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10 Thoughtful Employee Recognition & Appreciation Ideas

Employee recognition and appreciation are essential for both the individual employee and the company. A positive work environment improves employee productivity, morale, and motivation.

It not only encourages staff to do their best, but it also helps them feel valued and appreciated. Also, when employees get recognized for doing a good job they get an emotional boost which boosts their energy levels and the overall work environment.

Employee recognition and appreciation may come in many forms, including tangible rewards such as cash bonuses or gift cards; non-tangible awards such as a company or team lunch or special events for staff; and intrinsic rewards based on achieving a more personal goal.

Employee Recognition Ideas: Create a Culture of Recognition

In the past few years, many companies have been focusing on employee recognition, appreciation, engagement, and retention by offering benefits such as more flexible working arrangements, wellness programs, more vacation time, and even dog-friendly workplaces.

Employee recognition and appreciation are important for morale and have a big impact on the bottom line in terms of productivity, quality of work, innovative thinking, and productivity.

Employee recognition and appreciation can be hard to prioritize in a smaller company, but it is no less important. As well as ensuring employees feel appreciated and valued, rewarding staff for their job well done is also an excellent way to motivate them.

10 Employee Recognition Ideas: Ultimate List

Everywhere you look, companies are talking about employee recognition and appreciation. From billboards on major highways, to “thank you” signs in front of offices around the globe, business leaders recognize the value of adding esteeming employees to their business objectives.

Employee recognition ideas boost morale, encourage top performance, and reward hard work with fun prizes that promote teamwork. No matter your company size, it is never too early or too late to start recognizing employees for a job well done.

employee recognition ideas

Here are ten thoughtful ideas for recognizing and appreciating your employees.

  1. Offer a ‘Thank You’ message

  2. Host a company event

  3. Go beyond cards- offer incentives

  4. Show your gratitude with a personalized gift

  5. Have employees submit their successes

  6. Recognize individual accomplishments

  7. Celebrate employee milestones

  8. Make your appreciation visible

  9. Have employees submit awards

  10. Encourage virtual recognition

Offer a ‘Thank You’ message

Messages for employees and team members can be a thoughtful way to show employee appreciation for hard work and dedication. It is also an excellent form of employee retention. It shows that you care about your team’s well-being and happiness while demonstrating value in their contributions to the company.

Host a company event

Events can range from walk-throughs of a new facility or department opening to annual picnics, barbecues, and holiday parties. These events serve as a welcome opportunity to get employees together outside of their typical workday and show employee appreciation for the team’s hard work throughout the year.

Go beyond cards- offer incentives

Basic rewards can include cash bonuses or extra vacation time, but don’t stop there! Rewarding employees with gifts tied to their interests like concert tickets, restaurant certificates, or sports is another way to show appreciation.

Show your gratitude with a personalized gift

A thoughtful way to recognize employees for their hard work is with personalized items such as mugs, applesauce cups, and fruit bouquets. Personalized employee recognition shows the employee that you took the time to think about them and tangibly demonstrates your gratitude.

Have employees submit their successes

This is a great way to recognize employees’ hard work and accomplishments throughout the year. Employees feel recognized and valued not only by you but also through their peers’ submissions, which increases team cohesion and morale while encouraging healthy competition among departments or individuals.

Recognize individual accomplishments

It’s often difficult to appreciate those efforts that don’t offer immediate results and may not be recognized by peers. Let employees know you know of their hard work by writing them a personalized note or thank-you card for exemplary accomplishments!

Celebrate employee milestones

Milestones deserve to be celebrated, and it’s essential to recognize the dedication necessary for achievement to occur. Implementing milestone celebrations is another way to bond with your team and boost morale by recognizing the hard work and commitment required to achieve a goal.

Make your appreciation visible

Display employee photos or information in public spaces such as break rooms or conference rooms. Visitors and guests often visit these areas, so having a visual of the staff at their core is a great way to recognize how integral they are to the company success!

Have employees submit awards

Give employees a chance to recognize their peers with an “Employee Spotlight” or another internal recognition program that highlights an employee’s accomplishments. These awards can be displayed on the company website, in the break room, or elsewhere for all to see!

Encourage virtual recognition

It’s not always feasible for employees to assemble in one place simultaneously, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be recognized! Implementing a program or system where employees can anonymously acknowledge their peers for excellent work is another way to encourage employee success, happiness, and motivation.

Employee Recognition Ideas During COVID

COVID pandemic has delivered stress to most employees. To maintain the happiness of your employees, recognition for their work is highly recommended. There are many ways to reward your employees without monetary compensation during the COVID pandemic.

Recognize the effort and hard work your employees make for your company. Then, you can reward them with food, tokens, or certificates (that don’t cost you much) during the COVID pandemic.

Ten employee recognition ideas during the COVID Pandemic

1. Write a personalized email

You can email employees thanking them for their hard work during the COVID pandemic. This is an employee recognition idea during COVID and shows that you value your employees’ efforts.

2. Show appreciation with tokens or food

A thank-you note, a coffee mug with a company logo, a fruit basket, or even candies are great ways to show employees that you genuinely appreciate their work.

3. Invite an expert speaker

You can hold a short seminar or invite someone working on COVID pandemic relief efforts (ex-military personnel, paramedics) to address your employees about the COVID pandemic. This is an excellent speaker idea during the COVID pandemic.

4. Employee of the month award

You can present awards to employees who have demonstrated outstanding performance at work during the COVID pandemic. These employee recognition ideas during COVID will boost your employees’ morale and motivate them to work even better!

5. Special outings with family and friends

You can plan special outings (cinema, bowling alley, swimming pool) with your employees and their friends or family to help them relax. This is a good COVID pandemic relief idea to boost employee morale and happiness!

6. Create a “wall of fame” at the office

You can create a “wall of fame” with employees’ pictures at the office. You can also include small anecdotes or sayings about each employee to highlight their personality, strengths, and weaknesses. This COVID pandemic relief idea is recommended because it is fun and interactive.

7. Hold a contest

You can hold a contest (quiz, riddle, cartoon or word-solving competition, etc.) among employees and reward the winner with a gift. This COVID pandemic relief idea is very creative and memorable!

8. Get feedback from your employees

You can ask your employees to complete an anonymous survey to improve their work satisfaction and boost company success. You can also implement suggestions that come out of the survey.

9. Conduct “COVID pandemic relief” training regularly

Employees should attend COVID pandemic relief (debriefing, etc.) regularly to help them deal with the trauma of the pandemic. It will also boost their morale and motivation!

10. Encourage employees to take time off

Encouraging your employees to take adequate COVID pandemic relief measures by taking less workload or resting will improve their mood and enable them to get back into the groove of work more quickly. This is another good COVID pandemic relief idea that you can use!

Employee recognition ideas during the COVID pandemic will boost employees’ morale and motivation. In addition, you can show your employees that you genuinely appreciate their efforts, despite the pandemic, by implementing these employee recognition ideas during COVID.

Final Thoughts:

Creating a culture of gratitude within your company can affect team morale and cohesion. Employees who feel appreciated work harder, stay longer and are more motivated. In turn, this desire to achieve also benefits the organization.

While employee recognition programs take time to implement properly, the investment will pay dividends by creating a sustainable, effective, and satisfied workforce! It’s important to note that recognition doesn’t have to be in the form of something expensive or time-consuming. Small gestures like recognizing employee milestones, showing appreciation for employees’ successes, and making your gratitude visible are effective ways to boost morale!

I hope you enjoyed this article on employee recognition and appreciation! Thanks for reading!

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