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Top 23 Employee Recognition and Appreciation Award Ideas


Employees are the sustenance feature of any organization and if they are dejected, the organization cannot progress.

Disgruntled or indifferent employees drain out the energy of the organization and do not perform well. Interestingly, on the flip side, happy and energetic employees pass on their energy to the organization and enthusiasm to the customers too.

In business dealing with end consumers or at any level of supply chain, customers are more likely to stay happy and they are likely to be retained only if they are served by passionate employees.

As per a survey, only 29% of the employees in an organization are actively engaged in their work, their job.

Employee morale can be boosted by many ways and one of them is employee recognition awards for employees.

The aim is to make the employees relate to their job, their work and give them more opportunities to connect with their peers, their supervisors. It also acts like gifts for employees.

Below are a few employee recognition ideas to help make the employees happy, motivated and more excited in their work.

employee of the month ideasEmployee Recognition Ideas:

1. Arrange team:

Employees feel the most awarded when their ideas are appreciated and they appear fruitful to the bosses.

Hence one way of recognizing their efforts is to arrange a team. This can show the fruits of its labour to upper management. This way the employees will feel recognized and important.

2. Voting by peers:

Employees feel the most motivated when they realize that their peers also understand their importance.

Hence, employee of the month award or such best employee award ideas can be decided after peer nomination and voting.

They are assured that their day to day efforts are being noticed by their colleagues and seniors apart. Also, the specific reason for the final decision should be clearly stated.

3.Employee Recognition Programs or Programme for staff appreciation:

Reward points in supermarkets, card swiping are very common but staff appreciation programmes can also be used in the same way to award employees.

They can be awarded points for their punctuality, a particular goal achievement or for other traits that you would like your employees to have.

The employee rewards and recognition in the workplace for such can also be small and enjoyable like leaving job early on a particular day, meal with family at a hotel or a small trip.

Such small, yet appraising reward and recognition program will definitely infuse enthusiasm in your employees.

4. Plan achievement celebration:

Teams and individuals often achieve goals and if this is celebrated, it gives a new dose of excitement.

You can plan a small surprise party for that team to encourage them further.

5. Praise should be passed on:

We often hear positive remarks about a person but do not pass it on to them. This can be another source of simple way of encouragement.

Repeat the comment to that person and via-email. You could also send a copy to the senior managers and the employee will feel appreciated at no cost.

6. Send a handwritten note:

The supervisors or the bosses should send a handwritten note appraising the person who has done something good or achieved a goal or anything worth appreciating. Personal touch always increases the value of thank you.

7. Fun at work:

No, it does not mean having any fun at work. It means making work fun. Business engagements can be way boring but any activity that makes it perky is always welcome by the employees.

They should be allowed a fun activity at least once a week and it will not only increase their morale but their productivity too.

8. Flexible Hours:

Every employee has some personal chores to look after, be it the doctor’s appointment or visit to the bank.

Allowing them a little flexibility in such times is another way to appreciate their good work.

Make sure they don’t take undue benefit of the privilege and this could lead the way for a greatly increased mutual level of understanding and trust.

9. Lose the shoes:

Yes it might sound a bit strange but its true. Many companies in the world allow their employees to be barefoot at work. It relaxes the environment and makes them feel at home.

They get comfortable and it increases their productivity. Work is more important than employees focusing on what footwear and jewellery they are wearing.

10. Organize parties:

Once in a while like weddings and birthdays, parties should be thrown for the employees to relax and enjoy.

Food is on the house and they should be allowed to leave early for the party instead of making it an after-office affair. Please, do not think of overtime for making up for the few hours lost.

11. Reward efforts:

Each effort might not result in success but some ideas are also worthy of being awarded. An idea that was the best but could not materialize.

It promotes the habit of innovation and positive behavior rather than focusing solely on winning.

12. Free passes:

Give free passes to you employees for each target achieved. It could be a pass for their favorite concert or for their wish movie.

It is a small gesture but shows concern on the part of the organization and builds trust and healthy relation.

13. Allow leaves:

Employees need not be sick to take a leave. Employees can be awarded by giving them leaves.

It could be for going to a hill station, for reading a book or just to leisure around at home. They should be given a certain number of days as leaves and that too without conditions.

14. Blow out candles:

The company could host a monthly long birthday breakfast for employees that have their birthdays that month.

They could be allowed to interact with the seniors during that time and given a privilege like asking the CEO a question which they might have never got a chance to do. It encourages them and makes them feel recognized.

15. Swap Offer:

Employees could be given a chance to swap their current trades or task with any employee of their choice and award along with it.

16. Applaud their efforts: 

Standing ovation to an employee that deserves appreciation is one of the simplest ways to appreciate their efforts.

17. Pass the buck:

The employees could be given free goodies or fake money that is capable of traded for a good. It could be for an outstanding work or for a work done well.

Redeemable money is the best way to offer employee appreciation and a choice to buy anything they like. This is one of the best employee appreciation ideas.

18. Wall of Fame:

Employees who do well, their names could be put up on a place like reception wall or table at the center of hall. It should be visible to all so that it actually results in recognizing employees.

19. Be generous in serving:

A few of top companies have a system in place where during the busiest times of the year, the executives go around along with the coffee trays and talk to the employees as they go around.

It helps the employees to unwind after such hectic sessions and also the executives get to know the problems of their juniors in an informal setup.

20. Spread love:

Ask co-workers to inscribe on a piece of paper, something that they admire about the other employee and then you can get it framed and posted on a wall along with their photograph.

It not only increases warmth but also helps people bond better amongst themselves.

21. Flowery way of saying it:

Everyone knows that flowers are loved by all and this is one of the simplest ways of make their day. You can just get some flowers and arrange them personally on the table of the employee to be rewarded.

Everyone will be aware of the importance of the custody of those flowers and it will make their importance even more.

A simple and effective way that will spread the message about who is that day’s awarded employee, at no cost.

22. Walk it:

Yes, this is a way to get fit but it can be used to bond as well as reward employees in an innovative way.

You can arrange a small activity where all employees are supposed to walk for fixed period of time. The one who goes farthest will get a gym membership.

It will make the employees fitter and also, the walking time can be used to discuss work that could not be done on the table. Two birds with one stone!

23. Share the memories:

We all had scrapbooks in our summer holidays but why not have them in the office. You can just use this way to make an employee feel loved.

When anyone leaves the office, get all the employees and team members to share their memories with that employee and write testimonials, photographs or anything they wish. It is a personal gift that all will love and cherish.

Employee recognition at work is not a tough thing to do if done with little thought. All you need to focus on is that while telling the employees, while appreciating them; it should be obvious and quite visible.

When you share your appreciation, the employer should be clear and be specific about what they really like so that the employee could do it again and again.

A simple thing like employee appreciation letter recognizing specific contributions is a good way to show your praise. Publicly recognize any positive impact that the employees had on your organization.

Greeting and calling employees by their name is a simple yet effective way of making them feel recognized and worthy.

A simple gesture such as handshake or smile is all that they need to recognize the employee’s worth. You could also give a gift basket for a small goal.

Gift them their favourite book to make them feel loved and personally attached to the organization. Simple things like above go a long way in making the employees feel appreciated.