Today’s workplace is experiencing a shift from employee recognition as being “nice to have” to “need to have.” A survey by World at Work reported that 88% of organizations have a staff recognition program in place — this can range anywhere from Employee of the Month to bonuses or gift cards. But these traditional methods are starting to grow a reputation for being inauthentic and, frankly, boring.

There’s nothing worse than giving it your all at work and not receiving any sort of acknowledgement for your contributions – however one thing that follows in close second is receiving empty praise that has no meaning behind it. 40% of employees who don’t feel meaningfully recognized will not go above their formal responsibilities, so if you’re going to praise your employee, make it genuine appreciation

Sometimes the best recognition ideas are the cheapest to implement….. give your recognition program a redesign and shake things up, check out these 10 ideas

  1. Project plan

Let employees pick out an upcoming special project to work on. It shows that you trust them to keep accountable for their responsibilities.

2. Peer-to-peer recognition

Create a peer-to-peer recognition scheme. From time to time, enter your employees’ names into a hat when they have recognize a peer. The more kudos they send, the more tickets in the hat they’ll receive. At the end of the week, draw out two names so those employees can enjoy a meal on the company.

 3. Daily wins

When someone lands a new account or completes a project, post it on your internal chat/ staff facebook page and announce it during meetings. It’s a great way for employees to have their achievements highlighted to their colleagues.

4. Birthday celebration

Award recognition winners a floating holiday for their birthday.

5. Sticky notes

Leave a handwritten note saying “thank you” and why you’re thanking them on a Post-It. Stick it on your employee’s desk so that when they come into work the next day, they’ll be received with a pleasant surprise.

6. Rotating trophy


Find a fun trophy, stuffed animal, or figurine that you can pass around the office. Give it to an employee who has gone over and above for the organisation to keep on their desk for a week. Come the next week, let that employee hand it to one of their peers who has done the same.

7. Recognition day

Organize an annual employee recognition day at work. Make a whole event out of it with awards and team-building activities.

8. Wall of fame


Snap photos of your employee’s accomplishments or take candid shots of them hard at work. Celebrate their contributions by creating a collage showcasing their blood, sweat, and hopefully not tears.

9. Send a card

Rather than giving employees a pat on the back or high five, send a card to their home.

10.Creative day

Let your employees take a whole day (or even just half) to work on a project of their choice. Then have them present it in front of the leadership team so that the top ideas can be implemented into everyday operations.

Some of these ideas may seem little, but it’s always the small things that make the biggest differences. Try a different tactic here and there with recognition to make it truly meaningful. Your employees will appreciate it, and so will your organization’s bottom line.


Original Article (18 Creative Employee Recognition ideas) by Sabrina Son