Employee Appreciation Speech Ideas and Examples

Employee Appreciation Speech Ideas

Employee appreciation and recognition have become more important than ever in these tough times. It is an essential part of improving morale and retaining employees and creating a positive work culture.

Studies done in 2016 already showed the vast importance of employee appreciation. 82% of participants stated that they did not feel recognized at work. 40% stated that they would feel more engaged and energized at work if their supervisors showed their appreciation more often.

The importance of appreciation from leadership positions cannot be overstated. For example, a Gallup workplace report found that 28% of participants found the most memorable appreciation they received to be one from their manager and 24% from their CEO. In comparison, only 9% found appreciation from their peers to be significant.

Employee appreciation is a low-cost method that yields hugely positive results. Speeches have become one of the easiest ways to show appreciation for employees in significant ways that feel memorable.

Speeches can be both formal and informal. This allows employees to be appreciated in this way even when they achieve normal targets that don’t require grand fanfare but should still be recognized.

When approaching employee appreciation speeches, you should keep a few things in mind to help you:

  • Practice your speechmaking: This will make it easier to bring the point across while you engage your audience, even if it is just a one-to-one meeting. You will feel more comfortable if you practice ahead of time, and this energy will transfer to those hearing you.
  • Record achievements: Your employees will do many things worthy of appreciation throughout the year. Take note of these and make sure to address them in some way when you recognize them through a speech.

If you would like some guidance with employee appreciation speech ideas, take a look at our how-to steps with examples that can be used for casual and formal occasions.

General Appreciation Speech Ideas

These ideas and examples are suitable for showing appreciation for employees on a casual level. They can be used for normal daily achievements that should still receive some acknowledgment and can be addressed whenever convenient.

These speech ideas require little to no preparation but will easily provide a boost to employees by making them feel seen and recognized.

Recognize Specific Goals

Targets and goals are a constant part of an employee’s life. The effort involved in achieving them can vary, but whenever they hit one, they should be recognized in some way, no matter how small. Team leaders or managers can casually mention them in team meetings, catch-ups, or one-to-ones.

These small speeches don’t require extensive preparation. Stick to the point, keep it informal, and make sure the employee feels appreciated for their work.


Thanks to your effort in achieving this goal, the team has hit another target and is well on its way to successfully ending the year.

Appreciate Their Time

Being at work can become a grueling routine, especially during times of high stress. It may not seem like much, but showing appreciation to employees who are there can be a great boost and can be relevant at any time.


Thank you for being here and for making this week easier through your effort.

Use Thank Yous

While you can use platforms like Bonusly or Kazoo to leave thank you notes of appreciation to employees whenever you want, doing it in person can be much more impactful. Whenever an employee achieves a target, take the time to simply thank them in front of everyone.

Whenever they help one of their coworkers, thank them. This creates a positive working environment and makes employees aware that their actions always have an impact on their surroundings, no matter how small.


Thank you for all your hard work and for being there for your colleagues. This shows great qualities that benefit the whole team.

Recognize When Employees Use Company Behaviors

Each business model is shaped around specific behaviors that employees are expected to follow whenever possible. Keep an eye on when your employees are displaying these behaviors, and make sure to reward them for it with some appreciation.

While it may not seem like a huge achievement, employees displaying the behaviors at the heart of your company are instrumental in its success.


Your incredible demonstration of company behaviors has positively impacted the team atmosphere and performance. Thank you for always striving to do your best.

Show Appreciation for Positive Attitudes

Positivity can make or break a team. Even when working individually, everyone around them can feel the impact of an employee’s positive attitude. It can easily boost performance and contribute to the overall work culture.

Whenever you notice an employee having a positive impact through their attitude, mention it in a meeting or casual gathering of peers.


Thank you for making us smile and for using your positive attitude to lift us up. You have had a significant impact on everyone’s mood today, and should take pride in your behavior.

Keep It Personal

You should always take the time to learn about your employees. This will make it easier to make them feel included and seen whenever you show your appreciation for them. You should have inside jokes with your team and with those under your leadership.

Create a network of support and camaraderie between team members, and pay attention to who they are as individuals. When it comes time to appreciate their efforts, pepper in some facts that relate to them and that are personally meaningful, even within the team.

These can be used for levity and don’t need to have a lot of weight assigned to them.


Thank you for showing as much dedication to your work as you do to your history deep dives on Wikipedia.

Refer to Milestones

Your long-term employees will hit many milestones during their tenure. You should always address when new ones are achieved, whether they are personal or professional. Work anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, and promotions should all be celebrated whenever they occur.

These can easily be dropped into conversation at start-of-the-day meetings or other team events, and they can have a big impact on the mood of the day.


You have been here for five years and have shaped this team and your coworkers. Your ongoing dedication has made a huge difference, and we are better for having known you.

Appreciate Individual Skills

Each employee will bring unique skills to the team and to the job. These should all be recognized because they all have an impact and contribute to a team’s overall success. Recognizing the attributes that each person brings to the group will make them feel appreciated and supported. It will also make them aware of their strength in influencing the team.

Empowering employees with appreciation of their skills will make them more confident in their position. It is easy to mention them in casual settings and within shared team moments.


Your expertise with coding has significantly reduced the time it has taken the team to achieve a specific set of targets. Thank you for using your skills to make it easier on all of us.

Appreciate Proactive Employees

There will always be team members who leap at opportunities and volunteer themselves for new projects and events. This energy should be appreciated because it will be an energy boost to the whole team and will make other individuals take action.

The employees who take the lead should also be more quickly considered for progression within the companies. Make them aware that you are seeing their effort and that it will take them to exciting openings.


Your eagerness to be part of new opportunities before they even occur is commendable and shapes the team’s pace. Continuing like this will get you far in the company.

Recognize Those Going the Extra Mile

Going above and beyond takes a lot of effort, especially in highly demanding jobs. The employees that always endeavor to do more than they need to should be shown appreciation in a speech that can be delivered at any time.

Single them out during team meetings and specify the amount of effort they have made. While employees should not be encouraged to always sacrifice their time, they should be seen and recognized when they put extra effort in.


The way you followed up with that client and made sure their needs were met despite it not being your responsibility was noticed. It is a credit to your dedication and the quality you bring to this team and your role. Your effort has been noted, and you should take pride in how you have handled this.

Formal Appreciation Speech Ideas

Company-wide events are a great opportunity to provide formal appreciation for its employees. These should be occasions of celebration, and employee recognition should be at the forefront.

Employees that you mention during these events will feel significantly appreciated. Everyone will get to share in the appreciation and the visibility of these achievements. These speeches will require more preparation, and more people will see them.

Make sure to take time to formulate them and deliver them in a way that carries the weight of what you are saying. This type of appreciation will stick with your employees long after the event has ended.

Engage With the Audience

When you deliver a speech at a formal event, it can easily come across as stilted or cold. Preparing the speech should be done with the specific audience you will be addressing in mind.

Make it personal when you mention the employee you are showing appreciation for. Even if the entire audience doesn’t know them, they should feel like they do by the end of the speech.


You might not all know this, but this employee is such a hard worker that I am constantly kept on my toes. We must all run to keep up with them in their trailblazing ways. This sort of attitude makes going to work fun, even with early starts.

Celebrate Values

As we’ve seen, company values are at the core of everything and should provide guidance to employees. When they excel at displaying those values, they should be recognized. Formal company events are an excellent setting for this sort of appreciation. Take your time to set the rhythm of your speech around this achievement.


This employee understands what the business wants to be known for. They showcase the values at the heart of the company every day, and they inspire others to do the same. This makes them an essential member of the team and of the business as a whole.

Address Accomplishments

While smaller goals and targets should be mentioned in casual settings, bigger milestones should be addressed at bigger events. Galas, team dinners, and other such ceremonies are perfect settings for this sort of speech.

Adapt what you will say to the setting and the group of people you will be speaking to, and highlight the impact of the achievement.


This employee has achieved a series of huge milestones that have contributed to the overall success and performance of the team. Without their dedication, achieving these targets would have taken longer and may have had less of an impact. We thank you and celebrate you for your work.

Appreciate Leadership Qualities

Some employees will be so committed to their role that they will greatly influence others. If they provide extra support to other team members, are proactive, and are looking for ways to do more instead of sticking to their official jobs, it shows promise for their future in leadership positions.

Show recognition for their achievements and for the way in which they lift everyone else up.


This colleague of ours has become an essential part of the team. Their drive has been indispensable to their team members, and it shows qualities that we are looking for in our leaders.

Recognize Excellent Teamwork

The success of a team always comes down to the group effort of its members, but some individuals enhance team performance. Take note of how they drive the rest of the team to have a more productive pace while improving its harmony.

When there is an occasion for it, address this at a formal event.


I would like to take this moment to celebrate this particular team and the effort of this employee in enhancing it. This team player has been an essential part of the whole group’s success, and their performance has been noticed.

Mention Their Influence

Some employees will easily fall into leadership or mentorship roles even within a team. They will find it easy to exert influence on their peers in a way that brings great results to the whole group. This influence can easily spread beyond their circle.

Mentioning this skill during a formal company event will allow the employee to reap the rewards of their positive behavior.


Having influence on one’s peers is not something that can be easily taught. This employee has a natural knack for it and has positively impacted many of their coworkers. Providing mentorship and extra support is time-consuming, but this employee has made it their mission to be there for others.

Recognize Their Impact on the Company

The company benefits from the successes of its people. When an employee achieves numerous targets within the company, that has a big impact on its overall performance. Formal events are a great opportunity to address this.


This business owes its triumphs to those working within it. Of these people, the achievements of this employee during this quarter have had a huge influence on overall performance. We should all strive to be more like them.

Remind Them Of Their Importance

It can be easy for employees to get swept up in the routine and forget about their importance within a team. Targets always need to be achieved, and new goals always come up the moment the previous one has been met.

Take a moment during formal events to address this importance so that they can be aware of their impact.


The impressive resilience of this employee has been instrumental to every target the team has met. Their value is immeasurable, so let’s take this moment to thank them for how they have impacted performance.

Recognize Them for Off-Duty Achievements

Employees don’t just exist in the work vacuum. Many of them spend their time off volunteering or doing essential activities in their community. The humanity of individuals working for you should always be remembered, especially during formal events.


This employee spends their free time raising money for a particular charity that is important to them. Not only do they put all their effort into their job, but when they leave, they do the same to help their community. This goes to show the far-reaching impact one person can have.

Highlight the Visionaries

At times, visionaries arise from the ranks of employees. These people will push the boundaries of what they can achieve and lead the way for teams. They are necessary for a successful company, especially as they climb through the ranks.

A business should always be ready to bolster those seeking new heights. Formal events should spend some time on recognizing these individuals.


This employee has set the trend for groundbreaking innovation. They are always looking for new ways of approaching targets and projects that are more streamlined and more efficient. Without them, we would not be inspired to discover new summits that will make us all stand out.