How to Give Effective Employee Recognition

How to Give Effective Employee Recognition

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Want to give effective employee recognition? It’s as simple as 1-2-3-4!

Elements of effective employee recognition

1. Effective recognition is personal and authentic

Want recognition to make an impact? Make it personal. Mass celebrations (like service awards ceremonies) don’t cut it for employees. In fact, only 14% of employees find those awards motivating. By contrast, 81% of employees say they feel motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for them, personally. (And peer recognition works, too.)

So make employee recognition personal and authentic.

So say what you appreciate about the recipient specifically. Which leads us to…

2. Effective employee recognition is specific

What did you appreciate about the recipient? Include it in your employee recognition. “You’re awesome!” is less resonant and meaningful than “I saw you overcome your fear of personal speaking and give an incredible demo to our new CSO. It answered all his questions and knocked his socks off.”

A good rule of thumb is: “If the employee looked at this recognition a year from now, would they know what it was for?”

3. Effective employee recognition is timely

Give employee recognition when it counts — in the moment. Or as soon after the moment as possible. In Akim’s recognition above, he notes that Neha helped Ryan yesterday.

Pro tip: If giving employee recognition isn’t second nature for you, try creating a calendar reminder each Friday morning to think back and recognize an employee or coworker for something they did in the past week.

4. Effective recognition is tied to impact

This is the easiest element to miss, and the most important. Be sure to explain not just what the employee did that you were impressed by, but why it’s important. This could be as direct as, “You helped us meet this KR or land this account,” or something less measurable but still impactful, like, “You’re an inspiration to the rest of the team.”

Got it? Good! Now go give some life-changing employee recognition!

Make employee appreciation easy

We hope this guide helped you understand how to give effective employee recognition. And if you like what you read, let’s talk.

At WorkTango, we’re revolutionizing how the world’s most forward-thinking companies engage and inspire their people. We offer the only Employee Experience Platform that enables meaningful recognition and rewards, offers actionable insights through employee surveys, and supports alignment through goal setting and feedback.

WorkTango is built for the workplace we all want to be a part of – where priorities become clear, achievements are celebrated, and employees have a voice. So if you’re ready to make work lives better, learn more about our all-in-one Employee Experience Platform or schedule a demo today.


The employee experience platform built for the modern workplace.