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

December 4, 2015 BY Kelly C. Bawden, MS, CCC-SLP

‘Tis the season of both thanks and giving, so we thought we’d use our Admin Bulletin Board November Question of the Month to ask about staff gift-giving. Somewhat surprisingly, 100% of our responses said that they do indeed give staff gifts to show staff appreciation during December. To these fine folks, I say “Bravo!” and hey, keep up the great work!

staff appreciation


But hey. I took statistics. And I’ve been a school-based SLP for a good while. Those two things help me know that this little sample isn’t representative of what happens out there in the trenches. Tokens of appreciation, little things that let people know that you see them and the important work they’re doing, they can sometimes be hard to come by. I don’t believe that’s because the world is full of cold-hearted 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 the federal government, for instance) fall to the bottom of the to-do list.

Staff recognition, though, should be on the top of your list. Well, maybe not the tippy top, what with that federal government thing, but right up there anyway. 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 you about a million 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? I could go on and on. But you’re smart so you get the point. Bump staff appreciation to the top of your list this month. Your future self will thank you, and so will your staff.