Best Employee Recognition Ideas For 2024

In a world where the work culture has become extra competitive than before, companies that have the well-skilled and best-trained staff have the upper hand. But, even the best employees fail to perform well when there is insufficient motivation. With the right amount of motivation, be it verbal or materialistic, employee recognition is needed for a business to grow along with its employees. 

Businesses that have a good recognition plan benefit from more engagement, better staff morale, improved customer service, and less attrition. Acknowledging significant achievements of employees and clients can have a significant return on investment. According to a survey conducted by a Great Place to Work on O.C. Tanner, 37% of respondents said that personal recognition encourages them to produce better work more often.

employee recognition ideas

Employees who receive positive affirmations regularly tend to stay loyal to the company and try to work better than before. Employee recognition shows that they value their employees, which has become important now more than ever. In this article, we will discuss the following:

Creating a Culture of Recognition

Recognizing the contributions made by people and groups within your business and their achievements is the main goal of employee recognition. It ultimately comes down to creating an emotional bond with your team members and your business along with supporting the work they perform.

As Jacob Morgan, a TED Speaker and four times best-selling author rightly said, 

“Company culture is that feeling that a company’s employees get when they work with you being a leader. It’s that vibe usually when you walk in the door. Your tone and mood are something that the workplace will consume and set itself according to it.”

The finest recognition strategies do something no trinket or gift card can do: they leave employees feeling appreciated, respected, and cherished. It’s a combination of art and science.

Why is Employee Recognition Important?

Giving your staff the acknowledgment they deserve has several advantages for you and them. You may decide if it’s advantageous to organize an employee appreciation program at your company by considering these benefits. The following are some arguments in favor of employee recognition:

  • Boosts Morale And Employee Productivity

Boosting employee morale by valuing their efforts and giving them praise can make them feel better about their work, improve their mood, and increase their level of job satisfaction. Additionally, it also leads to higher productivity and creativity.

  • Increases Output and Performance

When you commend a worker for their accomplishments, you’re conveying to them that they’re a fantastic match for their position as well as for the business. This ultimately encourages people to perform a good job at their work in the future. In addition to making them happier, increased productivity increases a company’s production and enables it to accomplish its objectives.

  • Improves Staff Retention

Not only do hiring managers need to teach their new hires, but they must also inspire them to keep doing their jobs that’s because only they can. Low morale and poor production are often the end results of low staff retention. However, rewarding your team increases their desire to remain with the company and raises the retention rate of employees. Additionally, it prevents your staff from working for a rival organization.

  • Polishes Work Skills

Regardless of how you give your staff members appreciation, just the knowledge that you do might inspire them to develop their abilities and do their best work. Not only will this increase productivity, but it also motivates them to look for methods to keep their knowledge about the respective industry and skills updated.

  • Builds Team Cohesion

Your staff will better function in their designated role in your company if you recognize them. It enables people to observe how their efforts directly or indirectly influence the success of the business. They become more motivated and productive when they are aware that their effort matters.

Also Read: How To Create a Culture of Idea Sharing in the Workplace

Inculcating Employee Recognition in your Businesses?

It doesn’t make any difference assuming we have science on our side with respect to building a case for recognition of employees, This is because the managers aren’t generally prepared for doing their share of the duties. This is likely a result of constrained time or the way that it hasn’t been yet established as a characteristic of the organization’s work culture. That eventually implies it truly isn’t fundamentally important to the organization. This can be observed from the source, which shows that while 44% of businesses said that recognition of employees is vital, just 10% of businesses effectively rejoice the Employee Appreciation Day. The level of this particular issue is visible in various studies and research.

As per Gallup, only 33% of all employees felt that their endeavors were valued in the last seven days. Two third of employees who hadn’t gotten any acknowledgment in seven days were twice as likely to leave the organization as individuals who were given acknowledgment. Dr. Donald Clifton moves up this idea in his book – How Full Is Your Container – where he guarantees that the main explanation for individuals relinquishing their positions is a direct result of an absence of appreciation.

Research from Deloitte concluded at the result that businesses with an amazingly successful recognition program had 31% lower willful turnover in contrast with businesses with an insufficient program. This is a major concern, given the monstrous cost and efficiency misfortunes connected with high staff turnover.

Also Read: 7 Common Employee Recognition Mistakes

If you have any desire to acquire the benefits of employee recognition, you really have to do whatever it may take. It is a fundamental share of your employee’s general performance management system, your company’s values, and overall culture. This won’t happen out of the blue; yet, it’s essential to take steps today and begin as you mean to go on. All things considered, the recognition of employees is about real and timely communication.

As we probably are aware, ordinary talks are one of the main work environment patterns. Yearly evaluations right now are an outdated and obsolete idea. They are being substituted by normal efficiency conversations where workers and leaders talk about goals, growth, and significantly, accomplishments. Such typical catch-ups are an amazing open door to permit an employee to know how they might grow in the organization, to say thanks to them for their endeavor, and to permit them to know how crucial their endeavors are to meet the organization’s objectives.

Best Employee Recognition Ideas 

Acknowledgments make you feel seen and appreciated. Even talented but disengaged employees may perform better than their peers, but they will never truly reach their full potential until they feel supported at work. Here are some ways you can appreciate and recognize your employees to make them feel like they matter.

1. Congratulate An Accomplishment

From thoughtfully welcoming your new employees while onboarding to celebrating special occasions and anniversaries in the workplace, recognizing your employees’ achievements or milestones they have covered goes a long way. You can start by giving employees thoughtful gifts on their milestones or any special occasion for the company as a way to thank them for their contribution. With Caroo, a corporate gifting website, you can add all of your employees’ birthdays and anniversaries into the employee milestone program, and mail gifts to them in one place for free!

2. Spot Incentives

Spot incentives are an excellent approach to promote everyday teamwork and collaboration, particularly among employees who work in distant teams. You can express your gratitude by praising or rewarding your employees when they complete a task. You can also build up a platform for employee appreciation that is affordable and manages spot incentives through software.

3. Outdoor Activities

The exhilarating adrenaline of an outdoor experience is hard to match. Such experiences go beyond the ordinary. Many events occur only once in the entire lifespan. When you’re surfing for the first time, rafting down a raging river, or flying through the skies on a paraglider, it’s actually hard not to create unforgettable, life-changing experiences.

Employees will view work as a ticket to a better adventure rather than a hindrance if you reward them with experiences like these. Setting up a program where staff members are given opportunities for excursions and real-world experiences can have a bigger impact than giving them a small salary raise or gift card.

4. Begin a Healthy GIF War

Use your preferred social channel for staff appreciation or communication to host GIF contests that are simply huge praise volleys. You may issue a challenge to everyone to come up with a GIF that best expresses their feelings about the amazing team conference or your designer’s efforts on the new corporate logo, for instance. 

5. Make An Organizational Shoutout

Make sure your most efficient employee appreciation speech—whether it be a Tweet or a page—is polished enough. A shout-out to anyone in your emotional expression is a free, simple, and incredibly powerful approach to acknowledging staff. Some of the most well-known corporate leaders understand this and use it to their fullest potential.

Consider communicating your congratulations through a social recognition service rather than sending an email, which can be buried by mountains of spam. These websites are simple to use and may entice other staff members to join in and extend congratulations.

6. Send Them Lunch

The replacement for ‘thank you’ cards is ‘thank you’ meals. It’s simple to experience the age-old tradition of community dining when you gather together for a meal, whether it be digitally or in person.

You may simply plan a virtual team lunch with a digital credit card emailed straight to your team if you have people working from the house or in different places. Each of your coworkers will get a lunch card customized to your lunch preferences and hours so that everyone can order at the same time.

7. Spend Money on Their Health

Considering the unimaginable pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, concentrating on multiple elements of employee welfare is more crucial than ever. You can enroll your employees into wellness programs, which has been traditionally been one of the most popular employee bonuses, to show that you care about them. Any business’s cornerstone is its workforce. They ought to be compensated with resources that aid in building a strong health foundation.

Also Read: The Complete Guide To Employee Health And Wellbeing Strategy

8. Give Genuine Feedback

Giving thoughtful feedback to your employees has been one of the oldest methods of employee acknowledgment, as it is the most direct and successful method of inspiring your employees. By starting an employee of the month program or organizing an employee appreciation day, you can give your feedback and praise them in one go! 

9. Try Out Your Recognition Ideas By Polling Your Staff

An employee survey’s power can be quite strong. It seems to sense that the top response to SnackNation’s poll – What’s Your Top Employee Appreciation & Recognition Idea? – was “surveying your staff to learn how they prefer to be honored.”

Every worker is unique, and they will each value praise for their efforts and successes in various ways. Giving yourself a variety of choices and strategies to choose from can help you look at your employee’s strong points and appreciate them accordingly. You may increase your chances of success and gain a greater understanding of the types of individuals you work with by asking for some candid feedback from your staff via a survey. This can be done by using employee feedback software or just by putting up a simple survey.

10. Make Nicknames for Them

What if you offered colleagues nicknames that reflected their abilities and talents rather than using abbreviations of people’s last names or highlighting a distinguishing physical trait or aspect of their personalities? Nicknames foster workplace friendships and could be a fantastic source of fun. Nicknames may also be a subdued, long-term method of recognizing employees if they are given out carefully.

Imagine referring to your second in charge as ‘Hemingway’ to praise his clear writing. Nicknames based on abilities or skills enable people to live up to and even transcend their reputations while also making people feel valued and recognized. Words, especially names, have the power to change actions and beliefs through time to influence results.

11. Organize a “Crush-It” call on Friday

The candid tradition of SnackNation is the “Crush-It” Call. The whole SnackNation staff gets together every Friday afternoon and they go around in the room saying two things:

Someone in the team which they wish to “crush” and explain why they deserve to be recognized for their efforts.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for individuals to acknowledge one another, benefit from positive thinking, and bring that person’s dedication to the team’s notice. This allows everyone an opportunity to witness the amazing work of the team members they don’t normally work with as the team has increased.

12. Construct a “Go the Extra Mile” Program

Moving patients from one place for testing is a challenging and exhausting task for the personnel of the Radiology Lab at Staten Island University Hospital. The Go the Extra Mile or GEM program was an employee appreciation initiative that the recognition specialists of Michael C. Fina developed as a result of lacking in terms of their target number of movements per hour.

Someone would be nominated for a GEM certification when another employee was seen going above and beyond. The idea was straightforward yet provided the employees with the tangible appreciation they could have in their palms, which went a long way to making them feel valued.

Also Read: Team-building Activities for Your Team in 2023

13. Give Them Space For Fun

Mixing fun with work in the right amount can help create a healthy workplace environment for your employees. You can start off with something simple, like an icebreaker before starting out your work for the way. You can also throw office parties or even activities which employees will definitely enjoy. Throwing in a little bit of fun every now and then in an office environment can boost employee morale and also give everyone a break from monotony.

Key Takeaway

It is not just about giving out awards. Employee recognition helps you create a strong bond with your employees that is more than just related to work. Implement any of the above-discussed employee recognition ideas and observe the change in your organization.


employee recognition ideas


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is employee recognition?

Ans. Employee recognition is the acknowledgment and appreciation that employees receive from their employers.

Q2. What are the benefits of employee recognition?

Ans. The following are some of the benefits of employee recognition :

  1. Employee satisfaction
  2. Decrease in employee turnover
  3. High productivity and engagement
  4. Increase in retention of quality employees
  5. Boost in employee productivity

Q3. What are the different types of employee recognition?

Ans. The following are the different types of employee recognition:

  1. Informal recognition
  2. Formal recognition
  3. Social recognition
  4. Monetary recognition