How to Create A Recognition Program for Employees: Ideas and Benefits

May 31, 2020 | Company Culture | 0 comments

Creating a recognition program for employees can make your staff feel valued and rewarded. This is important for job satisfaction and loyalty to your organization.

What Is A Recognition Program for Employees?

Employee recognition is the expression of appreciation and acknowledgement of a job well done. People like to feel seen and have their work and achievements recognized by their superiors. If it’s in the form of public recognition, even better.

Creating a recognition program for employees can achieve this. It ensures that people’s hard work doesn’t get overlooked or forgotten.

The traditional method of recognition is top-down. This is where a manager or superior will reward an employee for doing a great job. Or it could be peer to peer recognition. However, there is not only one form of recognition. Take a look below at some of the different types of recognition.

Types of Recognition

1. Monetary

You can use money to recognize employees for good work. This could include Christmas bonuses or gift cards. Perhaps this could be used to reward employees who’ve just completed a project or landed a new client. It is highly valued in customer service as these roles often don’t earn a lot.

2. Leave

Another option for rewards and recognition is extra leave. This includes long service leave when an employee finishes many years of service. Others may offer employees shorter work weeks.

3. Awards

Recognition awards are becoming more popular in larger organizations. Think employee of the month but on a larger scale. Instead, there is an awards ceremony where those recommended by managers or peers receive an award. These awards may be shared on social media for a further show of appreciation. Sometimes employees are given company pins as part of the award.

What Are the Benefits of a Recognition Program for Employees?

By having a recognition program for employees, your company experience many benefits.

Attract Recruits

When you are hiring new staff, the salary is only part of the package. Adding in a recognition program that offers extra leave, for example, can help talent want to come and work for you. It is often cheaper to make your proposal more appealing with recognition programs rather than boosting the salary. You can also get better people into your organization by staying competitive with the market without paying the earth.

Employee Retention

When people feel valued, they become more loyal to your organization. That’s why implementing an employee recognition program can increase retention. People don’t want to leave somewhere they feel appreciated.

Increased Engagement

We all know that engaged employees are productive employees. This is great for your business outcomes. When employees work hard and are recognized for their great work, they feel more engaged. Many companies find it difficult to make their employees feel valued, and this is a great way to do it.

4 Ideas to implement a rewards program


Here are some ideas of ways to implement rewards to get you started:

Weekly Meeting

At your weekly team meeting, you could start an achievements segment. Get people to shout out to those who did great work that week. This is a great way of prompting peer-to-peer recognition.

Public Recognition

Don’t only tell someone they did a great job but make it public. This could be on your website, newsletter, or company screens. Describe who it is and what they did.

At the Time

Show appreciation at the time you see someone work hard or achieve something. Just because you have a weekly meeting where you show appreciation, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it any time. If you see someone make a huge sale or complete a long project, stop and thank them for their hard work. This can be more powerful than you realize.

One-On-One Meetings

When you have one-on-one catch-ups with your employees, consider what they have done since your last one. Then let them know that you appreciate their hard work and efforts.

How to Create A Recognition Program for Employees

There are many things you could implement within a recognition program for employees. At heart, recognition and appreciation should become part of the company culture. It is highly effective when it occurs as a natural act.

Determine the Criteria

You need to decide what will result in rewards for your employees. Especially if it is monetary, you need defined criteria for how someone can achieve this. This gives everyone a chance to be recognized and they know what to strive towards.

Decide on Rewards

The rewards should be reflective of the amount of effort. For example, completion of a one-week project could be a shout out on your Facebook page. Completion of a 2-year project might be a week of leave. You don’t want people to feel like they put in a ton of effort only to get a tiny reward.

Create Experiences

Remember, this is about authentic gratitude. You want your employees to feel valued, not like you shoved an envelope at them. This is why events such as awards ceremonies are becoming popular. It is an entire experience for the employee, to get up and be recognized in front of everyone.

Get Buy-In

You need the senior leadership team to buy into the recognition program for employees. Otherwise, it will never be enacted. People need to feel valued by their managers, not HR. You can’t do it for them. If the senior team are on board, they will get their direct reports to do it, and so on.

Increase engagement, productivity and retention when you implement a recognition program for employees. You will find that you get many benefits and your employees will be happier and feel more fulfilled.

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