Why You Should Move Staff Appreciation to the Top of Your To-Do List

December 5, 2022 BY Kelly C. Bawden, MS, CCC-SLP

Many bosses, school administrators included, use this time of year as an opportunity to do something to show appreciation for their staff. Treats in mailboxes, hosting a happy hour on the last day of school, and tucking gift cards inside little notes are all acknowledgments of the important work that front-line staff does daily. But these tokens of appreciation, small things that let people know that they are seen and appreciated, can sometimes be hard to come by. This is not because the world is full of cold-hearted admin robots. It’s because life is busy and stressful, and with so many demands on our time, it is quite easy to let non-essential tasks (those that don’t involve federal IDEA requirements, for instance) fall to the bottom of the to-do list.

staff appreciation


Staff appreciation, though, should be on the top of every admin’s to-do list. Consider the following excerpt from a Forbes report on an employee survey by Glassdoor:

“53% of employees would stay at their company longer if they felt more appreciation from their boss. In addition, 81% said they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.

This Glassdoor survey is important because it reminds employers of any size that you don’t need fancy perks or a big budget to retain talented workers,” says Allyson Willoughby, Glassdoor’s senior vice president of people and general counsel. “In fact, this survey shows that most employees just want to feel appreciated and valued. They want to be involved in decision making processes, do interesting work and have a purpose. If employers keep this in mind, they’ll likely longer retain some of their most talented employees.” And don’t forget, she says, “the time a boss spends showing some appreciation, thus helping retention, is time spent not having to recruit and interview an employee’s replacement.”

So, in other words, taking a few minutes to leave a pile of Hershey’s Kisses on an employee’s desk in the next couple of weeks might save countless hours of trying to replace that employee this spring. Not a fan of Kisses? How about a $5 Starbucks card? A handwritten note? A printed Paperwork Master award? An invitation to coffee? Or perhaps one of our 12 budget-friendly ideas for celebrating your staff? The ideas are endless, but what you do isn’t as important as doing it. Bump staff appreciation to the top of your list this month. Your future self will thank you, and so will your staff.

This post was originally published 12/4/15 and most recently updated 12/5/22