Employee Recognition Ideas For Your Workplace

Written by:
Collin Waldoch
August 3, 2021

Employee recognition ideas are vital to unlocking the potential of your workforce. Simple acts of recognition can go a long way. If you want to reduce turnover and increase retention, you should actively be exploring employee recognition ideas. 

It doesn’t take much to positively impact an employee’s day. The cliches are true: it’s the little things that count. An unexpected act of appreciation can lift spirits and motivate continued performance. If an employee has gone the extra mile for a customer, this must be recognized. This can help to promote positive reinforcement across your workplace by acknowledging good performance.

40% of employed Americans would put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often. Those failing to appreciate and recognize their employees are likely to be working with a disengaged workforce. Fortunately, with the right strategies, shifting the workplace culture is possible.

While answering some common questions about employee recognition, we are going to also break down a few potential recognition ideas. If you understand the importance of recognizing team efforts but don’t know where to begin, this article will provide some clarity. 

What are good ways to recognize employees?

When you’re managing a disengaged workforce, you can fall into a sense of doom and gloom. All it takes is a few positive steps in the right direction - and this begins with recognizing the efforts of employees. The compounding effects of positive reinforcement will result in a culture shift.

Employee Recognition - High Five
Even brains can recognize fellow brains. So why can't employees?

Here are a few good ways to recognize employees:

  • Give shout-outs to employees to highlight specific achievements.
  • Identify employees with unique skillsets and offer personal development opportunities.
  • Invite all team members out to a restaurant on a Friday evening.
  • Distribute non-cash rewards to employees, such as flexible hours or time off.
  • Organize fun activities and games, such as trivia quizzes and escape rooms.
  • Encourage peer-to-peer recognition to transform the team culture.

Did you know 63% of recognized employees say they’re “very unlikely” to look for another job? To boost team morale, why not treat your employees to an online trivia game? Water Cooler Trivia is the perfect tool for creating and distributing themed trivia quizzes across the office. You choose the trivia categories and we write the questions. It's all automated and asynchronous.

How do I make my employees feel appreciated?

To make employees feel appreciated, you need to recognize them. If you can make sure all team members feel valued and appreciated, this can take your workplace culture to the next level. When an employee isn’t performing to their potential, finding ways to raise their morale will make all the difference to how they approach their work.

The reality is, employee recognition knows no calendar - it’s an essential part of company culture all year long. With this in mind, you need to get creative with how you make employees feel appreciated in the workplace.

What type of recognition do employees want?

Recognized employees are happy employees. When you take time to show your employees how much you appreciate their work, they will take these positive emotions home with them.

Employee Recognition - Hopscotch
Yeah, there's a whole lot of high-fiving brains in this article.

When it comes to choosing how to recognize employees, you can experiment with several ideas. Each employee will appreciate and respond to various types of recognition. Here are some forms of employee recognition that you should consider adopting:

  • Peer-to-peer recognition
  • Manager-to-employee recognition
  • Private recognition
  • Public recognition
  • Anonymous recognition

How do you praise someone professionally?

A few words can go a long way. Sometimes, you may not have time to set up an employee recognition activity or event. As a team leader, you can always find the time to praise a co-worker. If you need some prompts, here are some employee recognition messages to consider:

  • “I’m excited to work with someone with your experience.”
  • “Your enthusiasm for the work always inspires me to be enthusiastic too!”
  • “You always keep a positive attitude in challenging situations.”
  • “You bring out the best in those around you.”
  • “Thanks for always bringing great ideas to the table.”
  • “Thanks for providing a unique perspective.”

How can you get started with employee recognition?

Employee recognition begins with smalls acts of appreciation. If you can master these, you’re going to see a clear shift in team performance. 

Get started with Water Cooler Trivia today!