Update: November 19, 2022 Jesse Stein Jesse has founded, operated and sold multiple Internet-related ventures over the last 20 years. As the founder of Audience.co, he is passionate about combining digital excellence with direct handwritten mail to build lasting customer relationships.

21 Unforgettable Ways to Celebrate Staff With Employee Recognition

employee recognition 21 ways appreciate staff

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!

Money

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.

Promos

Promo Items With Branding

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

Food

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.

Anniversaries

Observe Anniversaries

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

Appreciation Week

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.

Acknowledge Verbally

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.

Gifts

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.

"Summer Fridays"

Organize “Summer Fridays”

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

Breaks

Longer Breaks

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

Competition

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.

Potluck

Celebrate With a Potluck

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

Treat Employees

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.

Website

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.

Party

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!

Retreat

Company Retreats to Motivate Employees

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

Education

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.

Achievements

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.

Break Room

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.

Personalization

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.

Remote Working

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.

Plan

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?