How to build a attractive employee recognition program

An employee recognition program is an initiative from a company to recognize and reward its employees. The appreciation coming from the employer is for an achievement or a desired behavior that an employee exhibits.

An employee recognition program, in essence, is to make employees (more) productive and engaging. Also, these two behaviors, the latter and former, are the most desired and looked-for by an organization in its workforce.

There is no doubt in the importance of the role that recognition plays in making employees work dedicatedly. In a survey, 87% of the employees reveal that recognition drives them to become more involved in their respective companies.

Employee recognition pushes the employees to show better results than before. As per a study, if a company only performs symbolic recognition, its workforce produces better outputs.

The importance of employee recognition is evident. So let’s discuss what it takes to build an attractive employee recognition program. Read it below:

Understanding different Employee Recognition Program(s)

Understanding different Employee Recognition Program

The foremost step to build an attractive employee recognition program is to understand the difference between its various types. It helps to understand which one of them will meet your organizational needs better.

Some of its familiar types are below:

Public Recognition

As the name suggests, it involves publicly appreciating employees for their efforts and good work. This recognition is usually performed on social media platforms, newsletter features, meetings, office announcements, etc.

Private Recognition

A private recognition generally comes from the CEO, manager, or anyone you work or working under. It involves using an appreciation email, a thank you note, or an in-person verbal appreciation.

Promotion based

More often than not, employees receive promotions after serving for a certain period in an organization. However, employees can also have a promotion as part of the employee recognition program.

Monetary benefits

A company can also recognize its employees by making use of the monetary benefits. It includes pay raises, sponsored vacations, tickets to a concert or a sports game, and similar.

Read More: Encourage Your Workforce By Introducing Employee Recognition Ideas

Founding characteristics of the Employee Recognition Program

Founding characteristics of the Employee Recognition Program

Building an effective employee recognition program requires establishing its characteristics. Some of the primary features that a recognition program must have:


A principal characteristic in employee recognition is that it should be specific.

An employee recognition program should reward the employees soon after their exemplary work or desirable behavior because it clarifies what has led to recognition. Resultantly, the employee repeats the rewarded behavior.

A recognition that is not specific leaves people and the rewarded employee guessing. Resultantly, the employee becomes unable to repeat the desired behavior.


One of the building blocks of a recognition program is that it should be frequent. You should recognize your employees regularly instead of saving your appreciation for extraordinary achievement.

You should be appreciating your employees for each contribution, even if it seems less significant. Remember: it is the little things that over time lead to great things.

Additionally, a frequently performed recognition keeps the motivation and drive alive in your employees. And that helps them to achieve more over time.


An employee recognition program should be prompt because it is crucial to its sustainability.

If you want the desired behavior from an employee to repeat, then an in-time recognition is necessary. Additionally, timely recognition would motivate the employee to embark on earning achievement for the next task.

A rather late recognition is still a recognition. However, an employee may not be able to work on another challenge as it takes away the warmth.


It is one of the building blocks of your program that it should be neutral and impartial. Its effectiveness is, thus, founded on its honesty and fairness.

Regardless of the organizational hierarchy, a recognition program should be equally recognizing and rewarding.

It goes without saying how equity is inevitable for the success of an organization in general and recognition programs in particular.


While acknowledgement could be both public and private, it is good if the program is public.

With a public recognition program, employees can see their counterparts being in the limelight as a result of their public appreciation. It gives them the drive to work hard and to receive the same attention.

It fosters healthy competition amongst the employees, making the workforce productive and engaging as a whole.

Making Employee Recognition Program relevant

Making Employee Recognition Program relevant

Before you establish an acknowledgment program, make sure to receive employee feedback. This feedback should entail the thoughts they carry towards their work. It should also detail their current and future expectations from the company.

Employee feedback helps to include the relevant rewards into the recognition program to eliminate any sense of deprivation.

The employee recognition program enhances employee performance by using the reward system. Therefore, understanding their expectations before building it helps in making it successful.

Bottom line

An employee recognition program is to make the employees exemplary in their work. It is also used to make them display desirable behaviors.

Due to its positive influence on the workforce, many organizations are starting to include such programs in their culture.

A successful program for employee appreciation that yields the desired results requires few considerations.

A recognition program requires an understanding of its different types because it helps to know the use of each type for a company.

Founding the characteristics of an employee recognition program is also important since doing so makes it more effective.

Last not least, programs for employee acknowledgment should be relevant to the employee needs. Also, because such programs are to make employees happy, therefore it should address the employees’ needs and wants more.

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