How Employee Recognition Helps Foster a Positive and Productive Work Environment

Cassy Aite
January 4, 2023
How employee recognition helps foster a positive and productive work environment

It's time to give credit where credit is due — and no, we're not talking about your business's credit score. 

We're talking about the value of employee recognition in the modern workplace

From boosting morale to increasing productivity, recognizing your employees' hard work and achievements is worth its weight in gold. But with so many options for recognizing and appreciating your employees, it can take time to know where to start. 

From simple gestures like thanking your team for their efforts to more formal rewards and recognition programs, you have tons of options to let your employees know they matter. 

So, let's get started on how to make employee recognition a key component of your workplace culture!

What do we mean by employee recognition?

Employee recognition is the act of acknowledging and appreciating the hard work and contributions of employees within an organization. It takes many forms, such as: 

  • verbal praise
  • written notes of appreciation
  • financial bonuses
  • special privileges or perks

The goal of employee recognition is to let employees know they are an integral part of your organization's success and motivate them to continue contributing their best efforts. This will help create a positive and supportive work environment, helping improve employee satisfaction and retention.

How employee recognition helps remote and hybrid teams?

Girl holding a gift

Employee recognition is particularly important for remote and hybrid teams, as it fosters a sense of connection and belonging among team members who may not have the opportunity to interact in person on a regular basis — or at all. 

Here's a detailed breakdown of the different ways employee recognition help remote and hybrid teams:

Boosts morale

Remote work can be isolating, and employees may feel disconnected from their team and the organization. Recognition helps boost morale by showing employees their contributions are valued and appreciated.

Fosters a sense of community

Employee recognition gives employees the opportunity to celebrate their achievements together. 

Here are some ways employee recognition fosters a sense of community:

  • Team awards or recognition programs: By recognizing the achievements of entire teams, you can foster a sense of community and encourage collaboration among team members.
  • Social events or celebrations: Employee recognition events or celebrations, such as team lunches or happy hours, help bring employees together.
  • Peer-to-peer recognition: Encouraging employees to recognize and appreciate their colleagues' contributions helps build a sense of camaraderie.
  • Public recognition: Publicly recognizing employees for their contributions (think: through social media posts and company-wide emails) showcases the achievements of all employees.

Improves communication

Employee recognition encourages open and honest communication between employees and management. It provides an opportunity for employees to share their successes and challenges, helping build trust and foster a positive work environment.

Increases productivity

Recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions increases motivation and productivity, as it gives employees a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

The best employee recognition programs focus on acknowledging good teamwork. By encouraging collaboration, employee recognition motivates your team members to work together toward business objectives. When your team feels like they have a common goal, they have higher motivation and can work more efficiently.

Nurtures a positive work culture

Employee recognition can help to create a positive and supportive work culture, even in a remote or hybrid setting. By showing appreciation for their team members' contributions, leaders can foster a sense of pride and commitment among employees.

Improves employee engagement

Employee recognition and employee engagement go hand in hand. In fact, recognition is a top driver of employee engagement, with research suggesting employees are 2.7x more likely to be highly engaged when they believe they will be recognized for their efforts.

This makes sense as any kind of recognition gives employees a sense of purpose, which can lead to increased motivation and productivity.

Related Reading:

5 tips for business leaders to give better recognition in the workplace

Boy holding an idea placard

Prioritizing positive reinforcement ensures to make people feel their individual contributions are valued. Here are a few creative ways to show your employees you care:

1 — Call employees by their name

The best employees call their staff by name and use polite and gracious words.

Courteous conversation is a powerful relationship-building tool. Employees see management taking out time to engage with them in conversation both rewarding and recognizing. They’re also satisfied knowing their boss is taking out the time to learn more about their employees.

So go ahead, greet your staff good morning. Check on Jane after she’s back to work after being sick. Ask Tom how his wedding preparations are going. Share some tips with Isaac to help him nail the upcoming meeting on Friday.

Little things like this will make a big difference in improving your employees’ morale and job satisfaction.

2 — Learn and remember employee preferences

People have different preferences when it comes to recognition and awards.

Some prefer a private exchange personable, while others thrive in public praise. Similarly, you’ll find a few employees wanting to get lots of recognition and others wanting you to save it for big moments.

To maximize impact, you need to recognize employees that resonate most with them.

The easiest way out is to simply ask. During monthly 1:1s with employees, ask them:

  • Who do you like to receive recognition from the most?
  • How would you like that person to show that I appreciate your work?
  • What is the best way to celebrate when you achieve a goal?

3 — Be specific and sincere when recognizing their efforts

Instead of giving compliments like candy, take time out to that pinpoint and go into detail about what impressed you about an employee.

Was it their adaptability? Maybe you admire their quick thinking or dedication toward work.

Whatever you appreciate, let them know what it is and why. Be clear. This approach is more authentic, which will make recognition more powerful.

A good tip is to consider what you know about your employees — their goals and their values. While you should be specific about what you appreciate, it’s also important to connect it with what you know is important to them.

Here's a good example:

I want to congratulate you on your presentation yesterday. The research was thorough, and you tactfully handled all questions from the client. I know this usually makes you nervous, but you looked confident and prepared for the meeting. Great job, (Employee Name)!

4 — Highlight and discuss the impact

A crucial aspect of employee recognition is connecting employee work with the organization’s purpose and goals.

A good approach here is to highlight the impact your employee has in the form of a satisfied or recurring client, business metric, or feedback from a team member. Show your employees how they’re contributing to the organization’s greater objective so that they feel like an asset.

Remember, it’s important to state why what they’ve done is important and deserves attention.

We recommend backing up your appreciative words with impactful extras, such as a client testimonial, numbers based on team goals, or kind words from a colleague. The idea is to find something tangible to prove to employees the outcome of their efforts.

5 — Recognize your employees timely

It’s never too soon to recognize your employees or team members for a job well done.

Give informal recognition throughout the day, and celebrate when employees complete big projects or meet their weekly or monthly goals. The idea is to celebrate big milestones without forgetting to acknowledge everyone’s good work as they work towards those milestones.

The other advantage of timely appreciation is it tells employees you’re paying attention to their efforts in real-time and not just focusing on the big-picture results.

Related Reading:

Recognize employee efforts with Hoppier

Hoppier can take your employees appreciation gifts and ideas to new heights. 

Use our super convenient virtual cards to give your employees gifts they actually want. Set up a gift card balance and choose from our large and diverse range of vendors. You can also set a spending deadline to ensure nobody slacks on enjoying their gifts.

Customize your h

Hoppier allows your employees to choose a gift that truly speaks to them. Plus, our vendors offer safe delivery of orders directly to your employees' homes, no matter where they are located.

Experience the convenience of Hoppier virtual gift cards today.

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Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

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arrow point to CTA

Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo

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arrow point to CTA

Ready to 2x your global engagement at your next event, with Ox stress?

Make Hoppier your unfair advantage today, schedule a demo


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