14 Ideas to Increase Recognition at Work

Building employee loyalty and creating a high-performance work environment requires much more than a high salary, benefits or even the midday caterer.

Compensation is essential for attracting the best talent, but that is not what will keep them in the organisation. In most cases, they can obtain these same conditions from your competitors. Rather, it is necessary to mobilise employees, and this involves, among other things, the trust, honesty and recognition of employees.

A global study by Boston Consulting Group of more than 200,000 employees reports that the most important part of their job is feeling valued. The fixed salary only ranks 8th. Even more astonishing: Work as such only comes in ninth among the 26 elements considered in the study

In fact, 83% of employees say that recognition at work is more satisfying than a reward or gifts.

Here are 14 original ideas to review your recognition program at work.

Highlight a good move in a team meeting

During meetings with your team, take the opportunity to highlight an employee’s success. Explain in detail and sincerity why the employee stood out. The more specific you are, the more recognition will be appreciated.

Before the meeting, ask other senior colleagues to submit names of employees who have stood out in the past week. In this way, you will have a more global view of each other’s efforts (i.e. removing your bias as you could possibly work more closely with certain employees).

Recognition through small gestures

Show that you are there for your employees. Take a few minutes to support an employee with a stressful project, connect them with the right people when they have a technological problem or even bring their papers back from the printer. It really shows that you care about them.

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Individual dinner

Take the time to dine with a different employee once a month. Take an hour together to tackle subjects that concern him and that will make you better know him:

  • What is his passion? Find what motivates him in his personal life to get to know him better.
  • Where does he dream of traveling? What sports does he like?
  • How does he like the projects that you entrust to him?
  • Are there team members he prefers to work with?
  • What are his career ambitions? How can you help him on his career path?

Ideally, have dinner outside to be isolated from the rest of the group. If this is not possible, meet in a peaceful corner of the cafeteria at a less busy hour.

This quality time makes it possible to develop personal links between managers and employees. You demonstrate the importance of the employee in the team and for you. These links promote mutual aid and performance.

Social recognition

When an employee does a remarkable job, participates in a good cause or does something important in their personal life, give them a wink on your corporate social networks!

Identify it in a publication and indicate why you recognise it publicly. Take the opportunity to demonstrate recognition at work and what your corporate culture is to your customers.

Say Hello in the morning

Many managers forget the importance of simply greeting employees when they arrive. Perceived as trivial for some, this gesture is of great importance for others. This does not commit you to having a conversation every morning and asking how the employee is feeling or what he did the day before. It is first to show that you appreciate his presence by saying a small cheerful hello.

Take part in the decision

Invite the employees to decide together on the next project that everyone will take care of. This demonstrates your confidence in their judgment and makes them responsible for the outcome of the project. It also shows the importance you place on their career development.

Give treats during intense periods

Find a little treat that shows your appreciation for employees when they have to stay late night to deliver a project on time. Treats cost almost nothing, but it’s a great way to recognise a contribution.

Think coffee at the local restaurant, pizza, freshly squeezed juice etc.

recognition at work

Image: Unsplash

Write a birthday card by hand

Did you know that the CEO of SnackNation personally writes a birthday card for each of its employees? It highlights the employee’s efforts and even adds a personal note on recent accomplishments. This form of appreciation is old, but so much appreciated!

Leave a sticky note on your post

Write a note of thanks to an employee on a sticky note the night before you leave and stick it at their workstation. It will be a nice surprise when he arrives at the office the next morning.

Peer recognition

Most of the employees find peer recognition very or extremely motivating. It’s a free gesture that creates an engaging work atmosphere.

Encourage your employees to recognise the successes of a colleague when he helps them or that he impresses with the quality of his work. Too many people still believe that recognition at work must come from the manager. It is obviously essential, but colleagues are also important in employee appreciation.

Organise an employee recognition day

Most companies offer a day during the summer to do team activities and build relationships between employees. Why not dedicate this day to recognising employees for their efforts?

Create a message of appreciation around this day and show the employees that you are grateful.

Send a note to the house

Send a letter directly to your employee’s home with handwritten thank you cards. Isn’t there something more personal than receiving a word of thanks from your boss for being told that he really appreciates our work?


On a Friday afternoon, allow employees to work on a special project to optimise a process or design a plan for a new product. Give them the choice of working in groups or individually and then ask them to present their project the following Monday. This type of project is very motivating and will help increase productivity later on.

Surprise – finished earlier!

If your work permits, take your team by surprise and send them home at 2 p.m. rather than 5 p.m. on a hot summer day. Happiness is guaranteed and they will only be more productive the next day when they return.

And you, what are your tips for promoting employee recognition at work?


About the Author

Raunak Pandey is a Mechanical Engineer by qualification & Marketer by passion. He is the co-founder of Maiden Stride, a leading digital marketing agency that provides world-class search engine marketing services and website & application development.

Team 6Q

Team 6Q