Take a moment to think about your favorite job that you've ever had. Most likely, one of the reasons that this job was meaningful to you was because of the relationships that you had with your employer and your fellow employees. When we feel valued at the workplace, our work feels more meaningful. 

Now more than ever, it is important that employees feel valued at the workplace. One way to accomplish this is through employee recognition.

This article aims to outline some helpful tips for creating a culture of recognition in the workplace for your valued frontline teams and management. 

appreciation messages

What Is Employee Recognition? 

So, what exactly is employee recognition? Employee recognition, also known as social recognition, is the act of publicly acknowledging and expressing employee appreciation for who they are and what they do. 

Usually, when we think of employee recognition, we think of recognition from the boss. However, this is not always the case. Peer-to-peer recognition can be just as powerful to increase morale in the workplace, if not more powerful.

Why Does Employee Recognition Matter? 

According to research by Harvard Business Review, “interventions such as congratulatory cards, public recognition, and certificates — can significantly increase intrinsic motivation, performance, and retention rates.” 

As employers, we can try to show frontline employees appreciation for hard work and dedication to the company. This will show employees that they are valued within the workplace and thus improves employee satisfaction, keeps employees engaged, and will even increase employee retention. 

Employee recognition helps to engage and retain top talent. When employees feel engaged and satisfied in their work, it increases their productivity and thus the company's bottom line.

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Employee Recognition Tips and Practices

Now, you may be wondering, just how a company can successfully and meaningfully recognize employees for their hard work. 

Historically, companies have used cash incentives to recognize employees but there are additional and less expensive ways that can be used just about every week. Let’s explore some of those ideas. 

1. Peer-To-Peer Recognition

The first way companies can use successful employee recognition is through peer-to-peer recognition. 

Peer-to-peer recognition is a way for coworkers to recognize and celebrate each other’s successes.

It allows coworkers to say “Hey, I see you. Thank you” and for employees to feel seen and appreciated. 

Too often in today’s workplace, employees can feel burnt out and out of touch with upper management. When they are recognized on a peer-to-peer level, it helps employees feel understood in their work and the strides that it took them to get there. 

Peer-to-peer recognition could be done through a simple shout-out or as formal as a handwritten card but it must come from another co-worker.

Or, you could place an anonymous shout-out box where employees write a positive attribute about another coworker and place it in a box that gets read at the end of the week. The employee’s attribute that gets read is potentially given a prize. 

It is helpful to incentivize team members to want to recognize their other co-workers. 

Related Reading: Building Team Morale With Messaging

2. Use One, Unique Employee Recognition Platform 

When looking to give out employee recognition or looking to ignite peer-to-peer recognition, it is extremely important to consolidate where this information can be found and have a frontline communication strategy. 

Peer-to-peer recognition comes through employee communication. Therefore, it is important that your form of employee communication is cohesive and functional. 

This is a great opportunity for management to foster an environment where employees understand how to provide peer recognition. One strategy is to include employees in the process:

“Taking a more inclusive approach and involving employees in the process of value creation increases their investment in the values of the company,” said Sarah Lero in Forbes.

It can get confusing when there are a number of platforms that employees communicate across. This is a great opportunity for managers to encourage employees to provide. 

One way to do this is through goHappy. goHappy is a communication platform where employees can be recognized and receive appreciation, among many other features. goHappy aims to empower HR and organizational leadership to have their workers feel more valued and connected. A simple shout-out can go a long way.

Through intentional and organized frontline employee communication, leadership can send management recognition to distribute to individual departments that are performing well.

You can also opt to use a communication calendar so that you can celebrate with your team and create content for your entire organizational communication and engagement strategy. 

3. Value Social Recognition Both Small And Large 

Social recognition has the power to go a long way in the workplace. 

Ways to accomplish social recognition include publicly giving verbal praise to top-performing employees, and presenting certificates as well as congratulatory cards to employees that deserve recognition. 

When we express value to our top talents, not only will the employee feel valued at the moment, it sets an example for all other employees to follow in their footsteps. 

Socially, when we see others receive recognition for something that they accomplished, it makes us want to achieve that same level of recognition and thus will drive us to work harder. The person that received the recognition will feel validated in their work, more likely to remain with the company, and will continue to put forth the effort to set an example for others to follow.

Other examples that could be useful are if your company has a podcast, consider shouting out a meaningful employee on this public platform. 

Importance Of Company Culture 

Any company’s goal should be to uphold and maintain a strong company culture. This is because, ideally, workers want to feel valued and connected in their working environment. When our workplace culture is positive, it helps to improve employee satisfaction, and retention, both of which positively contribute to the bottom line. 

Now, your company culture should fall in line with that of your company’s mission. 

If your company's mission statement involves uplifting others, why not start uplifting employees in the workplace through social recognition? 

Create A Culture Of Recognition

So, do you want to create a culture of recognition within your workplace? 

Creating a culture of recognition goes far beyond just handing out a certificate once a year. 

To use the term culture implies that a culture of recognition has touched the very depths of what it means to work at this company. From common speech patterns to expectations, a culture of recognition can shape just about everything.

But how does one build a culture of recognition, especially if they are starting from scratch? 

Creating an organizational culture that values both teams and individuals is no easy feat.  Your company will want to create a corporate culture where each individual feels valued for their hard work and dedication to the company. But once established, creating a culture of recognition has the potential to radiate throughout your entire company. 

How Do You Get Started? 

If you want to build a culture of recognition, start small with simple verbal recognition. Verbal recognition is a simple way to change the culture at its base.

From there, you can move on to offer written recognition through texting frontline employees and even move on to more formal forms of recognition like publicly giving a certificate or award to top-performing employees.   

How We Communicate Matters 

More than anything else, what drives the employees' level of engagement are the ways the organization's top leaders and managers communicate with them. Studies show that more engaged employees perform better than employees that are not engaged. When employees are more engaged their performance is higher and more high performers equal positive impacts on your business.

goHappy is a simple and easy-to-use frontline employee communication tool to streamline frontline employee engagement and help empower HR and organizational leadership to have their workers feel more valued and connected.

employee communication calendar