By Eric Dickmann

March 2, 2023

Employee Recognition

As businesses grow and evolve, it becomes increasingly important to prioritize the well-being and job satisfaction of employees. After all, they are the backbone of any organization, and without them, it would be impossible to achieve success. One of the most effective ways to keep employees engaged and motivated is by acknowledging their contributions and recognizing their achievements. This simple act of appreciation can have a significant impact on employee morale, job satisfaction, and overall productivity. In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of acknowledging employees and recognizing their achievements, as well as some best practices for doing so effectively.

What is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition refers to the act of acknowledging and appreciating an employee's contributions and achievements in the workplace. It can take many forms, such as verbal praise, written notes of appreciation, awards, bonuses, promotions, and public recognition ceremonies. The main purpose of employee recognition is to show employees that their work is valued, and to encourage them to continue performing at a high level.

Employee recognition programs are becoming increasingly popular in modern workplaces, as employers recognize the importance of employee engagement and job satisfaction. By recognizing employees for their hard work and contributions, organizations can create a positive and motivating work environment that fosters employee loyalty, productivity, and retention.

In short, employee recognition is a powerful tool for enhancing workplace culture and promoting a positive work environment. When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to stay engaged and motivated, and to go above and beyond in their work.

Why is Employee Recognition Important?

Studies showed that 79% of employees quit because of lack of appreciation. Appreciation is a driver of job satisfaction and engagement which in turn motives employees to do better work. Here are some benefits of recognizing employees:

  • Recognition Increases Employee Productivity - When employees are happy, they are more productive. It’s because there is less stress in the workplace. Companies who prioritize employee recognition experience 50% higher productivity.
  • Acknowledging Employees Reduces Employee Turnover - Employees want to feel valued. When employees are recognized, they stick around. A 31% lower turnover was achieved by companies with an employee recognition program.
  • Acknowledging Employees Promotes Loyalty - Rewarding hard work generates loyalty. It makes your team feel an emotional bond with your organization.
  • Recognition Improves Team Culture - Showing appreciation creates a great workplace environment. As such, it will enable an organization to grow. That contributes positively to your organizational culture.

Types of Employee Recognition

There are many ways to recognize employees and their workplace achievements, and the most effective method will depend on the preferences and culture of your organization. Some typical ways to recognize employees include:

  • Verbal Recognition - A simple thank you or praise from a supervisor or colleague can go a long way in making an employee feel valued and appreciated.
  • Written Recognition - A note of appreciation, a thank you email, or a personalized message in a greeting card can be a thoughtful way to recognize an employee's contributions.
  • Awards and Certificates - Awards, plaques, and certificates can be presented to employees for exceptional performance, outstanding achievements, or long-term service.
  • Bonuses and Incentives - Monetary incentives such as bonuses, gift cards, or other rewards can be a powerful way to recognize employees and motivate them to continue performing at a high level.
  • Promotions and Career Advancement - Providing opportunities for career growth and advancement can be a great way to recognize an employee's potential and demonstrate your organization's commitment to employee development.
  • Public Recognition Ceremonies - Holding public recognition ceremonies such as employee of the month awards, annual appreciation events, or other ceremonies can be a powerful way to recognize employees and foster a sense of community and teamwork in the workplace.
  • Flexibility and Autonomy - Providing employees with flexibility and autonomy in their work can also be a way to recognize their achievements and trust in their abilities.

Overall, the key is to tailor the recognition to the individual employee and their specific achievements, and to ensure that the recognition aligns with the values and culture of your organization.

What Employers and Employees Really Value at Work

Employee Recognition Best Practices

In order to effectively recognize employees and their achievements in the workplace, there are several best practices to consider. Firstly, recognition should be timely, specific, and sincere, and ideally given on a regular basis. Secondly, it should be personalized to the individual employee and their specific contributions. Thirdly, recognition should align with the values and culture of the organization, and be communicated consistently across all levels of the organization. Additionally, it is important to offer a variety of recognition methods, including both formal and informal approaches. Finally, recognition should be tied to tangible benefits such as bonuses or promotions, as well as intangible benefits such as increased autonomy or flexibility in their work. By following these best practices, employers can create a positive and motivating work environment that promotes employee engagement, productivity, and retention. Here are some best practice ideas for employee recognition:

  • Define Clear Objectives and Criteria - Employers should clearly state the behaviors they would like to see. And they should also explain the impact of those behaviors and actions on business objectives.
  • Use Multifaceted Rewards- There are different ways to reward employees for their good work. Money is the most common but not the most effective. Perks that match your organizational culture can be the most effective ones. Similarly, growth opportunities can also provide significant motivation.
  • Give Employees Voice and Choice - Engage your employees to know what rewards they would find most beneficial. Giving employees a say makes recognition more effective.
  • Ensure Effective Implementation - Communicate the recognition program clearly. Explain how it will work, why it’s being implemented, and when it will take effect. Employees should be able to see when their peers are recognized, fostering a culture of acknowledgment and recognition.
  • Measure Its Effectiveness- Successful recognition should positively impact other factors. Gather feedback regularly, and use it to adjust your program where necessary.
  • Giving Points to Your Team- Send bonus points to recognize everyday wins. In this way, employees can choose their own rewards in the bonus catalog. This ensures that they are getting what they actually like.
  • Brag About Employee Recognition - Brag about recognition in company newsletters or online message boards. Alternatively, you can shout out employees who go the extra mile on your LinkedIn page. It gives an extra dose of pride to the employees and shows you’re paying attention to their efforts.
  • Try Random Acts of Fun - People love variety and surprise. Play spin a wheel to reward employees. Have a monthly peer-nominated award. Invite family members to surprise recognition events. The money will be spent, but the fun experience will stay with them forever.
  • Offer Wellness Activities - A gym membership help employees maintain their physical health. While offering yoga classes can help employees unwind after a hard day’s work. Pay for race entry fees and give participants a company t-shirt. It’s a great way to encourage healthy activities, build camaraderie and show your face in the community.
  • Adult Education Incentives - Set up learning opportunities to recognize performing employees. You might not be able to afford full tuition reimbursement programs but encouraging employees to take classes at local educational institutions would be a great intermediate step.


Acknowledging employees and recognizing their achievements is not just a nice thing to do, it's a crucial part of building a successful and motivated team. By taking the time to show your appreciation and celebrate your employees' successes, you'll create a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and motivated to do their best. So don't wait any longer – start acknowledging your employees today and watch your team thrive!

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Eric Dickmann

About the author

Eric Dickmann is the Founder / CMO of The Five Echelon Group, host of the weekly podcast "The Virtual CMO" and YouTube series "Work-Life" and a fractional CMO for a variety of small and midsize companies. An executive leader with over 30 years of experience in marketing, product development, and digital transformation, he has worked with large, global companies and small startups to develop and execute marketing strategies to bring innovative products to the market.

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