7 Ways to Show Appreciation for Staff/Volunteers

Whether you lead a in a multi-staff setting or you rely solely on volunteers to help you lead there is an integral thing you must do for them-encourage them and show them your appreciation.


We all love encouragement and appreciation. We have all been in situations where we feel uneasy because we are not getting the proper encouragement and therefore do not know where we stand or even whether or not our work is liked and appreciated.

Do not be the leader that will not positively affirm the work others put in around them. Whether they are full time staff, part time staff, or volunteer staff they need to know that you appreciate the work that they put in week in and week out.

Here are 7 ideas on specific ways to offer encouragement and show appreciation to staff and volunteers:

A Personal Note

This is a very good way to offer encouragement to your staff or  volunteers. Personally, I have a box of cards sitting right in front of me on my desk at all times. This reminds me that I need  to take the time and write a note to thank a volunteer on a regular basis. Of  course this could also be a text or  something else but I think there is a lot of value today in a plain, old-fashioned, hand written note.

Public Recognition on Stage

Be careful with this one. But, it can be a very effective way to  encourage those around you. Think carefully before doing this though so you do not give someone or a group of people the perception that they were overlooked or slighted.

Public Recognition in Your Newsletter/Social Media

This can also be a very effective way to encourage those around you, as it can show publicly how much you appreciate them publicly without calling someone on stage who maybe would be embarrassed or shy.

Take Them out to Dinner

What a way to show your appreciation right? You can really showing encouragement by giving them your time and appreciation. This can also offer you a time to really invest personally in their life in a one on one basis.

Give a Gift Card For Dinner

Also arrange for childcare if the staff member or volunteer has kids.  And make sure it does not just cover a fraction of a normal bill at the place.

Highly Personal Gift

Instead of just a Starbucks gift card give them something that shows you know them, their interests, or their personality. Some examples I can think of are memorabilia for their favorite band or favorite sports team or something similarly related.

Sit Down and Tell them in detail why you appreciate them

Literally sit down and go into fine detail about everything they do and how much you love the work they do for God’s Kingdom.


Highly effective leadership is also highly personal. You must invest in those around you. Do not be a leader that takes and takes from his staff/volunteers without giving back. Do not make encouragement a sporadic thing. Make it a regular thing in your life and the lives of those working around you.

How do you encourage those working around you? Do you have  an practices that help you remember to show appreciation and offer encouragement? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Joe Hoagland

Joe is a pastor at Rise Church in Marion, Oh. He is married to his awesome wife Jenna and they have one daughter Aryella.

He loves to lead people to Jesus and preach God's word.

You can often times find Joe hiking, camping, writing, reading, or enjoying technology.


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