Employee Recognition: Why it Matters and How to Show it

Posted by Jake Mandel on May, 02, 2022

When we think about compensation, we think about it in terms of wages, healthcare and other monetary benefits. While payment for work is a huge part of the compensation package, it isn’t the only thing employees need and look for.

There are more emotional benefits, like work life balance, a sense of stability, recognition, and team building events that make for a good working environment. 

Recognition validates good work and tells your employees that what they do matters. It can also play a big part in your employee’s self-worth. And sure, recognition can and should be shown through financial incentives like raises and benefits. But money isn’t the only way to show recognition. 

In this blog, we’ll talk about some great ways to show appreciation but first, let’s talk about how you can benefit from a culture of recognition.

Benefits of recognizing employee work

As an employer, your business can realize huge benefits from giving your staff recognition. Some of the top benefits include:

✅  Lower turnover

Showing appreciation towards your employees and congratulating a job well done can help improve their happiness at work and, in turn, the likelihood of them sticking around.

In one study, 82 percent of employees said they’re happier when they are recognized for their work, and 63 percent of the people who feel they’re being recognized at work say they’re “very unlikely” to seek a new job. 43 percent of the unrecognized employees said they were “extremely likely” to seek new employment.

✅  Lower costs

By reducing the amount of turnover you have at your company, you can help reduce costs related to hiring and training new staff.

✅  The ability to retain top talent

Once you find someone who is a strong fit for your business, you want to keep them around. Recognizing their talents and showing appreciation can help do that.

✅  Increased engagement

When employees like being at work, they can feel a greater sense of belonging and that can lead to greater engagement. In fact, organizations that have a culture of recognition are over 200 percent more likely to see improved engagement.

✅  Better team performance

Workers who are happier and enjoy coming into work are more likely to go above and beyond in their work. They won’t just do the minimum that is required to get them to the end of the day. Instead, they will look for ways to improve the business and help it succeed. And that is because their relationship with coworkers, management and the business goes beyond a paycheck. They want everyone to do well so that they can keep working somewhere that they enjoy being.

Another study shows that employees are driven to good do work for a number of reasons:

  • Promotions (4%)
  • More money (7%)
  • Training (6%)
  • Autonomy (12%)
  • Being inspired (12%)
  • Recognition (37%)
  • Other (22%)

7 ways to show your employees recognition

Now that you know how your company and staff can benefit from recognition programs, let’s talk about different ways to show recognition.

1 - Gamification

This is a new buzz word that is showing up in all sorts of places, from task management to employee recognition programs. Gamification is applying the elements of gaming to other areas of our life. In the office, this includes awarding points to employees for that can be redeemed for vacation days, tangible items or even company-paid continuing education.

You may award points based on task completion or you could do a weekly or monthly draw for points with winners being selected from employees whose managers and coworkers have nominated them based on good work or positive contributions to the team.

Gamification taps into our desire to compete against ourselves and co-workers. It's motivational and fun! Teambonders offers an exciting range of online and in-person team games. Check out our race/hunt games or classic game shows!



2 - Give employees a shout out

Chances are you already hold regular weekly or monthly meetings with everyone from your company (or team depending on the size of your business). During these meetings, you should set aside time to give shout outs to employees who have done well.

To get everyone engaged, ask people to shout out co-workers or managers or have them submit their shout outs in advance to be read. You can even do it anonymously if that makes everyone more likely to submit their shout outs.

3 - Host team building activities

Team building events are a fantastic way to break down barriers to communications and collaboration for your team. They are a fantastic way to not only give something back to your employees, but to improve how they work together, strengthen relationships and uncover leadership qualities. There’s nothing not to love about a successful team building event! 


4 - Celebrate staff on social media

When a staff member has an achievement, whether it is doing an unexpected task, completing training, volunteering in the community or something else entirely, consider a quick social post. Not only will staff appreciate the shout out, customers also love seeing the people who work at the company’s they support doing well.

5 - Give staff members time off

This doesn’t mean adding extra vacation days to their employment contract. Extra time off can be as effective, if not more, when it isn’t routine or regular. If you see an employee putting in extra time or exceeding expectations, give them some time off, whether it’s an hour at the end of the day, a half day or an extended weekend. Try to be aware of what is happening in their lives and offer this incentive so that they can spend time with family, do a hobby, take a short vacation, or volunteer.

6 - Sponsor volunteer activities

Giving back to the community has a positive impact on your brand, but it also makes people feel good. You could sponsor/host an event that your team volunteers at, give employees a day off to go volunteer at a charity they support, or host a team building activity where employees work together to help out a charity.


7 - Offer training and development opportunities

Employees don’t simply want to use the skills they already have. They want to learn, grow and move up in whatever career they chose. By offering them learning opportunities, you are helping them meet this need while also strengthening your team so that they can perform even better.


Most employees want recognition for a job well done. It helps empower them and increase their confidence and self-worth. And the better your team feels, the better they will perform and the more loyal they will be to your company.

Looking for some exciting and inclusive ways to show your team you recognize their value? Get in touch with Teambonders today. We would love to help you do just that.

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Tags: Team Building