The Missing Piece in Most Organizations-Recognition, and Appreciation

Retaining top talent is the main focus for all leaders. While many feel that the most important aspects of a great retention strategy are great benefits, flexible hours, or all for remote work, it is not necessarily any of these. Yes, they are essential pieces to the retention puzzle, but they are not the complete package.

Keep reading to learn how recognition and appreciation are the backbone of retaining your top talent.



The standard feedback loop in most organizations is antiquated. Managers usually share constructive criticism or negative feedback promptly. However, positive feedback and recognition for a job well done is held until the yearly review. Appreciation, which is not the same as recognition is nearly absent. Honestly, this system was never adequate to begin with, but in today’s work environment, it can be detrimental to an organization in regards to retention.

What is the difference between recognition and appreciation?

Recognition is what we associate with yearly reviews. It is when the leader reviews a person’s past performance. The feedback, usually positive but may include improvement opportunities, often results in a raise or bonus. The emphasis on recognition is more about what a person has done in the past.

Appreciation focuses less on past performance and what a person has done and more the person as an individual. When showing appreciation, you are acknowledging their inherent value to the team and organization.

Many organizations have begun to integrate more frequent feedback loops to increase recognition and course-correct team members to help them realize their yearly goals. Managers are more open to scheduling regular one-on-one meetings with their staff and have even implemented peer recognition rituals. Frequent feedback is a significant first step.

The big missing piece is appreciation. Appreciation shows your team members that you see who they are as a person and hear what they have to say. It shows them that they are more than a number, more than a cog in the wheel of the organization. People not only want to know that they are doing a good job; they want to see value for what they put into their performance. That is the crucial distinction between recognition and appreciation that absent in the review process.

Showing appreciation is not tricky. A simple check-in with your team members, asking them how they are doing, not concerning a specific project, but how are they in and out of work. Ask them about what is challenging them in a good or bad way. Share with them what you value about them. It could be their calm demeanor when dealing with a challenging client, or how they are not afraid to learn a new skill so they can do their job better.

The bottom line is that when people feel seen, heard, and recognized for their efforts; they are more productive and happier at work. This happiness translates to great loyalty to the organization, their manager, and colleagues.
Gary Vice is sought out by leaders in Software and Services who recognize the need to attract the industry’s best talent.  Through Strategic Recruiting Partners’ extensive network of relationships, they are able to identify high level opportunities for well qualified candidates.  To discover how this process can benefit your job search, simply reply to this email or call Gary at 469.402.4008.