Employee Appreciation

How To Give The Best Employee Appreciation Speech (incl. speech examples)

August 11, 2022
5
min read

Appreciation is more than just saying thank you. A well-written employee appreciation speech can show your employees their efforts don’t go unnoticed. 


Employee appreciation speeches can re-awaken your team’s passion for their work and connect them to the company’s larger purpose. They can also show that you deeply understand your team, celebrate their successes, and empathize with their daily struggles.


So, how does one go about writing such a speech? In this article, we will show you exactly how you can say thank you in a truly memorable way.

Why Give An Employee Appreciation Speech?

Workplace appreciation should be seen as an investment rather than simply a nice gesture.


Your people are invaluable assets that need to be nurtured and cared for. With a bit of appreciation, their engagement and dedication will increase over time. 


In fact, showing that you appreciate your employees can decrease your company’s turnover rate. Research shows that 66% of employees would quit their jobs if they didn’t feel appreciated. 


Additionally, employee appreciation can also help your team better understand their roles in the company. This can help ensure each employee understands exactly what is expected of them, which will boost their engagement and performance.


If you want to attract more talented employees, employee appreciation is absolutely critical. It’s a necessary step towards building a healthy company culture, which is a great selling point to any prospective employee. 


Furthermore, studies suggest there’s a definite correlation between appreciation and positive long-term mental effects for both the giver and the receiver. So, giving a beautiful employee appreciation speech can also benefit your mental wellbeing!


This list of benefits shows that investing your time in appreciating your employees is worthwhile. By learning how to deliver employee appreciation speeches that increase employee engagement, you can create a positive culture that your employees genuinely love. 

Employee Appreciation Speech Guidelines

Below, we outline some guidelines that will help you master the basics. 

Step 1: Get Your Audience’s Attention With A Thoughtful Greeting

More often than not, people expect boring speeches at company gatherings. Therefore, you can easily grab your employees’ attention by catching them off guard with a witty intro. 


After lightening up the mood with some humor, explain why you’re excited to be gathered with the team.


Conclude your introduction by highlighting the importance of your employees, just like in the employee appreciation speech example below.

Example

“After a long, relaxing weekend, I wasn’t exactly jumping for joy when my alarm went off this morning. 

However, after a bit of caffeine made its way into my system, I remembered that, unlike for most people, Monday is my favorite day of the week.

Why?

I get to start my week all over again at an incredible company that holds values I truly believe in.

More importantly, I get to share yet another week with the best people anyone could ever ask for, and for that, I have each and every one of you to thank.” 

Step 2: Elaborate On Specific Employee Behaviors You Appreciate

When trying to connect with your employees, it helps to be really specific. Instead of referring to vague acknowledgments of dedication and hard work, be specific when talking about an employee’s actions. 


Doing so shows that you are paying attention and that your employees’ efforts are noticed. This also can inspire your employees to repeat the praised behaviors and will encourage others to follow suit.


Give short anecdotes about a specific employee’s behavior so that everyone listening can become invested in the story you are telling. End this section of the speech by generalizing and mentioning how everyone’s efforts add to the greater wellbeing of the company. 

Example

“Yesterday, I got an email notification reminding me of an upcoming meeting that I hadn’t had time to prepare for. It was an important meeting to discuss the marketing budget of one of our biggest clients. 

In a panic, I quickly called upon Jessica, who was the marketing manager of this account. 

She informed me that she’d already drawn up an Excel sheet listing all the client's requirements and estimated fees. With a huge sigh of relief, I realized we were perfectly prepared for the meeting. 

This is just one instance of exceptional proactive behavior that I have witnessed from you over the last few months. Thank you again, Jessica.”

Related: How To Write An Employee Appreciation Email

Step 3: Mention the Effects of Your Employees’ Behaviors 

In this part of the speech, you have to connect the actions of your employees back to the company’s mission. 


You don’t necessarily have to discuss a specific sales metric or piece of financial data, but, if you have that info on hand, you are more than welcome to do so.


Alternatively, you can talk about how these specific employee actions will support your company’s mission.

Example

“Lara’s bold and dynamic approach to her work resulted in one of our most successful budget meetings to date. In fact, we managed to sign a two-year contract! 

The client has also agreed to schedule another budget meeting for one of their sister companies, which means we could be drawing up another contract real soon. 

As you all know, we want to grow our client base by 200% each year, and with a proactive and dedicated group like this one, we might just exceed that target.”

Step 4: Say Thank You

Be sure to conclude your employee appreciation speech by injecting some heartfelt emotion into your topic of discussion. It will allow your employees to take in what you are trying to convey. 


To do this, set some time aside to truly ponder why you are grateful for your employees. Take what comes to mind and mention it, like in the employee appreciation speech example below. You can even add a great employee appreciation quote to the mix to end your speech on a poetic note.

Example

“Mandy’s dedication to her work is just one example of the exceptional work ethic that all of you have portrayed during these last couple of months. 

I could stand here for hours talking about how each and everyone here goes beyond what is expected to make sure we grow as a company. I am truly amazed and inspired by all of you. It is both an honor and a privilege to work alongside you. 

Thank you for everything you do. Here's to many more months of exceptional work and lots of laughs!”

Final Thoughts

Your employee appreciation speech doesn’t have to be complicated. Just make sure it is personable and that it comes from the heart. Saying thank you every once in a while is a great way to boost team morale, and a well-crafted appreciation speech will allow you to do just that.


Be sure to make eye contact with your employees as you thank them, and don’t rush through your thoughts. To make an impact with your words, you have to make each one count.


If the situation calls for it, end your speech with a toast to your team. It will make the moment even more special and let your team know that you truly celebrate their hard work!

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