If you've ever felt underappreciated at work, then you know how important recognition is in the workplace.  

We all want to know that we're making an impact in our day to day lives, but showing your employees recognition is about more than just a quick, feel-good moment. Employees who don't feel recognised are twice as likely to leave their workplace within the next year. 

Creating an environment where employees receive meaningful recognition can increase team motivation, positively impact workplace culture and increase employee retention. Many businesses feel that they cannot afford 'proper' employee recognition, but people aren't solely motivated by money, and sincere gestures of thanks can just as effective as a bonus.  

Here are six small but powerful ways to recognise employees who are doing a great job. 

Deliver recognition the right way: Make it timely, make it regular.   

It's easy to think that all recognition is good recognition, but for it to be effective, it needs to be delivered consistently.   

A little planning can help you to recognise and reward your employees in the most effective way. It's important that feedback is given quickly to connect the recognition and what the employee has done. Delivering recognition consistently when it is earned is critical to ensure recognition is received as authentic. 

Make it personal.  

It's essential to be specific, personal and accurate when giving your team recognition. Be sure to demonstrate to your team that the recognition is genuine and that you understand their accomplishments.  

Be sure to deliver any recognition in a personal way. Not everyone wants an announcement involving the whole team. Some employees will prefer a quiet, private word between them and their manager. Feedback needs to be tailored to each of your team members. You can use your best judgment for this or simply ask, 'How do you prefer to receive recognition?'. 

Make it part of the team environment  

Recognition is fantastic coming from a manager or the executive level, but it's also crucial to come from peers. Encouraging a positive team environment builds a happy and productive workplace culture.  

Ask employees to let you know if they notice someone doing a great job of embodying your organisation's fundamental values or who has gone above and beyond. Have your team be involved with the recognition process. Give your team ample opportunity and encouragement to recognise each other. 

Support development  

Recognition for your team members can go beyond praise. Actively supporting the development and progression of your team is critical. Provide development support through mentors, training and upskilling.  

If your organisation is small, look further afield to find mentorships and training programs to guide and inspire your employees. 

If you aren't able to offer development opportunities in-house, or if working remotely has made it challenging, there are several external courses and training platforms to support your team: 

  • Mentor Loop: https://mentorloop.com/ 

  • LinkedIn Learning offers a solution to develop your talent and keep their skills current with personalised digital learning: https://learning.linkedin.com/ 

  • Lattice: Develop engaged & high-performing teams even when everyone is remote https://lattice.com/ 

Provide opportunities 

Some members of your team won't get the chance to excel simply because of the nature of their role or certain types of work.  

Ensure those team members who want to expand their roles or take on additional responsibilities are supported with room to grow.  

Staying connected  

If your team is working remotely or if the traditional 9 to 5 office paradigm has shifted in your workplace, maintaining recognition and a positive team environment is even more critical!  

Ensure your team knows that you still see what they do and when they achieve through maintaining normal recognition routines even while working remotely.   

Here are a few of our team's favorite ways to maintain rewards and recognition while working remotely:  

  • Maintaining social catch up for the team with Friday Zoom drinks, organising fun quizzes, Online Cork & Canvas, Team home pottery classes, Breakfast, hamper and care package deliveries.  

  • Positive shoutouts: Asking team members to send a note to someone who's helped them that week. Or to send anonymously for collating and sharing.  

  • Offering team members who achieve big wins a day off to recharge for all their hard work.  

Whatever you do to recognise your employees, make sure it is genuine and authentic! Whether recognising the work of an individual or the whole team, appreciation only works when it's sincere. So don't just offer recognition for the sake of morale; offer it for a job well done, and offer it often. 


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