5 Employee Recognition Examples That Work

It’s been scientifically proven that happy employees perform better than their less-happy counterparts. They’re more likely to be engaged, and they’re more productive in their work. But how do you create a workplace where your workers are happy? It all starts with recognition, both for the individual and for the team as a whole. In this article, we’ll  provide five easy ways you can bring happiness into your office—and get yours or someone else’s name on the wall with these employee recognition examples.

Happy employees can perform better than their counterparts

There’s a reason why some companies can outperform their competitors: happy employees. When an employee is engaged at work, they are more likely to stay with the company and recommend it as a great place to work — which has major implications for your bottom line. The good news is that happiness, like any other skill, can be learned. The bad news is that it takes time and effort. But once you start seeing the results coming in—and they will come in—you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

Smile when you deliver the recognition

Smiling is contagious. When you smile, others are more likely to smile back at you—and your team will be positively affected by this. Smiling can make the receiver of recognition feel more approachable, as well as help them feel comfortable around you. It also helps with self-confidence and happiness, which makes it an important part of any employee recognition program that wants to make employees feel valued.

Spend one-on-one time with your worker

Spending one-on-one time with your employee is a great way to show them you care. Here are some ideas:

  • Ask your employee about his or her interests and hobbies. This will help you get to know him or her better as a person, which may lead to greater engagement at work.
  • Talk about how their day went, or what he or she has been working on lately. When you ask questions about how things are going in the workplace, it shows that you’re interested in what they do for work and how it affects their overall life as well.
  • Ask them how they are doing personally—and make sure there is no judgment if they say something negative like “I can’t wait until Friday so I can go home early.” Just listen and let them know that you want to help out however possible.

Allow them to share their story

Don’t let your employees share their story alone. After they’ve told you what they think has gone well, let them know that you are interested in hearing more. This is a great opportunity to show your employees that you want to know more about them as people and not just as workers—and it’s also an easy way to make sure they’re happy with their work.

If the employee has been doing a great job, ask questions like “What made this so good?” or “How did this go so well?” Then listen carefully for their answers. If something isn’t clear from their response (or even if it is), ask questions that will help clarify things for both of you. Your goal here is for both parties to learn about each other and enjoy the process along the way.

Aim for authentic employee recognition

Your employees are likely to become more engaged if you recognize the good work they do and the effort they put in. But there’s another way of recognizing the efforts that can help motivate them even further. By recognizing their contribution to the business and team, you show your appreciation for what they bring to your organization.


The takeaway from all of this is that you should aim for authentic and compassionate employee recognition examples. A lot of people think that being genuine means being fake or not showing any emotion, but nothing could be further from the truth. Being an authentic leader means that you are willing to show your emotions and let others see who you are as a person; it’s about showing them what makes them special by encouraging them to share their story with others and bringing positivity to the workplace.