Types of Employee Recognition: Best Practices and Examples

Types of Employee Recognition Best Practices and Examples

Employee recognition is the core of a healthy workplace environment; however, there’s more to it… so much more.

Now, as an employer, you might think recognizing your employees might require too much time and money, but trust us, when we say it doesn’t have to, and in some cases, even if it does, it’s absolutely worth it. According to recent statistics, 69% of employers mentioned recognition and rewards as the top factor that keeps them at their current employers, which shows how important it is for employee retention.

Besides, many types of employee recognition need little or no budget at all, so don’t be quick to lock the idea in a drawer.

In this article, you will see why employee recognition is essential for organizations that strive for success, as well as find the most effective types of employee recognition and the best examples to improve your company culture.

So buckle up and let’s jump right into it!

Why is Employee Recognition Important For Organizations?

Imagine you have a new plant or a tree you want to grow and blossom. Can you expect it to do it without showing your love by watering and caring for it? Of course, you can’t! Even a cactus would die without attention; trust us, we’re talking from our own unfortunate experience that included a very sad and dead cactus.

The same goes for your employees. If you don’t show how much you appreciate and cherish them, how will they grow and give you back all the attention and love?

So if you want your organization to succeed and achieve all the goals you’ve set, then employee recognition is what you need. Here are some examples of what employee recognition can do for your organization:

  1. Boosts employee morale and motivation to continue performing at a high level.
  2. Improves employee engagement since team members who feel valued and appreciated are more likely to be engaged in their work and committed to the organization.
  3. Increases retention, and their level of loyalty, therefore reducing turnover.
  4. Increases employee productivity, leading to increased efficiency and profitability for the organization.
  5. Improves customer satisfaction, which can positively influence customer satisfaction and, therefore, sales and conversions.

Types of Employee Recognition With Examples

There are various types of employee recognition. However, the four main types we thought you should concentrate on are the following: formal, informal, tangible, and intangible employee recognition.

Let’s discuss them all individually and get you some ideas for inspiration!

Types of Employee Recognition With Examples

1. Formal Employee Recognition

These are planned and structured recognition programs often managed by the HR department. They typically have specific criteria for eligibility and may include monetary or non-monetary employee rewards and recognition.

Some practical formal employee recognition examples are:

  • Employee of the month or quarter awards
  • Years of service awards
  • Performance-based bonuses or incentives
  • Promotion opportunities
  • Special recognition ceremonies or events

2. Informal Employee Recognition

Informal employee recognition refers to spontaneous and unplanned forms of recognition often initiated by managers or coworkers. These forms of recognition are more personal and can have a significant impact on employee morale.

Examples of informal recognition can include:

  • A simple thank-you note or email from a manager or colleague
  • Verbal recognition in a team meeting
  • Peer-to-peer recognition through social media or other internal communication channels
  • Offering a public acknowledgment of an employee’s contributions or achievements

3. Tangible Employee Recognition

This type of employee recognition includes rewards that have a physical or monetary value. They often serve as incentives for employees to continue performing at a high level and include:

  • Cash bonuses or gift cards
  • Company-branded merchandise, such as clothing or tech gadgets
  • Certificates or plaques
  • Additional vacation time or paid time off

4. Intangible Employee Recognition

Here we have non-monetary forms of recognition that have a more emotional or psychological impact on employees. These recognition methods can be as powerful as tangible rewards in motivating employees to perform at a high level.

Examples of intangible recognition can be:

  • Verbal praise and positive feedback
  • Opportunities for career growth and development
  • Increased autonomy or decision-making authority
  • Recognition of an employee’s contributions in front of their peers or senior management

5. Mixed Employee Recognition

Here goes our bonus point, and probably the most amazing and effective one, since it combines all the types of employee recognition above.

This kind of employee recognition module includes using recognition software to not only celebrate your employees and their achievements in both verbal and written form, but at the same time, encourage peer recognition and empower your employees with real rewards.

We can take Lucky Carrot as an example. With our software, your team members can send each other virtual carrots that can later be redeemed into gift cards. It’s a great way to create a positive work culture, encourage peer-to-peer recognition and having fun at the workplace, and at the same time, build the best employee recognition culture.

So, no matter which one you choose – formal, informal, tangible, intangible, or mixed, all types of employee recognition can effectively improve your company culture, employee morale, engagement, and performance. Hence, organizations that offer a variety of recognition programs and options are more likely to create a safer space where employees feel valued and eager to stay.

What Type of Recognition Do Employees Want?

With all the options mentioned above, how to know what type of recognition your employees want? The answer is simple, really. Just ask your staff.

They can choose whether they want career growth opportunities, fair compensation such as salary raise or bonuses, improved work-life balance, or simple verbal or written acknowledgment.

Give them a chance to decide that themselves, so they can see how important their opinion is. You can do so by having them fill in anonymous forms, having one-on-ones, group discussions, etc.

How to Recognize Employees?

How to Recognize Employees

Giving recognition to your employees is a process that needs planning. No need to worry about it, though, since we’ve got you covered! Here are some steps that can help you start right away!

1. Determine what employees want

Before implementing an employee recognition program, it’s important to determine what employees actually want. Some employees may prefer tangible rewards such as bonuses or gifts, while others may value intangible rewards such as public recognition or opportunities for career growth. As discussed above, surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one conversations can help determine what types of recognition will be most meaningful to employees.

2. Create a culture of recognition

A culture of recognition involves making employee recognition a regular and consistent part of the organization’s culture. This can include regular communication about the importance of recognizing employees, training managers on how to provide effective recognition, and integrating recognition into the organization’s values and mission.

3. Provide timely recognition

It’s important to recognize employees in a timely manner so that they feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. Timely recognition means acknowledging employees’ accomplishments as soon as possible after they occur, rather than waiting for a formal recognition program or event.

4. Personalize recognition

Personalizing recognition refers to tailoring it to the individual employee and their specific contributions. This could involve recognizing employees in a public setting or a one-on-one conversation, using specific examples of their work and contributions, and offering personalized rewards or incentives.

By following these steps, organizations can create an effective employee recognition program that is tailored to the needs and preferences of their employees. A successful recognition program can lead to incredible results for the organization and take your company culture to a whole new level.

Summing Up

In conclusion, employee recognition is a critical aspect of creating a healthy and successful work environment by boosting productivity, employee engagement, and customer satisfaction. Every organization, regardless of its budget, can come up with employee recognition programs based on the main types of employee recognition: formal, informal, tangible, intangible, and mixed.

Don’t forget that it’s important to ask employees what kind of recognition they want so that you can have an idea about the values of your staff.

Ready to up your employee recognition game right away? Join Lucky Carrot to have everything you need for a creative and fun employee recognition program!

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