Effective Employee Recognition: Your Key To Workforce Engagement

Effective employee recognition is a fundamental of quality talent management. But knowing how to develop a genuine, fair and consistent recognition program isn’t always easy.

As we (somewhat) emerge from lockdowns in Australia, it’s becoming clear that talent shortages are here to stay for a while. So, it’s time to up your employee recognition game and hold on to your quality workers.

Today, I’ve prepared a list of the best strategies to consider as you build an effective employee recognition program.

But first, take a look at this data below: is there anything more obvious about the importance of employee recognition?

Effective employee recognition

Effective Employee Recognition Means Being Specific and On Point

  • Recognise workers when their achievements are linked to a specific outcome or achievement
  • Provide an explanation for the recognition so the worker links effort to outcome. This will increase the likelihood of repeated patterns of positive behaviour.

Timing is Everything

  • Promptly provide the recognition after the outcome is achieved: months later and the impact of the recognition is severely diluted
  • Workers typically feel that the recognition isn’t genuine, if it happens too far after the fact.

culture of recognition

Spontaneity Sells

  • Just as it’s important to recognise workers soon after an achievement, effective employee recognition also happens spontaneously
  • Surprising the team with a mini-bonus, taking everyone out for lunch or a simple group email out of the blue: all these tactics work wonders for engagement.

Effective Employee Recognition Means Mixing It Up

  • Cash is motivating, for sure. But so are other forms of recognition to include in your arsenal
  • Personalised gifts, dinner for their family, paid travel, additional leave, gym membership, offering the afternoon off, shopping vouchers…the list goes on. These are just a few examples. Get creative with your rewards.

Employee engagement, productivity and performance are 14% higher [..] in organisations with recognition




  • It’s important to recognise big achievements. But it’s equally important to recognise the smaller achievements too
  • The occasional verbal thanks, group email or praise on Teams, will all go a long way. And… a great culture of recognition is reflected when it comes from both management and peers. So, foster this behaviour across all levels of the business.

Sincerity Usurps Everything

  • No one wants lip service from any corner of their professional life: effective employee recognition starts with sincerity
  • Overdoing recognition appears ingenious. As does major recognition for small wins. Balance and integrity are key.

Employee recognition

Everyone Loves a Hero

  • Whether for your team, or across the business, nominate a monthly or weekly (or mix it up) team ‘hero’. Someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty
  • This is an aspirational motivator for your workforce, and is a proven employee recognition tactic when managed with authenticity and consistency.

“And the Award Goes To….” 🏆

  • Company-wide awards, hosted annually, are a great macro initiative for recognising workers
  • At the end of the working year, bringing your people together to celebrate and recognise the efforts of the business and of high-performing individuals, is an event everyone in the business can look forward to. From entry level workers to your C-suite. And it provides an opportunity for cross-department and cross-seniority socialisation.


Do you have any other ideas to add to this list? It would be great to hear them. Get in touch with me here, and let’s discuss effective employee recognition solutions for your business.