Recognise and Keep Top Talent With These Employee Recognition Ideas

A 2014 research found that appreciation for work is the number one preferred job element by employees. Attractive fixed salary, additional benefits, and company car came in at positions 8,24,and 26, respectively. Amazingly 83% of employees interviewed noted that recognition is more satisfying compared to gifts and rewards.

Retaining top talent is an indicator of organisational success. Companies with low turnover spend less on training which helps them save time and money in the long term. Employee recognition keeps staff at the workplace because it reminds them that their efforts are appreciated. In this discussion, we look at the top employee recognition ideas.

Employee Recognition Scheme

First, you must create structures for recognizing your employees by incorporating recognition into the company’s culture. An employee recognition scheme could be a formal system that makes it possible to identify and reward deserving employees.

Such a program is incomplete if you don’t have an employee recognition platform. This intuitive solution can work perfectly for your organization by recognising employees and rewarding them based on certain values, traits or aspects.

The Employee of the Month or Quarter Awards

The “Employee of the Month” initiative rewards employees who perform above and beyond their expectations. Besides giving them gifts, bonuses, and extra pay, you can extend simple gestures such as lunch with the CEO, allow them to speak during meetings, and reward them with a prime space in the office.

Most companies usually have team-building activities for employees; therefore, you can dedicate such days to recognising the best-performing employees. Be sure to reward different types of traits, behaviours, and accomplishments so that every employee has a chance to be appreciated.

Loyalty Recognition

Recognition of loyalty is a popular form of recognition that you can adapt for your company. For instance, a gold watch is not only a pricey gift but a time-honoured memory for employees who’ve worked in the organization for many years. Gift certificates, medals, and vouchers can also be excellent reward ideas.

Gift Hampers

A gift hamper or care package may not contain highly pricey items, but it is a great way to appreciate your employees. Be sure to use a branded bag so employees can take pride in working for the organization. Such a package can include; candies, snacks, handwritten notes, candles, a journal, diary, bubble bath, branded mug, and coupons.

Catch Them By Surprise

Isn’t it gratifying to receive a personal note from the CEO? Surprising your employees at the least expected moment can add a spark to their day. Take an extra step to articulate their importance to the company and why they deserve recognition.

A message via the company’s communication channels and a personal note can catch them by surprise, making them feel happy and motivated to perform better. Go the extra mile by sending a handwritten note via the postal address to their home. Also have someone deliver flowers and a thank you note to their doorstep.

Allow Them To Clock in Early At the End of Quarter

We all know how the end of quarters can be busy as everyone tries to catch up with their targets. If the job allows, surprise the team by sending them home early once the quarter ends.

For instance, organise lunch in the office to celebrate the previous quarter’s results, reward the best performers and then announce plans to clock out at 2.00 pm instead of 5.00 pm. This can be a pleasant surprise that can guarantee happiness to your employees and make them perform better in the next quarter.

Daily or Weekly Victory Recognition

Sometimes you don’t have to wait until the end of the quarter to recognize your employees. The immediate supervisors can appreciate employees’ contributions to projects daily or weekly.

Emails or slack communications are great ways to nominate the employee putting a lot of hard work into the project. The line manager can pin a performance list on the notice board for all employees to see.

Lucky Draws and Contests

Contests and competitions are fun ideas that can increase employee engagement at the workplace. Regardless of the department, the employees will be eager to participate, which can lead to a better and vibrant office dynamic.

The easier way to go about it is to offer the best performers raffle tickets to participate in a draw. The prizes include movie tickets, lunch vouchers, comedy show tickets, and a paid-off day.


Keeping top talents and creating a top-performing workplace requires more than a pay hike, bonuses, or even a coffee hour caterer. Whereas high salaries attract some of these talents, keeping them in the company requires a lot more. Often, your top employees may get these from a different company or competitor. Employees must be recognized as this could win their trust, honesty, and loyalty to the organization.