10 Employee Recognition Ideas That Help in Branding

employee recognition ideas
Employee Recognition Ideas

What works well in one organization does not always work in another. Two years ago, what worked for you may not work in today's workplace. The world is changing, the employment market is changing, and employee expectations are evolving.  

So what do you need to discover this secret ingredient for your successful recognition program? We say it is patience, a willingness to experiment, and a strong will to succeed.

We've put together a list of 10 employee recognition ideas to help you redesign your recognition efforts to succeed in the coming years.

What is Employee Recognition?

Employee recognition is an acknowledgment of any employee's or team's achievements and hard work within the organization. This is one of the most positive ways to show the employees how much the company values them and their contribution to business success. For instance, if your recruiting team decided to shift to video interviews and saved cost per hire, you must recognize their effort and appreciate them for their brilliant move.

Benefits of Employee Recognition

According to a recent recruiting survey, around 41 percent of businesses intend to use employee recognition programs to improve their employer brand. Let's have a quick look at some of the benefits of employee recognition:

Increased Work Productivity

Any employee who feels appreciated is automatically more committed and connected to the company. Feeling connected they find more familiarity with every aspect of your brand, from the logo design to your brand mission. Such employees constantly feel motivated to perform their best and go the extra mile to achieve their goals, eventually profiting the productivity.

Reduced Employee Turnover

One of the most crucial reasons people leave their job is a lack of recognition. If you practice employee recognition in your organization, your workforce will continuously feel motivated. Employees who feel that their company honors their career growth and success tend to stay in the company long, decreasing employee turnover.

Increased Retention of Talented Employees

A recent study remarked on the labor shortage and added that there are 10.4 million job opportunities worldwide each month and merely 8.4 million candidates looking for work. This undoubtedly states an extreme lack of talent in the labor market, and locating someone for your business is a lengthy and financially draining task.

An employee who feels recognized more often stays motivated and loyal, which would ultimately help you retain them for the long run and save you from the labor shortage.

How to Practice Employee Recognition?

There is no set pattern to practice employee recognition because each workforce functions differently. But still, it should be practiced around the following standards:


Practicing employee recognition once a year won't be enough. For recognition to be efficient, it has to be consistent. You need not show gestures of recognition and appreciation every day as this would reduce its impact, but maintaining a healthy balance is essential. The most appropriate way to practice it is either monthly or quarterly. This would keep the employees motivated and interested.


Once employees deliver excellent quality work or a successful project, recognition must be immediate. It would not be as meaningful if you delay the recognition for too long, and there is an extended gap between positive action and employee recognition. The employee would not be as enthusiastic or glad about it.


It could be discouraging to receive generic gratitude after an employee puts a lot of effort into an assignment. Ensure to keep the recognition specific to the employee's action, significance, and preferences.

How is Employee Recognition linked to branding?

Branding in this blog explicitly targets an employer's brand. It is how the labor market perceives you or your organization as an employer. Let’s deeply understand this.

An employer works around three categories of employees, which are:

  • Ex-employees
  • Current workforce
  • Potential candidates

Your employer brand is created and carried firmly around the above three.

Employers often fail to deliver the required attention to the ex-employees. Always remember that your ex-employees are your ambassadors. They hold a significant influence on creating your image in the market through their experiences.

An employer who keeps his team motivated and makes them feel recognized more often creates great branding for himself. The employees communicate their current and previous incidents with their organization more often in their corporate network.

Once you attain renowned branding, you are expected to attract the best talents in the labor market whenever a job opportunity arises. It is needless to say that all potential candidates want to be a part of a workforce that celebrates career growth and a motivating work culture.

Employee Recognition Ideas at Different Levels

Being recognized by the leaders and managers of the company is meaningful for the employees. But recognition from only the senior level staff is sometimes not enough for an employee to feel consistently motivated. This could be because they have to work with their teammates more often. So, recognition needs to be practiced at various levels in an organization.

  • Employee recognition by peers
  • Employee recognition by the team
  • Employee recognition by remote employees

Being recognized by peers or teammates is equally necessary for the employees. This is a terrific way to strengthen the bond between them. Remote employees should be likewise made a part of each celebration that happens in the organization. Recognition from the remote employees would help the employees and the office workforce create a bond and maintain a team spirit irrespective of geographical distance.

10 Employee Recognition Ideas that Help in Branding

Employee recognition ideas can be big or small. The motive behind such gestures is to say "thank you" and appreciate the hard work and contributions toward the firm's goals. The perfect ideas would be personal, memorable, and often reflective of company culture or the type of profession you practice. A meaningful recognition idea can encourage employee retention and morale.

Since remote culture is excessively practiced around the globe nowadays, this blog would consider remote employees an equal asset to the company. We shall talk about 10 ways of recognizing employees working in the office and remotely.

1. Do a Company-wide Shout Out

A heartfelt shout-out of gratitude and appreciation in front of the office would help the employee feel confident and recognized for their efforts and encourage the other employees to work hard to be honored likewise.

Remote employees tend to work exceptionally well often. It is imperative to appreciate them frequently in front of the whole team via team meetings or zoom conferencing.

This way of recognition won't cost you money but still help you make a significant impact on an employee, and they would feel a close connection with your business. It would also enhance employee-employer relationships.

2. Buy Them Lunch

Thank you lunches are a fantastic way of recognition. This is a timeless art of communal eating; you can order food from their favorite joint or offer them food coupons, whichever suits the employee. They need to comprehend that you appreciate their career enhancement and not just your profit.

In the case of remote employees, you can give them a lunch card or coordinate with them, asking for their food choices and ordering them a meal on the company's behalf. In the case of the remote team, you can use virtual credit cards configured to your lunch timings and get everyone on the same ordering page.

3. Employee Care Packages, Rewards, or Vouchers

Gift your employees a care package filled with an assortment of items that show you care and recognize their efforts. Include handwritten thank you cards, gift certificates, snacks, etc. All these gifts selected carefully and packed nicely together, deliver an impact greater than one gift. Hire any employee care company and give them the responsibility of sending gifts to the deserving employee as and when needed. Create a logo that will stick in the memory, remind of your brand, and ensure the gifts feature it in the design.

This is a standard procedure just with the change in geographical locations so the remote employee can be recognized alike.

Another great way to create a fantastic reward program is employee referral. In a world where talent is scarce, your best shot at hiring the best is to get more and more referrals. Track referrals and bring transparency using a recruiting CRM and create a tiered rewards program.

4. Write Creative Thankyou Notes

This is yet another easy way of recognition that involves no charge. To make an employee feel recognized and appreciated, sit down and write a note or a letter that talks about how proud you are of your efforts. Employees find it very thoughtful and relish this gesture.

In the case of a remote employee, you can do the same by writing your kind recognition over an email.

5. Recreate Their Workstation or Gift Them Something New

This is a practical and fun way of employee recognition. Employees spend a significant chunk of their day working and gifting them something that enhances their work environment is an appropriate gesture. A useful gift for their workstation makes recognition go a long way. This is a very thoughtful way of reminding your employees daily about how much you appreciate them being in your workforce.

In the case of a remote employee, you can gift them something that adds value to their workspace, depending on your budget—a comfortable chair or a table lamp, or something similar that is beneficial for them.

6. Social Media Recognition

Quick positive feedback on their corporate profiles on a platform like LinkedIn that helps them and their career, in the long run, is another excellent way of employee recognition. You can even appreciate your employee on your business social media handles so that other influential people in the corporate notice them and congratulate their performance by composing a congratulatory message. This way, you can show that you respect their career and development.

7. Work From Home (in trend)

Honor your employees' personal lives and give them a day to work from home or remotely. This day can be a grand gesture and a refreshing break for them from a monotonous work routine. You can even consider giving them a paid-off or an outing day that can release them of regular work stress. This is an elegant way of recognizing both remote and office employees.

8. Bonuses

Recognitions are always worthwhile, but it becomes a great encouragement when they come to finances. Giving your employees a small bonus can be among the best ways of motivation for them and their colleagues. If your budget doesn’t allow you, you can also consider giving them a health benefit or something that supports them financially in any way.

9. Open House

Being appreciated in front of one's family and children can be the most endearing memory in someone's career. Many companies nowadays have developed the system of "Open House." An open house is where employees can invite their family or friends to their office, and these guests can visit their workspace. You can think of a creative way to display their award on the workstation at this event.

In the case of remote employees, you can send a family meal or a generic gift for all the family members with an award for your employee.

The primary purpose of this type of recognition is to express your appreciation to the employee in front of their families or close ones.

10. Wellness Day

Employee wellness is the most trending topic right now and a fantastic way to practice recognition. You can offer them a wellness coupon from any fitness center or an on-site mindfulness session for the employee or the team.

Remote employees can be presented with a wellness coupon according to their location or any online mindfulness session that enhances their mental well-being.

Talented employees serve as the foundation of the business's success, and they deserve to be rewarded with sound wellness programs.

Wrapping it Up

Any organization can use the best recruitment tools to hire the top talents of the labor market but retaining and keeping your workforce motivated is wholly based on your efforts. An effective way of recognition pays for itself and sometimes much more in enhanced motivation, work productivity, employee engagement, and retention patterns. An employer can choose the most suitable form of recognition according to their budget and accomplishments.