What is employee recognition?

Employee recognition is when a company acknowledges it's staff for great work. The goal of employee recognition is to encourage and reinforce positive behaviours or actions that result in positive business results - with the hope that this will help you to reach business goals quickly and efficiently. 


Why is employee recognition important?

The facts and figures about employee recognition can make for some pretty grim reading for HR managers and anyone who wants to see their businesses doing well.

First off, and this should come as no surprise, employees want to be recognised and praised for their work. Think back to the last time you received positive feedback about your work or about anything you’ve done for that matter. It probably gave you a boost and made you motivated to do well next time. On the other hand, not receiving positive feedback (or any feedback at all) can make you feel that your work isn’t up to standard or that your bosses don’t care about the work you’re producing.

Despite this, according to a study by Gallup, only one in three employees have received recognition or praise for doing good work in the previous 7 days. Added to this, according to Sirota Consulting, only 51% of employees in an extensive survey covering the private, public and not-for-profit sectors felt satisfied with the recognition they received after carrying out good work. Cicero has found that employees place recognition far above any other method of encouraging them to inspire good work, including increased salaries and promotions.


Want to find out more about our Employee Recognition Scheme, Perkbox Recognition?

Why should you be recognising your team and who loses out if you don’t?

The answer is a little more than “because your team wants you to”, but that is a powerful message in itself. Treating employees with respect will do your image the world of good, but more importantly, employee recognition and praise make employees happier, and happy employees are productive employees. Being told that your work is good gives employees the confidence to try new things and develop on past ideas.

As an added bonus, employees who are happy at work are much more likely to be happy at home. In an age where the work-life divide is less defined (flexible working hours, remote working), employees can’t be expected to switch off as soon as they leave the office or leave their personal problems at home anymore.

Recognition also helps build trust between employees and managers. Nearly 90% of employees who received recognition or positive feedback from their boss in the last month indicated higher levels of trust in that boss.

This is important because trust between employees will make it more likely that they will put everything into their work. They’ll be less likely to drag their heels if they’re asked to do something they’re not initially keen on, and they’ll be more likely to discuss issues and concerns early that might end up affecting their work.

In terms of your business, recognition is one of the techniques that you can use to improve employee retention and prevent high turnover rates. High turnover rates are expensive and can give your company a bad reputation. You don’t want to spend time and money finding and recruiting employees only to have to repeat the process six months down the line because of poor recognition in the workplace.

The combination of these factors is a powerful one. Poor recognition in the workplace means that it’s not just your employees who will suffer, it will be you and your business as well. Boosting your employees’ morale and productivity will do your company the world of good and having good retention rates will save you a lot of money. It really is a win-win.

Benefits of employee recognition schemes: 

  • They can increase employee engagement
  • They can improve interpersonal dynamics 
  • Positively reinforce good behaviour, to increase likelihood of this happening again - overall helping to increase productivity
  • Reinforce company values
  • Help employees to feel appreciated and valued by employers, decreasing turnover which in turn saves recruitment costs
  • Increase company culture with peer-to-peer recognition
  • Boosts morale

See here for 10 examples of employee recognition schemes.

How to build a robust employee recognition scheme

Now we know that employee recognition benefits your employees as well as your business, let’s go through our 5 ingredients for a tip-top recognition scheme.

1. Praise and rewards for good work

Let’s start with the most obvious. Praising employees for a job well-done will go a long way to boosting morale and making sure that the good work keeps rolling in. As we’ll see, this can be done in several ways, but a simple “great job” email when an employee sends you a piece of work can make a big difference.

Picking up on specifics is important as well. Employees may be especially proud of one particular piece of their work, so homing in on aspects that are impressive can be another way of telling your employees that they’re on the right track.

2. Simple courtesy

Recognition doesn’t just cover giving feedback on work. A simple greeting at the beginning and end of the day or calling people by their name are easy ways to recognise employees; it shows respect and that you value employees. Sincere thank yous about work and non-related matters (however trivial, such as holding the door open) and apologising when you make mistakes show employees that you value their opinions and input. This builds trust and is a simple (and cost-effective) way of forging an environment of recognition

3. Encouraging all employees to give recognition and rewards

Being recognised by your peers can be just as important, if not more so, than being recognised by your superiors. Allowing employees to nominate each other for recognition awards, or even having specific peer awards allows employees to shine the spotlight on achievements and efforts that managers may not be able to see in an end product.

4. Celebrating out-of-work achievements

We’re not suggesting you give everyone the day off when an employee gets a new pet cat, but commenting on, and praising employees for achievements in their personal life can go a long way to showing that your focus isn’t always on profit margins. If you hear that employees have donated blood, are planning to run a marathon, or have just moved into a new house, check in with them to ask how it’s all going and offer your congratulations. This will go a long way to building trust and showing that managers are just like everyone else.

5. One-to-one recognition

“Can you come into my office please” may strike fear into the hearts of most employees, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Praising employees in person can help break down barriers and the preconception that managers will only interact with employees in person when they’ve done something wrong.

Systems for recognising and rewarding employees are a vital part to ensuring your employees are happy and that your business is thriving. Hopefully, these ideas should give you an idea on how to improve your recognition schemes, but why not check out our ready-made solution to having the best employee reward system in the business?

Introducing Perkbox Recognition

Perkbox Recognition is our way of making sure that companies can reward and recognise their employees in a way that suits them. It’s our way of allowing companies to recognise individual successes by employees and to reward them. It’s customisable depending on what you want the award to be for, and how long employees have to achieve it. It adds an element of friendly competition that will boost productivity and team morale. You can select from a wide range of rewards, from champagne to a skydive, depending on your budget and the award in question! If you're interested and want to find out more, why not take a look at our brochure? 


Start building a culture of reward and recognition

  • Give your employees a voice
  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Get real-time engagement data
  • Reduce employee turnover

In Summary

Employee recognition and praise make employees happier, and happy employees are productive employees. Being told that your work is good gives employees the confidence to try new things and develop on past ideas - helping your business reach it's short and long term goals. 

Building an employee recognition scheme takes these 5 steps: 

  1. Praise and rewards for good work
  2. Simple courtesy
  3. Involving employees in reward and recognition
  4. Recognising out-of-work achievements
  5. One-to-one recognition

The results should lead to increased trust between employees and managers, improve retention rates and prevent high turnover.