Ideas for Employee Recognition Programs


Employees are the cornerstone of any business, without them, the business fails.  Demotivated or disgruntled employees can have a major impact on the bottom line too.  Introducing an employee recognition program is a great way of increasing morale and creating a culture of recognition and praise.

Employee Recognition Program Ideas

Before introducing a recognition program, there are some important things to consider:

  • ALL employees must be eligible for recognition to ensure fairness and consistency.
  • The goals should be relevant to the company, in order to improve performance and KPI’s.
  • The rewards should not impact the performance of the business or that of the employees.
  • The rules and rewards for the program must be clearly detailed and understood by all employees and managers.
  • The rules are upheld and any employee that becomes eligible for a reward, receives one, every time.
  • Rewards should be presented as soon as possible, after the achievement is attained.
  • The rewards should not be left to an individuals discretion, this can lead to claims of favouritism or unfairness.

Company Branded Gifts

Awarding an employee a gift with a company logo on may not seem like the most thoughtful of ideas, however, the company logo or slogan need only be a small part of the design.  For instance, awarding an employee with a mug stating that they are the ‘Employee Of  The Month’ for instance is a great way to reward and recognise a job well done.  Selecting gifts which are relevant and useful to the individual receiving the award is an important element to consider.

Longer Lunch Breaks

Everyone loves a longer lunch break.  This will give an employee more time to do some shopping, eat without rushing, or just relax for longer.

Time Off

Annual leave always seems to run out too quickly.  Often there is a need for an employee to take unpaid leave as a result of an unforeseen event, because they have run out of their entitlement.  Awarding additional annual leave to a valued employee would be greatly received.

Employee Recognition Board

A quick, easy and simple way to recognise employees, and encourage a culture of recognition, is to install a recognition board on a communal area.  This can either be a pin board with photos of recognised employees and the reason for the submission, or a simple white board and markers for employees to write message of gratitude to colleagues that have assisted them.

Employee Awards

A more common form of recognition, staff awards for particular achievements allow management to connect with the workforce and show their appreciation for a job well done.  Awards can also be presented based on votes from colleagues, this way the entire workforce can be involved in the process.

Free Meal For Recognised Employee And Their Department

Buying a meal for the employee and their department will enable a social interaction within the team, whilst also rewarding an employee for their hard work.  This could be anything from a local restaurant in the evening, to a baguette at the local bakery at lunchtime.

Team Outings or Activities

Team building weekends, bowling evenings or a trip to the cinema are all good examples of outings that enable employees to socialise and interact.  Awarding an outing such as this for an employee achievement will have the added benefit of increasing morale within the team, and for the individual employee.

One idea is to ask the employee and their department to make a new video advert for your business using an iPad.  This does not have to be a serious advert (or even one which you will use), but it will inspire the employees involved to think creatively and work as a team.

Discount Cards For Local Businesses

Many businesses within the vicinity of your office may well run discount schemes for other local companies.  Knowing that they have a discount for certain outlets will encourage your employees to use local businesses more, helping to build a relationship with nearby trade.  You may even be able to offer discounts on your products or services for other local businesses, and their recognition schemes.

Gift Vouchers/Cards

A more personalised reward is a gift card for a retailer relevant to the individual.  If the employee is a cyclist then a voucher for a cycle retailer for instance shows thought behind the gift.