If you want your employee engagement and performance to grow, your team needs to feel seen, appreciated, and recognized for their efforts. And, as a manager, that means letting them know you see, appreciate, and recognize them.

In other words, it's vital to make employee recognition a priority. We know you're busy, so we put together some words of appreciation and examples for common situations that call for recognition.

It’s important to recognize your employees on a regular basis. But finding the time to come up with what to say can be challenging.

Use the employee appreciation and recognition examples in this article as inspiration when you want to express gratitude and show your entire team that they're valued.

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Employee recognition messages examples

We get that you might not have extra time in your day to plan elaborate employee recognition ideas. However, quick words of appreciation can have a huge positive impact. These examples are meant to serve as inspiration, but we recommend adding your own personal touch rather than copying and pasting.

Messages for top performance

Giving a nod to great work makes employees feel seen and valued, and helps keep them motivated. If they put in the notable effort, or go the extra mile to get results, showing appreciation is always warranted. Whether you’re continually impressed or an employee has started to really stand out, giving them the shoutout they deserve is always a good idea.

💡 Here are a few employee recognition message examples you could share with someone on your team whose performance calls for some shine:

  • Your outstanding performance is an inspiration to us all. Keep up the amazing work!
  • Thank you for always putting your best foot forward! Your performance is always top-notch, even when you take on more work.
  • You’ve really raised the bar. A performance like yours is a huge asset to the whole team.

Messages for reaching goals

Employee goal setting is an important part of helping your entire team reach their full potential. But setting the goals is only one part of the process. If you want to keep your employees motivated, you need to recognize (and celebrate!) when they achieve those goals.

💡 Here are a few employee recognition message examples you might use after they hit one of their goals:

  • There was never a doubt in my mind you'd accomplish this, but now that you have, I just want to say congratulations on hitting your goal!
  • Incredible job hitting this goal! You really knocked it out of the park.
  • You consistently impress me with your ability to not only set ambitious goals but to achieve them.

Messages for teamwork

For an entire team to function, every member has to do their part to contribute to the company’s success. But for some team members, simply showing up and doing their job isn't enough. They go above and beyond what their role calls for while supporting their coworkers and elevating the team.

And those team members deserve some serious recognition.

💡 Here are a few employee appreciation quotes for when a team member exceeds expectations and contributes to the team above and beyond their role:

  • Thanks for your contribution today. You went above and beyond and the team really appreciates you!
  • Thanks for being a great team player. Your efforts make our team stronger!
  • I just want you to know that your commitment to this team and your willingness to step up and do what needs to be done – even if it falls outside of your job title – don't go unnoticed.

Messages for outstanding dedication

Exemplary work ethic always deserves to be recognized since these employees can serve as an inspiration to the whole team. Dedicated employees are the backbone of the organization and should be valued by everyone. The success your team achieves together is thanks to their consistency and commitment. Help keep up the momentum by sending a message of appreciation.

💡 Here are a few employee appreciation quotes to recognize a great employee for their consistent dedication:

  • No matter the situation, you always rise to the occasion! Thank you for your unwavering dedication; it doesn’t go unnoticed.
  • Thank you for being such a reliable member of this team. We appreciate your work ethic so much!
  • You always put in 100% and we see it. Thank you for helping us all succeed.

Messages for growth and improvement

As a manager, your role is to empower your team members to be their best selves at work. If your employees soak up feedback and constantly work towards improving their skillsets, kudos should definitely be served.

💡 Here are a few employee appreciation messages to show your team you notice and celebrate their improvements:

  • You accept feedback like no other and it’s a pleasure to see you flourish in your role!
  • Your drive for constant improvement is contagious. Thank you for inspiring the team to be the best they can be.
  • Over the last few months, we’ve noticed a huge improvement in X skillset. Your effort does not go unnoticed and we’re proud to see you grow.

Messages for unique expertise

A great team is one that’s made up of diverse skillsets and perspectives. Leveraging your employees’ strengths not only gives them the chance to show what they’re capable of but is also beneficial to the whole team by helping them achieve goals together. Drop an appreciation note the next time someone on your team steps up to bring their unique skills to the table.

💡 Here are some of the best employee appreciation quotes to recognize someone’s standout skills:

  • Your expertise on X really gave us valuable insights. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us all!
  • We’re so impressed with your expertise on X. You’re awesome at what you do and you bring great value to the team.
  • Thank you for bringing your unique perspective to the table. Your expertise is impressive and inspiring.

Messages for a work anniversary

You want to keep top performers on your team for as long as possible. And one way to do that? Acknowledge when they've put in a full year on your team or reached other milestones. Celebrating work anniversaries is a great way to show employees you appreciate their hard work and dedication. And hopefully, keep them committed to your team through their next anniversary.

💡 Here are a few examples of employee appreciation quotes to share with your team when they're celebrating a milestone anniversary with your team/organization:

  • Happy work anniversary! You make this company a better place to work every year you're here.
  • Another work anniversary, another year. I'm grateful to work with you!
  • Over the past year, you've showed up, you've worked hard, you've supported your team, and you've knocked your goals out of the park. Happy work anniversary. We're so lucky to have you! Can't wait to see what's coming in the year ahead.

Appreciation for a noteworthy attitude

An employee who shows up to work with a great attitude can completely change the vibe of the team. They're easier to work with, they're fun to be around, and they make for a more positive, supportive work environment. Good energy goes a long way in the workplace, so why not pay the employee happiness forward?

💡 Here are a few employee appreciation messages you can pass along to help keep the good energy flowing:

  • Working hard is important. But working kindly is just as important, and you've nailed both! Thanks for being such a pleasure to work with.
  • Your upbeat attitude is contagious, and it makes our team (and our organization!) better. Thanks for bringing positivity to work every day!
  • Your optimism, happiness, and overall positive attitude is an asset to this team. Thank you for being you!

Recognition for efforts during hard times

All the examples we've covered so far have been about recognizing employees when things are going well. And while it's important to recognize your team when things are on the up and up, it's just as important to recognize them when things aren't going so well.

Motivation has a tendency to dip when times are hard. For example, during a challenging project, when a key team member leaves, during times of transition, or change with your company leadership. 

If you want to keep your team moving forward during challenging times, a little employee appreciation and recognition go a long way.

💡 Here are a few employee appreciation messages you can use to recognize your team's efforts when work is more challenging, hard, or uncertain:

  • I know things haven't been easy. But I just wanted to thank you for always showing up and supporting this team, even when it's hard.
  • Things have been tough, but every day you show up, roll up your sleeves, and make things happen. Thanks for pushing through, we appreciate you!
  • It's easy to show up with a smile on your face when things are going well. But you've continued to show up with a smile on your face, even when things have been tough. Thanks for all you do!

Words of appreciation to improve employee engagement

Recognition is a key tool to motivate and inspire your employees. And by sending these employee appreciation messages, you have everything you need to acknowledge, recognize, celebrate, and inspire your employees to do their best work.

No two people are made the same, and not all employees are receptive to receiving feedback the same way. Public recognition might be great for the extroverts on your team, for example, but quieter folks may lean more towards one-on-one conversations. Luckily, there’s a solution to suit everyone.

Click here for some essential employee recognition tips for your modern workforce.

Make sure your recognition program is right for your team

Your company values its employees, so it’s important to tell them. A recognition program can be beneficial to any company or organization. In fact, research by Bersin suggests that engaging your employees will reduce turnover by 31%

So how can you tell if your recognition program is right for your team? It can be as simple as getting them involved from the start. Using Pulse Surveys is an easy way to get employee feedback so that you can continuously improve your work culture and recognition efforts. 

If you’re still unsure where to start, Good Vibes by Officevibe can help with its simple, human way to recognize team members. Rather than public recognition like praise walls, Good Vibes prompts employees to send appreciation messages spontaneously, encouraging peer-to-peer recognition. Employees can simply pick a card, tag a peer, and let them know how great they are.

Equip HR and managers with tools to engage, recognize, and drive performance.