Jesse Stein

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Why worry about employee recognition? Every employee wants to feel appreciated. It’s a basic need, like food and water. And when employees feel appreciated, they’re more engaged in their work, which leads to higher productivity and less turnover. 

But building employee recognition into your business DNA can be tricky. There are lots of different ways to do it, and not every method will work for every company. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 23 ways to build employee recognition into your business DNA. Check it out, and see which methods will work best for you!

1. Give Money

Bonuses are a great way to motivate workers and make them feel their effort is being rewarded. Show your employees how much you appreciate their hard work.

2. Promo Items With Branding

Items branded with the company’s name, such as tumblers, pens, tee-shirts, totes, etc.

3. Food At No Charge

A week or month of donuts in the morning, or pizza in the break room are great incentives! Free food is always welcomed, regardless of how often it happens.

4. Observe Anniversaries

Observe work anniversaries with gratitude and congratulations. Recognize employees who stay with you. Show employee appreciation and back it up by bringing it to their attention.

5. Organize an Appreciation Week

Take everyone out on a river cruise, hold a company barbeque or host a fancy dinner as a way of showing appreciation. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s a “staff appreciation day” or an “employee appreciation week.” Whichever you choose, recognizing your employees at a specific time each year is important.

6. Don’t Hesitate to Acknowledge Verbally

The verbal praise of your team members can boost employee engagement and encourage them to work harder. This is especially true when it’s given in front of the entire team or company.

It also helps to promote employee retention. It can be done instantly and it’s free! Although, just using verbal employee recognition is rarely enough.

7. Gifts and Notes of Thanks

By providing written employee recognition, the employee has a tangible way to remember and appreciate their efforts. The application adapts to all sorts of accomplishments and even includes email, which can be sent to the entire organization for maximum effect.

8. Organize “Summer Fridays”

Give employees an early dismissal on Friday afternoons while the weather is nice.

9. Longer Breaks

Offer extra-long breaks to employees. Make lunches an hour long instead of 30 minutes.

10. Hold a Competition

You do not have to praise your employees to make them feel appreciated; it can also just be a “break from the norm” with a fun office competition to let your team exercise their hidden talents.

An example would be a costume contest for Halloween. Take part in gift exchanges during the holidays. All employees can participate in white elephant gift exchanges to foster company culture, encourage peer-to-peer interaction, and give everyone a sense of belonging, no matter their position or title.

11. Celebrate With a Potluck

A potluck is a great option for casual get-togethers during work hours that get everyone involved and bonding together.

12. Give Treats For No Reason At All

Organize a company happy hour and order lunch on the company card to reward your staff just because.

13. Include the Entire Team on the Website

Are you only showcasing your top-level employees? Having your staff write their own bios on your website is a good idea, even if it may not be feasible for everyone. They feel like they are part of something important.

14. Host a Party

The fun doesn’t stop at anniversaries and holidays; celebrate all the time! For meeting sales goals, new campaign kick-offs or just because it’s Friday!

15. Company Retreats to Motivate Employees

Have your employees enjoy a weekend getaway – on the house – at an all-inclusive company retreat!

16. Education Should Be Encouraged

Attending education events can be funded by the company or you can be flexible with staff time off. Your appreciation for them is evident in your desire to see them succeed.

17. Recognize Achievements Outside of Work

A lot of incredible things are happening outside of work. Participating in philanthropic events or volunteering outside of work helps show off how awesome your team is and humanizes colleagues.

18. Make Your Break Room Cool

Do you have a boring break room with no windows and a stale microwave? Don’t just provide a place for people to eat a meal during a break.

Put a comfy chair in there, or a big TV or foosball table. Don’t just put a microwave on the counter. An improved coffee machine and an air fryer can completely change the way staff members’ lunches are prepared.

19. Personalize Your Gifts

Amazon gift cards are always popular, but it’s very thoughtful to give a staff member a gift tailored to their interests based on previous conversations. A person who loves sports might like football tickets, or a person who loves wine and cheese might enjoy Food & Wine festival tickets.

20. Provide Remote Working Options

When necessary, employees should be allowed to work remotely regardless of the pandemic. A healthy work environment and healthy attitude can be fostered by providing flexibility and understanding to your employees.

21. Establish a Plan

Make a plan for recognizing employees, how to do it, and a budget. Do not just contemplate, but act.

Employee recognition is a crucial component of any business and should be built into your DNA. Recognizing employees for their hard work not only makes them feel appreciated, but also motivates them to continue working hard and delivering results. 

Rewards don’t have to be expensive or elaborate; even something as simple as a handwritten note can make a big difference in an employee’s day. What are some ways you recognize your employees? How has employee recognition helped your business achieve its goals?

Employee Recognition FAQs

What is the best way to recognize employees?

Employee recognition is one of employers’ most powerful tools to foster team morale, build strong relationships with employees and increase motivation.

The best way to recognize employees is by offering small tokens of appreciation throughout the year for their hard work. These could be simple rewards such as verbal praise or verbal recognition during a meeting, a card sent in the mail, an Amazon gift card or movie tickets, a company-wide recognition event, or even something more meaningful like extra time off or personal development benefits.

Ultimately, focusing on employee recognition will not only make your business better but also help you to retain talented staff while maintaining overall workplace productivity and satisfaction.

What are some examples of employee recognition?

When it comes to employee recognition, there are many ways to keep your team feeling appreciated and motivated.

One of the best methods you can adopt is to provide public recognition. This shows your team you recognize them for their hard work and dedication.

A few examples include sending out praise emails or organizing a special ceremony where top performers or those who have achieved exceptional results can be showcased in front of their peers. The idea is to allow employees to take pride in their work and receive an acknowledgment from those around them.

Another great way to recognize employee accomplishments is through awards and trophies, something employees can display at home or work as a reminder of the hard work they put into achieving success.

Additionally, special gifts such as gift cards, office supplies, and team outings help teams feel acknowledged for their efforts, often with tangible rewards that make moments together even more memorable!

Finally, implementing gamification techniques within teams, such as leaderboards or contests, can create motivation amongst members while also providing an avenue for engaging with individual employees through acknowledgment from managers on top-level performance results – this helps achieve buy-in from the whole team while rewarding standout efforts!

Ultimately, finding ways to go above and beyond recognizing achievements isn’t just good business practice; it’s essential to developing strong connections between members of any organization, leading to better working relationships in the long run.

How do you praise someone professionally?

Praise is a powerful tool for reinforcing desirable work behaviors and building positive relationships in the workplace. It’s important to give recognition appropriately to ensure that it has its intended effect.

The first step in praising someone professionally is to be truly sincere with your words. This will allow you to recognize genuine accomplishments with the respect they deserve and demonstrate your appreciation for their hard work and effort.

Being specific about how their behavior or action resulted in a positive outcome also conveys you have specifically taken the time to recognize their contribution. For example: “You put together an impressive presentation on such short notice—you did great!” shows praise and appreciation more effectively than “Good job!”

It’s also essential to tailor your praise according to individual preferences – if people prefer public recognition, use team meetings or company emails; if they prefer something more private such as one-on-one conversations or handwritten cards from leadership staff members.

In addition, creating opportunities for others to recognize peers’ contributions improves employee engagement by fostering teamwork and cooperation among coworkers; this boosts morale, builds trust between colleagues, and shows team members their efforts are noticed by management too.

Finally, it is always helpful when giving feedback (positive or negative) during appraisals or performance reviews so employees can understand what kind of behavior is appreciated within the organization – this encourages them towards further growth while showing gratitude at the same time!

By consciously implementing these principles into practice, employers can ensure every bit of recognition given out is meaningful & effective, which will not only boost employee productivity but also result in higher retention rates over time!