most popular articles from Applauz

This year, people operations professionals faced unprecedented challenges -- navigating the new world of hybrid work, employee well-being, vaccine mandates, and managing a quitting crisis on top of all that. 

Any HR professional who has made it through this year deserves recognition!

Everyone is talking about work

In 2021, issues of employee well-being, retention, and burnout made their way through the news sphere, office chatter, and people’s dinner conversations.

Even Time magazine’s August issue was all about work -- the cover displayed a bold headline “Rethinking Work: There are 92 million open jobs. Why nobody wants them.” 

The pandemic had an irreversible impact on work.

It shook up many of our assumptions and accelerated change. And most importantly, it prompted a great reckoning -- millions of people began to rethink their priorities, and many decided to walk away from traditional work, resulting in a power shift back into workers’ hands.

That said, the Applauz blog received thousands of readers each month eager to learn more about employee engagement, retention, and recognition. 

In an era when work and employee engagement are so important, I personally found it inspiring and exciting to write about these topics. 

We decided to round up our most popular articles of the past year. We hope you find value in them, and we’d love to hear more about the topics you love to read about.

Happy reading!


X-appreciation-holidays-you-can-celebrate-at-work42 Fun Appreciation Holidays and Events to Celebrate at the Office

This article is one of our most viewed articles published in 2021. It seems like many people head to Google to search for inspiration for its social calendar. If you are planning social events or any fun appreciation days at the office, consider looking at this list. You might find a worthy event to put on the calendar like “mental health awareness month” or “nurses day.”


10-reasons-to-give-employees-recognition10 Reasons to Give Employees Recognition (Other Than to Say Good Job)

One of the most common questions we get asked is: What actions warrant recognition from a manager. Of course, highlighting outstanding performance or great results is a given. But what about other reasons to give recognition. So we created an entire article all about that topic. It seemed like many others had the same concern, as this article quickly rose to the top of the ranks. It covers all the different reasons a manager can give recognition, like “embodying company values” and “taking initiative and sharing ideas.”  You can apply these ideas whether your company uses Applauz or not!


4-Recognition-Pitfalls-Managers-Should-Be-Aware-Of-(and-How-to-Avoid-Them)4 Recognition Pitfalls Managers Should Be Aware Of (and How to Avoid Them)

Managers often worry that recognition will spark jealousy among their team members. To avoid any negative sentiments, they might fall into some traps and bad habits with recognition. Such as focusing too much on giving one type of recognition like group praise or being generic in their praise. In short, in a misguided effort to avoid negative feelings, managers end up producing the very thing they are trying to avoid. In this article, we highlight some of those bad recognition habits that managers tend to fall for and how they can easily be avoided. So that every manager can ensure their recognition does not spark any negative emotions among their team members. 


blog_dos-donts-managing-program9 Dos and Don’ts of Managing a Recognition Program for HR

Many organizations aim to launch great recognition programs. Once the program is launched, what happens next? All of your company's employees need to play an active role in supporting the program. In other words, participation from all employees is important to the program's success. The program must be promoted within your organization. Internal promotion can be a challenge for many organizations. Our goal was to provide HR teams with a comprehensive guide to recognition program management, from initial rollout to ongoing support.


blog_book-club_the-culture-code-by-daniel-coyleApplauz Book Club: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

We publish four Book Club articles per year, and this was by far our most popular for 2021! In this edition of Applauz Book Club, we summarize the key takeaway from Daniel Coyle's best-selling book, The Culture Code. Through a thoughtful investigation of some of the world's top-performing cultures, like sports teams and military groups, Coyle unravels the mysteries of highly successful groups. In doing so, he helps communicate critical principles and methods any leader can use to cultivate a top-performing team.


10-tips-to-give-effective-recognition-using-a-recognition-software6 Simple Tips to Give Effective Recognition Using Recognition Software

We wrote this article with Applauz participants in mind. But, anyone that uses a recognition platform at work can also use these tips! Recognition software is becoming more common, especially in this work-from-home era. If your company does not have a digital recognition system, chances are they will adopt one within the next few years. This article gives our most impactful best practices for offering genuine recognition at work.


How-to-build-better-retention-strategies-that-have-a-long-term-impact-1400x816A Simple Step-by-Step Guide to Plan Your Employee Retention Strategy

This year, employee retention took center stage. An overflow of content about employee retention followed. Yet, we noticed that many articles circulating the HR sphere repeated the same old "strategies." It felt redundant, and many of these articles lacked depth. They didn't discuss the planning behind employee retention or answer important questions like what those strategies aim to achieve? Is this a long-term strategy or a short-term one? Which employees will benefit most from them? So we created this guide to provide HR professionals with a planning framework to help them stay focused on the big picture. And as a result, come up with more strategic and worthwhile ideas.


signs-your-company-culture-is-in-trouble (1)7 Signs of a Troubled Company Culture (And What to Do About It)

Mental health and employee wellbeing were major concerns in 2021. Consequently, tolerance for unsafe and toxic work practices was at an all-time low. However, unhealthy cultures can sometimes manifest themselves subtly. They disguised themselves as an “fast-paced environment” or “work hard play hard” mentality. In reality, these workplaces are driven by problematic beliefs and values. We wrote this article to elucidate the dysfunctional beliefs and values that lead to troubled cultures. And, most importantly, how they can be repaired.


WorkRules!Applauz Book Club: Insights from Google That Will Transform Your HR Practices

Google is consistently rated one of the best places to work globally. Most people assume because of all the lavish perks and benefits. While those things help, the author and head of people at Google explains that almost everything that makes Google a great place to work lies in intangible factors. And therefore, any company can emulate Google’s most impactful HR practices for very little money. In our fall edition of Book Club, we provided readers with our most notable takeaways from the book Work Rules. These concrete recommendations can be put into practice by any business regardless of size. 


Applauz Training Hub

The launch of the Applauz Training Hub was a big milestone. We published the Recognition Training for Managers as our first training. We designed this training for any managers who wish to improve at giving recognition and to be more consistent in their praise. However, the training can also benefit those using a recognition tool, like Applauz. To that end, we plan to create more training content in the upcoming year. We would like to hear from you about any pieces of training you would like to see published in 2022. 

Content For 2022 & Beyond

Please share the post if you enjoyed or learned something new from any of our articles. We love seeing readers share our content!

That said, we’d love to know what our readers enjoyed learning about most about the year and what they would like to see more of on the Applauz blog in 2022. 

Please tag us or send us a message on our LinkedinFacebook, or Twitter. We always love to hear from our readers. See you in 2022!

Michelle Cadieux
Michelle Cadieux

Michelle is the lead content writer at Applauz. She has a Psychology background and loves to read and write about human happiness, motivation and decision-making. She loves scary movies and cooking classic Italian food.

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