7 ways to acknowledge and recognize employees

Most of us want to be acknowledged and recognized for our effort. Especially at work, we want to be valued and appreciated by colleagues and managers.

In a recent survey 69% of employees said they’d work harder if they were better appreciated (Hubspot). The need for recognition applies for any job.

If you’ve ever felt underappreciated at work, you probably know how important it is to acknowledge and recognize employee performance. Not only does it help to motivate and encourage high performance, but also increases employee engagement; and thus, retains talent.

Why do employees underperform at work?

There are a lot of reasons why employees are underperforming:

  • Lack of recognition
  • Lack of feedback
  • Poor training
  • Poor tools or outdated software
  • Lack of clear expectations
  • Unawareness of shared goals and values
  • Unengaged management
  • No cultural fit

Knowing the barriers to employee success is the first step to help employees be more successful at their job. We’ll focus on one of the best ways to increase employee engagement: recognition.

7 ways to make your employees feel appreciated and recognized.

People aren’t merely motivated by financial rewards. You can show appreciation and make employees feel valued in many other ways.

1. Make the recognition a personalized experience

Employees want to be valued and appreciated. But how each employee wants to be recognized may vary. Not everyone likes public rewards for example. As the recognition reflects an individual’s performance, the individual’s personality and preference should be considered. Make the experience personal.

2. Celebrate small successes, early achievements

A great way to boost employee confidence and create momentum is celebrating existing accomplishments, regardless of size. Let employees know that you appreciate their efforts by giving timely and specific recognition. To express your gratitude and encouragement, here are 40 ways to say “Good job”.

3. Give employees a public recognition (only if they want it too)

Employee recognition, especially for excellent service or exceptionally high performance, can be extended beyond in-house recognition. Let your customers know through social media for example. You can share employee photos, how they earned this recognition and of course express how much you appreciate what your employee did.

4. Organize an employee appreciation party/day

Create a culture of recognition in your organization. Consider organizing an annual employee awards party or an appreciation day to acknowledge employee effort. This is also a great occasion to shine a spotlight on high performance employees throughout the organization. Thinking on a smaller scale? A staff lunch, happy hour break or a teambuilding trip are great ways to show appreciation on a budget.

5. Facilitate peer recognition

In companies with a recognition culture, employees experience appreciation not only from managers but also from their peers. Because sometimes praises or positive feedback from peers are even more motivating.

Also, colleagues in the same team or department are more involved in the day-to-day tasks, which puts them in the best position to celebrate micro wins early on.

As a manager, you should make it easy for employees to show appreciation for each other. For example, with Involv intranet, you can facilitate peer recognition within your company by giving shout-outs on social, creating collaborative spaces or using the ideation tool.

6. Do not miss work anniversaries

A study of over a million people found that most people who changed jobs did so during the first years, with most people quitting right on their one-year work anniversary. The quitting continues to spike at every anniversary. Because of this, managers shouldn’t let the anniversary of an employee go unnoticed. Reward them for staying.

7. Think small

While it’s vital to recognize major achievements, small gestures such as a ‘thank-you’ or ‘well-done’ can motivate employees just as much.

It can be a handwritten note or a public shout-out on the company intranet to thank employees for doing a good job. Involv intranet includes social interaction tools such as @mentions and #hashtags to make it easy to share a praise or give someone a shout-out throughout the organization.

Also, by doing this publicly, you help instill a culture of employee recognition.

Bonus tips:

Start improving employee experience by finding out if your employees feel appreciated. A best-practice method is to conduct an employee survey to measure and track employee engagement, levels of recognition and satisfaction.

Especially with Involv intranet, you can use Microsoft Forms to easily create surveys/quizzes, collect answers and evaluate them with the built-in analysis.

Summing up:

Everyone’s drivers of great work are different. But one thing is for sure: it’s not all about the money. Many surveys and studies confirm that respect, communication, a positive company culture and connection are equally important. It’s no coincidence that successful organizations all over the world thrive in those areas.

Above are some easy ideas for making your employees feel valued and noticed. It’s important to make employee appreciation a part of your company culture, and everyone – including employees and management – should adopt it.

Your employees are your most precious asset, let them know that they are valued and appreciated! You might be surprised to find out how much a simple and genuine expression of gratitude can motivate employees to go the extra mile.

Would you like to learn more about the Involv intranet and how it benefits your organization and employees? Schedule a free demo with one of our intranet experts.

(Photo: Freepik)


Tim Bogemans

Tim is Collaboration Expert at Involv/Cognit. He builds leading solutions to help people collaborate easier, faster and happier. Connect on LinkedIn.

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