51 Creative Employee Recognition Ideas That Will Inspire You

Employee recognition is one of the most important aspects of any business. It is essential to show your employees that you appreciate their hard work and dedication. If you are looking for some inspiration, then you have come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss creative employee recognition ideas that will inspire you. We will also provide examples of how these ideas can be implemented in your own business. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

Why does employee recognition matter?

Employee recognition is important because it shows your employees that you appreciate their hard work and dedication. It can also help to boost morale and motivation, which can lead to improved productivity and performance. In addition, employee recognition is a great way to build team spirit and camaraderie.

When did companies first start to reward and recognise employees? The history books suggest that the first employee recognition came in the form of a bonus, which was given to workers in the early 1800s. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that employee recognition schemes began to appear in earnest.

Why are employee recognition schemes so important? Employee recognition schemes are important because they help to improve morale and motivation, while also helping to build team spirit and camaraderie.

Do you need a formal employee recognition scheme? No, there is no need for a formal employee recognition scheme. You can reward and recognise your employees in lots of different ways – some formal, some informal; some cheap or even free.

What are the best employee recognition schemes to implement at work? This really depends on your company culture and budget. Some companies find that an informal budget on recognition works best for them and how they want to work.

For larger companies, it may be easier to implement a more formal programme of employee recognition awards, which often has a much larger budget.

What do the stats say about employee recognition?

The latest surveys all suggest that employee recognition is on the rise. In fact, a recent Gallup poll found that 82% of employees said they would work harder if their efforts were recognized more often at work.

Another survey by OfficeVibe discovered that 71% of respondents believed recognition was “very important” and another 22% thought it was “important.”

Some of the worlds best businesses have a focus on employee recognition.

For example, Google has a “Peer Bonus” program that allows employees to recognize their co-workers with up to $100 in cash.

But how do you implement effective employee recognition on your team? Here are some creative employee recognition examples and ideas to inspire you:

  1. Give employees their own office space with a door or cubicle or improve their home desk with furnishings or accessories.
  2. Create a thank you culture. Change employee of the year to employee of the month or “team member of the quarter” award. This is a popular way for companies to give informal monthly recognition that’s easy for managers to award regularly.
  3. Give employees their own parking spot in the company’s lot (this is especially useful if you have multiple buildings) or take care of their travel. Since the pandemic, being really careful about how you show recognition matters. The commute is no longer seen as a necessity, so offer thanks or monetary compensation for them going literally, the extra mile.
  4. Have a day of thanks and spend time creating positive thank yous to your whole team.
  5. Create a “Wall of Fame” in the office with pictures and/or testimonials from employees.
  6. Give employees a plaque or trophy for a job well done.
  7. Throw an employee appreciation party (this could be catered, have games, etc.).
  8. Send handwritten thank you cards to employees.
  9. Give employees more paid vacation days or update your TOIL policy.
  10. Give gift cards. These are small, easy to purchase and a crowd-pleaser.
  11. Give employees a surprise off day (with no work remote option).
  12. Give new books or career related items to employees. This shows a focus on learning and development.
  13. Bring in a professional development speaker for the whole team.
  14. Set up a mentorship program.
  15. Share employee success stories on social media and in company newsletters/blogs.
  16. Make sure you have an open door policy so employees feel comfortable coming to you with questions, concerns, or ideas.
  17. Create a recognition committee that works on new and innovative ways to recognize employees throughout the year.
  18. Ask for feedback and use employee surveys to find out what types of recognition would be most appreciated.
  19. Host an employee appreciation event (think picnic, party, breakfast, etc.).
  20. Gift employees with experiential rewards such as a weekend getaway, tickets to a show, or a gift card to their favourite store.
  21. Get personalised merchandise made with the employee’s name or nickname and give it to them as a gesture of appreciation.
  22. Make an “employee of the month” wall or plaque where you can publicly recognise employees for their hard work and dedication.
  23. Give employees time off during work hours to spend doing hobbies or CSR activities.
  24. Recognise their outside lives and make notes of their milestones.
  25. Create a customised “thank you” video from the entire company that employees can watch online.
  26. Put together an employee appreciation gift basket filled with goodies like candy, flowers.
  27. Offer a chance for them to win prizes, like gift cards or movie passes.
  28. Celebrate employees’ anniversaries and work anniversary milestones by giving them a shoutout at meetings or even throwing an office party to celebrate.
  29. Create an online community where employees can share stories and chat.
  30. Be flexible in how and where employees work.
  31. Send out a weekly or monthly email that highlights the accomplishments of your top-performing people.
  32. Invite employees to a private lunch meeting with executives like the CEO or CMO, so they can share their ideas on how to improve company culture or learn more about senior leadership’s business strategy (and get one on one support.)
  33. Look at your employee benefits package and consider adding new perks like a gym membership, pet insurance or even a gift card to their favourite coffee shop.
  34. Create employee recognition programs that are fun and innovative. For example, you can give employees the option of choosing their own reward each time they hit a sales goal (like earning £100 in gift cards.)
  35. Give employees some extra incentives to get recognised – like a free day off, an extra paid holiday or even a cash bonus.
  36. Make sure you say “thank you” to your employees for a job well done – verbally and in writing.
  37. Pick out a team who have done something special and take them out for lunch or dinner at their favourite restaurant, as a way of saying thank you.
  38. Acknowledge the achievements of individual employees by sending them flowers on their birthday with personalised cards attached, thanking them for all they do each day.
  39. Invite their families in on the fun by organising special events – like a picnic or day at the zoo – that everyone can enjoy.
  40. Reward employees with unique experiences, such as tickets to see their favourite band or sporting event.
  41. Start a “Wall of Fame” in your office where you display photos and certificates of appreciation from people who have been recognised for their hard work and include samples of the work.
  42. Thank them for their dedication with an office-wide breakfast or lunch, catered especially for them.
  43. Host an annual employee appreciation day where you can show your team how much you value and appreciate their work.
  44. Organise fun team-building exercises and trips out.
  45. Ask them to be a part of important company decisions, and let them know that their opinion matters.
  46. Let employees know they are doing a great job by awarding them with special privileges, such as letting them leave work early one day
  47. Keep an allowance on hand to give employees a paid day off so they can take care of personal matters.
  48. Treat them with a holiday bonus at the end of the year.
  49. Take part in national days and use these as an excuse to celebrate your team with themed parties and fun activities.
  50. Celebrate success together by sharing company news and accomplishments with employees.
  51. Host a quarterly appreciation lunch or dinner where you can give out awards and recognitions to employees who have gone the extra mile.
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