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Tips for effective employee recognition

By March 26, 2019 May 6th, 2020 No Comments

Giving recognition and positive feedback sounds easy, and it should be, but it is amazing how many times it is not done well. With a little careful thought it should deliver great results and help improve discretionary effort. Here are some tips on how to maximise recognition.

First of all, put yourself in the shoes of the recipient and always consider the person being recognised.

Ask yourself. Why are you doing this? Employee recognition shouldn’t be a tick box exercise just because you haven’t done much on the employee recognition target or KPI this week or month. It should be because you understand and value the positive impact it can have on the individual and also the long term business benefits.

Using an acronym such as STAR might help you remember while you’re becoming a recognition expert. This stands for Sincere, Timely, Appropriate and Respectful.


If you don’t really mean it don’t do it. Recognition must be authentic, relevant, natural and sincere. Making an individual feel awkward because you’re not comfortable giving recognition and saying thanks is not ideal. Practice your approach until you do feel comfortable. If its sincere recognition you should be able to feel better about giving it fairly quickly or use online tools to support you if you really feel too awkward.


Planned employee recognition events like meetings or award evenings are  great but spontaneous recognition must be an option too. Ensure your recognition is given at an appropriate time for the person receiving it and that they aren’t on a deadline or rushing out the door.

That way the person you want to show your appreciation and recognition to needs to engage with you fully about it and feel that the appreciation is  important to you as well as them. It would be a shame for a sincere moment of employee recognition to be hurried and not fully enjoyed by the person receiving it just because of bad timing.

Remember, the longer you leave it to give positive feedback, the less value it has to the recipient, so seize the moment and make it timely.


Is the recognition appropriate for the action or behaviour that you are recognising? If an employee helped a team member with a task for example, whilst that’s really great and should be appreciated, a simple recognition might be appropriate like a nomination into a prize draw or sending a thank you card to the home address, or giving it to them at a team huddle might be the best option.

However if an employee has taken on a project and completed it when you know their ordinary day job is a challenge at the best of times, a thank you card or nomination entry into a small prize draw might be interpreted as a bit insulting and underwhelming.

The acknowledgement or recognition doesn’t match the effort involved and commitment shown by that employee.  It can help to have a bit of a reference and bench marking guide in the business when it comes to recognition activities and gestures, particularly when any reward or monetary value is involved. The individual recognition giver and company overall should try to ensure wherever possible that recognition is given fairly and evenly. They may also want to ensure that it is distributed on an all employee basis also. It should be a company-wide activity so no-one feels excluded, that goes for part time, seasonal workers and contractors.


Consider their preferences and their personality type. Are they an extrovert or an introvert? They may not appreciate your public acknowledgement if they are reserved or a very private person. On the other hand extroverts often like that limelight so make sure that’s what they get too. It’s also a great way of showcasing to others what the company values, and encourages others to behave the same or better.

Hopefully these tips will help you to develop confidence in recognition giving and hone your approach and ability when giving actual recognition too.

At Brownie Points we believe recognising performance and giving positive feedback really works… and we can make it work for you. The platform builds and reinforces verbal communication and feedback in a way that is consistent and transparent.

Brownie Points is working with thought leading organisations around the world to tailor employee feedback and recognition programs that have a positive impact on the bottom line.

With our growing network of national and international alliance partners we are able to deliver cost effective employee recognition programs for any business.

To learn how Brownie Points could make a difference in your business, call the team today on + 61 (3) 9909 7411 to discuss your engagement ideas, or for more information or to arrange a free demonstration email us at



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