How to establish an employee recognition program

Want to express gratitude to your employees because you appreciate your team and the work that they’ve produced recently? Here are some tips for establishing an employee recognition program and for sending positive vibes that will have a strong impact on the well-being of everyone in your organization.


  • Personalize your recognition program: No employee recognition program is one size fits all; it must be tailored to keep in mind the team’s duties and the people you would like to express gratitude towards for their effort and fulfillment of objectives. It should also reflect the values of the company. That said, if you’re an employer who’s close to your colleagues, don’t hesitate to just ask them how they would like to be congratulated and rewarded for their work!
  • Be a proactive manager: In life, like in the workplace, congratulations are most welcomed as soon as results are announced. Recognition bears its fruit only if it’s addressed at the most opportune moment — that is to say, the moment it’s deserved. So congratulate your employees quickly without waiting for the results to be completely perfect.
  • Send a positive and sincere message: a recognition program should be timely as well as sincere, positive, and cordial.  Show your gratitude only if you truly appreciate the work someone has done; don’t lie. A message sent out of obligation will be very quickly detected by employees and may engender an uncertain climate between you and your colleagues.
  • Act personally and with precision: In the same vein as the previous point, recognition should be precise so that it’s recognized as a real gratitude. For that, you need to personally announce the details of the accomplishment that brought forth the well-deserved congratulations.



It’s good to employ both formal and informal recognition practices to spontaneously reward the work of employees in several different ways. To help plan everything, assemble a solid team of people, chosen for their work with various groups of employees, and put them in charge of recognition. No need to have a big team; just choose a few employees known for their motivation and for their capacity for spreading good vibes.



  • Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to say hello and exchange a few words with everyone to start the day off on a positive note
  • Leave personalized post-it notes on the desk of an employee who has proven to be very effective at a given task
  • Highlight the good work and contributions of a team or an employee in particular in personal meetings to motivate and inspire their colleagues
  • Regularly organize nights out where employees can mingle and enjoy drinks, snacks, and informal conversation outside of the office
  • Put a word of recognition and a certificate for a “free vacation day” on a pay stub for an employee who has excelled in their work for the month
  • Organize an awards night to highlight big achievements like many years of service to the company, personal and team achievements, and other milestones

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