Creative Ideas for Employee Recognition

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The contributions of employees directly relate to the success of a company, but their effort and dedication sometimes goes unnoticed by management. Creative employee recognition ideas such as thank-you notes, photo collages, mentoring programs and the public posting of names of outstanding employees can go a long way toward boosting morale in the workplace.

Photo Collage

When employees have worked on a project and made it successful, recognize efforts with a photo collage. Take pictures during the project, showing employees brainstorming and working together at various stages. Include a photo of the completed project or a group photo of all those involved. Recognize and celebrate the hard work of the employees with a photo collage posted somewhere with high visibility. Title the display with an appreciative phrase or a congratulations to the team.

Thank-You Notes

When an employee goes above and beyond the requirements of her position or displays consistent dedication to her career, recognize her with a handwritten thank-you note. Be specific with what you appreciate about her performance and place the thank-you note on the door of her office or on her desk. If the employee does not have a door or desk, place it in a visible spot, or where you are sure she will find the note.

Points Program

Begin a recognition program for employees that awards points for attendance, being on time, teamwork and other characteristics you appreciate in an employee. When an employee accumulates a certain number of points, award the employee with a gift certificate or other small item. This program not only recognizes the hard work of employees, but may also serve as motivation for others to build points and receive rewards.

Kudos Column

If your workplace has a newsletter, add a column where employees are recognized for outstanding efforts and achievements. Ask employees to nominate coworkers and provide a reason for the nomination, then publish the responses in the column. If your company has several different departments, you may choose to have one person from each department mentioned per newsletter or make separate areas within the column for the various departments.

Mentoring Program

When an employee shows exemplary skill or knowledge, recognize the employee by implementing a mentoring program. Offer the employee the opportunity to mentor a coworker or new employee, making it clear that this opportunity is available due to outstanding performance. You may also offer the employee the opportunity to participate in a mentor relationship with a manager or supervisor who may benefit his career in the future.


About the Author

Alexis Aiger has been writing professionally since 2010 on parenting, relationship and mental health topics. She has a master's degree in mental health counseling from Walden University and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Portland State University. She has worked as a counselor and case manager for several years.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images