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Employee recognition is integral to having an engaged workforce.  It has been established that employees who feel recognized and appreciated are motivated; feel accomplished; believe they are valued for their work; and are more likely to stay with their organization.  There are plenty of ways to recognize and reward employees for the contributions that that they make, and while organizations tend to over think this topic, providing this recognition does not have to break the bank. Are you interested in showing your employees that you appreciate their efforts?  Below are 10 simple, yet impactful ways you can reward your employees for their contributions to your organization and make them feel good about where they work.   

1. Recognition in front of peers – It’s nice to be recognized for a job well done, especially in front of those that are in the trenches with you.  Take a moment to highlight an employee’s accomplishments or milestone in the presence of their peers such as an employee staff meeting or Corporate event.

2. Digitized Employee of the Month/Week – Long gone are the days of plaques or paper certificates to recognize an employee of the month – try modernizing an employee of the month/week program.  Consider taking your employee shout outs digital by either including the recognition in a corporate press release or including an announcement on your organization’s social media outlets. 

3. Seasonal Employee Appreciation Events – Instead of just having one employee appreciation event a year, plan for mini-events for each season.  For example, an employee barbeque for the summer or a picnic for the Spring.  This will give employees something to look forward to throughout the year. 

4. Jeans/Casual Day – Want to celebrate a team win or successful completion of a project – minimize the formality of every day business attire and give employees a free pass for a week where they can dress down and come to work comfortably and casually.

5. VIP Parking – Almost every office has coveted parking spots that are conveniently situated closest to the building.  Reserving the best spot(s) as a means of recognition can be a very welcome reward. 

6. Personal Note – A simple handwritten thank you note can go a long way.  It is a classic way to show appreciation to employees that is not just well-received, but as you write your note, it has the double benefit of allowing you to reflect on the significance of your employee’s contributions.   

7. Discretionary Day Pass – The gift of time is priceless these days.  With the demands of everyday life, the ability to be able to take a discretionary day with no questions asked would be well received. 

8. A Day of Service – Have the management team join in on the appreciation by offering up a day of service for your employees where the managers will perform one act of service towards employees.  Examples can be having a carwash and hand-washing all employee vehicles; or being the ones to get coffee for employees and personally deliver it to their desks.

9. Family Letter – Family members are influential in how an employee will feel about their organization.  Write a note to the employee’s spouse, children or other family member emphasizing the employee’s critical role in accomplishing something important, expressing the organization’s appreciation for the employee’s efforts and recognizing the family’s support.   

10. Just Say THANK YOU – Saying Thank You never gets old.  Make saying thank you a common practice rather than a rarity or an event.  Say it anytime, anyway, anyhow, and for any reason. 

Employee recognition is appreciated by employees in almost any form.  A workplace committed to creating a culture of gratitude and employee recognition can accomplish that whether you have a big budget or no budget at all.   It’s all about the effort.

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