Top ideas in 2018 for Thoughtful Employee Recognition & Appreciation

A major factor in employee retention and maximizing productivity is employee recognition. Businesses that have mastered the ability to maximize productivity have only gotten to that point by engaging their employees through various appreciation and recognition tactics.

In addition to making employees feel esteemed, recognizing employees for a job well done sets the bar for other team members and showcases the kind of work ethic and motivation that is valued by your company. Consider this: 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt appreciated. That is a lot of hard work being wasted on a lack of recognition.

Here are some easy and effective ways to let your employees know their hard work and determination is noticed and appreciated.

Employee Appreciation Day

One of the best ways to recognize all of the hard work your employees put forth is to organize an employee appreciation day. Give rewards to employees who go above and beyond in specific areas, offer food and organize a few games or raffles.

A day away from the computer and the nitty-gritty of their jobs can do wonders for the motivation and work ethic of employees. Having employee appreciation days to look forward to makes the hard work in between worth it. 

Handwritten Notes

In today’s world people’s lives are being consumed by technology and the main form of communication is email and text messaging. Handwritten notes and letters seem to have gone the way of the dodo. However a simple handwritten note to an employee can speak volumes about how appreciated employees are.

Receiving a handwritten note in a world full of digital communication can make an employee feel like an integral part of the company and genuinely motivate them to keep up their hard work. Something so simple can go a long way in terms of employee productivity. 

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Cultivating healthy relationships among coworkers is often an overlooked component of building a positive work environment. Setting up a system where employees can recognize and appreciate their coworkers will help to promote teamwork and trustworthiness among employees.

Having coworkers that thrive when they work togetherwill benefit a company significantly. The best way to ensure your team is a well-oiled machine is to install a system in which they can show each other how appreciated they are by those they work side by side with.

Peer to peer recognition could be practiced by coworkers having a group email in which they congratulate one another for a job well done, or team lunches where they discuss the strengths of their team members. Big or small, people like to be recognized by their colleagues.

Birthday Celebrations

Birthdays are, without a doubt, the single day of the year people deserve to feel an elevated level of appreciation and recognition. One of the best ways a company can show an employee they care is by taking the time to recognize them on their special day.

Whether it is a small sign in their office, a card signed by their coworkers or a delicious cake in the break room, birthdays are the perfect opportunity to show your employees that they are genuinely appreciated. It’s also a great chance to take a little break and enjoy your team. 

Travelling Trophy 

The idea of the travelling trophy is a simple one. You can use whatever you want to as the trophy. It could be a stuffed animal, a laminated certificate, a fun hat, or an actual trophy. This trophy would then travel from worker to worker- being awarded to the people who go above and beyond.

Employees will feel a heightened level of recognition when they are in possession of this trophy. Allow the employees to keep it on their desk for a week and when their week is up the trophy gets passed on to another employee who has excelled recently. 

Time-off Coupons

The happiness of the employee should be the company’s bottom line. Without employees there would be no one to do all of the essential tasks. In return for all of their hard work they deserve a little bit of time off.

When you observe an employee going above and beyond or doing an exceptional job in their specific field, a great way to show your appreciation is a little bit of time off. Giving employees a day to relax and unwind after a stressful project that they did remarkably well on is the perfect way to show gratitude as a team leader.                                                            

Office Pizza Party

Nothing says you are appreciated quite like pizza.When your team has reached new levels of productivity or recently completed a challenging project, a great way to reward them is by feeding them lunch.

Let everybody know the work they have been doing as a team lately is noted and truly valued. People like to be recognized for their work, even if the recognition is as simple as a slice of pizza. It means a lot to be able to enjoy something that you know you are enjoying as a result of working hard.


Written by: Erica Caramol, Director of Operations at Ezzely, an intuitive mobile application with a set of proprietary team collaboration tools designed to be an engaging way for organizations and their employees to interact and succeed.

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Featured Columnists at the CEOWORLD Magazine is a team of experts led by Camilla O'Donnell, James Reed, Amarendra Bhushan, and Amanda Millar. The CEOWORLD Magazine is the worlds leading business and technology magazine for CEOs (chief executives) and top-level management professionals.
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