Unique Recognition Ideas for your employees

Everybody loves to be appreciated. As per research, 58% of employees consider that by offering recognition where it is due, the manager can ensure better engagement from them.

Practicing formal and informal ways of appreciation and acknowledgment in the workplace is known as employee recognition. It can be of any magnitude, and it still goes a long way in creating a positive work environment. This responsibility of employee recognition can be challenging for the manager, especially during a work-from-home situation. As a matter of fact, merely 14% of companies provide managers with all the essential tools for rewards and recognition in present times. These are weary times where employee recognition is needed even more than usual. After all, almost 69% of employees would work harder if their efforts were being appreciated in a better way.

Benefits Of Employee Recognition

Employee recognition is often underestimated. Studies have proven that productivity increases by 31% when employees are happy with their jobs. And 92% of employees are more likely to put more effort into their work after being appreciated on a previous task. Some of the benefits of practicing employee recognition are: –

  • Increased productivity 
  • Job satisfaction 
  • Better employee retention
  • Increased company loyalty 
  • Better networking within company employees
  • Positive employee-employer relationship
  • Striving for more efficiency 
  • Healthy, positive office environment

Why is employee recognition important during remote working scenarios?

Addressing the employees’ contributions creates healthy office relationships, and the employee finds working for the company a rewarding and valued pursuit. This simple gesture can bring overall improvement in individual employee performance and, ultimately, the company’s performance. 

In corporate setups, the manager or HR department takes up this strategy to improve working conditions, bringing maximum results. Due to the pandemic, the WFH scenario has shifted the office dynamics, making it difficult to convey employee recognition.

Coping with a new work routine of virtual meetings, deadlines, absence of workspace privacy at home, etc., makes the working experience uncomfortable. The extra efforts taken to overcome the virtuality and deliver the same work with the same efficiency go underappreciated. It takes a toll on work satisfaction, brings monotony, which interferes with the employees’ duties to the company. When an employee is not satisfied with their job, it is evident in the quality of their work. By employee recognition, job satisfaction and work quality can be improved. 69% of employees said that they would be more involved in work if they felt that they were noticed and appreciated. 

Convey effective employee recognition in these work-from-home situations. Let your employees know that they are valued. Here are some novelty work-from-home approaches to employee recognition:

Keeping It Simple

Small acts of kindness can make the biggest impact. Simply letting your employees know directly with small comments and announcements can make their day too. 

1. “Thank you” meeting

At the end of a productive project or sale, the manager can host a congratulatory virtual meeting to point out notable contributions from the employees and thank them. Announcing achievements in front of colleagues gives a good boost which will be carried onto the next projects. 50% of employees have commented that being thanked by their superiors built their trust and dedication to the company.

2. Stay connected

It is easy to lose track of employees during WFH sessions. The more detached and without human connection from his/her work community, the more disinterested and bored the employee, becomes with their job. Hold regular weekly meetings to keep the entire team updated and connected.

3. Employee of the month/week

Holding a tradition of an employee of the month/week can encourage employees to stick to a productivity streak. By trying to secure the award, employees tend to work with a goal-oriented mindset.

4. Breaks and breathers

Occasionally extending break sessions when things are overwhelming will be appreciated by subordinates. Promising to issue some free time if the team completes their work before a deadline can be considered a rewarding challenge. Not only is the work completed faster, but there is also an element of fun that the employees will look forward to the next time.

5. Day-off and PTOs

When you find an employee putting in extra effort for the company’s sake, you can extend gratitude by giving them a paid day off or half-day off. This enforces a bond with the employer.

6. Social media announcements

If the company has a website or social media account, making shoutouts about some of the notable performances by employees in the past week/month brings a sense of self-importance and responsibility. Updating the ‘About-us’ or the ‘Team’ section on websites makes them feel more like a part of the team.

7. Assigning responsibilities

Making the employee feel important can be achieved by assigning responsibilities to show them your trust. Assigning interns and newbies under pre-existing employees makes them feel important and trustworthy.

Keep It Professional

Nothing’s better than a boss who guides you to do better. Being both the boss and mentor brings great respect. Prove your concern for your employees by hosting activities that can help them.

1. Virtual workshops

Cultivate the tradition of bringing in motivational speakers, professionals from the respective business sectors to give short speeches. It is guaranteed to break away from the work monotony and liven up things. Give the employees access to learning and development programs, certificate programs, workshops, and training, etc., that can help them with personal development.

2. Employee wellness

Show your employees that the company cares and values them and their health. Host virtual yoga, dance, or Zumba sessions on investing some time in their physical health. Give access to professional consultants and therapists to promote mental health awareness.

3. Employer feedback

Remember that the employee-employer relationship is a two-way street. Issue google-forms to the employees to communicate their feedback, suggestions for improvements and act upon them. This will make them feel heard and as a part of the company rather than just a tool. 

4. LinkedIn recommendations

When employees showcase talent, dedication, and improvement, the employer can extend support by making LinkedIn recommendations. Coming from their boss, these have great value in an employee’s career, and their gratitude will be reflected in their work. 

5. Newsletters and email announcements

Issuing regular company emails about the best-performing employees, notable milestones, client wins, etc., is an appreciative gesture. If the company had any newsletters, include a section for the employee feedbacks from clients, star ratings, etc.

6. Gratitude sessions

Monthly meetings allow employees to share 3 things that they are grateful for, things they want to improve, recent achievements, things that they are happy about, etc. From both their personal and work life, it forges a sense of community. This acts as a cathartic experience and as a manifestation of positive attitudes. 


Incorporating fun elements in day-to-day activities, projects, sales, etc., can make the work process more enjoyable. Friendly competition induces better performance and bonding within the company.

1. Points reward system

Allot points for every sale, client satisfaction rating, project success, and other achievements on a scoreboard to see who can secure more points within a set period. Promise gifts or perks. Include bingo points. It can even be a team-oriented game by dividing the office into. Overall, experience is fun, and work is also done quicker. Competitions can be held to see who can land the highest client numbers or sales rate. Games can get them more involved in their work and not get too distracted at home. Traveling trophy systems can be followed too. Weekly, monthly, or annual awards can be issued with fun titles like ‘most punctual,’ ‘best zoom moment,’ ‘best sale,’ etc.

2. Peer-to-peer appreciation

Monthly video call sessions where anonymous notes of appreciation from one colleague to another can be read. Or internal web pages can be created to post positive comments about each other’s works. Finding the approval of colleagues can greatly impact one’s performance. A virtual wall of fame or a recognition bulletin can also be put together to visually represent how well the team is doing. ‘Member of the week’ nominations can also be practiced.

3. Celebratory traditions

Casual game nights can be conducted for the team. Apps like Heads Up, Skribbl, etc., can allow games of trivia and Pictionary. This can be crucial, especially when employees feel disconnected from their work-life during WFH. Colleague birthdays and work anniversaries can also be celebrated on video-call.

4. Rewards and gifts

In addition to recognition and appreciation, gifts like coupons, vouchers to spas, massages, gift cards, movie tickets, plants, cacti, useful stationery, gift baskets, etc. can be used as a simple reward. Offering to buy the team’s lunch if they complete an assigned quota is also a fun and meaningful reward.

In a nutshell...

At the end of the day, you know your employees best. Taking inspiration from any of these suggestions, you can customize these simple gestures of employee recognition to best suit your employees. Include it as a part of your work routine and witness the difference it makes.