Employee Recognition Ideas to Drive Motivation and Job Satisfaction

Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Employee recognition is a powerful tool in building morale, motivation and job satisfaction. A pat on the back or a personal note from a peer or a supervisor does wonders. Small, informal celebrations are many times more effective than a once-a-quarter or once-a-year formal event.

Employee appreciation and recognition are critical to achieving organizational goals. All humans need to feel appreciated. In a survey conducted by Robert Half International, results showed employee recognition and appreciation was the number one reason employees stay in their work environment with fair compensation being second.

Here are a few employee recognition ideas to consider.  Some of these ideas provide ways to increase employees satisfaction without increasing pay.

Drive My BMW

Graham Weston, co-founder and CEO of Rackspace Managed Hosting, gives the keys to his BMW M3 convertible to his top performing employees for a week. This creative way to reward employees has a bigger impact than cash. He says, “If you gave somebody a $200 bonus, it wouldn’t mean very much. But when someone gets to drive my car for a week, they never forget it.” The important point is pay and money do not necessarily create job satisfaction. There has to be something more.

The Extra Mile

United Services Automobile Association (USAA) provides blank “Thank You” note stationery to their workers for a program called The Extra Mile. Employees are encouraged to say “Thank You” to each other for the help they receive at work. The most surprising thing happened on the first day the notes were printed. They ran out! The company couldn’t keep up with the demand.

President’s Employee Recognition Dinner

Schreiber Foods, Inc. holds an annual President’s Employee Recognition Dinner.  Throughout the year employees nominate each other for five award categories: leadership, quality improvement, innovation, community involvement, etc.  A team then evaluates the nominations, and the winners are selected.  They are announced and recognized at the President’s Dinner.  The recipients receive a crystal award and a bonus.

Before embarking on creating an employee recognition program, take the time to first discover what may be causing employees to be un-motivated.  Identify and fix the de-motivators first.

Source: Dynamic Ideas to Reward, Energize and Motivate Your Teams


We are on a search for innovative ways to keep people motivated and engaged at work.  Please reply and leave us some suggestions on this blog.


Greg Smith | Lead Navigator | 770-860-9464 | Chart Your Course International

Chartcourse.com | HighperformanceOrganization.com

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3 Responses to Employee Recognition Ideas to Drive Motivation and Job Satisfaction

  1. Bette Mitchell says:

    Giving them time off for the day. Many employees have personal things to do during working hours and always have to plan time off to take care of business. Allow 4 hours of Personal Time. It does not have to be taken all at once if planned off. It allows them to plan doctor’s appts, dental appts, and go to the bank outside of their lunch hour. Also allows them to have an extended lunch to meet a friend, family or coworker. This eliminates the stress of rushing and gives them some me time. They can earn this by meeting their monthly goals or going above and beyond their job expectations. It allows them to save their vacation time and really enjoy a full vacation because everyone needs to get away and enjoy a break or time to spend with their family

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