6 Ways to Recognize Outstanding Work from Employees

When an employee does good work, they should be rewarded for it. Not only will this help employees work harder, but it will also encourage retention. Cultivating an atmosphere of success begins with giving credit where credit is due.

“Recognizing employees for their efforts and accomplishments is important in increasing engagement and loyalty and causes employees to do more great work,” Christina Chau, Manager of Global Research and Assessment at the human resource consulting firm O.C. Tanner, told Zip Recruiter.

Recognizing employee performance

Research from Bersin & Associates Employee Recognition Framework backs up Chau’s assessment. About 80 percent of surveyed employees reported feeling more motivated to work when they feel appreciated.

Another 71 percent say that they’re motivated by the competition when their peers are recognized for their work at least monthly. Proper recognition can do wonders for engaging your employees, even if they aren’t the ones being recognized.

Who doesn’t want a more engaged work environment? Consider a few ways you can recognize your best employees and achieve this end.

1. Buy a Gift

The best employees give a lot of time and effort to their job, and you can return the favor with a gift. Put some thought into what you give. Generic gifts are appreciated, but they hardly show how much you truly value your employee.

Consider the needs and wants of your employees and don’t be afraid to spend a little cash on the acquisition.

2. Create a Personalized Glass Plaque

When an employee produces particularly good work, they deserve recognition beyond a simple gift. Give them something to forever commemorate the occasion, like a glass plaque award. This is the perfect gift. It can be displayed publicly on a shelf or mantel, and it creates a long-term keepsake for the recipient.

Employees might deserve a crystal plaque for employee of the year, rookie of the year, MVP, or other top performer recognition awards. You might also reward employees for sales, leadership, milestones, customer service, safety, partnership, or special categories.

3. Have a Yearly Banquet

One of the best ways to recognize your top performers is at a banquet. Reserve a convention hall each year to discuss the year in review and publicly recognize and thank those who have served you best over the past year.

If you’re creating a glass plaque or special gift for the occasion, this is the perfect time to present it. Let guests relax over a delicious dinner and dessert, and then present the awards in a brief, but eloquent ceremony.

Employee award

4. Designate an Employee of the Month

If you’re in an informal setting and a banquet or award plaque seems too formal, consider a simple employee of the month program. It might seem like a cheesy way to recognize great employees, but it’s effective. It engenders productive competition and helps boost morale.

Along with putting up a plaque and/or the employee’s picture, Kristin MacMillian, President and Founder of Imprint Plus, recommends getting a re-usable name badge that can be personalized to reflect this honor.

“You can easily add ‘employee of the month’ or a stick-on decal to it,” MacMillan told FitSmallBusiness. “Everyone gets to see it and it serves as a great, inexpensive way to honor top staff members and encourage others.”

5. Invest in Professional Development

When you have high-performing employees who are eager to learn and advance their skills, reward them with further professional development. You might pay for them to attend a conference (bonus points if it’s somewhere tropical) or pay for further education.

By investing in an employee’s education, you’re sending the message that they’re truly valuable. In addition, it motivates the employee to do a better job, which is made possible by necessary education. It’s an investment in the employee and your company.

6. Donate to a Non-Profit

Do some good while showing your top performing employees you care. Allow your best employee to select a charity, and then donate a high dollar amount to that organization. Studies show that when employees are enabled to provide service or donations to those in need, even vicariously, they tend to be happier and more motivated in their careers.

You can also hold an awards banquet or presentation to honor the employee and present the check to a representative for the charitable organization. It’s a great way to show both your employees and the world that you care.