What is Employee Recognition?

By Colin Gordon | 08.03.2022

Today’s work environment is highly competitive, and employers are looking for ways to keep succeeding and stay ahead of the competition. To do so, they need top-notch staff who are well talented and skilled in various categories. While you can easily source top talent, having them work for you long-term can be challenging, especially if there is no work motivation. Employee recognition goes a long way in retaining workers, thus boosting their morale. This article takes you through the meaning of employee recognition and why you need to include it in your company’s culture to transform your workers and business’ bottom line.

What Do You Mean by Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition is whereby an employer acknowledges their workers’ efforts towards achieving set business goals. It doesn’t have to be high performances but minor contributions such as completing daily tasks, particular behaviors, team efforts, etc. By recognizing and appreciating your employees’ contributions, not only will they feel valued but remain loyal and work for you long-term. Simply put, employee recognition in the workplace instills a sense of belonging in your workers and unlocks their full potential. 

Why is Employee Recognition Important?

Employees feel motivated when they are held in high esteem by their employers and peers. This can only happen with an employee recognition program in place. Employee recognition doesn’t have to be expensive gifts, but a simple thank you or a lunch date. That being said, here are some of the employee recognition benefits.

1. Happy Workforce

Employee recognition is one of the strategies employers use to keep a happy workforce. With happy employees come more engagement and increased productivity. In addition, employers who acknowledge their workers from time to time build a loyal workforce. On top of that, there will be more collaboration and teamwork – a critical element for maximum productivity. 

2. Increases Employee Retention Rate

We all know that losing the most valuable employees can be a huge setback for an organization. Not only will it be challenging for you to replace them, but you will end up spending more money conducting another recruitment procedure. With an employee recognition program, there will be low employee turnover since your workers will feel recognized and appreciated for their input.

3. Improves Workplace Relationships and Team Work

Having a solid working relationship is essential in building trust among workers and managers. In this regard, train your senior staff on the best methods to recognize employees. This will also contribute to better communication and bridge any gaps that hinder business growth. In addition, it will be easier for employees to work as a team with or without supervision. 

4. Helps Build an Excellent Employer Brand

Having a solid employee recognition culture contributes to excellent employer branding. As a result, quality talent will be attracted to your organization since they feel that you value your employees. What’s more, a well-planned employee recognition program contributes to employee advocacy, and they will become your brand ambassadors.

5. Boosts Work Motivation

A motivated workforce is unstoppable when it comes to achieving business objectives. Employee recognition programs within an organization will boost your workers’ morale. Therefore, set the best incentives suitable for your business and provide your workers with the motivation they need. As a result, you will witness increased productivity and client satisfaction. 

6. Strengthens Business Culture and Values

When employees are recognized, they will reciprocate. This will create a positive business culture where workers acknowledge and appreciate each other for their input. Moreover, your business values will be strengthened since employee recognition will be based on existing values.

Types of Employee Recognition

There are different types of employee recognition that you can implement in your employee recognition program. Since your workers have different personalities, you can use different types of employee recognition to appreciate them without leaving them embarrassed.

  • Top-Down Recognition

As a leader promoting a culture of employee recognition through established core values, it is crucial that you praise them for being dedicated. As a result, they will be happy and motivated towards performing their best.

  • Direct-Report Recognition 

This type of employee recognition is offered by reporting managers. You see, team managers or supervisors deal directly with employees, and having them recognized and appreciate top performers will seem genuine. Also, reporting managers understand every worker’s personality, and they will know the most appealing type of recognition for each employee. 

  • Peer-to-Peer Recognition

This type of recognition allows employees to recognize each other’s efforts and offer appreciation. As a result, their bond is strengthened, and there will be more trust, making it easier for them to work as a team. 

Examples of Employee Recognition

Now that you have decided to start an employee recognition program, you probably must be wondering how to manage the program. First, you need to come up with a budget so that you do not dig deep into your business finances. Also, identify the number of awards you plan to offer and their significance in appreciating your workers. That being said, here are examples of employee recognition you can use based on your business needs.

  1. Cash prizes
  2. Free lunch dates
  3. Trophies
  4. Gift cards
  5. Bonuses
  6. Trophies and plaques
  7. Paid time off
  8. Flowers 
  9. Certificates
  10. Company shares
  11. Business trips, etc.


Employee recognition contributes significantly to solid business culture, growth, and success. Therefore, if you are wondering why your business is not achieving its objectives, it is time to implement an employee recognition program. Remember, always praise your workers in areas they excel at sincerely and genuinely. By recognizing their strengths, it will be easier for you to assign tasks and have them delivered successfully. Simply put, employee recognition boosts employees’ morale and confidence, thus improving an organization’s bottom line.