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9 Impactful Employee Appreciation & Recognition Ideas

Who doesn’t love a good pat on the back, classic high five or being told “great work” after completing a big project? Positive reinforcement can go a long way to show employees that you appreciate their hard work and dedication. The recognition you show employees can spark continued success and inspire other members of the team to follow their example. This is especially great for newer employees as they will learn that if they work hard and adhere to company values that the leadership team will give positive feedback and reward them for high quality work.

Here are some impactful appreciation and employee recognition ideas we’ve put together that will let your employees and top performers know they’ve done something great:

1. Cold Hard Cash

No one is ever disappointed with this gift. It’s direct, to the point, and it’s motivating. Whatever gets me some extra Benjamin’s, I’ll be doing again soon, so this gift is great at keeping employee engagement high. This gift can be for someone who just killed a presentation or as a thank you bonus for any employee who indirectly brought in a new client. This is perhaps the most simple way to reward employees.

2. Gift Cards

Gift cards can be surprisingly personal and appreciated.  Most companies, products, restaurants, and services offer gift cards. So the next time your employee goes above and beyond, show them you remember where they love to eat on the weekend, or their favorite place to shop and treat them to it with a gift card. On top of providing the perk, providing this personalized gift shows you listen and care to your employees.

3. Annual Bonus

Yearly bonuses based on performance feedback are a great time to let an employee know the solid work ethic and performance they’ve been showing year round. With the rising cost of living, it’s also always appreciated by employees!

4. Face to Face Feedback

To really show an employee that you appreciate and recognize their efforts, tell them directly. It’s also a great time to demonstrate open communicate if the employee has anything they’d like to share directly with you as well. Not all appreciation needs to be monetary or gift based. This face-to-face appreciation goes a long way.

5. Thoughtful Email or Handwritten Note

Sending an email or writing a note is the perfect way to express employee appreciation. Also, since they have a physical note, whenever they’re feeling stressed or down at work at a later time, they can look back at to get recharged.

6. Shout Out Their Great Work in Meeting

After an employee has done a killer presentation, landed a huge client, or went above and beyond for the team, let everyone else know during the next group meeting. This shout out can be inspirational for other colleagues in terms of peer recognition as well to have seen behind the curtain for another person’s day to day and be motivating for them to take on more challenges. This kind of public recognition tends to work well when combined with a wall of fame.

7. Shout Out Their Great Work in Email

Whenever an employee excels in their role, send an email to the whole team giving them recognition. This idea can be playing off the “Employee of the Month” position where employees will be making efforts to get their name and work written about in that next email.

8. Shout Out on Social Networks

Similar to shout-outs in meetings and emails, if an employee has truly done exceptional work worth noting to fans and clients, feature the news on your corporate social channel! As long as the information is allowed to be shared externally, sing the praises of your employees for everyone to hear. This has the added benefit of showing the world that you care about your employees and also helps them build their own personal brand.

9. More Opportunity

One way to show an employee that you value and recognize their ideas is by showcasing it in front of others. Allow them to present their work in front of the team and/or take on a larger role with more responsibility. This can help motivate other employees to up their game, and in turn this can have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line. This type of presentation can work well at professional development or employee appreciation days which showcase work from the best employees.

Showing appreciation and recognition ideas can depend on your role in the company and the situation. Another way to show appreciation to high achievers is through branded gifts. See our previous post for Employee Swag Recognition Ideas. Or think about creating Swag Boxes to recognize important days or milestones, two popular ideas are Employee Birthday Swag Boxes or Anniversary Swag Boxes. However you choose to do it, making your employees feel recognized and appreciated is crucial to your business growth and company culture. Putting in place a recognition program will ensure that your team members are appreciated for their good work and that they know that staff appreciation is an important aspect of the business.