What is Employee Recognition? Importance and Ideas with Examples

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What is Employee Recognition
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When it comes to the guide for employee recognition, it has to start with an understanding of what is employee recognition. So let’s start with a definition of employee recognition.


What is Employee Recognition?

In simple words, employee recognition is a way to show appreciation for an employee’s contribution. Employee recognition can be delivered in various shapes and forms. It is best for the organization to have its own employee recognition program at work.


Employee recognition is a great way to acknowledge the positive contribution and reinforce desired behaviour in the workplace. It is best done in a social situation where others witness the person being appreciated.


In addition to that employee recognition shows the company’s gratitude for the employee’s contribution. It helps improve the productivity of the entire organization.


This blog presents you with a complete and simplified guide for employee recognition.


Types of Employee Recognition Programs

There are multiple ways to recognize your employees and make them feel valued. We would like to discuss the most common types of employee recognition as follows.


1. Monetary Recognition

The monetary form of employee recognition is one of the first things that comes to most people’s minds when we talk about employee recognition. It is recognition that holds a specific monetary value. Such as bonuses, team lunches, cash prizes, gift vouchers, a paid vacation, and more.


Monetary recognition programs are the most common and can be very effective in jobs that need persistent efforts such as sales. Especially where you have a big ticket value, the commission or incentive works really well.


2. Formal Recognition

Formal recognition is the appreciation, that’s an integral part of the company’s strategy or culture. These are generally planned events, recurring in nature, and guided by the leaders in the organizations.


These types of recognition programs vary in the frequency of occurrence such as it can be an annual event as well as quarterly or monthly.


Employees are rewarded and recognized based on the value their work provides to the organization and the existing criteria. Formal recognition is often delivered in the presence of others in a formal event. Formal recognition is also bound by certain rules and regulations of the company.


3. Informal Recognition

Informal recognition can be also seen as the most genuine form of recognition that an employee can get. There is no fixed structure or rules for you to deliver their informal appreciation.


As the name suggests you can appreciate your subordinates, peer, or even your superior for their contribution. Informal recognition is not bound to the occasion nor does it wait for the goals to be achieved.


One can appreciate a job well done by the team member even though they just started working on the goal. It makes peer-to-peer recognition easy and doesn’t have to be someone going above and beyond.


It can be showing their appreciation for the help you got from a colleague is also a form of informal appreciation and so is the simple statement ‘Thank you for your hard work or help’.



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Benefits of the Employee Recognition Program

A company can enjoy multiple benefits of employee recognition, some of the prime benefits are listed below.


1. Employee Morale

Frequent and timely employee recognition boosts your team’s morale and inspires employees who got recognition to do better next time. That makes employees feel valued and seen as an important part of the company. Being appreciated for your contribution motivates people to continue giving their best.


2. Improves Retention

Monetary compensation is the basic expectation that an employee has from their employment and for the completion of their responsibilities. Salary is not enough to retain your employees.


Most employees do much more than what their job description says. There is a lot more thought, effort, time, and creativity involved when it comes to a job well done.


There is no secret that everyone wants to be recognized for their effort in the work they do for the company. Yes, we are saying that employee recognition can help you retain your top performers in the company.


Appreciate the hard work of your staff, which gives them a sense of value. They are human and they need to feel connected to the company and recognized just add that human element to their professional life and they are likely to stay in the company for longer.


3. Decreased Recruitment Expenses

Recruitment is one of the top cost-consuming processes for every organization. It is observed that most of it takes at least three salaries to replace an employee.


There is an additional cost involved when you consider the loss of productivity that the firm endures while the post is vacant for a long time.


Employee recognition program helps you to retain your employees for a longer period of time so that you don’t need to repeatedly invest in hiring efforts. It also saves you the cost and time that is involved in training the new employees.


4. Increased Productivity

They say that employees don’t quit their jobs they quit their bosses. But when you have managers who recognize their work they are more likely to continue in the workplace.


Employee recognition and appreciation increase employee satisfaction. That means you have more experienced employees on the staff that are familiar with the company’s process.


When you have employees who are not just skilled in their field but also experts in the work processes at the firm. That means that any issues that the employees might face in their day-to-day operations will be resolved quickly.


5. Employee Engagement

When employees are engaged in the workplace they are more loyal to the company. Engaged employees are more likely to take initiative when they need to handle some issues and they will go the extra mile to discover innovative solutions. Ultimately that leads to better productivity for the organization.


6. Improved Employer Branding

A good employer brand is all about what an employee talks about your company. When you have a good employee recognition program at work and make a culture of appreciation an integral part of the company, you can count on building a brand.


When employees receive tokens of appreciation for their work they are more likely to be bragging about it on social media. Employees who are good at their work always want to be employed at companies that recognize their hard work.


That way employee recognition program helps you to improve the employer brand and attract the best talent from the market.


7. Quality Customer Service

If your company deals in the service industry you understand that all your employees are also the face of your brand. When you have loyal customers you also need loyal employees to retain your customers.


In the service industry or any company where employees are in a client-facing job, customers often develop an understanding and trust with the employee that is not easily replaceable. That’s why losing the best employee often causes firms to lose the best customers too.


When you have a culture of employee recognition and an employee feels recognised at work they continue to work with the company for a longer time.


Employee recognition is the tool that also inspires them to go above and beyond in the work and do the little extra needed. That results in the best client service and better business revenue.


8. Team Bonding

Recognizing the contribution of the team members also helps to build a strong bond inside the team. When a person receives appreciation from their peer for their contribution, may it be extraordinary work or for doing their job well can be a great motivator.


When you have a culture of recognition where people appreciate work and the work done by other people on a regular basis employees feel valued. They are motivated to help each other and work as a team.


They look at the work as a collective responsibility and do the optimum utilization of the skillset of the team members. At the same time when the team has a great dynamic and are aware of the strengths and weakness of team members. They can take the initiative to feel up the gaps and make up for any shortcomings by approaching issues as a group.


The culture of recognition also helps employees to understand everyone has their shortcomings at work. When you give appreciation and recognition to your employees, they are more accepting of their teammate’s weaknesses and develop a helping attitude.


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Designing Employee Recognition Programs

Looking at the benefits of the employee recognition program it’s apparent that every organization should have a good employee recognition program. You need to carefully craft the employee recognition program to ensure that it helps you to achieve your goals.


Here we present you a guide it will ease the process of designing a good recognition program at your firm.


1. Define Goal

The first task that you need to do while crafting an employee recognition program is to define the goal. The goals and objectives of the program should always be achievable.


If you give unachievable targets to your employees, that acts as a demotivating factor and employees may give up on it even before trying. Hence defying the very purpose of the program.


When you have a clear objective that you want to achieve it helps you to align other elements accordingly. It acts as a guiding point at every step in not only designing but also implementing the program in the firm successfully. It also helps employees to keep their efforts focused in the desired direction so they don’t waste their time and energy on ineffective processes and tasks.


2. Decide Interval

You need to define a proper structure for any formal employee recognition program. Deciding when you are going to recognize your employees for their hard work formally strengthens the process. It ensures that the employees will definitely get the appreciation they deserve at the pre-decided intervals.


It is also essential to fix the period of the employee recognition program. According to the nature of the goal and company values you can decide how long the process will go on.


You need to note that a definite interval for the recognition program should not stop you from appreciating employees.


The definite interval of programs is designed to ensure that desired behaviour must get the appreciation it deserves. But keep in mind that you are always free to compliment people for their work and progress.


3. Keep it Simple

It’s crucial to keep all the terms and conditions for employee reward and recognition as simple as possible. Define all the terms the in a few easy-to-understand words. That way your employees can start to execute the tasks to achieve the goal quicker.


When the objective and terms are not clear enough there might be confusion or misunderstanding. That often results in employees wasting their time and effort and depending on the situation it may cause additional time investment in the course correction.


4. Stay Connected

Performance management and employee recognition are continuous processes and you need to stay connected with employees. Always keep employees keep in touch with their progress, and give them compliments on their progress on a particular goal. You also need to ensure to give your employees feedback and help them to achieve their objectives.


You can make your employee recognition even better by staying open to improvements and suggestions. Be flexible and make changes whenever you must. It’s important to ensure that you keep your staff informed about all the changes and improvements.


5. Be Inclusive

When you make an employee recognition initiative in the company, you also need to ensure that everyone feels included in the effort. The objectives and the goals of the program should be achievable for everyone in the organization and should not be targeted only to a specific group.


You can also design different goals and objectives for various teams and departments in the firm. That way everyone gets a fair chance to win.


Note that if you set criteria for qualifying participation in the reward program it should never be restrictive or exclusive to the particular group. Make it fair and accessible.


6. Measure

While running an employee recognition program has a set goal and the tasks that need to be completed to get the reward you need to keep watch. If you are implementing a program to adapt to the new policy or a change it becomes crucial.


Keep the measure of the impact of the changes on productivity as well as any resistance or hurdles that employees might be facing. Make it easy for the workforce to measure their own progress. That way they can stay more informed and thoughtful of their actions.


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Tips for Effective Employee Recognition

You want to make the employee recognition as effective as possible. Here are some crucial aspects of employee appreciation that you should note to ensure that it has the desired effect.


➔ Make it Quick

The most essential element of employee recognition is time. The quicker you are to appreciate the hard work of your employees the better effect it has. When someone does their best to go the extra mile for their work they expect to be recognized for the same.


A little expression of gratitude ‘Thank you’ or appreciation for a job well done, ‘Good Job’ can go a long way. It is good to have a formal recognition program at the firm and follow it but you must deliver at least the verbal appreciation as soon as possible.


In the absence of any type of recognition after remarkable work by the employee, they might feel that their efforts are being ignored. The longer you make employees wait the more dissatisfied they become with their workplace.


In the long run, they might get disengaged from their work and think of quitting their job. While timely recognition can ensure that you retain your top employees.


➔ Frequency

Frequency is another aspect that makes a significant impact while building a culture of recognition in the workplace. Appreciation makes people feel good about their work and the workplace. The more recognition they receive for their effort the better will be their experience in engagement and satisfaction with work.


In a company where it’s a norm to appreciate the work of colleagues and teammates, employees get their well-deserved appreciation frequently. The appreciation also acts as a reminder of how valued they are for the company which boosts their morale and motivates them to give their best at work.


➔ Be Specific

The recognition has to be specific to make it effective for your employees. The appreciation will lose value when it is not relatable and employees feel that they are doing it just as a routine formality.


When you appreciate your employees ensure to show them what exactly made the right impression. That not only makes it real and relatable for them but also encourages them to stay on course in the right direction. Being specific while recognizing employees also makes it easier for other employees to understand and adopt the right behaviour.


➔ Personalise

Not all appreciation that goes around in the workplace has to be bound by the criteria and the formal structure of the official employee recognition program. Employee recognition will be more effective when it feels more personal.


You can personalize the employee appreciation by mentioning the specific project or issues they showed remarkable contributions. When you have a culture of recognition and everyone tends to appreciate other people it becomes easier to personalize the recognition. Because of that way, employees are recognized for all their major or minor contributions personally and also immediately.


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Employee recognition Ideas

Here are some employee recognition ideas you can use to appreciate your employees and keep them motivated


➔ Team Lunch

Achievement and performance is not always an individual thing. Sometimes it takes an entire team to resolve an issue that is bothering the organization. It is a great way to show gratitude to multiple people at once by taking them out for lunch or dinner.


In addition to being a good recognition activity, the team lunch will also work as an excellent team-building activity.


➔ Social Media

Today social media is no more just a medium of entertainment. It has value and helps to build the personal as well as professional brand. Tagging your achievers in a company’s social media posts and appreciating them acts as a great motivator.


➔ Extended Breaks

Extended breaks can be one of the instant rewards. You can instantly give your employees additional break time to appreciate their work on a small yet essential task.


➔ Wall of Fame

Create a wall of fame for your remarkable performers. This will give them public recognition and also motivate others to do the same.


➔ Paid Time off

One way to recognize your staff is to compliment their hard work with the rest they need. Give them a well-deserved time off and they will be motivated and recharged while coming back to work.


➔ Write a Note

Give your employees a handwritten note or send them a greeting card to thank them for their hard work regularly.


➔ Gift Vouchers

Gift vouchers can be a great appreciation as employees can use them according to their convenience.


➔ Thank you

The simplest and fastest way to your employee recognition is to say ‘thank you’. Easy, convenient, quick, meaningful, costs nothing, and feels personal. Win-win for everyone.


➔ Sponsor Vacation

Everyone loves a good vacation as an appreciation you can sponsor vacations for your employees. they will feel valued, and grateful. That way you will be a part of their good memories.


➔ Awards Certificates

When it comes to formal recognition awards and recognition are old tricks in the book but they are still equally effective. Feel free to use it.


➔ Time off Coupons/ WFH Coupons

Appreciate the small wins of your staff at work with some reward points. Depending on the company culture these points can claim as time off or work from home.


➔ Celebrate Life Events

Small gestures such as cakes or greetings on birthdays and anniversaries make employees feel valued.


➔ Send a Care Package

Care packages can be another great way to show gratitude towards the employees.


➔ Work Accessories

Make work more convenient for employees by recognizing their effort with some work accessories. You can also personalize these gift items to make them more effective.


➔ Bonus and Raise

When it comes to remarkable contribution by the employees you can always reward them with bonuses, raise or a promotion whenever possible.


➔ Surprise

Don’t hesitate to surprise your employees with a surprise lunch or snacks in the workplace. The element of surprise will make them feel valued as well as special.


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Wrapping UP

Employee recognition is an essential element for employee productivity. It can be given in multiple forms and in various ways. You can use some of the ideas discussed in the blog or come up with your own to make your employees feel valued.


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