MHN Executive Council: How to Show Employee Appreciation

Let your team feel the love with these actionable suggestions.

Happy employees are more likely to be more engaged, stay in the position longer and improve company morale. Need some ideas for showing your team you care? The MHN Executive Council shares what they are doing to show their appreciation for their employees.


Lili Dunn, president & CEO of Bell Partners

Lili Dunn, president & CEO of Bell Partners. Image courtesy of Bell Partners

Survey Says…

One of the key messages we communicate to our 1,800 associates is “Your Voice Matters.” We back that pledge with results by evaluating and implementing suggestions from the Associate Surveys we conduct company-wide every two years. Changes we’ve implemented from survey feedback include adjustments to our benefits program and work environment. Other initiatives sourced from associate feedback include a mentoring program and creation of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council to ensure everyone feels like they belong and can contribute to their fullest potential. Showing the team that we hear them and are doing something in response is powerful. —Lili Dunn, CEO & President, Bell Partners


Ricardo Alvarez-Diaz

Ricardo Alvarez-Diaz, co-founder & CEO, Alvarez-Diaz & Villalon

Keeping it Zen

We just had our first “field day,” and it was a lot of fun. Teams were created, shirts were made. It was great. We also instituted Yoga Tuesdays—a yoga instructor comes in every Tuesday at our rooftop area. Finally, we remodeled our offices and included a meditation room, which has become extremely popular. —Ricardo Alvarez-Diaz, Co-Founder & CEO, Alvarez-Diaz & Villalon


Mary Cook

Mary Cook, president, Mark Cook Associates

Tardy for the Party

We’ve expanded flex scheduling, which used to allow remote working only on Fridays, to also include Mondays. Employees with families particularly appreciate this additional flex day. We fold in many opportunities throughout the year for informal and formal gatherings where we can play as hard as we work. We intentionally delay our holiday party until mid-February. The holidays are so intensely scheduled we want to ensure everyone can attend without feeling pulled in a thousand different directions and feel free to stay for the entirety of the celebration. It has become a much anticipated and well-attended tradition.

We also look for every opportunity to show employees at every level of the organization how much we appreciate them. Recently we upgraded a first-year designer who was traveling to an on-site location to business class. The small gesture made her feel part of a team that would take care of her with thoughtful consideration. —Mary Cook, President, Mary Cook Associates


Christine Gustafson, vice president of marketing & public relations, The Breeden Co.

Load Up on SWAG

At our company, we are investing heavily in quality products like branded YETIs, high-quality backpacks, branded apparel like rain jackets, fleece jackets, spring/summer jackets, etc. The fact is, our team members are our best source of marketing. They’re proud of where they work and what they do—why no give them swag and apparel! It’s been fun to see people bring their lunch in a company-branded lunch bag, sit at meetings where everyone has a branded mug, etc. We also recently presented all team members with lapel pins with our logo. They love wearing the pin at work, to social events and more.

A happy team member means less turnover. A happy team member who feels our company is investing in them is a fantastic testimonial for our company. —Christine Gustafson, Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations, The Breeden Co.


Jim Conti

Jim Conti, vice president of sale & marketing, Nimbio

Vacay Any Day

We focus a lot to the employee work experience and provide a lot of new benefits focused to the employee well being. We moved to unlimited PTO, so employees can take whatever time they need or want for personal time and to spend with their families. We also allow them to work 100 percent remote ongoing, but provide employee feedback sessions in the form of 1-1 or standups to allow them to participate in the overall company engagement. —Jim Conti, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Nimbio

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