A Simple Truth in a Thank You: 7 Ways to Recognize Your Employees

Recognition breeds commitment.  We should appreciate the hard work and effort our employees put in to our organizations each and every day.  It is unfortunate that some managers still go to work thinking their employees should just be grateful they have a job.  While there are times when that may feel accurate, the truth is, it is a false premise. 

We can’t survive let alone prosper on the performance of those who just feel lucky to have a job.  Employees that are frustrated, scared or just managing to feel safe never drive the business forward.  These types of employees are to busy trying to stay out of trouble and skate by. 

No.  We need employees, team members, associates that are excited, engaged, and at their best.  We need them to be customer focused, creative, and resourceful.  We need our employees to work with an ownership mentality. 

Sometimes we can motivate those around us with a simple and honest thank you.  A thank you holds a simple truth.  When presented in a real and authentic manner a thank you can lift one’s spirits, reenergize one’s soul, and create real drive.  Here are 7 more ways to say thank you or show appreciation:

1.       Cook for your people. 

2.       Have a family night at the movies for your employees

3.       Hold a Zoo day for your employees and their families

4.       High Five’s for High Performance

5.       Write a complimentary note about your employee and send it to your employee’s spouse, parent, or child

6.       Have a Good Humor (Ice Cream) truck come to the office

7.       Celebrate the cultures of your employees by holding a Cultural Pot Luck

In the end, nothing beats a sincere, heartfelt thank you. 

What recognition ideas do you have? 

What was the very best recognition experience you have had in your career?


5 thoughts on “A Simple Truth in a Thank You: 7 Ways to Recognize Your Employees

  1. Hi Brad,

    Greetings from sunny Singapore!!

    Thanks for the great ideas. I really like your idea #5 as stated.

    Please allow me to share one item which is “Honoring” besides sending thank-you notes etc.

    What I would like to practice is to have “Honoring” events at least once a year. Twice or more a year would be better.

    In a larger organization, honoring different level of employees can take place at different time of the year.
    An example: top management honoring the senior managers / senior managers honoring the mid level, so on and so forth.

    In my church, for example, we have honoring events for (1) church leaders (2) Ministry workers (3) Church staff members.

    Hope you will find this useful.

    God bless,
    Patrick THAM
    28 Feb 2009

  2. My most recent employer invited all employees who had been hired before a certain date (early in the company’s history) to participate in the opening bell ceremonies when they went public; and they had “tombstones” (crystal plaques commemorating the IPO) made for every employee.

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