Empower Your Team: 55 Top Employee Recognition Ideas

April 7, 2023

An employee recognition program is a tried-and-true way to enhance morale, increase engagement, and reduce attrition. 

Nothing beats a smart, individualized show of appreciation for keeping talent.

Unfortunately, many attempts at acknowledgment come across as artificial or even self-serving; trust us, your employees will be able to tell when "special prizes" are being offered in exchange for meeting quotas. 

Be creative and innovative, keep programs relevant and workplace-specific, and have a clever balance of individual and team rewards to avoid that happening to your program.

In doing so, you appear honest in making employees feel appreciated. This article will explore employee recognition ideas and their impacts on companies.

What Is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition is recognizing employees for their efforts and successes as individuals and teams within your company. 

You must establish a deep connection with your staff and business to support your employees' work and remain true to your company values.

The best recognition strategies do something no trinket or gift card can ever achieve: they make employees feel valued, respected, and sometimes even loved. 

It is as much art as the science of leadership, team, and individual growth.

What Factors Affect Employee Recognition?

Many distinct factors can encourage employee achievement. Others care more about flexibility regarding working hours or location, while others emphasize compensation, want their work to challenge them, or have an increased influence.

But, regardless of their incentive, all employees want to get praise and recognition for their work.

Everyone loves to feel cherished. People naturally desire approval, and with the appropriate leadership, this can be a powerful incentive that inspires employees to give their best efforts and stay with the company.

Make employee recognition a cornerstone of your company culture to increase staff morale and retention. Here are a few factors to consider in making employee recognition a part of your company culture.

Company Roles

Specific roles will lend more to some forms of employee recognition than others. For example, a scoreboard or hall of fame may be more appropriate for sales than operations management or HR positions.

Key Performance Indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) for client-facing roles differ entirely from those for non-client-facing positions.

KPIs are essential for tracking, managing, and rewarding employee output and performance. 

The results of these will vary depending on the roles and industries. KPIs should, at their core, give you the ability to quantify what great, average, and below-average performance looks like.

Kinds of Reward

Whether it is travel, a massage, or time off, tangible rewards should fit the personality and preferences of the recipient. 

Not everyone will value the same kinds of rewards. 

Someone with children could value time off more than being sent on a work trip, while others might seize the chance to travel through a travel or vacation incentive.

Remember to include ways to reward and recognize remote employees. You will be able to adapt recognition programs to reward employees in ways that will be important to them the better you know each of them as individuals. 

It would be best if you did not hesitate to ask your staff about their priorities and preferred incentive types. Use your HR staff to learn more about how to show your team members appreciation by talking with them.

Why Is an Employee Recognition Program Important in 2023?

Any successful company must have employee appreciation ideas and create a positive impact on fellow employees. Employees are encouraged to keep giving their best by being recognized and rewarded for their efforts and successes. 

Public recognition, sizable bonuses, promotions, or even something as simple as a "thank you" note can all serve as forms of credit. 

Companies can experience higher morale, increased productivity, and employee loyalty by rewarding employees for their hard work and making this habit a part of the company culture.

To create a company culture where employees are eager to go above and beyond to support the company's goals, showing them gratitude is essential. 

Employees will be reminded that they are crucial to the company's success if they receive regular recognition. 

Employees are inspired to take responsibility for their work and pursue excellence.

Recognizing employees is a crucial tool for any company aiming to improve performance. 

Organizations may foster a culture where people feel valued and inspired to perform at their best by acknowledging the efforts and successes of their employees. 

Ultimately, this results in higher work morale, loyalty, and productivity.

What Is the Best Way to Recognize Employees?

The best way to reward employees is to give them regular, pertinent, and precise feedback. Although an all-staff vacation is fantastic for esprit de corps, showing appreciation to everyone only once a year is not enough. 

Instead, it would be best if you gave compliments and recognition regularly—whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly—and as soon as possible following the occasion that prompted them.

And make sure that any gift or monetary compensation is appropriate given the employee's performance, output, and values.

What Should Employees Be Recognized For?

Even though it would be good to acknowledge everything your staff does, giving out too many general compliments may appear fake and cliched. 

Instead, take the time to acknowledge both significant and little accomplishments through official and informal channels. The objective is to convey the importance of employee accomplishments.

It would help if you recognized your employees for the following: 

  • Taking the initiative to solve issues beyond their duties' scope and creating innovative methods or procedures.
  • Charitable activities on a local and national level.
  • Boosting their teams' spirits.
  • High-quality work that receives favorable client feedback, cuts expenses, or enhances goods and services.
  • Their knowledge, guidance, and initiatives in thought leadership.

Remember that evaluating the program's outcomes is crucial so you can adjust your recognition efforts. Using "employee satisfaction ratings" as part of manager evaluations within your human resources management system (HRMS) is the most effective way to collect data.

Planning for salary, attendance, goals, and learning—all four components of a recognition program—are also included in an HRMS.

Employee Recognition Efforts and Ideas to Appreciate Your Staff

There are several formal and informal ways to recognize employees meaningfully. Use various recognition methods to prevent jadedness in your workforce and formulaic efforts.

Consider the recipient's personality while choosing a reward for employee appreciation. Some workers like rewards based on public acknowledgment, such as those found in newsletters or social media posts. Some favor low-key gifts like a gift card for a family dinner and prefer avoiding the spotlight.

Create meaningful programs that support company values and cater to the requirements of the employees by combining our suggestions for employee recognition.

Celebrate Birthdays

Those who do not mind making public displays of affection will love their birthday celebrations. Request a manager to send a gift, offer the person a day off, or bring a cake for the staff to share.

Celebrating employee birthdays makes them feel seen and valued. The way you remember small details about them and send your wishes and thoughts will encourage appreciation and a positive perspective in your workplace.

Applaud a Work Anniversary

Businesses with a high turnover rate might want to celebrate anniversaries every year. Give employees a bonus that increases yearly and formally recognize their work anniversaries as a way to thank them for sticking around. 

The amount can be 2% of pay in Year 1 and increase by one or two points annually. This type of recognition makes your employees feel like you are part of their journey and how far they have come is worth celebrating.

Do a Company-Wide Shoutout

Ensure your finest employee appreciation speech—whether a Tweet or a page—is polished. 

A shoutout to everyone in your own emotional and personal words is a free, simple, and potent approach to recognizing employees. 

Some of the most well-known corporate leaders understand this and use it to their fullest potential.

Consider communicating your compliments through a social recognition service rather than sending an email, where it can get buried by mountains of spam. These simple ways may encourage other staff members to participate and offer congratulations.

Give Social Media Shout Outs for Employees

A quick approach to publicly appreciate employees is to mention them on business social media pages. Send out a shoutout on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media platform where your business is present.

Urge customers and coworkers to give positive service reviews and make complimenting remarks. Also, you are giving your business a human face to benefit clients and social media followers.

Recognize Achievements Outside of Work

Your staff has extracurricular pursuits and interests outside of work. Recognizing personal victories in addition to professional ones demonstrates your concern for people as individuals and not just for what they do for the company.

It helps you establish a connection with your employees on a personal level. It shows that you value them as hardworking and reliable individuals beyond treating them as mere means for your business.

Surprise Employees With Lunch or Sweet Treats

Show your staff that you appreciate them and value their initiative by providing lunches during hectic workdays. You do not have to go all out; it can be as easy as placing a pizza order or putting some refreshments in the common area. 

There are subscription programs that allow employees to order their preferred meals and receive sweet treats at their preferred time in the office, usually during work breaks.

These treats will be tokens of appreciation for their hard work and consistency.

Start a Weekly Team Breakfast or Lunch

Tacos on alternate Tuesdays, bagels on Fridays, or an off-site lunch at the end of each quarter are just a few examples. The idea is to establish a routine so that employees will have a get-together to look forward to.

In these events, try not to discuss stressful matters about your work.

Instead, take this time to check on your employees, have sincere conversations with them, and do not forget to take this time to have fun and enjoy each others' company even outside work matters.

Get Them Something for Their Workspace

Workspace gifts are extremely simple tokens of appreciation that are enjoyable and practical. Your employees will appreciate your recognition more deeply if you give them a useful present for their desk or office.

After they have decorated their tables and workstations, the gifts will constantly remind them of your gratitude. Choose customized office gifts that increase the overall sentimental value of your recognition.

Celebrate a Victory

Your team just accomplished an astounding feat. The time has come, and you got a chance to celebrate the fruit of your team's effort. Take it! Celebrate big and small achievements to remind you and your team that growth is something to be celebrated.

Celebrate with a memorable team-building activity and share your success with the whole company. Celebrating big and small wins shows that you value your team's victory and honor your progress as a team and individual. Victory parties allow you and your employees to share moments of milestones and strengthen your vision to achieve more.

Send Them an Employee Care Package

Thank staff members with a care package full of gifts that shows your concern, such as handwritten letters, gift cards, nourishing snacks, and even toys and games. 

When these thoughtfully chosen and packed items are given together, the impact is more significant than when just one present is given.

Some businesses handle employee care that lets you personalize the presents to your company's requirements while managing the logistics of sending care packages to various locations. 

It makes it far simpler to focus more on the impact of recognizing your employees and less on the specifics.

Start a Friendly GIF War

Hold GIF challenges that are just massive compliment volleys on your preferred social employee recognition or communication channel. 

You may, for instance, challenge everyone to come up with a GIF that perfectly expresses their feelings over the amazing team presentation or your designer's work on the new company logo.

Through these GIF challenges, employees will feel fulfilled and seen in the workspace.

Send a Spot Bonus

When someone completes a task, demonstrates courage, or goes above and beyond, express your gratitude immediately by recognizing them and rewarding them with a spot bonus on your recognition platform.

Spot bonuses can be an excellent approach to promote daily teamwork and collaboration, particularly among employees who work in distributed teams. 

You can set up an affordable employee appreciation platform using a custom tool to manage spot incentives.

Invest in Their Wellness

With the unimaginable stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, concentrating on numerous elements of employee welfare is more crucial than ever. Wellness programs have traditionally been among the most popular employee bonuses.

Any business's cornerstone is its workforce. Employees deserve to be rewarded with resources that build a strong wellness foundation. A recent workplace wellness poll also revealed that nearly 70% of workers believe their employers should do more to support their efforts to maintain good health.

Support Sabbaticals for Long-Term Employees

Sabbaticals are not only used in academia. Offering sabbatical leaves to your most senior staff at five, seven, and ten years with the company allows them to pursue personal causes or interests, including taking a class, traveling, performing volunteer work with a charity, writing a book, or volunteering.

Treat Employees and Their Families to an Off-site Event

An annual company-wide outing allows employees to bond and unwind while getting to know one another outside the office. An off-site does not have to be a formal vacation to a resort; even a simple barbecue in a nearby park will make staff members feel valued.

You can include your employees' families in an outing to make them feel you value what most of them value: family. Getting to know their families also allows you to better understand their backgrounds, home, and life situations and how you can help them with personal matters.

Give Creative Yet Honest, Feedback

The earliest way of employee recognition was thoughtfully positive feedback. It might also be the most direct and successful way of inspiring employees. 

Even with these facts, the crucial skill of feedback is still much too frequently disregarded or clouded by prizes and gifts that have no real relationship to output.

Beginning an employee of the month program or organizing an employee appreciation day focused on results are two excellent chances to offer feedback and recognition uniquely and memorably. 

But always remember to give honest feedback. 

Strike a balance between honesty and positivity to get the best results out of your employee recognition program.

Start a Formal Mentoring Program

When adequately executed, mentoring programs give mentors a sense of success and show mentees that someone at the firm cares about them. 

You may even step outside the company and collaborate with mentoring or coaching groups to encourage employees to share their knowledge with others.

Host an Employee Appreciation Day

National Employee Appreciation Day is observed on the first Friday in March. To publicly show your team that you care, you might arrange an appreciation day on this day or any other day. 

Other suggestions include an awards ceremony honoring significant achievements, years of service to the company, or a team-building day trip. 

Ask your staff for other suggestions on what would make them feel valued. An employee appreciation day makes your employees feel seen and respected as the backbone of you and your company's success.

Pass Out a Rotating Trophy

To spread around the company as someone new is recognized, buy or make a funny trophy, such as a plastic superhero figurine, stuffed animal, or even a life-size cardboard cutout of the CEO. Present it to a worker who has excelled, for example, via conduct that reflects the company's ideals and permits them to keep it at their desk for a week or another predetermined time.

Make sure the company gives the trophy to the following deserving employee. Explain to the employee what the award represents and the particular accomplishment you recognize them for.

Create an Employee Wall of Fame

A wall of fame can be as basic as setting up a location where you post pictures of excelled staff members; make sure to mention the precise action they took to earn this honor.

The wall does not have to be physically there for businesses that operate primarily online. 

You can recognize employees for various accomplishments on a page on your internal website or, if suitable, on your customer-facing website. 

By requesting nominations from staff members, you may motivate them to participate.

Leave Small Handwritten Note(s) On Their Desks

A tiny but nice gesture that lets a coworker know others are thinking of them is to leave thoughtful handwritten notes on their keyboard, mug, or desk. 

These tiny notes are little reminders and motivations for your employees to keep going.

It is a way to recognize their hard work and remind them they are valued in the simplest way possible. These sweet little gifts of encouragement go a long way in workspaces.

Celebrate the Small, Daily Wins

Commemorating recent team or employee victories at the beginning of every meeting is an excellent approach to raising employee morale and following our advice about punctuality. 

Here, individual supervisors and managers ought to take the helm.

Daily stress is always part of the work culture, but you can help alleviate employees' stress by celebrating small, daily wins in your workspace. 

Recognize and reward teams' and individuals' daily accomplishments by offering free food or treats such as free or discounted dinner after shifts. 

You can also give snacks, certificates, ribbons, or simple recognition announcements to show that you care for your employees every day.

Show Them a Good Time

Having fun says volumes by itself. It conveys your regard for fun, your desire for your employees to have it, and your belief that they merit a break.

The fun does not have to be challenging to cultivate. 

You can do something as easy as incorporating icebreakers before meetings into your daily schedule, something as challenging as throwing a fantastic office party, or something quite feasible, like keeping on doing enjoyable office activities.

Host Brainstorming Sessions Outside the Office

Host meetings outside of your offices once in a while! 

A change in environment can frequently increase engagement and productivity. 

Inform your team in advance to prepare for what you intend to accomplish and what they are expected to contribute. 

Any location that provides privacy and A/V support, such as a private room in a restaurant or hotel, or even a theater, can be used to conduct such days.

Test Recognition Ideas by Surveying Your Employees

An employee survey's power can be very strong. Knowing your employees' personal or professional wants and needs makes it easy.

Every worker is unique and values praise for their efforts and successes in various ways. 

Giving yourself a variety of choices and strategies to choose from can help you notice your coworker when the moment is perfect.

Increase your chances of success and better understand the types of individuals you work with by asking for honest feedback from your staff through a survey. 

You can quickly set up a survey using employee survey software or your employee recognition program.

Offer Extended Breaks

Longer breaks are a simple way to thank employees for their hard work. Consider occasionally giving individuals or teams an extended lunch break, depending on your company's organizational structure. Remember to secure a backup plan, particularly if the individual works in customer service.

Create a "Go the Extra Mile" Program

Wheeling patients around for testing is a complex and exhausting task for the transport team of the Radiology Lab at Staten Island University Hospital. The Go the Extra Mile (GEM program) was an employee appreciation initiative that Michael C. Fina's recognition specialists developed when the hospital fell short of its target number of transfers each hour.

Employees would put another up for a GEM certificate if they saw them going above and beyond. The initiative was simple, but it gave the employees tangible appreciation that went a long way toward making them feel genuinely valued.

Gamify the Workplace

Gamification can be an effective productivity and incentive tool, providing staff with an enjoyable way to reach objectives or finish training. Gamification transforms a tedious procedure into an engaging format incorporating badges, levels, prizes, and other gaming elements to inspire workers. Once more, tools like Engagement, Hoopla, and Gametize are available.

Host a Friday "Crush-It" Call

In-It "Crush-It" Call is a long-standing custom. Every Friday, the entire staff gets together and goes around the room saying two things: 

  • "Crush" a teammate whose work they want to acknowledge and why 
  • Something you are grateful for

It is a fantastic opportunity for people to acknowledge one another, benefit from positive thinking, and bring that person's dedication to the team's attention. 

It allows everyone to see the fantastic work of the team members they do not typically work with as the team continuously expands.

Pledge or Match Donations to an Employee's Chosen Charity

As an alternative to service days or allowing employees to take time off to volunteer, businesses can promise to pay a predetermined sum to a worker's favorite charity. Establish criteria to ensure the charity is respectable and legal, and gather receipts from organizations for tax purposes.

Provide Professional Development Opportunities

Encouraging employees to develop professionally shows that leaders are concerned about their careers and is advantageous to the business. 

Consider funding postsecondary education costs, providing stipends for professional certification courses, obtaining a corporate master class subscription, and delivering short professional and practical lessons that offer expert guidance and education on demand.

Giving development opportunities shows concern for your employee's personal and professional growth. It makes them feel that you value making room for their success.

Offer Monetary Support for Employee Commutes

Commuting can quickly add up to a considerable expense if your office is in an area with heavy traffic or your staff lives far away. 

Instead of sometimes rewarding an employee with a reserved parking space, you should give them a small gas allowance or pay for their carpooling or commuting.

It is a way to show your employees that you care about their transport expenses and travel safety. 

When they can get to work easily, it is a big help to reduce everyday stress and increase productivity.

Provide a Dedicated Parking Space

Depending on where your office is, parking spaces may be limited.

Employees who detest the idea of having to pay to park their cars at work would appreciate you for paying for reserved spaces in a public lot if your building does not offer private parking. 

But, be careful not to discourage carpooling or using public transit.

Schedule a Hackathon

A hackathon is a one- or two-day event when people from various teams collaborate to create something, such as new goods or services, marketing strategies, or customer service initiatives.

For a change, you can dedicate the hackathon to assisting a worthy client or charity.

Employees can break out of their routines, collaborate with colleagues from various departments, and contribute to the success of the business, the client, or the nonprofit by receiving rewards. 

There are several strategies for organizing a successful hackathon; establish your goals and ground rules, then sit back and watch the employee recognition ideas pour in.

Implement a Peer-To-Peer-Recognition Program

As essential as management and employee recognition is, compliments from coworkers are frequently valued far more. 

Feedback is given more frequently when a formal employee recognition and appreciation program is implemented. 

Your human capital management (HCM) software might let staff members provide peer feedback.

Allowing employees to give honest peer-to-peer feedback encourages a healthy and constructive way of recognizing everyone's effort as a team and as individuals.

Recognize Employee Skills

Recognizing skills is just as crucial as praising employee accomplishments. 

Consider a server at a restaurant which is exceptionally knowledgeable about wines but poses a flight risk due to the high rate of restaurant turnover. 

Encourage her to speak to your staff or think about paying for her to do a sommelier training so she can see a career path. 

Developing skills is believed to motivate employees to perform to their maximum potential. 

Businesses may even go so far as to present recognition prizes for various talents and skills they wish to foster, such as public speaking, developing efficient systems, or becoming a "power user" of a new piece of software.

Conduct Town Hall Meetings

To reduce turnover, senior executives and staff must regularly and openly communicate with one another. Town hall meetings are a great way to promote open communication between executive decision-makers and their staff. 

The objective is to convey strategy, explain the rationale behind specific actions, and allow staff members to express open criticism.

By holding frequent town hall meetings, the company management may demonstrate to their staff that they value their input and care about their ideas. 

A largely remote workforce can still combine with today's cutting-edge collaboration solutions.

Share Positive Customer Feedback Company-wide

Share positive feedback from customers or suppliers with the entire company. You can accomplish it by setting up a display like an employee wall of fame or by posting compliments on social media, in business memos, or in newsletters to all employees.

Recognizing and appreciating your employees' performance through realistic customer compliments inspires them to do better and maintain a positive relationship with your stakeholders.

Provide Gift Cards or Discount Programs

Gift cards may still be regarded as taxable income, but they can assist in avoiding some of the hassles associated with monetary incentives. Let them select the retailer to ensure that employees will appreciate their gifts. 

Alternatively, sign up your business for a discount program for employees. These simple tokens of appreciation can go a long way. Your employees will be more enthusiastic about building positive customer relationships because they are recognized and rewarded for it.

Offer Late Starts

You can reward employees who have performed excellent jobs by allowing them to come to the office late, similar to how shorter workdays can. If a framework is in place for the temporary staffing shortage, you can adopt this straightforward gesture to express compassion and recognition to your staff.

Giving employees flexibility in their working hours is the main goal for both aspects.

 Allowing them not to be overly confined by working hours helps reduce stress and get a little bit loose to regain their energy and refocus.

Provide Teams With a Discretionary Rewards Budget

Give each team or employee a small budget to recognize coworkers with a gift, a group dinner, or happy hour, as opposed to enabling only management to approve spending for employee recognition programs.

Set rules so they may use your expense management system, such as what qualifies as a gift-giving event, what may be taxable and require finance approval, and how to keep track of spending.

Allowing employees to organize small recognition programs foster trust between them and the company and makes them feel like your confidant. It also makes them comfortable keeping the culture of recognition and acknowledgment of one another's effort and hard work.

Host a Wellness Day or Program

One of the top trends in talent management for 2021 is paying attention to employee health and well-being. Subsidies for gym dues and expanded access to mental health services are typical workplace health and wellness benefits. A spa or wellness day provides staff a smaller opportunity to unwind and feel renewed without spending as much money as necessary for a large-scale off-site.

If you cannot afford a spa outing, consider arranging one at your place of business. You can create a mini spa experience without spending a fortune by hiring massage therapists, nail technicians, or yoga teachers.

Write a LinkedIn Recommendation

As it seems like they are assisting employees in finding a new job, businesses can occasionally be reluctant to take this action. 

But, it is doubtful that an employee will decide to quit their job simply because their current employer assisted them in updating their online résumé.

In fact, giving workers a sense of public recognition and appreciation will likely encourage them to stick around. 

This concept of publicly honoring staff members also communicates to outsiders your company's willingness to invest in the professional growth of its staff.

Feature Employee Thought Leadership

If your business has a blog, give staff members a chance to post content. 

A customer care specialist might offer product insights to the sales or R & D team. 

Anyone can contribute their expertise through an internal newsletter containing employee thoughts.

Furthermore, consider marketing leads' podcasts, lunch-and-learn presentations by IT professionals on various themes, or even a speaking engagement at a business event your firm is organizing or supporting.

Hire Local Food Trucks

If your workplace lacks a cafeteria or a range of lunch options, finding a solution to the where-to-eat dilemma will help you gain favor with your coworkers. You can choose to bring in a caterer or hire a food truck.

If you do this frequently, the dealer might be willing to give you a discount. You can connect with nearby food trucks using simple apps available in your location. Simply look for apps that cover your area.

Employee Recognition from Companies That Do It The Best

Examples of employee recognition include spotlights and brief case studies from actual businesses. They provide context for the advantages and best practices of employee recognition. 

Finding out what has been successful for actual businesses offers many swipeable employee recognition ideas and upper-edge inspiration.

Now that you know the best practices for your employee recognition program, here are some companies to consider. You can craft your recognition program patterned to their success. 


SalesForce, arguably the most well-known brand in customer relationship management, discovered that overseeing staff benefits and incentives was difficult. 

They provided a lot of benefits, but it was logistically challenging to help staff members locate and use them.

To assist them in handling this logistical difficulty, they hired Fond. They were aware that the simplified platform would make it simple and enjoyable for staff to find their incentives.


For knowledgeable assistance managing their sales engagements, sales teams turn to XANT, now known as InsideSales. 

To effectively manage and maximize their rewards and recognition initiatives, XANT turned to Nectar for assistance. 

The partnership strengthened XANT's recognition program and changed the organization's culture.


The firm that created the app for a physical treasure hunt, Geocaching, also knows how to pay its staff well. 

Geocaching frequently equates efficiency with efficacy, but this could not be further from the truth. 

Companies that exclusively use one kind of recognition program risk failing to acknowledge others appropriately, which can be the same as not recognizing them. 

Urge managers to discover how staff prefers to be acknowledged—you might be surprised by the coming responses.


Namely is a proponent of the virtue that results from group recognition.

Of course, top performers do not work solely for recognition. Yet, receiving an award in front of the entire organization, followed by applause from the audience, is a greater incentive than a gift card or a thank-you meal. 

It is sincere appreciation, and that is strong.

Namely holds regular all-hands meetings. The management gathers everyone in a lovely location, such as a rooftop restaurant or a lively theater, and gives a presentation on the significant projects everyone is engaged in. 

Deschutes Brewery

You probably think it is enjoyable to work for a brewery. You are 100% correct on Deschutes Brewing. The employee appreciation program at Deschutes Brewery aims to support the workplace for everyone, not just to recognize one person or a small group. For instance, the management regularly engages in what can be described as "random acts of fun."

Is snow present? With a big keg of beer and burritos at the shelter bonfire, they go on a snowshoe walk. Is it a pleasant summer evening? They have fun together after the event with a beer and story-telling as they sponsor co-owners for a neighborhood run/walk.

 Are there a lot of crazed cyclists around town? They invite the cyclocross team to participate in the festivities and competition, and they throw the greatest celebration Bend has ever seen to celebrate!

Celebrating the culture of craft beer is one of Deschutes Brewery's fundamental principles, which is demonstrated by how we live our daily lives.


The survey company Typeform, based in Barcelona, uses merit money as part of its staff incentive scheme.

Employees receive "play money" or points as a form of appreciation from their coworkers when they participate in merit money, a peer-to-peer recognition. Then, employees can exchange these points for money or gift cards. An app or piece of software is used for the entire transaction.

The virtual currency used in Typeform is referred to as "typecoins," and Bonusly is in charge of running the system. At the beginning of every month, employees receive typecoins that they can spend to thank their coworkers for various types of assistance. You can exchange the typecoins for Starbucks, Uber, or Amazon gift cards.


No matter how constrained, this list will be lacking if Cisco is not included in it.

Here are some of Cisco's accomplishments as an employer:

  • Number 1 in the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® 2022
  • First place in the 2022 Fortune Best Workplaces in TechnologyTM list (Large)
  • 3rd place in the 2022 Fortune Best Workplaces for WomenTM list (Large)
  • 13th place in the 2022 PEOPLE® Businesses that Care list.

According to the Great Place to Work® 2021 Global Employee Engagement Survey, 96% of Cisco employees think their firm is a fantastic place to work, unlike 57% of workers at typical US companies.

As Cisco spends around 1% of its payroll on Connected Recognition, and its employee rewards and recognition program, these outcomes are not the consequence of wishful thinking. 

FAQs: Employee Recognition Ideas

What are some examples of positive recognition?

Positive recognition refers to a reward system for exemplary employees that excel in their job or roles in the company. It could be an award or any reward that can make employees feel good about their efforts and hard work for the company.

What type of recognition do employees want?

Engagement is boosted by sincere, individualized recognition. When managers make their employees feel valued, they are more likely to put in extra effort, look for ways to develop and grow and stay with the company.

What is a good employee recognition idea in 2023?

A good employee recognition idea varies from company to company. Certainly, employee recognition programs must be engaging and responsive to the employees' preferences.

How do you give employee appreciation?

You can give employee appreciation through tokens and gift cards. Consider a reward that matters most to your employee.

Where do these employee recognition programs come from?

The human resource departments of each company mainly organize employee recognition. Other employees can also contribute, but the management is mainly responsible for employee recognition programs.

What are some types of employee recognition awards?

Your company can give monthly, anniversary, or team member rewards and exceptional work awards to boost employees' morale and confidence in their workspace.

When should I recognize employees?

The time to compliment an employee when you see them doing something excellent. You want to take advantage of this chance to inspire your employees, and prompt recognition immediately provides them with helpful feedback.

How can I appreciate my staff?

Anything from office-wide activities, celebrations, and tailored incentives to peer-to-peer recognition networks. To start creating a recognition culture in the workplace, look through our list of the best creative employee recognition ideas.

What is the best way to show recognition to employees?

Discovering what works for your entire team and corporate culture is the best approach to showing them that you appreciate them. While some businesses prefer grandiose presents and celebrations, others value more thoughtful and private gestures like handwritten letters or one-on-one time with the boss.

Conclusion: Employee Recognition Ideas

Only a few excellent employee recognition ideas are needed to create a successful employee recognition program. You may establish an employee recognition program that makes your employees feel content and valued if you consistently use a few employee recognition strategies.

It requires careful effort to create intelligent ways to express appreciation while balancing formal and informal processes when recognizing and awarding your staff. 

The idea is to establish human connections with everyone so workers feel appreciated, trusted, and inspired to step outside their comfort zones.

While finding this balance may seem complicated, perseverance and putting feedback on suggestions for employee recognition into practice will increase worker satisfaction.

With the correct human resource systems in place, businesses can swiftly adapt to the changing needs of their employees. It helps to contribute significantly to the development of talented and resilient firms. Effective talent management processes are adaptable.

Written By
Kim Pañares

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