Think that employee recognition means sinking a bunch of time and money into fancy awards? Think again. Meaningful appreciation doesn’t have to take a lot of resources. In fact, here are some employee recognition ideas where the workers themselves get involved—and you don’t actually do much at all!
Recognition can be a simple online activity that just takes a little effort each week. You can also make a bigger production out of it occasionally. Try creating a book or poster for an employee, where their colleagues can write messages about what the employee does well. It’s a great physical reminder of their accomplishments, and it can be a good reminder during times of disappointment or high stress.
Recognition From Leadership
When your employees dial up the level of their performance, give them a chance to show off to upper leadership. Did they pull off a difficult project or push through a new process that really benefits the organization? Not only can you give them praise yourself, but you could arrange for them to present the results of their work to a manager or director they don’t normally work with.
Another way to connect employees and company leaders is with one-on-one meetings. Reward a high-performing worker with a coffee or lunch meeting with one of those leaders. It’s a great opportunity for that employee to get some mentoring and learn more about the business.
Take an exceptional employee to the next step of their learning by letting them expand their role. What additional responsibilities can they take on at work? It’s even better if you can tie these new duties to their career development plan, so you can find what really engages them.
If you can make the investment, give employees the chance to take classes or additional training. Even if you don’t cover the cost of tuition, you can grant them the necessary time off. They’ll do the work of studying, and you’ll be rewarded with an employee who’s even better than before.
Treating Each Other
Food is always a great way for employees to relax and connect with each other. A company-sponsored lunch is always a welcome reward, but you can also ask your workers to take on the responsibility sometimes. Give everyone a couple of hours off from their responsibilities to get together for a potluck. Bonus points if you make a theme, such as “cuisine from your hometown” or “favorite childhood dish,” so employees can add a personal touch and get to know more about each other.
Don’t worry about sharing the burden every once in awhile. These recognition ideas give employees ample rewards for their efforts—chances are they’ll jump at the opportunity.