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7 Effective Employee Recognition Ideas

Posted by: Jack Thompson
Date: November 5, 2019
employee recognition coins
Make your staff feel appreciated by offering tokens of appreciation for their hard work. Get your inspiration for employee recognition ideas from this list!

Did you know that only 51% of employees are satisfied with the recognition they receive after doing a great job?

Not only that, but only 1 in three employees have received recognition in the last week.

Now, we don't expect you to offer the following employee recognition ideas on a weeklbasis, but it does need to be consistent. As a result, your company will benefit, too!

How?

Recognition helps increase productivity in your workforce. Your employees become happier to work (less time for complaining!), their loyalty grows stronger, and employee retention increases. This saves you time and money.

As you can see, employee recognition is a tremendous all-around practice. We're here to offer some creative ideas for the next time you need to award someone for a job well done.

Keep reading!

1. Positive Feedback

We'll start with the most straightforward recognition of all — positive feedback.

Sometimes, even a little acknowledgment can go a long way. Too often, employees perform well and get nothing but silence in return. If you offer regular, specific feedback, they'll know to continue doing good work.

Take the uncertainty out of the equation. Tell your employees what an excellent presentation they did, how happy you are with their sales, or whatever applies to your business.

2. Company Swag

There's nothing like some swag to get people excited (and hey — it's an advertisement for you, too!).

If you've got custom mugs, t-shirts, stress balls, pens, etc., consider pulling it all together into a company tote bag. Gift it to the employee you'd like to recognize.

This small gesture allows them to feel proud of their place of employment.

3. An In-House Meal

A Harvard Business Review study found that 26% of employees value healthy food options in the workplace.

While you may not be able to supply these healthy food items on a daily basis, you could consider hosting quarterly or bi-annual catered parties. Provide a variety of healthy, yummy options.

It's easy to just order a bunch of pizza and call it a day.

Instead, seek out a local caterer and have them bring a smorgasbord of great grub. Not only will your employees love eating in (and not having to pay for their meal), but it'll give them some time to de-stress and comingle with their coworkers.

Additionally, healthy food should spark some energy. High-carb pizza results in that sleepy after-effect that's not too good for going back to work!

4. Employee Outings

Say you'd like to recognize your whole team rather than a specific employee.

Employee outings are great for recognizing an entire group of people at once. And if someone on the team is slacking a bit, a group outing should encourage them to pick up the pace.

Some ideas for your next outing could be:

  • A pool hall or bowling alley
  • A scenic, easy hike
  • Volunteering for a local charity
  • A painting class
  • A cooking class
  • A sporting event at your local arena

Try to find something that offers group discounts to lessen the cost of the bill.

Additionally, try to avoid divisive activities. For example, taking your employees on a bar crawl could make those who don't drink feel uncomfortable or left out.

5. Custom Challenge Coins

Custom challenge coins are an excellent souvenir for a job well done.

In fact, non-monetary incentives like these are just as effective as cash bonuses. They complete the same objective — motivate employees, develop camaraderie in the workforce, and bring teams together.

Challenge coins have a long and storied history that dates back to WWI. And they're still used today at corporate events and often show up in the workplace.

Not only does collecting coins give your employees something to look forward to achieving, but they're a great way to highlight individual successes. You can create a custom medal for any type of achievement. If there's more than one style of coin, that's one more thing for your employees to strive for.

At the end of the year, employees can compare coins, see who got what, and see who collected the most. This'll give them something to look forward to going into the next year — collecting even more coins!

6. Social Media Shout-Outs

If your employee is okay with having a photo posted online, this is a great way to recognize their achievements.

Take a picture of the employee you want to shout-out and post it to your business's social media page. Write a short little bio about them and explain why they're getting recognized.

Then, they can re-share the post on their account and let their family and friends see what a great job they're doing at work!

Bonus — this increases awareness about your company and shows what a great team you've cultivated.

7. A Wall of Fame

Similar to the idea above, a wall of fame praises employees' achievements in a fun and fresh way.

Say your company incentives employee or company reviews. You can start a Wall of Fame and print out any reviews that mention your employees. Highlight their names and pin the paper to a corkboard in your office.

This works in two ways.

One, it recognizes those who've gone above and beyond. Second, it encourages anyone not yet on the board to strive for getting their name featured!

Try One of These Fantastic Employee Recognition Ideas

You'll be surprised at how effective they can be!

Not only will you feel content with offering praise and acknowledgment, but your employees will feel even more over-joyed at their achievements. This directly results in a better work ethic (which is good news for your company).

Why not put one of these employee recognition ideas to the test right now?

Contact us today to see your options for a custom, creative, high-quality challenge coin. We'll even help you come up with a free design that's perfect for your company!

Jack Thompson

Jack Thompson was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After retiring from the military, Jack moved to Austin, Texas, to start a new chapter in his life. He has always been passionate about storytelling and decided to become a writer and podcaster. He runs a successful podcast where he discusses military history, shares personal anecdotes, and interviews other veterans. Jack also writes often about military traditions and history.

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