Posted on 2 Apr '24

The Importance of Employee Appreciation in Higher Education

March marked the month of National Employee Appreication Day, an occasion to recognise the everyday hard work that goes into making companies and organisations across the world tick!

But we all need to remember that employee appreciation is a year-round affair. We’ve taken a look at the benefits of showing your appreciation to your university colleagues and showcased how we do it at FindAUniversity.

While we’re on the topic, we created our Postgrad Awards to shed some light on the amazing things happening in the postgraduate sector (and the students and staff making them happen!). Our commercial category, Best Postgraduate Project or Campaign, celebrates university projects that enhance the postgraduate student journey. Why not use this opportunity to show a little appreciation for a team you know of by submitting a nomination today. It’s straightforward, just drop a description of the project in the form and we’ll follow up!

#1 Promotes camaraderie and morale

Every academic and non-academic staff member at a university is an integral part of making the institution a great place to study – and this puzzle has many, many pieces. A typical UK university has over 10,000 staff members across dozens of faculties and teams, and especially with the recent rise in remote working, fostering a strong sense of community and morale across so many people (and so many functions) can be a challenge.

Events and initiatives aimed at showing appreciation for employees can be one way to do this. For example, an event celebrating a recent milestone or campaign could demonstrate gratitude to employees while promoting their sense of being a wider team advancing towards a shared goal. At FindAUniversity, we put on whole company food and drinks after big collaborative projects such as our events season and Web team deployments.

#2 Improves performance

It goes without saying that showing appreciation for an employee’s good work will motivate them to produce more of that good work – so providing positive feedback is a win-win!

The more assurance someone is receiving that they are doing a good job and are on the right track, the more energised and productive they are likely to be. So don’t wait for the annual review, let them know immediately! Our HR system, HiBob allows us to give virtual Kudos to people for achieving great things, and we make sure to shout about individual achievements on our Teams channels and in our monthly whole company meetings.

#3 Encourages professional growth

Another way to show appreciation is to demonstrate that you’re invested in your employees’ professional growth. Actively encourage them to attend conferences and webinars (ours are great!) and find out what skills they want to develop for themselves as well as for their role.

At FindAUniversity, we fund short professional development courses for our staff and give them time within the working week to dedicate to their studies. In doing so, you’ll simultaneously be showing that all-important appreciation and helping your employees acquire skills that will benefit your university. And don’t forget to push them to think about training they may not automatically consider. Just because someone isn’t a manager, for example, doesn’t mean they wouldn’t benefit from a leadership module to improve their confidence and team work.

Employee appreciation at FAU

At FAU, we’re keen to promote a positive workplace culture where employees feel valued! Among many tokens of appreciation, staff benefit from flexible working hours, including locations (we trust our staff to get the job done no matter where they are, including abroad!), shout-outs at our monthly FYI days, volunteering days, fun-filled annual FAU Days, and more.

We asked Managing Director Rob Hardy to tell us why and how we strive to recognise the contributions of employees and FAU:

Behind every satisfied customer and inspired prospective student stands a team of dedicated employees, whose passion and commitment create unforgettable experiences.

As a team we create an environment to support, challenge and develop ourselves and each other to make us better! From funded professional development opportunities to post-launch celebrations and in-office team days, we make sure to provide perks that give back to our staff and make FAU a great place to work.

FindAUniversity take pride in being experts in postgraduate education. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for regular insight, comment and case studies.

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