11 Effective Ways to Recognize Your Employees


A common problem companies face today is making their employees feel like they’re making a difference. If you show up for work every day and you never get any recognition, your employees will look elsewhere.

By utilizing the right employee recognition tactics, you’ll be able to keep your employees connected and satisfied throughout their careers.

Below you’ll find everything you need to know about employee recognition and 11 ways to recognize them.

If you’re ready, let’s get started.

What is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition programs help boost employee morale, reduce turnover and increase productivity. Use staff recognition to create a company culture that encourages teamwork, camaraderie, and peer-to-peer recognition. Use these employee recognition ideas to increase employee engagement and motivate team members in your workplace. Don’t just wait until employee review to compliment your staff. No matter how your business decides to implement employee recognition policies, creating a culture of recognition will help drive your business towards success.

11 Ways to Utilize Employee Recognition

1. Compliment employees

Don’t just offer simple platitudes to employees when giving compliments. Really take a moment to understand what makes each employee special, and let your employees know you value them. You hired them for a reason and they use their time and energy to move the organization forward. Offer sincere compliments that show you recognize all their good work and expertise. Positive affirmations can go a long way towards motivating your workforce. This means more than a simple “good job” over slack, be sure to really connect with your staff to let them know you appreciate their hard work.

2. Remember important dates

Keep a calendar of employee birthdays, anniversaries, and any other meaningful events in your employee calendar. Once a month send out a Birthday card or newsletter to your employees with a special message from you or someone in their department. Designate one person to be the “celebrator in chief” and place them in charge of birthdays and anniversary celebrations for their department or the company.

3. Offer perks employees will use

Your employees probably do not need another t-shirt with your logo on it or company stationary. However, your employees may appreciate a half-day one Friday per month or a long lunch catered by a local restaurant. The most valuable thing we have is time, so if possible, give your employees some free time to rest, relax and recharge. If your business can’t offer time consider offering gift cards to local businesses or restaurants your employees may use. A great way to manage your employee’s perks is a well thought out compensation management program.Opens in a new tab.

4. Keep the dialogue open

Only 54% of managers think employees leave their job due to lack of recognition. However, studies show that 66% of employees say they would leave their current job if they felt unappreciated by their manager. This shows there is an obvious disconnect between management and employees. Keep an open dialogue with your staff and they will feel heard.

5. Recognize employees publicly and privately

Praise employees for their accomplishments, big or small, in public and in private. If you know a member of your team has been working overtime to close an account or really went out of their way to make a client’s day, don’t be shy. According to a recent study, over 80%Opens in a new tab. of highly engaged employees said they received recognition when they went above and beyond on a project. Tell them you appreciate their contribution when you see them. In a team meeting be sure to bring up these accomplishments in front of their peers so they can receive recognition as well.

6. Provide professional development

If you invest in your employees they will invest in you. Offer professional development, certification courses, and other job training benefits to your employees if possible. This could be something as small as paying for your employees to complete a training course or as grand as sending a top performer to an industry conference. Help your employees grow and they will not improve your organization with their knowledge. Only 29% of employees are “extremely pleased” with their potential career progression options, according to SHRM’s Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement study. When it comes to working satisfaction, engagement, motivation, and staff retention, 41% rated such opportunities as “extremely important.”

7. Offer job shadowing

Your employees may want to transition into new roles in the company or get hands-on job training from a supervisor. Offer some time and space for employees to shadow senior members of the organization and gain a deeper understanding of the business. Find employees with years of service experience and ask them to mentor junior employees. We know how busy business can get, but don’t let your employees get lost in the shuffle. Senior employees may feel honored to know you trust them enough to guide your junior employees.

8. Welcome new hires

New hires are often nervous and uncertain about the culture of a new company. Put your business’s best foot forward by pairing each new employee with a buddy for their first week. Offer a gift card to get lunch in town or a time set aside to tour the office. No one wants to eat lunch alone or struggle to find the break room. By making new hires feel comfortable and welcome you boost the morale of the entire team.

9. Acknowledge your veterans

Our service members are some of the most hard-working and dedicated employees around. Be sure to acknowledge your employees who have served, not only on holidays but year-round. Make your business a welcoming place for veterans by promoting cultural competency training among your management. Offer career development opportunities and paths for advancement for veterans and service members tailored to their skills.

10. Encourage autonomy

No one likes a micromanager, give your employees autonomy over some aspect of their work. If employees feel they own their projects, instead of feeling like drones, they will want to succeed. Encourage your employees to share their ideas and feelings for improvement with management and really listen. Your employees are often the ones interacting directly with clients or troubleshooting products. Trust your employee’s judgment and let them take the lead when possible for a positive impact. According to a recent research poll, nearly a third of employees said they would leave their job due to boredom. Employees want chances to seek out professional development and growth opportunities. These opportunities allow employees to learn and improve their skills.

11. Support flexibility

Most importantly, support your employees by remaining flexible. We all know life happens, children fall sick, cars break down, spouses fall on hard times. The pandemic has shown that workplaces that allow employees to do their jobs while remaining flexible have healthier and happier workforces. As long as your employees are still performing to the best of their ability, allow them to take the time or accommodations they need when possible.

The bottom line is that employee recognition goes a long way toward ensuring that your staff feels valued and appreciated. Happy employees provide better customer service and are willing to go the extra mile to support their team members. Many of the ideas on our list are cheap, free, or simple to implement.  Brainstorm with members of your team and ask them how you can best support them. Top-down recognition and peer-to-peer recognition are important ways to motivate employees. These actions foster a more vibrant workplace culture and inspire workers to perform at their best.


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Author Bio:

Daniel Roche, As Director of Marketing at DecuSoftOpens in a new tab., Dan is responsible for demand generation, product marketing, branding, content, messaging, and digital strategy. Dan joins Decusoft with over twenty years’ experience in the SaaS technology space previously focused on webcasting, virtual events, and incentive automation. In addition to spending fifteen of those years leading marketing programs for high-growth SaaS companies, Dan also has extensive expertise in sales, sales operations, and sales engineering. Dan holds a BS degree in Marketing from Fairfield University.

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