Workplace Employee Recognition Ideas

June 16, 2017 Deb Broderson

Employee Recognition IdeasIt’s an old school way of thinking that a paycheck is the only factor at play in employee recognition and retention. In fact, in recent studies, appreciation and employee recognition were found to be highly correlated to high employee engagement. Culture in the workplace is always evolving, and staff want to know their contribution is appreciated. It goes without saying that Employee recognition sparks motivation, engagement, unwavering loyalty, and increased productivity and reduced costs. Now let’s plan how you will show your employees they’re appreciated every day at the workplace.

Here are some simple ideas adapted from the University of Michigan: U Matter Staff Recognition Program to get you started – and they don’t cost a thing!

  1. Greet employees by name.
  2. Acknowledge and celebrate birthdays.
  3. When you hear a positive remark about someone, repeat it to that person as soon as possible. Face-to-face is best, e-mail or voice mail are good in a pinch).
  4. Make a thank-you card by hand.
  5. Write a letter of praise recognizing specific contributions and accomplishments. Send a copy to senior management and the employee’s personnel file.
  6. Express an interest in employee’s career development goals.
  7. Encourage employees to identify specific areas of interest in job-related skills. Then arrange for them to spend a day with an in-house “expert” to learn more about the topic.
  8. When someone has spent long hours at work, send a letter of thanks to his/her home.
  9. Encourage and recognize staff who pursue continuing education.

If you’re ready to jump right in and create an Employee Recognition Awards Program, check out some of these ideas at a minor to moderate cost.

  1. Once a year, have a “Staff Appreciation Day” where the managers supply, cook and serve food.
  2. Have weekly breakfasts with groups of employees.
  3. Provide a lunch for project teams once they have made interim findings. Express your appreciation.
  4. Serve popcorn and lemonade on Friday (especially after a particularly hard week).
  5. Hold informal retreats to foster communication and set goals.
  6. Throw a pizza lunch party for your unit.
  7. Treat an employee to lunch.
  8. Plan a surprise picnic.
  9. Serve ice cream sundaes to all of your employees at the end of a project.
  10. Serve a team a hero party sandwich at the end of an assignment, for a job well done.

Tell us, what are you currently doing to promote employee recognition within your workplace?

I'd love to chat!

About the Author

Deb Broderson

Deb Broderson comes to Perks with 30 years of diverse experience leading channel marketing, marketing operations and program management teams within the technology industry. Deb has provided strategic direction to Fortune 500 clients, developed and executed global, multi-channel, go-to-market strategies and created worldwide field marketing organizations. Deb has worked on both the agency and client-side of the business, providing a well-rounded perspective to client challenges. Deb was honored as one of the Top 50 Channel Chiefs in North America by CRN.

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