all your employees, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy do you feel at work?” where would the majority fall? We already know that happiness in the workplace increases engagement, employee retention, and growth in business. And by the way, it’s just good practice, right? But where does happiness start?

Appreciation of an employee’s value.

Many people think that a paycheck should be appreciation enough. Maybe for some people the paycheck subtly says, “Thanks for the work we hired you to do.” However, it’s the bare minimum and we know employees do more than the bare minimum to impact the company.

Now the question becomes, how do I effectively show appreciation?

We looked to employee appreciation and engagement experts for guidance.

Here are some of the key takeaways from them about meaningful employee appreciation with long-term impact.

Key Takeaways:
Employee appreciation will have a lasting impact by incorporating a few best practices:

  • Lead by example and create a culture of contagious appreciation. It can’t happen once. It needs to be ongoing.
  • Cash bonuses may not have the same long-term impact as rewarding with relevant and meaningful “employee-requested” experiences.
  • Recognize in ways linked to goals or projects. Make it count.
  • Get creative in how you recognize and reward employees. Sometimes a thoughtful note makes all the difference. Celebrate appreciation in public.
  • Consider the power and science behind the positive emotions from both giving and receiving thoughtful recognition.


Debra Condren, Business Psychologist, from Building a Culture of Employee Appreciation by Nadine Heintz via Inc.

Create a culture of appreciation. Lead by example – appreciation is contagious. Be original and go beyond employee of the month. Connect with what employees actually feel is appreciation, not just what managers think they want. Workers value face-to-face recognition of kind words. Show basic human appreciation on a regular basis. Have management team take the time to discuss exemplary work in weekly meetings. Simply write a note or post it showing appreciation.

50 Behaviors to Recognize
Meghan M. Biro, Talent Strategy Leader and Founder of TalentCulture from 5 Ways Leaders Rock Employee Recognition

In-the-moment positive feedback and celebration of employees. “Be specific, descriptive, and measured.” Relate feedback to the common goal of the company, or project, so that it’s not random or automatic. Make the recognition count; only point out authentic or note-worthy accomplishments, whatever feels true. In this way, you “Lead the revolution” of happiness at work.


Autumn Manning of Kazoo from 10 Ways to Give Recognition

There’s a science behind giving meaningful recognition. Reference to work done by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson and the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at University of North Carolina. Multiple types of ways to say thanks, connect with someone and recognize including: Connecting, Appreciating, Celebrating, Amusing, and more.


Kevin Kruse, Leadership and Employee Engagement Expert, from 25 Low-Cost Ways to Reward Employees

Tight budget? Be Eccentric. Arrange to have their car washed, home cleaned, let them bring their pet to work, send a thank-you note to their spouse, have the team give them a surprise standing ovation at the start of the next meeting.


Dan Ariely, Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, from Motivating Employees With Cash or Gifts?

Experiences. Offering a cash bonus is great, but what about offering an experience? “Would a [cash bonus] improve in any way the employer-employee relationship? Would it increase your happiness with your work, your loyalty? Would it make me a better employee?” Perhaps it would be more effective to reward instead with relevant and meaningful “employee-requested” experiences.


Thanks for reading and sharing with others!  Please check out our other blogs about happiness at work and employee engagement.

It is our strong belief at Kazoo that every day should be employee appreciation day. We think, breathe, and share appreciation every day in our office and via our employee recognition and reward software. We know first hand that all kinds of magic happens when people are recognized for their efforts including higher levels of engagement, job satisfaction, collaboration, camaraderie, and retention. Whether or not you use Kazoo, it’s really easy to convert your stream of consciousness into expressions of appreciation for others.

Here’s an idea for you to make every day employee appreciation day. Send a quick Tweet to those you appreciate. Here are 10 Twitter hashtags expressing gratitude and appreciation to get you started:











#youearnedit – Had to slip this one in!

Please let us know if you can think of other good employee appreciation day ideas and hashtags via our Twitter feed. If you’re interested in reading other posts about employee appreciation, check out our blog.

If you want to start making every day employee appreciation day, give us 10-minutes and we’ll show you a quick demo of Kazoo’s employee recognition, reward and engagement software.