Blog·Employee Engagement

October 28, 2019

Employee Recognition Examples from PeopleGoal

Employee recognition is a gift that keeps on giving. Use these employee recognition examples to create a work environment where everyone wants to do their best.

Employee recognition is one of the pillars of a positive work environment. Accomplishments large or small that contribute to the goals of an organization should be recognized. The benefits of doing so, just to name a few, include increased employee morale, motivation and engagement. In fact, recognition and rewarding employee was found to be one of the biggest drivers of overall employee engagement .

Our recognition does not need to be overly dramatic or expensive; in fact sometime small gestures are even more effective. Unfortunately, giving proper recognition is sometimes easier said than done. To help in this regard, we’ve compiled 5 employee recognition examples to get you on the right track.

Tips to Keep in Mind When Giving Recognition:

Be Specific

It’s reassuring to know we are doing well overall, but recognition is about specific, measurable achievements.

Be Personal

Recognition quickly feels worthless when it seems like you’re just going through the motions of a generic “Thank You.” Take some time to really understand the individual and the work they’ve done beforehand.

Be Authentic

In the case of recognition - If you have fake it, don’t even make it. We can tell when the motivations for something aren’t genuine and this can have the opposite effect of good recognition.

Be Appropriate

Of course we want to follow company policy and procedure, but being appropriate also means consider the context. There’s a right time, place and method for giving recognition and it all depends on the person, workplace and achievement.

Employee Recognition Examples

employee recognition examples

1. One on One Recognition

Probably the most often used type of recognition is direct from peer to peer or manager to direct report. This is our chance to give a heartfelt and very personal thank you for hard work. Of course, this type of recognition may be used in conjunction with more tangible or financial rewards, but it’s a good place to start because we want to recognize colleagues quickly and kind words require little preparation.


  • Personal letter/postcard
  • Sharing appreciation over a cup of coffee
  • Lunch outing
  • Personalized trophy/mug

2. Public Recognition

Once we’ve let an individual know personally that we appreciate their work, we can take the next step by announcing accomplishments to everyone in the company (and even outside of it). Not only does this allow us to give credit where it is due, it can also remind everyone that we are working towards the same goals and motivate everyone to perform to their best ability. Public recognition can still be informal or formal, but it’s important to remember that the goal to congratulate and brag about the great talent you have, not to single anyone by exclusion.


  • Company wide email
  • Team meeting shout-out
  • Linked-In post
  • Skywriting or plane banner

3. Gamification

Although there is some overlap with public recognition, gamification democratizes the ability for everyone recognise hard work in real time. Adding in social features, custom-made badges and measurable achievements allow employees and managers alike to recognise colleagues in ways that everyone can see and react to. While there are numerous examples of software that can add this feature individually, organisations are increasingly looking for integrated solutions that increase overall employee experience without increasing the number of passwords we have to remember.

Employee recognition examples PeopleGoal


  • Shout-out/Recognition Board
  • Slack bots
  • Internal Competitions
  • PeopleGoal!

4. Gifts as Recognition

Gifts are a type of recognition that gives us the most flexibility for creativity. We might choose a gag gift if appropriate and we really know the person well or could offer company perks like vacation day, giftcards, or stock options. No matter what the acheivement, we can built a reward structure that matches effort to prize. While it can sometimes be a struggle to choose appropriate gifts that actually motivate employees, there there are services like PerkBox, which allow employees to chose for themselves when they are being recognized. This can help ensure that the gift is actual a useful part of recognising effort and not just a byproduct.


  • Employee of the month parking spot
  • Gift card to local establishment
  • Devoted time for passion projects
  • Cash or Bonus

Recognition is just one part of positive feedback, and should be part of a larger, structural initiative to positively encourage employees. While there is a time and place for constructive feedback, it’s important to praise the handwork and success of our team members as well in order to encourage an environment where everyone not only does their best but also wants to as well.

Further Reading

Related articles from our blog, read on

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