8 Employee Recognition Ideas for the Workplace (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

30 November 2021

If an employee is working hard and completing their responsibilities, it's often a good idea for a company or its HR department to recognise those efforts. Employee recognition can promote a positive work environment and improve performance. If you're pursuing a role in human resources or management, learning some ways to show appreciation to your team members can be helpful. In this article, we share some employee recognition examples, explain why acknowledging your team members can be important and provide some employee recognition tips.

8 employee recognition ideas

Below you can find a list of employee recognition ideas for you to consider:

1. Peer recognition

As a team leader or HR manager, you may decide to use a peer recognition program that allows employees to provide positive feedback to each other. Peer recognition also helps build a cohesive team. You can conduct this type of program casually or in a structured system. Peer recognition programs can be a popular choice because employees decide who deserves recognition.

Depending on the team you manage, you may prefer different peer recognition programs. These may include a structured system, such as a scheduled meeting where employees can share their thoughts or a casual approach, such as a team board where employees can leave positive messages.

2. Team events

If an entire team of employees exceeds their goal and upholds the company's standards, then you may reward them with a fun activity or event. You can also reward your team based on an individual team member's performance. This often provides a selfless incentive for employees to work hard and achieve their goals.

The type of activity or event you might choose to organise usually depends on your colleagues and what they collectively enjoy doing outside of work. For example, a music production company may reward their team with tickets to a music event. If a company has many employees, they may reward them by organising a catered event that includes drinks, food and activities.

Related: How to Motivate Your Employees With 11 Impactful Strategies

3. Employee of the month award

One of the most common forms of employee recognition is the employee of the month award. You may give this award to an individual who acts by the company's standards and works efficiently. The employee of the month award usually includes a framed picture of the employee. You can display this picture in your workplace for customers and employees to see.

There may be many reasons an employee receives the employee of the month award. You can display these reasons in the framed picture. By using a framed picture, you may decide to include a 'wall of fame' that shows all past employees of the month. This can often help build teamwork within the workplace and provide friendly competition to reward employees.

4. Public recognition

If your team members provide a service to the public, it's often beneficial for them to receive recognition from the customers and clients that receive those services. Public recognition can help an employee feel their work is worthwhile and appreciated.

There are many ways to encourage public recognition for employees. The most popular method is likely through social media or the company's website. You can post a public message on a social media platform that highlights the employee's hard work and dedication. You might also dedicate a page or section of your website to detail an employee's achievements and loyalty.

5. Rotating trophy

A rotating trophy is essentially the same as an employee of the month award, though a rotating trophy is usually more casual. The trophy used is often a comical object, such as a stuffed toy or figurine. The employee who receives the reward may have to keep it on their desk or carry it with them until the next employee receives the award. This method of employment recognition often promotes morale and encourages a positive work environment.

You may award the rotating trophy to an employee who performs a notable action. You can award employees who display qualities that the business value, rather than an employee with outstanding performance. For example, a new employee may be learning how to perform their new tasks, and they might receive the rotating trophy for being enthusiastic and helpful.

6. Bonuses

If an employee achieves a company goal, you can consider awarding them with a bonus that increases their salary or wage. The goals you set for employees to complete are usually to promote a specific work aspect, such as safety, efficiency or performance. For example, to encourage safe practices, a company may provide a bonus to employees if there are no incidents over a period.

If you pay your team members a salary, you may provide the bonus as a yearly recognition. For employees that earn a wage, you might award a bonus for individual actions. If an employee is on a salary, their bonus is usually 5% or 10% of their salary and you can provide the bonus at the end of the financial year. If your colleagues receive payment per job completed, you can award a bonus relative to how much they earned from that job.

Related: Salary vs. Wage: What's the Difference?

7. Training rewards

You can provide your team members with an opportunity to advance their careers and gain new skills. Many training packages, competency tickets and courses may have a relatively high cost. If an employee is eager to learn in their role, you may organise for the business to fund the training. Both you and the employee can benefit from training rewards by improving the employee's skills and making them a valuable asset to the company.

The level of training you provide can vary depending on the company and the position of the employee. If you're a manager in a large commercial company, you may have more resources to fund employee training. If one of your team members has expressed their desire to advance their career, you may award them with a training package as employee recognition.

Related: How to Get Employees Excited About Training: 12 Top Tips

8. Commute assistance

Some employees may have a long commute between their home and workplace. You may reward an employee's dedication to the company by subsidising their method of travel. You might also provide alternative travel methods, such as providing a company car to the employee.

If an employee catches public transport to work every day, you may provide them with a pass that allows free travel on buses and trains. If an employee drives a car to work, you might pay for their parking or designate a specific company parking bay. Short and convenient commutes to work often improve an employee's mindset and offering this can be a great way to show employee recognition.

Why do companies reward employees?

Recognising the positive actions and achievements of an employee can have many benefits for team leaders and their team members. Below you can find some of these benefits:

Promoting company culture

Promoting a healthy and cooperative work culture can be an important part of managing employees. Having a positive and supportive culture can ensure that employees enjoy their work and feel comfortable carrying out their duties. If you provide positive feedback to an employee, it can allow them to feel valued and important in the company.

Related: Guide to Company Culture

Improving employee retention

Employee recognition can encourage employees to remain a part of the team. If members of the team you manage can receive recognition for their hard work and performance, then they may experience increased satisfaction from completing their duties. Employees who have a satisfying role and enjoy the work environment are more likely to be loyal employees.

Related: How to Calculate Employee Turnover Rate and Why It's Important

Employee recognition tips

Below, you can find a few tips to help you provide effective employee recognition:

Recognise achievements regularly

It's usually a good idea to recognise your team's achievements regularly. This can show that you're constantly aware of their efforts and hard work. The team you handle rarely requires recognition after every completed task. Instead, you may utilise a monthly employee recognition system, such as the 'employee of the month' method.

Provide recognition immediately

It's important to recognise your team members' performance as soon as possible. Receiving praise after performing a task or duty can help reinforce and encourage that positive action. For example, if an employee receives recognition immediately after treating a customer with kindness, then they're more likely to continue that positive behaviour.

Ensure the recognition is specific

When an employee receives recognition from you, they usually want it to be genuine. Employee recognition is usually specific to the employee and highlights the value of their actions. You can mention specific details about a team member's actions and state how it's helped the company.

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