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Ways to Satisfy Your Team's Need to Be Valued

Recognition and appreciation are very important to satisfy your team. They contribute heavily to your team's #1 psychological need – Value. However, many people use these two interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. To drive engagement, loyalty, and high performance, it’s important to understand the differences.


Recognition is about giving positive feedback; a thank you, a bonus, a promotion, or a raise. While meaningful, they also motivate your team members, showing that the company cares about them.

Recognition is performance-based, so it’s conditional on the output of team members. Often, the expectation by many managers is that their team is “just doing their job”, so recognition is often forgotten. Many organizations have programs that allow peers to highlight each other’s efforts, but the major forms of recognition (promotions, raises, and so on) come from leadership. Understanding the type of recognition that motivates your team members is important.

Not everyone does it for the money. While that might sound strange, each team member's psychological needs can differ, and a modest bonus might be seen less favorably than a more senior title or responsibility. Whatever the recognition, you want the individual to feel cared for but also want to push on and achieve more.


Appreciation is about acknowledging value, not accomplishments. It’s their worth to your company as a team member and as a person, not about what they do.

The difference between recognition and appreciation often dictates when they are given. If you focus solely on recognizing positive outcomes, you miss out on the chance to build more meaningful connections with your team.