Employee Recognition and Appreciation Ideas

Are your employees satisfied to come to work every day?

Do they seem excited to work for you?

Can you recall the last time you told someone that they’re doing a great job?

How did it feel? Did you notice their reaction? Was there any change in their behavior post your feedback?

When you think of having a great company culture, the first thing that comes to mind is building trust, honesty, and coordination amongst your employees and whatnot. 

However, we tend to forget a key component of a successful company – Employee Recognition.

The aim of Employee Recognition

The aim of employee recognition is to acknowledge employees’ efforts and achievements.

Recognition makes employees feel good about themselves and motivates them to keep up the good work.

Positive reinforcement sets an example for employees, displaying what kind of work is valued the most in a company.

Research suggests that humans have an inherent need to be appreciated for their work.

Even a plain and simple thank you goes a long way to boost their productivity, increase performance, and improve their morale amongst the workforce.

If employers overlook their employees’ hard work and don’t appreciate it, then employees will also fail to give their best.

Recognition makes employee appreciated, and it shows that their work matters.

Workplace appreciation goes a long way to boosting employee morale.

When employers acknowledge achievements, it can result in amazing ROI – 50% higher productivity and 20% in business outcomes.

Employee recognition is a critical aspect of employee engagement. When employees are appreciated constantly, it becomes their one of the top driver of employee engagement.

When employees are honored for their efforts, they are more likely to be more engaged with the organization.

A study suggests that 50% of employees would stay in their organizations if they were more tangibly recognized.

Now that you comprehend the importance of Employee Recognition, here’s what you need to keep in mind –

  • Employee recognition should be specific, immediate, and regular.
  • If your employee recognition program lacks one of the above ingredients, then it won’t be just as effective.
  • The importance of employee recognition cannot be emphasized enough when we are struggling with the effects of pandemic fatigue.

Over many years, we have come across many employee recognition ideas; however, not all ideas work, do they?

Employee recognition should be personal to the employees. It makes them feel valued and respected in the organization.

However, employee recognition shouldn’t be such an elaborate event. It just should be straight from the heart. 🙂

Here is our compilation of employee recognition that’ll definitely help you to reduce your employee turnover!

1 – Give Sincere Compliments 

When you notice your employees working hard, make a point to comment on it. For instance, I like that you respond to my emails quickly.

When done right, you can reinforce such kinds of behavior in your employees.

However, if you go making vague compliments, your employees will take notice. Then, even your sincere compliments will not have an impact.


2 – Team Shopping Spree

If your team has hit the set goal, then make it a point to use that number for the basis of your celebration.

Take everyone to the mall, and tell them to go crazy and shop for themselves ONLY – no children, no spouse – only for themselves.

Give them a time to meet you in the middle of the mall, and they shall tell you what they’d bought for themselves.

Afterward, take them out for dinner.

3 – Experiential Rewards

If you have a budget for your employee recognition efforts, then you may consider giving your best performers an exceptional award.

For instance, there’s a company that goes by the name Blueboard; they let their employees choose from an extensive range of experiences – from singing lessons to skydiving to deep-sea diving.

It is one of the great ways to say that we value and respect our employees.

4 – Catered Meal

If your organization doesn’t offer lunches to its employees, then you might want to consider hosting one grand lunch for your employees as a generous gesture.

Or if your company does offer lunch, then you may try to make the catered meal extra special by adding anything, be it s’mores bar or a popcorn stand.

5 – Celebrate their Birthdays

If your employees don’t mind, then you should go above and beyond to celebrate their happy birthdays!

Cater a meal or get a cake, no matter what you do, make sure that everyone in the office takes part.

If your employees don’t like to celebrate birthdays, give them a day off so that they can be themselves.

6 – Offer Gift Cards

Everyone loves gift cards!

When you know your employees’ favorite brands, make it a point to gift them a gift card from that brand when they perform exceptionally well.

Gift cards are the best gifts; it allows them to purchase anything they want from their favorite brands.


7 – Recognize Your Best-Performing Employees on Social Media

Don’t hesitate to take to your company’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter and recognize your employees on social media.

When you share your employee’s achievements, make it a point to highlight who they are, their job role, what they’ve done to deserve this recognition, and how it impacted the organization.

Social recognition is one of the most effective ways to share how proud you are of your star employees.

Plus, it helps you to build your employer brand when you put cultures and values out there for the world to see.

However, before you make this grand gesture, make sure you let your employees know of that.

If they are not comfortable with the public spotlight, you may consider something more private.

8 – Extended Breaks

When you wish to appreciate your employees in a fairly easy way, then reward them with an extra-long break.

For instance, you can add extra 30 minutes to their regular one-hour lunch break.

If your employees’ job profile doesn’t allow them to have a long break at a stretch, then maybe scatter smaller breaks as a reward throughout the day.

9 – Say it with a Sticky Note

Not every time you need to make a grand gesture, even a hand-written note is more than enough to make a difference in the world.

Leave the ‘thank you’ note on their desk when they’re not around. 

Make sure that your message of appreciation is timely, don’t hand out compliments after a year.

The note should be specific to their contribution and how their action impacted the organization.

When you recognize your employees for a specific action, it promotes repeated behaviors and encourages them to form a strong company culture.

10 – Team Walks

Encourage your employees to take team walks; it’ll help them to stay active.

This shows employees that you care about their physical health and their mental wellbeing.

There are organizations that give their employees extra time off to take a stroll.

One of the best ways to do a team walk is by trying ‘walking meetings.’

It is not compulsory to have meetings in the office boardroom only, go out and have walking meetings.

11 – Boss For A Day

To show gratitude for your employees’ hard work, let your employees be the “boss” for the day.

We’re not talking about giving your employees company checkbooks, but just for a day, let them in on the meetings, sit in private, and maybe, let them use your prime parking spot.

In this recognition idea, we have a bonus for the employers as well –

It lets your employees know what it is like to be in charge. They may end up changing their attitude for the better towards you.

Also, they may just start working harder for promotion.

12 – ‘Thank You’ Meeting

Call a meeting with your team just to appreciate them say thank you.

It will be the most impactful if you just thank them and nothing else.

Refrain yourself from discussing any other issues. Stick with compliments; your employees will be off the roof. 🙂


Don’t spend all your time figuring out your favorite employee recognition ideas.

While all the ideas mentioned above are effective in their own way, many of them are one-to-one or may require permission and work from a manager or HR team to implement the idea.

Don’t reserve your appreciation for a particular day!

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you go above and beyond or you stick with a simple thank you; all that’ll matter is that you noticed and took some time out to appreciate them.

Still Not Using ‘PagarBook’ for Employee Management?
Varnika Bajaj

Varnika Bajaj

Content Writer

Varnika is the one who collate the words to form a sentence. A sentence which can engage you, entertain you and some time educate you.


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