7 Thoughtful Employee Recognition Ideas

Today, we’re highlighting 7 thoughtful employee recognition ideas that organizations should consider. 

Employee recognition comes in a variety of forms, both formal and informal, and should be given during key moments. For example, right after an employee has completed a project, an employee’s birthday, or even an employee’s first work day anniversary. However, keep the employee’s personality in mind whens selecting a reward. Some employees prefer recognition-based rewards like being publicly thanked on social media or the workplace’s bulletin board. While others prefer more low-key rewards such as a gift card or a free dinner for their family.

Create an effective employee recognition program by continuously mixing and matching thoughtful employee recognition ideas. 

1. Celebrate an Employee's First Day

The tedious process of interviewing, negotiating, and getting through the first days and weeks can be stressful. That’s why it’s important to recognize employees on their first day of work. 

There are two benefits of doing this: new employees feel immediately welcomed, and existing employees are able to break the ice.

2. Celebrate Birthdays

Show your employees that they are valued with this thoughtful employee recognition idea: celebrate their birthdays! A majority of people consider their birthdays to be a special occasion and therefore, want to celebrate it. But, if they’re working a full-time job, chances are they’ll be spending nearly their entire day working. 

Everyone has their own preferences around the different level of attention they’d like to receive for their birthdays. If they prefer a higher level of attention, taking the time to show them that they are recognized and valued would be a good idea.

3. Host an Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is an event that is observed on the first Friday in March, and is meant for employers to give thanks or recognition to their employees. 

This low-key holiday is a great opportunity to recognize employees without the pressure of annual or quarterly reviews. Furthermore, employers can celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with team building activities to show they care. For example, host a work barbecue or an office party, or simply just decorate the office. For a more personalized idea, ask your employees what would make them feel appreciated!

4. Recognize Work Anniversaries

Companies that experience high turnovers may want to recognize yearly anniversaries. That is to say, reward your employees for staying by recognizing their work anniversaries and paying a bonus that grows larger every year.

Backs of employees posing for a photo to be used in a blog called 7 thoughtful employee recognition ideas
5. Offer a Choice of Experiential Rewards

Another thoughtful employee recognition idea is to offer a choice of experiential rewards. Pricer rewards can make high-performing employees feel more appreciated for their extra efforts. For that reason, by offering experiential rewards instead of traditional items such as gift cards, employees are more likely to remember them. Examples of experiential rewards include a pizza making workshop, a wine tasting tour, or attending a concert.

6. Upgrade Your Break Room

A break room is a place where employees can rest and recharge. Therefore, having a clean and inviting environment is crucial. Depending on your company’s budget, you can upgrade the furniture and appliances, and add fun additions such as a mini library, a snack station, or even a game console.

7. Offer Monetary Support for Employee's Commutes

Commuting can easily be a large expense, especially if an employee lives far away, the workplace is in high traffic area, or with today’s gas prices. So, instead of offering an occasional reward like a dedicated parking spot, offer a gas gift card.

Employee Recognition With TheLeanSuite

An employee recognition program is a framework for recognizing, rewarding, and appreciating employees and their work. However, an effective employee recognition program will promote a culture of recognition, and motivate, engage, and retain high-performing employees.

TheLeanSuite is a lean manufacturing software that has built-in apps designed to help manufacturers and factories apply lean principles and techniques to their everyday processes. Currently, we offer the Suggestion Platform, an employee suggestion system, designed to capture and manage ideas, and boost employee engagement. The Suggestion Platform also has a built-in recognition and reward system where you can bring thoughtful employee recognition ideas to fruition. Essentially, it allows you reward high-performing employees with prizes that are personalized and unique to them.