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6 Easy Ways to Reward & Recognize your Employees

6 easy ways to reward & recognize your employees blog

When you hear the words “cheap and easy”, you might not automatically think of rewarding and recognizing the folks on your team. However, that’s exactly what your employee recognition program should be: an affordable, habitual pattern.

While there is value to an occasional blow-out celebration, your employees will feel just as appreciated with frequent, small reminders that they are important.

Take a look at some of these super-simple ways to show appreciation to your employees and improve workplace culture.

1. Encourage them to earn recognition

Structure your recognition and reward program to focus incentivizing the specific behavioral changes required to support The Great Game rather than focus on rewards in and of themselves.


Clarify the goal that is connected to the behavior. The most successful way to achieve goal clarification is through playing MiniGames™ – which teach a lesson while changing a workplace behavior and offering a reward. This will provide more sustainable results—and more fun.

2. Post a recognition board

Put a recognition board in a prominent place to identify employees who make a significant contribution or demonstrate a desired cultural trait. Make sure you name the employee and specifically state what they did to earn recognition. This will help their peers understand what kind of contributions are valued.

If you have numerous locations, consider using a virtual recognition board in place of a physical one. 

3. Peer-based recognition

Being noticed and acknowledged by coworkers is a powerful source of motivation. Encourage all employees to communicate with supervisors when they see a co-worker who has gone above and beyond.
    • Consider adding a special section to the recognition board (mentioned above) that tracks who within your organization is doing the recognizing.

4. Never underestimate the power of praise and positive reinforcement

A compliment from a superior can be the brightest part of an employee’s day. Make a habit of giving sincere recognition to employees often. But do remember, some employees prefer a more private compliment as opposed to public praise.

To help learn how each of your individual employees prefer to be recognized, consider having them fill an employee profile. Review it and keep it on file so you can easily provide rewards and praise that are meaningful to the individual employee.

5. Forget the cash!

 A cash reward tends to be forgotten quickly as it often gets mixed in with everyday spending money. A tangible and meaningful reward will create a positive memory and reinforce the win. 

6. Connect the dots between effort & reward

Reinforce the line of sight between employees' actions and their reward. Do it each time an incentive is earned. Reviewing everyone’s contributions to the end goal and establishing what reaching that goal means for the whole team will make the actions and the reward more meaningful.


Final Thoughts: Make Your Employee Recognition Program Stand Out

It’s important to understand that no matter what method you choose to recognize your team or individual team members, the best rewards are memorable and personal.

When it comes to creating your recognition program, the more you put in, the more you get out. 

Remember to get creative. Come up with reward and recognition ideas that match your company's brand, anything from lunch with the CEO, to additional days off, gift cards or whatever else you feel is appropriate. 

Great Game practitioners never cease to amaze us with their innovative ideas for recognizing employees. What has worked for your company? Let us know in the comments below!



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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.