Recognizing Employee Accomplishments: Getting it Right Each Time!

September 21, 2018 in
By Kristin Price

Over the past few weeks, we have been sharing information about and examples of employee recognition. No matter what type of award you’re giving an employee, formal or informal, the method in which it’s given is incredibly critical to how it is received and the impact it has on employees and the organization. To help with this process, we wanted to offer some quick tips and strategies to managers when it comes to effectively recognizing employees for their achievements:

  1. Be Timely. Did an employee step up to take over additional tasks and responsibilities while a colleague had a family emergency that left them unexpectedly out of the office for a week? Don’t wait for 3 months after the fact to recognize their contributions of going ‘above and beyond’ – show your appreciation as close to the act/achievement as possible! For maximum impact, we recommend that awards be given within one week of the action being recognized.
  2. Be Specific. Don’t just tell an employee they did a good job, send a generic e-card or place a blank award certificate on their desk before they get into the office. Tell your team member hows/he did a good job. When you praise specific items, like “great job finishing the banking case study three days before the deadline,” you’re not only telling the employee that you pay attention to the work s/he does, but you’re also offering a blueprint for repeated success.
  3. Know your Employees. Every employee responds differently to recognition. Some revel in the spotlight and relish in that moment of being recognized at a team or all-hands meeting. Yet, there are others that would rather chop off their right arm than be made the center of attention in front of their colleagues. Know your employees and tailor your recognition so it produces the greatest impact for each individual.
  4. Strike a Balance. It’s easy to recognize your top performing employees – they’re always doing great things! – and they are consistently encouraged through acknowledgement and reward. Finding and recognizing the ‘wins’ by those less-stellar employees might just be the encouragement and motivation they need to turn that productivity corner! Find the right balance of using rewards to motivate all of your team members.
  5. Use a Combination of Awards. As mentioned in previous blogs, it’s the combination of formal (e.g., cash and time off awards) and informal awards that are effective in maintaining a highly motivated, engaged, and hard-working workforce. Don’t be restricted to giving your employees structured formal awards. Mix in some creative, silly, and fun informal awards to strike the perfect balance!

We hope these tips and strategies are helpful, and we wish you all luck in implementing meaningful employee recognition and awards programs!

If you’re interested in learning more about FMP’s experience developing employee recognition and award programs, please contact or reach out to the author, Kristin Price (

About the Author:When Kristin’s not supporting clients in the development and administration of their employee rewards and recognition programs, she enjoys going out for a good run – whether it be on the roads, trails, or even a treadmill!

Photo of Kristin Price, FMP Employee