Corporate & Employee

5 Great Ways Leaders Can Recognize Employees

Author: Catherine Monson
A stock photo of employees standing and smiling with one woman holding a thumbs up

Recognition continues to be one of the most powerful motivating tools in a leader’s toolkit. More than compensation, benefits or rewards, recognition is the key factor in encouraging and inspiring employees to reach their full potential. A simple “thank you” or “good job” can help build trust and give employees a sense of purpose on the job. But when verbal recognition isn’t enough, there are other great ways leaders can recognize employees. Here are a few ideas to let employees know their work is valued.

1. Brag Board

Implement a company-wide brag board to let employees and management recognize outstanding work. A brag board can be more than just a whiteboard in the break room with scribbled compliments from anonymous employees. Create an organized system that makes the recognition more genuine and formal. Broadcast the praise throughout the workplace via digital signs, a weekly email or scrolling displays. This type of recognition can foster a supportive and competitive atmosphere that is healthy for employees and business.

2. Plaques and Trophies

Sometimes a traditional approach to recognition is warranted. Plaques and trophies are a universal sign of success in competition, which make them great tools to show employee appreciation. Use plaques and trophies to acknowledge personal and professional milestones, whether it is a work anniversary or toppling a sales goal. Hand out the prize at a meeting or company party, where the recipient can be recognized by their peers. Plaques and trophies make for great desk or office ornaments, where they can be proudly displayed.

3. Handwritten Note

Every day, we’re bombarded with emails and text messages that are preferred for their short messages and quick delivery. Take some time to sit down and write a handwritten note to an employee for a job well done. A handwritten note shows effort and genuine communication that is valued by employees who may feel overlooked in a fast-paced work environment.

4. Rename a Room

Conference Room 3 might be an efficient and easy way to identify an office space, but naming a room after an employee is more fun, isn’t it? This doesn’t have to be a permanent change, but a plaque, sign or wall graphic recognizing Conference Room 3 as the Nielsen Room, for example, could engage and motivate employees who want their own name on the wall.

5. Name a Drink

Find out what type of drink an employee prefers and order customized labels to attach to the container. If beer is their drink of choice, think of a clever beer name incorporating the employee’s name, or consult the Random Beer Name Generatorfor more help. Creativity and personalization are encouraged and appreciated.

There are all kinds of ways to show employee appreciation; some more serious than others. But the most important factor in meaningful recognition remains honesty. According to a study by The Maritz Institute, genuine recognition resonates with employees, increases trust and loyalty and encourages growth and development. FASTSIGNS would love to help you and your business start connecting with employees through employee appreciation signs or any other visual communication strategies. Call us at 800-FASTSIGNS, or visit to see our work.

A sticky note says "Good Job!" on it


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