Easy guide to Give Employee Recognition in 2023

Teemu Puuska

Co-Founder @Evergreen

In the workplace, there’s no better feeling than putting hard work into a project that you’re proud of and getting positive recognition from your team. It’s nice to be appreciated and have your (metaphorical) blood, sweat, and tears pay off.

If you want to keep your employees happy, motivated, and productive, you need a system of employee recognition. This can come in many forms–from a simple “thank you” Slack message to a paycheck bonus.

Here’s everything you need to know about what employee recognition is, why it matters, and when to give it.

Employee Recognition

What is employee recognition?

Employee recognition is simply showing your appreciation for the work your teammates and employees do. This can be manager-employee or peer-to-peer. It is highly motivating to be well-regarded by your peers, so peer-to-peer recognition, while often disregarded, is very important to creating a healthy, productive company culture.

Employee recognition serves to reinforce positive behaviors, practices, or accomplishments in the workplace. Types of recognition can include verbal or written affirmations to extra vacation days, pay-bonuses, or perks.

Why does employee recognition matter?

When you incorporate employee recognition into your workplace, you’ll see a positive shift in culture. That’s because there are plenty of proven benefits for positively affirming your team. Here are a few of the benefits of employee recognition:

Employee happiness

When your employees feel recognized for their effort, they’ll gain confidence in the work that they do. Even better, studies have shown that happy employees are more productive employees. By acknowledging employee’s accomplishments, you’ll boost workplace morale and get the best out of your employees.

Employee retention

If you want to keep the most talented people at your company, you need to have an employee retention process in place. Positive recognition can keep employees motivated and inspired. According to one study, recognition programs can reduce employee turnover by 31%.

Self-improvement Culture

Company culture can affect every aspect of a business, from customer satisfaction to employee retention. When you foster a culture of positive recognition and self-improvement, you’ll see your employees get inspired about their progress. Reward those who focus on self-improvement in their work, and it will become a value deeply ingrained into your workplace culture.

When should recognition be given?

It’s important to recognize employees at the right time. Here are some ideas:

Project milestones

A diverse team celebrating the success of a project

With big projects, it’s important to keep morale up and energy high. Recognizing accomplishments and milestones within projects,  keeps employees motivated and can positively affect work quality. You don’t always want to wait for an entire project to be complete before handing out kudos. People actually prefer immediate recognition. So there’s no need to put it off–say “thanks” today!


birthday ballons in the office

Everyone likes to feel special on their birthday! And most people with a 9-5 job spend the majority of their big day in the office, so why not make them feel special? There’s no need to throw a big party (and not everyone may enjoy that) but it’s a good idea to at least recognize the event.

Work anniversaries

Whether it’s a 2-year anniversary or a 20-year anniversary, it’s important to celebrate how long an employee has been working for you. A work anniversary is a time for an employee to reflect on their work at your company–past, present, and future. If they feel unappreciated on that day, they might not stay in the role much longer.

Want to Make Employee Recognition Easy?

The best way to increase employee recognition–whether it’s top-down or peer-to-peer–is by making it simple and quick. Sign up today to use the Evergreen App and see how easy it is to spread affirmations!

Every time you give recognition through Evergreen, you’ll boost employee morale and have a tree planted in your honor. Start the free trial to get started.

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Want to access our Practical Guide of Employee Recognition?

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