Recognizing Employee Contributions

employee recognition 2Have you ever been recognized for something outstanding you did at work? It feels pretty great doesn’t it? If you’re the owner/boss of your own company, you might want to keep that in mind in regard to recognizing your employees’ efforts. If you don’t currently do some kind of employee recognition on a regular basis, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to build goodwill and morale within your team, and to inject some motivation and excitement into your workplace.

Some people are competitive by nature and others are content to just go with the flow. Your employee recognition program can cater to both. It takes a small outlay of funds, some creativity, and awareness of what motivates your team to come up with a great program that will motivate your staff to try even harder to win recognition.  The type of business or service your company does will determine the type of employee recognition you provide. Meet with your managers/supervisors to ask their opinions about what they think employees would like best, and remember to add a recognition for that level of management at least once per quarter to keep them motivated as well. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Recognition by Department

Each area of the company serves a different need from the mailroom to the people who answer the phone. Recognizing the efforts of an entire department is a great way to motivate the entire company and will shine the spotlight on some of the departments that can be more or less taken for granted. Each employee in each department makes a significant contribution to the success of the company. A catered lunch or team event is a great way to recognize everyone for the part they play.  Giving recognition to a department that has just completed a long-term project or accounting audit is nice way to say you noticed and appreciated the efforts of everyone in the department. In fact, it’s a great policy to recognize all of your departments throughout the year for their efforts.

employee recognition 1Employee of the Month

The employee of the month should be decided by management and can be determined based on a customer’s good feedback, a manager from another department, or feedback from peers. This can also be numbers -based. If, for example, you have an outstanding sales representative who is blowing the competition out of the water, you can recognize them for that achievement. This honor should carry some kind of monetary prize or special perk such as a coffee card or preferred parking space for the month. Some companies post a photo of the chosen employee in the lobby of the building or in a public space. One company gave their employee “jean coupons” that allowed them to buck the dress code for ten days of their choosing out of the month. Free carwashes, lunch vouchers and gym days are some of the other prizes available for the EOM.

Instant Winners

Another way to recognize employees randomly is with an instant winner prize. This is often a coffee card, gas card, or gift certificate.  These prizes can be awarded at the time of the event. Say customer service phone calls are audited for quality in your company and you overhear a particularly difficult customer call that your representative has handled perfectly.  You would have the ability to walk up to them right afterwards and hit them with an instant winner. This is a true cause and effect method that motivates on an individual level. A verbal compliment shows you’re paying attention, but a monetary prize or gift says you care. The instant winner can also be a peer recognition tool. When a staff member does a great job for another staff member they can be given an instant win as well.

employee recognitionMerit-Based

These types of recognition are for things that are quantifiable. For the best sales, the most phone calls, perfect attendance, good safety records and achievements related to tangible concepts. You do have to be careful with merit-based rewards as it seems that there are often a handful of competitive and driven people in the group that will always rise to the top and it may cause others to become disgruntled by the same people winning on a regular basis. This is the opposite of what the merit-based recognition is designed to achieve. This should be mentioned in their annual performance evaluations and you can learn more about why these trends are happening and make adjustments where needed.

Year End Bonus

If your company is doing well, and your employees are making an outstanding effort, a small addition to your employees paychecks or a gift at the end of the year is a wonderful way to recognize the efforts they have made. It can be in the form of a gift, gas or grocery card or simply cash. It’s not the amount so much as the point of it that has an impact on morale.  Employees appreciate what they perceive as a piece of the profits they have contributed to making. Show your employees you care and notice their efforts and they’ll try even harder to help your company succeed.

Here at PBFY, I’m proud to say that we do all of this and more! Our employees are the backbone of our company and we love recognizing their contributions.


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