How to Recognize the Achievements of Your Employees


Recognition goes a long way in any walk of life. If you have done something that you are proud of, being recognized for it is a great morale booster because that means that others – whether colleagues, management, or friends, and family – also recognize your achievement.

In business, it is important to recognize the achievements of your employees, otherwise, you run the risk of them feeling as though the only time they hear from management is when something is wrong. Employees should never feel fearful when management talks to them, which is what will happen if the only time there is communication is for negative reasons.

Many businesses implement internal awards, such as employee of the month, or department-related achievements like best and/or most sales. Loyalty is another thing that businesses do well to recognize, such as when an employee reaches a significant milestone like five, 10, or 20 years with the company. When other employees see their colleagues being recognized for such achievements, it motivates them to want to be recognized themselves and, for those that have been recognized, it serves as a fantastic morale booster.

How do Employees Want to be Recognised?

If you ask anyone about the number one way that employees want to be rewarded for a job well done and, no doubt, you will most likely be answered a pay rise. That is just one option of many that companies can choose and by no means should be regarded as the go-to – not least because it comes at the expense of the company.

There is both monetary and non-monetary incentive that can be offered for employees, ranging from small mementos to additional days of annual leave and more. Here, we will look at some of the options you may wish to consider for your team.

Company-Wide Email

An email thanking your employee(s) by name in correspondence sent across the company, detailing their achievement, makes for a nice piece of recognition that doesn’t warrant going completely out of your way. Neither does this cost the business any time or money, but the effects can be great – often, all that an employee wants is to be recognized, rather than to be given something for it.

Ideally, this is best used in the case of a member of staff completing a project and/or positive reviews from the customer, getting a significant deal over the line, or going out of their way for the good of the company. Much of this will be determined by the culture of your company.


An employee of the month awards are great, but when the voting is opened to the team there is the risk that votes can be posted based on popularity, rather than for work-related reasons. Therefore, an employee of the month award isn’t always the most significant, but what is significant is recognizing members of staff that have displayed loyalty, as well as those that have smashed their targets.

Sometimes, a trophy or award just doesn’t quite fit the achievement as glass plaques do. Such mementos are considered a little bit more corporate and, perhaps, on-brand, as well as offering a little bit of class. They don’t cost too much, either, and can sit neatly on your employee’s desk or shelf at home (wherever they prefer to keep it). Having something physical which they can hold, and show off, makes for a great means of recognizing someone’s achievement. This also provides a message to others that they, too, can and will be recognized when there is just reason.

Annual Leave

Although giving an extra day of annual leave doesn’t come with a direct expense as a bonus or pay rise does, it does have commercial expense as the company is paying the employee for an extra day for no return. Offering additional annual leave should be carefully thought about, but offering for the right reason can promote a healthy work-life balance in return for a job well done.

This can either be offered as an incentive for hitting targets, or as a surprise for when either one member of staff, or an entire team, has gone the extra mile. Sometimes, time itself is the greatest gift of all, so giving a little back to your employees to spend how they please can go further than any monetary incentive might.


There is no getting away from the fact that when staff comes to work, it is to earn money. That is the way the world works, so sometimes the best form of recognition is to offer a little bit on top of their basic salary. A bonus/reward scheme implemented across the company means that staff knows exactly what they have to do to earn their bonus – that way, there can be no squabbles or claims of favoritism should someone be given a bonus where someone else wasn’t. That keeps it fair.

The commission is most offered in sales, with staff given the incentive of earning a percentage on whatever they bring into the company. This is regarded as the fairest way of rewarding sales staff for their work but can cause friction if not managed properly (i.e. with colleague arguing who brought in a lead or closed the deal). Therefore, a system needs to be put into place with everyone in full agreement.

These are just a few of how you can go about recognizing your staff. As we have already noted, sometimes a simple pat on the back will suffice and while that may not seem much to you, it can be an almighty morale booster for someone else.