7 Best Employee Recognition Ideas for Happier Employees

Happy employees equate to increased productivity. Yes, that is a fact. 

Employees that are happy and contented boost workforce engagement, commitment, retention, and most of all, job satisfaction. An increase in customer contentment and loyalty are the icing on the cake.  

And what's the best way to keep your employees happy? A fair share of positive recognition. This method is cheap, highly underrated, and proven effective. 

You help build a positive work environment and competitive company culture by facilitating employee recognition. In addition, letting your employees know and showing them you appreciate their efforts help them feel motivated to do better and good about themselves—definitely a win-win situation. 

What Is Employee Recognition? 

In general, employee recognition is acknowledging your employees for what they do, who they are, and their spectacular performance. Its goal is to promote favourable actions, behaviours, or efforts that strengthen employee performance and bring forth positive business outcomes. 

Companies can show gratitude and appreciation for all staff members that go above and beyond through positive recognition. Not just that, it encourages the rest of the workforce to follow, empowering a culture of excellence. More benefits of employee recognition include job satisfaction, improved workplace management and productivity, and employee retention. 

What Is the Importance of Employee Recognition? 

The power of employee recognition can't be overstated. It can help lower turnover rates and increase retention. For example, Google saw a 37% increase in employee satisfaction when it invested in employee support and recognition. This makes their employee happier. 

Why? It's because financial rewards are not enough to make your employees contented and productive. There is so much more to employee recognition compared to money and promotions. So now, let's delve deeper into employee recognition and how you can implement this into your business. 

The Best Employee Recognition Ideas 

Employee recognition ideas range from organising an event for the best employees award to promotion or adding a salary bonus as an incentive. When investing in employee recognition ideas, these key pieces are what you need to consider. 

1. Give praise during meetings

To ensure public recognition, managers should establish a standard that whoever leads the meeting will give kudos to an employee or employees as part of the plan. 

This is undoubtedly a boost for giving public employee recognition. Plus, it's one of the easiest ways to get everyone to look forward to huddles. 

2. Give employees a day off after significant project completion

Regardless of industry, time off is vital to most employees. Whenever your team members finish a vast project, reward them with a day off. Besides, they did massive hard work for you and the entire organisation. So, it only makes sense to compensate them. 

Send your team members an email announcing the day off and thanking them for all their efforts and hard work. Then, make it more creative and personal through a video. It will also save the announcement from getting lost in everyone's inboxes. Plus, a short video feels more special than just a couple of text lines. 

Photo by: Pexels

3. Make a secret recognition in the form of Santa program

This may sound like holiday-ish, but it's not limited to just that. Instead of having people secretly give each other presents, employees will secretly give a randomly assigned coworker recognition for a job well done. 

The recognition can be in the form of verbal praise or perhaps, make it a bit more tangible by letting them give an award token or write a gratulatory note. 

4. Promote a peer-to-peer credit 

This is a favourite of many because team members are in the best position to praise each other for little and significant achievements. 

While this method of encouragement differs from team to team or company to company, if you want everyone to make this approach, you have to incentivise it with recognition, rewards, or both. You can also let your employees give one another recognition by making it simple and fun. 

5. Run surprise thank-you huddles 

It's always best to give public recognition than do so privately. To make your public recognition more exciting and fun, call a quick huddle without telling anyone in the organisation what's going on beforehand. Instead, simply tell them it's something that requires immediate attention. 

The moment everyone gathers around, time to give a public shoutout to that particular employee for their intricate and exemplary work. Just remember not to overuse this approach or take too long to deliver the congratulatory remarks. 

Most, if not all, companies are jampacked with meetings, and it's essential to make sure that these surprise recognition hurdles don't get rowdy. 

6. Celebrate employee milestones and achievements 

Since work anniversaries are predictable, they are an easy way to give recognition. More so, they are more essential to people than you might imagine. Moreover, work milestones and achievements are few and far between that companies can offer fairly significant rewards, such as a tangible present or a gift card. 

For significant breakthroughs, you can level up by taking your whole team out to lunch, team building, or some office party. 


7. Put your entire staff on the company website 

One of the most public-facing valuables your company has is your website, and it's fundamental for it to contain an about page. However, it isn't complete if you're not going to introduce your whole team. After all, your employees and company are one. 

Introducing them makes the public feel like you are proud to have them on board. In addition, customers are eager to know and see who they're working with. No one wants to associate themselves with an anonymous corporation. 

That's why putting team bios on your about page doubles the power—customers are likely to buy your product, and employees feel recognised. 

Key Takeaway 

An effective employee recognition program doesn't need to be extravagant. It only needs a couple of good ideas. Then, if you implement a few consistently, you'll have a positive recognition platform that makes your whole workforce appreciated and happy. 

Simple employee recognition ideas are better if done in engaging and fun ways. I hope these tips can help you optimise your employee recognition program. 

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