Recognition is one of the primary drivers of employee motivation. All of us like to feel as though our hard work is seen, appreciated, and affirmed; a simple pat-on-the-back can go a long way toward boosting our morale.

For leaders, the challenge lies in administering pats on the back creatively, effectively, and affordably. Here are a few employee recognition strategies you might find to be worthwhile.

  • Write out a thank-you note.

A handwritten thank-you note is simple, yet powerful. It only takes you a minute or two to write one out, yet that personal touch can really resonate with the employee who receives it. And because most of us rarely, if ever receive handwritten notes any more, this is a form of employee recognition that will truly make an impression.

  • Hand out lotto tickets.

A lottery ticket doesn’t cost much—and realistically, it probably won’t amount to much, either. Yet buying lotto tickets and handing them out to employees who perform well is a simple and fun way to let them know you recognize them.

  • Go out to lunch.

When an employee does something really great, like closing a major account, why not invite them out for lunch, one on one? Spend some time simply getting to know them. That investment of your personal time and attention can be meaningful—plus, as you get to know your employees, it might give you more employee recognition ideas.

  • Buy event tickets.

Assuming you know your employees reasonably well, event tickets can make wonderful thank-yous. For those really big achievements, consider concert tickets, sporting passes, or other displays of your gratitude.

  • Sing their praises.

Public acknowledgement can make employees feel valued. You might even use your company’s social media accounts to celebrate the achievements of a deserving employee.

  • Buy a trophy.

A variant on the old employee-of-the-month model, you can buy a custom trophy and give it out to an employee who exemplifies one of your core values. Each week, select a new employee who gets to keep the trophy on his or her desk for a little while.

Get Creative with Employee Recognition

Remember: Your employees want to be acknowledged for the good work they do—and that doesn’t have to be super complicated. Just look for small ways to express your thanks. If you’d like to talk with me about further ideas, I’m always game. Contact me at or call 888-267-6098.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Skip to content