Employee Recognition – How to Retain Employees that Matter

Employee recognition is a way employers show appreciation to their employees to let them know how much their hard work towards the success of the business is valued. It is very important that as an employer, you acknowledge your employees as regards their efforts towards the success of your business.

Employee Recognition – How to Retain Employees that Matter

Employee recognition should not be mistaken for employee rewards or incentives. Although you sometimes have to reward your employees financially, you necessarily do not have to spend lots of money just to recognise the efforts of your employees. All you are required to do is to show them that you really notice and appreciate the efforts they put into their work.


Employee recognition is very important. In fact, in his book ‘How Full Is Your Bucket’, Dr. Donald Clifton mentioned one major reason why employees leave their jobs is because they do not feel appreciated by their employers. Let us highlight some of the importance of employee recognition:


  • Employee recognition helps employees to have a feeling that they are valued and appreciated for their work.
  • It helps boost the morale of the entire team if done effectively.
  • It helps to instil loyalty into your employees.
  • Employees gain a sense of ownership of their work place when they are recognised.
  • When employees are recognised and rewarded, they prove to be more supportive.
  • Employee recognition also boosts the motivation of the entire team at work.
  • Employees tend to stay, and not look for other jobs when they are acknowledged by their employers.
  • Employee recognition helps to boost individual and team productivity. Whenever an act gets recognised, the act would keep getting repeated, and this will in turn result to more productivity.
  • Employees will generally derive enjoyment and satisfaction from their jobs when they keep getting recognised by their employers.



Employee Recognition Ideas

Here are a few employee recognition ideas you could try out in your business.

  • Thank your Employees Openly

When an employee does something great at work, or puts in some good efforts and you are really impressed, you could show your appreciation to the employee openly in front of the other colleagues.

Another way you could do this is, during the next meeting at work, talk about how greatly impressed you are about what an employee did.

  • Take your Team out for a Lunch/Dinner

When your employees put in so much hard work, a great way to say thank you could be to take them out for a lunch or a dinner, and celebrate them.

Give Some Extra Time Off

One way to show to an employee that you truly appreciate the effort put into work is to give them a gentle pat on the back. If an employee has put in more effort than expected, you could decide to give them a day away from work.

Recognise their Achievement

Another way you could recognise an employee for his hard work is by presenting the employee with a certificate of achievement for a particular achievement. Also, you could feature them on the company’s social media page. It is a very desirable feeling to an employee to be featured on a company’s social media page and be seen by thousands of followers.

So far we have mentioned only formal recognition of employees, but you could also recognise your employees informally. For instance, you could say a sincere thank you to an employee for a job well done.

You could even write them a note to express your sincere appreciations for a particular thing they did well. Saying a ‘hello’ at the beginning of the day, and a ‘goodbye’ at the end of the day would go a long way also.

Tips to an Effective Employee Recognition Programme

Employee recognition is something you want to carry out effectively if you really want your business to be successful. The following are some tips you could use to ensure you carry out an effective employee recognition programme:

  • Always Recognise your Employees

Although several employee recognition ideas have been mentioned in this article, you want to however make sure employee recognition is not refrained to only a particular time; it is something you must keep doing.

You want to show to your employees that you sincerely appreciate them for their work. So, you want to always be on the lookout for any employee who is going above in doing some work for the success of the company, and recognise them accordingly.

  • Be Specific with your Recognition

Whenever you say the two words “thank you” to your employee, you should point out exactly what you are thanking them for. Your employees are not as much as interested in your “thank you” as they are about why they are being thanked.

When thanking them, you also want to mention their names too. You could say, ‘oh! …thank you so much Peter for your nice suggestions at the meeting yesterday. They would really help this company actualize its goals’; ‘…thank you so much for assisting Nelson with the project, we wouldn’t have come this far without your assistance’.

Harmonize the Recognition with the Values of your Business

Reinforcing the core values of your business is very important to the success of your business, so you should always try to link the recognition of your employees to the core values you are trying to inculcate and promote.

Encourage Participation from your Employees

You should always encourage your employees to participate in making your employee recognition programme workable. Always give praise and kudos to those participating and working harder towards the success of the company.

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