Ideas for Employee Recognition That Really Work

Employee Recognition Ideas

An unmotivated, apathetic employee can do some real damage to your business. Think about an unpleasant experience you have had with a less-than-helpful employee, customer service representative, or restaurant server. Employees with bad attitudes or workers who simply don’t care about their performance can ruin a business exchange for a customer in seconds.

Because employee/customer interaction is so very important to the success of any business, it is important that employers take the time to think of ideas for employee recognition that will motivate their staff members and instill in them a desire to do a good job. In the long run, the effort you put into recognizing employees (and the cost, if there even is any) will pay off greatly.

  1. Engaged, enthusiastic employees will pass their enthusiasm on to their customers, and customers will know when they are being served by an employee who truly cares about their experience and satisfaction.
  2. Employees who feel they have some type of interpersonal connection with their boss (a totally appropriate relationship, by the way) tend to feel more engaged with the work they do and subsequently, tend to be more invested in their work.

Inexpensive Employee Recognition

Employee social functions do not have to be costly, and while it is best to arrange a gathering outside of the office environment, you certainly don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars hosting a catered event. Social gatherings to boost morale and recognize employees’ hard work are usually more fun than simply receiving a gift card, an employee-of-the-month certificate, or plaque .

One of the most enjoyable employee social functions I attended to boost morale and recognize standouts for that particular year was a company picnic/softball game. The CEO of the company organized it, and the only expenses were hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks for the staff and the cost of renting a softball field for two hours.

It was a blast, and what’s even better is that colleagues who had never spoken two words to each other that entire year were cheering each other on, high-fiving it, and just having good old-fashioned wholesome fun. The following Monday, there was a new energy in the air, and even the employees who grumble about Mondays (and Tuesdays, and Wednesday and Thursdays, even) were in better moods.

Ok, now hold onto your hats for this one because many people have forgotten how to even do this task: Hand write a thank you note. Yes, hand write. Actually find a paper thank you note and use an ink pen to write out a personal message to an employee who went above and beyond the call of duty. A hand-written thank you note says so much more than an email. If your employee could take the time to go the extra mile, why can’t you reciprocate by handwriting a thank you note instead of emailing one or having your secretary type one up and send it for you.

Obviously, the ideas for employee recognition are endless. Think outside the box. Think inexpensive. Think “How would I want to be acknowledged for a job well done?” You don’t need a lot of time or money to tell your employees how much their work means to you and how the company values them and their contributions.

PaperDirect has many employee recognition ideas to get you started.