Employee Recognition Award Ideas for 2021

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Why do we need recognition in the first place? What happens when humans and their efforts are recognized? But, let’s not even talk about that. How do humans respond to acknowledgment? When efforts are acknowledged, and work is appreciated, humans tend to trust each other more. That’s why acknowledgment, recognition, and appreciation is important everywhere.

Not just in work places but generally as well. The more people provide recognition to each other, the stronger their relationships will be. Employee recognition award ideas are necessary because using the same trick or technique to recognize employees and their talents can be quite boring.

Employee Recognition

Employee recognition has many meanings, but the simplest way to describe it is when an employee’s efforts and contributions are valued and acknowledged in their workplace. In old times, managers and owners did not pay attention to these things. They only knew how to extract work from their labor and this prevented these people from being motivated. Most people did not like their work because they felt like their efforts were never recognized.

That is why in the 21st century, special attention and care is given to employee recognition because it is an employee’s right. Business owners and managers are not really doing a favor for their employees by acknowledging their efforts, it is basic human decency to do that.

Employee recognition does not have to be formal. Managers do not need to throw parties or arrange for meetings whenever they want to do employee recognition. It can be informal as well, where the manager or owner can express (either publicly or privately) about the work that a particular employee or a set of employees have done.

For example, there are several specific months in a year when the workload is high for some businesses. This is when employees do night shifts, and they overwork themselves to meet deadlines and complete projects on time. This is where employee recognition comes into play. When managers recognize the valuable work done by their employees, a special bond is created between the two.


Surprisingly, studies prove that 69% of employees believe that if their efforts were recognized at work, they would be able to work better. Undoubtedly, there are countless benefits of employee recognition. That’s why workplaces are so vocal about acknowledging the efforts and work of their staff. Firstly, employee recognition can boost productivity. A simple pat on the back, or perhaps a public announcement can raise the employee’s motivation. This will always result in efficiency and higher productivity at work. When employees realize that their managers and owners actually care about them, then they will work better.

Speaking of working, there is a concept known as affiliation. Most employees who are unhappy with their workplace have one thing in common: they feel distanced from their work and the people there. This might not be that easy to get rid of for a manager but with time, and employee recognition, this thinking can be chipped away.

Basically, when employee recognition is common, employees will own up to work and they will feel like they are a part of this business. This will allow them to become responsible and also to own up for mistakes in the future. Furthermore, employee recognition can boost retention rates. Most employees leave their jobs because they feel unsupported at work.

One simple solution to this problem is to realize that employees are also humans and they desire appreciation and recognition. This will save the additional costs that you have to pay to recruit extra staff and the loss of output as well.

Employee Recognition Ideas

There is no denying that there are countless employee recognition ideas that managers and owners can put to use. You should keep in mind here again, that employee recognition does not always have to be expensive. It can also be cost-free, easy, and simple.

  • Starting off with a simple idea, managers and owners can invite their employees to have lunch with them every once in a while. This may sound boring and useless to normal people but for an employee this might be a big moment. Getting to eat and talk with your manager can be a positive experience, and lead to better moods, positivity, motivation, and efficiency. Of course, this doesn’t work at a workplace where everyone dislikes their manager.
  • Secondly, appreciation is a very big aspect of employee recognition. One easy and quick way to appreciate your employees is to visit them or call them to you to appreciate their work. If the manager wants to take it up a notch, then the employee or the employees’ names can be called in work meetings. Appreciation is something that goes a long way long. It can recharge employees and allow them to work better in the future.
  • Thirdly, employee efforts can be recognized and praised on social media. Multiple businesses are now online, and they have their own websites, social media platforms, and even groups on applications such as Whatsapp. This has given managers a very good opportunity to recognize the efforts of the employees while allowing them to be praised in front of their peers and colleagues. These are some of the employee recognition award ideas that can be implemented at work.
  • The next employee appreciation idea may sound a bit childish, but it is ideal to recognize the talents and performance of your esteemed employee in a unique matter. The basic idea behind employee recognition is to catch your employee when they don’t expect it. What’s a better idea than to arrange for a surprise for your employee/employees? It is quite easy, actually. A cake can be arranged, with lunch from outside or perhaps dinner. This might seem like nothing to some people, but an employee who works day in and night is always hungry for appreciation and recognition, pun intended. Jokes apart though, a surprise is a great idea to lessen tensions in the workplace and it can also allow other employees to blow off some steam from their work.


Employee recognition is a must, there’s no doubt about it. When managers begin to inculcate appreciation and employee recognition in their workplaces, they themselves will see to it how their employees start to work better. One thing that needs to be considered here is that employee recognition should be pure and real.

Anything that is forced or just for the sake of it might not get the desired results and could work against the manager as well. So if you’re a manager, then take heed and avoid doing it just because you have to. The idea should be that you really want to recognize the abilities and talents of your employees.


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