Employee Recognition

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Employee Recognition

Recognition of staff is not usually a top priority for supervisors and managers but there are some convincing reasons as to why supervisors and managers should dedicate time and attention on employee recognition. Employee recognition lets employees know that their hard work is valued. It doesn't have to cost anything, it can be done in less than five minutes and the results can have a lasting impact. 

Why is Employee Recognition Important?

Employee recognition is important because it:

  • Employees feel valued and appreciated
  • Gives employees a sense of ownership and belonging
  • Increases employee motivation
  • Improves employee retention
  • Improves morale
  • Often go above and beyond what is expected of them

According to Glassdoor:

  • 80% of employees are more motivated when they feel appreciated,
  • 71% of highly engaged employees work where peers are recognized at least monthly, and
  • engaged employees are proven to be 31% more productive.

Guidelines for Employee Recognition

Each department should consider implementing an employee recognition program. Employees can be recognized for both individual and group achievements.

To be effective, employee recognition must be:

  • Timely, in the moment
  • Specific to accomplishment
  • Personal and authentic
  • Sincere and heartfelt
  • Meaningful to the employees preferences
  • Unexpected

Acknowledgement of effort and accomplishments must be done timely in order to be effective. Also, remember that each person has their own preferences for how they want to be recognized - what one employee appreciates could be a real turn-off for a different employee. For instance, one employee may appreciate being recognized in front of the entire team, where a different employee may get embarrassed in a group setting and all meaning of it will be lost.

To help remember each employee’s preferences, we created a Recognition Inventory. Have each employee fill out this list upon hire and then annually or every couple years as preferences can change.

Recognition Ideas

Employee recognition should be designed to each employee’s preferences.

  • Nominate an employee for exemplifying the Guiding Principles
  • Say a sincere thank you for a job well done. Be specific; for example "you handled that client well, thank you" or "thanks, that idea on how to manage budgets will help us solve the problem".
  • A personal handwritten note. Keep a pack of note cards in your desk for convenience. You could also send an e-mail to acknowledge work well done, with a copy to the next level supervisor or director.
  • Tell your employee about positive comments that you hear from others and send the comment to be posted in the monthly Inside Information.
  • Acknowledge individuals or teams at a staff meeting, management meeting, or special event.
  • Reward an achievement with the employee’s favorite treat or snack.
  • Acknowledge birthdays, work anniversaries, new babies and other significant life events.
  • Give out hour-off certificates for exceptional achievements. Let employees accumulate them for up to one day off.
  • Allow the employee to take an extra-long lunch break.
  • Have a team meeting outside the office at the local coffee shop or restaurant
  • Create a recognition bulletin board to post 'thanks' from other employees and customers.
  • Give an employee a day off for a job well done.
  • Ask your employee to represent you at a meeting outside the organization.
  • Take your employee out to lunch.
  • Write down three things you appreciate about your employee.
  • Flexible work schedules/Ability to telework/off-site work day.
  • Find a fun trophy or figurine that you can pass around the work group.
  • Create a wall of fame, add employee’s photos and their accomplishments.
  • Express interest in your employee’s personal development.
  • Allow employees to select their next work assignment.
  • Give your employees a shirt with the department name on it.
  • Donate money to your employee’s favorite charity.

Human Resources Department

HOURS: Monday - Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm

200 West Oak, Suite 3200, Fort Collins, CO 80521
PO Box 1190, Fort Collins, CO 80522
PHONE: (970) 498-5970 | FAX: (970) 498-5980
Email Human Resources