The Difference Between Appreciation and Recognition

The Difference Between Appreciation and Recognition

At Awards4U, we don’t talk about the importance of “recognition” just because it’s a better-sounding word than appreciation. Recognition and appreciation aren’t interchangeable, and here’s why:

Here’s an example illustrating the different ways to take notice of good work:

Workplace appreciation looks and sounds like the standard “Way to go!”:
— Good job
— Thank you for your help

Here is a statement of appreciation “reworded” as recognition:
— You did a good job asking the customer probing questions to better learn about the specific requirements for their project.

A recognition statement specifically targets a behavior: like praising someone for “asking probing questions.”
Recognition that highlights a behavior informs the recipient what is valued and what to do again.

A “thanks” or “good job” is wonderful appreciation, and shouldn’t be dismissed or devalued. However, employers and coworkers can turn that into a powerful behavior driving moment by referencing the action the person took.

The idea is that you want to see successful behaviors repeated. And in order for those to be repeated, they need to be more than appreciated; they need to be recognized.