Employee Appreciation: A Guide to a Happy Workplace

It's common knowledge that employees who feel appreciated at work perform better at work. Here's our suggestions for building a motivated team by prioritizing communication and mutual respect.
By aha insurance - Oct 23, 2018

At aha insurance we continually explore ways to stay in control of all aspects of life – because we know life is about more than insurance. In our Work Matters series we talk about staying in control of your life and reaching your #careergoals. Control feels great!

Let’s face it, whether there are ten or ten thousand employees in a company, they are key to supporting the business. Yet, many people report having very low satisfaction in their job. Sure, having certain days like “Employee Appreciation Day” or a staff BBQ once a year are great, but how can employers really show appreciation on a consistent basis?

Here are some suggestions to ensure a happy workplace every day:

Ask employees what they like and dislike

It seems almost too simple, but most employees value being included. Give them regular opportunities to voice their feelings on various topics like workplace attitudes, rules, work and life balance guidelines, employee programs, employer goals, and strategies — whatever is important to the business! People who feel they matter will be more loyal and feel happier when they’re consulted regularly by their employer.

Incorporate some of those ideas

Sure, asking is important, but if you don’t use any of the suggestions staff provides, you’re going to have an even more dissatisfied crew who feel you’re just giving them lip service. Yes, some ideas just aren’t feasible, but all talk and no action is frustrating to anyone, so make sure employees see their thoughts in action at least some of the time.


Again, this seems like it shouldn’t need to be said, but often employees feel they are just working for a pay cheque and not really an integral part of a company’s success. Clear, honest and open communication brings them into the fold. The feedback received that couldn’t possibly be implemented? Tell them why not. Explain business objectives and strategies in a way everyone can understand and don’t assume staff won’t have useful feedback on those matters. Listening is an important half of good communication, but ensuring your workers know what your company is all about keeps them motivated to do their best.

Treat everyone fairly

Don’t play favourites at any level. Management may have a different pay scale or more vacation days, but everyone working for the same company should have a level playing field in terms of company and human resource policies and how they’re applied.

Give rewards. Often.

Pay employees well. Don’t save money at their expense, and don’t unfairly allocate huge sums to management and executives while entry-level workers earn only minimum wage. Create a pay structure that fairly compensates all employees for their efforts and work performance.

Get to know the people who work with you

Nothing separates management from non-management employees like lack of opportunity to mingle with all levels of staff. Take coffee breaks together, or order pizza for the entire company once a month so everyone can hang out together and learn who their co-workers are. People who are treated as equals feel much happier than those who are ignored by others, especially in different pay scales or positions.

Respect that life occurs outside the workplace

Employees are becoming increasingly disappointed by companies who refuse to understand that sometimes kids get sick or people need a few hours off for appointments. In today’s busy and stressful world, employers with happy staff show empathy for the lives of their workers outside of their jobs.

It’s a fine balance keeping employees happy and ensuring business goals are met, but creating a team environment that includes all employees working towards the common goal of high work satisfaction has huge payoffs worth the effort.

aha insurance is Canada’s first car and home insurance brokerage to offer a fully online customer experience. Customers can purchase and manage their car and home insurance online in minutes from the convenience of wherever they are. This puts customers in complete control, and control feels great.