Applauz Blog

61+ Employee Appreciation and Recognition Message Examples

Published: March 2, 2020

Last Updated: February 22, 2024

  11 min read

By: Michelle Cadieux

employee recognition message examples

Show your appreciation with these employee appreciation message examples and improve workplace culture, increase retention and boost engagement

How great does it feel to be on the receiving end of genuine acknowledgement and recognition?

Saying "thank you" builds trust and forms bonds between people. It's vital to show appreciation and gratitude for the people in your life.

That said, traditionally, the workplace was not an environment to give and receive gratitude and praise.

But now, times have changed. The nature of work has changed. The customs and conventions that applied to factory workers of the 1900's no longer apply in modern work environments.

Bottom line: The importance of employee recognition cannot be denied, especially when it comes to building well-rounded work cultures and environments.

A Guide to Starting an Employee Recognition Program Download PDF Now


That said, you may be unsure of the exact reasons to give employees recognition or what to say to employees when giving recognition and praise. Here are some examples ofgive-employees-recognition short words of praise for various scenarios that come up at work.

Whether your company already has a recognition program in place or simply a "recognition" channel in Slack (or your chat app of choice), these positive words will motivate employees.

Feel free to tweak and tailor the message to better resonate with the employee you have in mind. The most powerful and genuine words of recognition are always personalized.

Happy recognizing!

Message Examples for Employee Appreciation and Recognition

1 - Acknowledging top performance

Acknowledging-top-performanceCreating a high-performance culture starts with acknowledging excellent performance. On the other hand, nothing makes your top talent quit faster than a lack of recognition. An OfficeTeam survey revealed that 2 in 3 employees would likely quit their position if they didn’t feel appreciated by their manager. So, when someone delivers great work, celebrate them.  Show them that their contributions are noticed and valued with one of the messages below. 

  • We are consistently amazed by your performance. Keep up the great work!
  • Companies dream of hiring employees like you. Thank you for all your hard work.
  • It’s incredible to see you consistently pushing the bar.
  • You’re an inspiration to us all! Your outstanding performance helped push up our company revenues to greater heights. Thank you!
  • We’d like to congratulate and acknowledge the tremendous success you’ve achieved!
  • The results you have achieved are impressive. We are so grateful to have someone like you on our team who is willing to go above and beyond to achieve such great success for our team.
  • Thank you for being an A-player and helping us reach our Q4 targets. We are grateful for your drive, hard work and talent! 
  • Thank you for your excellent performance. Our organization is lucky to have you and we appreciate all your hard work and dedication.
  • We’d like to take a moment to acknowledge your hard work and let you know that we are impressed by your performance. You played a key role in [project/result] and we are thankful to have someone like you on our team. 

2 - Acknowledging specific goal attainment

Specificity helps make employee recognition messages even more impactful. When a person or a team attains a goal, make sure to give them a shout-out. Highlight what they did to help achieve the goal or how the achievement impacts the company. 

For example, if they had to hire a team of freelancers at record speed to rescue a project, mention that. If the goal translates into higher profits for the organization, acknowledge that. The following messages are great starting points for recognizing the attainment of a specific goal. 

  • As a result of your hard work, our entire team move forward with our long-term mission faster than anticipated. Thank you!
  • I’d like to recognize the entire team for surpassing their goals for the quarter! Their hard work is turning into tangible profits for our team and company!Acknowledging-specific-goal-attainment
  • You’ve been working so hard towards this, and we’ve noticed! Congrats on your outstanding work.
  • We are continually impressed by the results you produce! You play a crucial role in our team and the company’s success.
  • It’s been a long time working towards accomplishing this, and you’ve exceeded our expectations at every step. Thank you for doing your best every day!
  • I know how much reaching this goal means to you – you’ve worked so hard towards this in the past few [period of time]. But it also means a lot to me and the team. Thank you for your contribution!
  • Congratulations on reaching [goal]. Your efforts have paid off and we are so proud to call you a colleague. Thank you for your outstanding work!
  • As a result of your strategic thinking and savvy project management [or insert other traits], we were able to exceed our targets. Thank you for your amazing work! 

3 - Acknowledging attitudes and soft skills

That said, your employee recognition efforts shouldn’t be limited to appreciating business results. Acknowledging attitudes and soft skills fosters workplace culture and boosts employee engagement. It’s a simple practice that can make your team feel special – and it’s worth it. 

According to Great Place to Work, people who feel recognized at work are 2.6x more likely to think that promotions are fair, 2.2x more likely to drive innovation and bring new ideas forward, and 2.0x more likely to say people at their organization are willing to go above and beyond.  Don’t be shy when it comes to acknowledging attitudes and soft skills because that personal touch goes a long way. 

  • Thank you for bringing a smile to everyone on the team; it always boosts our spirits when we need it most.
  • Your consistent positive attitude has made a huge difference in our team. Thank you for being you.
  • Thank you for always being the first to volunteer a helping hand. We couldn’t do it without you.
  • We wanted to let you know that having you on our team makes all the difference. Thanks for all you do.
  • Employees like you make the organization what it is today. Thank you for bringing your best to work every single day.
  • Thank you for your positivity. No matter what the day brings, you deal with it with a smile and an eagerness to find solutions.  We are grateful for you! 
  • Your emotional intelligence and cool-headedness are such an asset to our team. Thanks for being you!
  • Thank you for being the very definition of a team-player. You inspire everyone around you. 

Start Your Employee Rewards & Recognition Program with Applauz Download PDF Now

4 - Acknowledging work anniversaries and milestones

Tenure is a big deal these days – and acknowledging work anniversaries and milestones sends the message that you appreciate the loyalty of an employee. The bigger the milestone, the more you should emphasize it. Consider including a gift or hosting a special team event for work anniversaries over five years, and add a card with one of the thoughtful messages below. 

  • I can’t believe how fast time flies by! We appreciate your loyalty to us. We couldn’t ask for anyone better.
  • It’s been an incredible ride these X few years. One thing we know for sure, weAcknowledging-work-anniversaries-and-milestones couldn’t have made it this far without you!
  • We are so grateful for having you these past X years, looking forward to celebrating more years to come!
  • It feels like yesterday you came onto our team. We appreciate all the hard work and talent you’ve brought to the team.
  • Congratulations on achieving this anniversary! We know you have worked hard for this accomplishment, and we truly appreciate your dedication.
  • Time flies when you’re having a good time! Thank you for being such a strong team player and for everything you’ve brought to the table over these past X years. Cheers to many more.
  • Congratulations on your X work anniversary! We are grateful for all your hard work and dedication and feel thankful that you’re part of our team.
  • Congrats on reaching such an incredible milestone! We appreciate your loyalty and feel so lucky to work with you every day. 
For more message ideas, check out our article on work anniversary messages

5 - Acknowledging dedication and work ethic

When someone works hard on a consistent basis, they want to feel that their efforts are recognized. Acknowledging dedication and work ethic is something you should be doing on a regular basis to motivate people to give their best.

  • Reliability is hard to come by. Thank you for being someone we can always count on! I’m so grateful for all of your hard work. The entire team thanks you for everything you do.
  • It’s rare to come across people who are so dedicated and trustworthy. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed.
  • Thank you for your help and support. You are really an asset to the team and the organization.
  • Your work ethic and involvement are admirable, and we are fortunate to have someone as dedicated as you onboard!
  • Thank you for all your hard work and dedication. You set the bar high when it comes to work ethic and we are so thankful to have you on our team.
  • Your work ethic is unmatched. Thank you for your commitment and contributions – your efforts are noticed and appreciated.
  • Your commitment to doing your job well and helping our organization win is truly inspiring. Thank you for all your hard work! 

6 - Acknowledging unique skills and insights

Innovation is paramount to surviving and thriving in today’s fast-paced business world – and research shows that diversity can fuel it. There are different ways to foster diversity and inclusion, including your hiring practices, but acknowledgement is also key. Recognizing team members’ unique skills and insights shows that you value different perspectives. Try one of the messages below to recognize different perspectives and skills or celebrate creative problem-solving. 

  • Thank you for bringing your X skills to the table. This has helped us advance the goals of the entire team.
  • Your expertise about X has provided us with valuable insight, which helpedAcknowledging-unique-skills-and-insights grow and push our team’s objective forward. Thank you!
  • You always think of new and different ways of approaching a problem; your unique perspective is a tremendous asset to our team.
  • My words can never be enough to praise your actions; the work and talent you bring to the table always exceed my expectations. Thank you
  • You are such an asset to our team. Thank you for your unique insights and approach, which continues to fuel our growth.
  • We are grateful for your valuable expertise and the unique perspective you bring to the table. We couldn’t have reached [goal] without you!
  • It’s a privilege to work with you and learn from you every day. You consistently bring valuable insights to every project and I especially appreciate the way you [insert skill]. Thank you for everything you do! 

7 - Acknowledging initiative-taking and industriousness


Taking initiative means a lot. It’s a clear sign that someone cares about their job. Keep that momentum and engagement going by acknowledging initiative-taking and industriousness. The best part? It creates an upward spiral of positive emotions that encourages other team members to take more initiative too.Acknowledging-initiative-taking-and-industriousness

  • Thank you for always bringing new ideas to the table. You’re willing to speak up and share our ideas to help bring out the best in our team and our work to the next level!
  • I want to thank you for always being willing to go the extra mile to deliver impeccable work. You are always proactive, accountable for your work, and willing to support those around you when needed. 
  • Your work ethic is unsurpassed. Your passion and ambition are infectious, and your willingness to go the extra mile rubs off on the entire team and has a tangible impact on our results. Thank you!
  • Thank you for consistently going above and beyond to deliver outstanding work and bring new ideas to the table – and doing it with such a positive attitude!
  • Thank you for your hard work, passion and initiative, from [insert example of contribution] to [insert example of contribution]. Our team is lucky to have you.
  • Your willingness to take the lead and come up with new ideas adds so much richness to the work we do as a team. Thank you for being so proactive! 

8 - Acknowledging the embodiment of company values

If you are serious about workplace culture, you’re probably investing a lot in making sure that your efforts are aligned with core company values. So, when an employee embodies an important organization value, acknowledging them is key – it helps reinforce the things that you care about the most. 

  • Our company stands behind its value of [insert value]; we couldn’t think of someone who embodies this value more than you. Thank you!
  • The way you represent our company value of [insert value] is apparent toAcknowledging-the-embodiment-of-company-values everyone. Thank you for being such a great example of what it means to work for [company name.]
  • We have held the company value of [insert value] since the beginning. We see you living that value every day and through your work, and we wanted to acknowledge that we see your effort and are so thankful.
  • Thank you for leading by example and embodying our company value of [insert value] on a regular basis. We are so thankful to have you on board.
  • At [company name], we are serious [insert value]. Thank you for embodying it every day. It’s evident in the way you approach your work and it’s something we greatly appreciate.  
  • You truly embody [company value] in the way you show up at work and treat others. Thank you for being such a great example of what it means to work for [company name]. 

8 Proven Quick Tips for Giving Impactful Recognition

We hope these recognition message examples serve as a strong jump-off point for giving praise to your employees or peers.

But an important thing to remember is the best recognition should always be personalized – never generic.

In that spirit, here are some proven quick tips to give better recognition at work:

  • Recognize frequently: Studies show that giving recognition at least 1X per month strongly impacts employee morale and engagement.
  • Be specific: Recognition should be tied to a specific accomplishment and include words that highlight the unique qualities of the employee.
  • Add some variety: Avoid overusing one type of recognition. For example, it’s ok to give quick “good jobs,” but it’s also important to give more thoughtful recognition when it’s warranted.
  • Personalize your delivery: Tailor your recognition to match the personality and preferences of the employee. For example, a private note might be more appreciated by an introverted team member, while public praise in a team meeting might be more motivating for an extroverted individual.
  • Make it timely: Aim to acknowledge an accomplishment or positive behavior as soon as possible. Delayed recognition can lessen the impact and sometimes even cause confusion about what is being recognized.
  • Encourage peer recognition: Peer recognition can enhance team dynamics and promote a culture of appreciation within the team. This can be facilitated through a tool like Applauz in conjunction with recognition from leaders.
  • Link recognition to core values and goals: Clearly articulate how an individual's actions or achievements embody the company's values or advance its goals. This not only celebrates the achievement but also strengthens the collective commitment to these guiding principles.
  • Offer opportunities for professional growth: Alongside traditional forms of recognition, consider offering opportunities such as attending a conference, leading a project, or participating in a professional development program. This is motivating and demonstrates an investment in the employee's future. 

Other Factors to Consider When Giving Employee Appreciation 

From legal considerations to cultural sensitivities, there are a few other factors to consider when giving employee recognition. They shouldn’t scare you away from sharing messages of recognition, but empower you with the knowledge you need to avoid a faux-pas and keep your messages impactful. 

1. Legal and Ethical Considerations

  • Non-Discrimination: Make sure that your appreciation messages and criteria for recognition do not discriminate against any group or individual based on race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
  • Confidentiality: Be careful not to disclose any confidential information about the employee or the company in your messages of appreciation.
  • Intellectual Property: If the recognition is for a specific contribution or innovation, ensure that acknowledging it publicly does not infringe on intellectual property rights or reveal proprietary information.
  • Sensitivity and privacy: Be mindful of the sensitivity of the achievement or contribution being recognized. Ensure that the message does not inadvertently embarrass or expose the employee to unwanted attention. Furthermore, some people are uncomfortable with being recognized in public or on company-wide platforms. If an employee tells you that they would rather not be included in public shout-outs, stick to private feedback with them. 

2. Fairness and Consistency

  • Objective Criteria: Establish clear, objective criteria for recognition so that all employees feel they have an equal opportunity to be recognized for their contributions. Without a sense of fairness, your recognition efforts can backfire and create a problematic culture.
  • Transparent Process: Maintain transparency in how decisions for recognition are made to avoid perceptions of favoritism or bias.
  • Consistency: Offer recognition at regular intervals to avoid any perception of randomness or unfairness in how appreciation is shown. Leverage a platform like Applauz to incorporate recognition into your systems and culture. 

3. Working with International Teams

  • Cultural Norms and Values: What is considered a high compliment in one culture may be seen as less significant or even inappropriate in another. Educate yourself on cultural norms before interacting with international team members so you can include them in your appreciation efforts. Also, learn about the forms of appreciation that are most valued for maximum impact.
  • Language and Translation: When working with international teams, ensure that messages of appreciation are accurately translated, maintaining the original sentiment and avoiding potential cultural misunderstandings. Google Translate isn’t your best bet here – it’s better to ask a trusted person for feedback.
  • Inclusive Practices: Develop inclusive employee appreciation practices. This might mean celebrating a broader range of holidays, achievements, or milestones that are significant across the cultures represented in your team. 

Leverage Applauz for Employee Appreciation Messages

In closing, we would like to say that we realize that growing appreciation in the workplace can be difficult; many obstacles stand in the way. Changing your habits can be tricky!It’s worth it though, as building a culture of appreciation has a direct impact on engagement, morale and productivity. 

Applauz can help you solidify the habit of sharing appreciation messages on a regular basis, allowing you to build a personalized employee recognition program with different touchpoints, which takes the guesswork out of how often and where to share appreciation. It also includes handy features like custom rewards and service awards. 

Our best suggestion to get started: don't get too bogged down in the details. Just start somewhere. In the end, saying something is better than nothing. We promise that, over time, giving impactful recognition will be second nature.  

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