The Value of Recognition
& Appreciation in the Workplace

By Rebecca Higgins, Mental Health Educator


Appreciation in the workplace is important at all levels of the organization. When staff receive appropriate appreciation, it strengthens motivation, connection, compassion satisfaction and commitment.


Although not a replacement for systemic fixes, appreciation contributes to fostering a healthier workplace, and supporting the wellbeing of staff, patients, families, and the organization as a whole. And even if the entire organization isn’t on board with creating a culture of appreciation, individuals can take small steps to make change.


In The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, Chapman, and White note that “bite-sized actions” matter:


Start somewhere with someone. You will get a better result than doing nothing at all” (Chapman and White, 2019, p.176).


Appreciation should be specific, genuine, and meaningful. It is most worthwhile when we appreciate a person in the manner that they value. By getting to know colleagues and observing how they prefer to be appreciated, we can learn to offer appreciation in a more meaningful way.


When we are not appreciated at work, there are steps we can take to support ourselves, including:

  • Acknowledging and validating our own experience
  • Reflecting on our impact and what we value about the work
  • Connecting with people who value us
  • Appreciating others
  • Hanging positions or workplaces if necessary


In systems and settings in which individuals may not have a lot of control, we can at least and always choose how we take care of ourselves and how we treat other people. Appreciation helps us to feel seen and heard and giving that gift to someone else can often be as rewarding as receiving it.


Additional Resources