May 30, 2023

Types of employee recognition: Understanding the forms of recognition

Do you have an employee recognition program implemented in your organization? Modern companies must consider all employees as one of their most important assets and treat them as such. While implementing an employee recognition plan is a positive approach, it isn’t always simple. There are many types of recognition in the workplace with particular benefits.  

If you are thinking about implementing one of these programs or enhancing the one you have, you need to know the alternatives you have available. At T2W we have extensive experience in talent management, so we are familiar with this subject. In this article, we’ll delve into the different types of employee recognition. 

Employee recognition 

Employee recognition is comprised of all the actions a company takes to thank, value and recognize employee performance. It’s estimated that about 70% of the workforce feels their effort is not recognized. This affects directly employee performance and can increase the turnover rate to undesirable levels. 

On the other hand, this is not just a symbolic or inconsequential activity. Employee recognition can be part of a strategy to promote desirable actions and behaviors in the organization. This is why, before creating an employee recognition program, you need to identify the objectives the plan needs to achieve.  

Types of employee recognition 

When we speak about employee recognition, we’ll find different types. These can be classified according to different factors. In general, these alternatives will change depending on the person who gives recognition and depending on the way it’s given. Let’s take a closer look at these. 

Recognition based on the one who gives it 

1. Company recognition 

This is one of the most common types of recognition at work. In this case, the organization recognizes employees’ effort in a structured way through internal mechanisms. It can be special emails, ceremonies, awards, bonuses, etc. In addition, when recognition is official and comes from the company, it’s possible to add it to the resume, which is always great. 

One of the most common examples of this type of recognition are employee of the month programs. There are a few opportunities to recognize employees: monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly. While this recognition can be official and visible, the process is vertical and misses the human touch. This leads us to the next type of recognition. 

2. Leader recognition 

This is a type of recognition that if given by a boss or team leader. It must be someone who works closely with other employees and can check and assess the performance of the team. The leader offers positive comments that recognize and reinforce the valuable action of the employee. For that reason, recognition feels more personal and human. 

While recognition in this case is less official and more direct, it can also happen more frequently. In fact, daily recognition usually has a stronger effect on people. It is also important noting that this type of recognition requires a very distinct type of leadership, which must also be considered while designing a program. 

3. Peer recognition 

3. Peer recognition 

Finally, we have recognition that is given on a completely horizontal way. In this case, employees are the ones who will recognize the work of their peers. More often than not, recognition is most valued when it comes from someone you work closely with and you know, like a teammate. This is even more important when the boss or leader is not with the team all the time. 

Opposite to vertical and structured recognition that comes from the company, here recognition is more spontaneous and casual. However, it doesn’t mean that this is informal recognition. In fact, you can get better results when you create a comprehensive strategy around it and assign it some budget.  

You might like: What is a mentoring program for employees? 

Recognition based on the way it’s given 

4. Public recognition 

Finally, public employee recognition is one of the most used among organizations. Keep in mind that one of the objectives of any recognition program is to promote certain behavior and action among employees. For that reason, visible recognition will move the rest of people to act the same way. The public nature of recognition can be given through several means. It can be done visibly at the office, through a special ceremony, in social media, etc. 

5. Private recognition 

On the other hand, employee recognition can be done in a private way. What is the purpose of giving recognition privately? You need to consider that not all people are comfortable being recognized publicly. Being in the spotlight can be a real torture for some employees. In that case, recognition can be done in private sessions that offer the same appreciation that would be shown in a crowd. 

Finally, it’s important to consider that you can implement more than one of these types of recognition in a company. In fact, this approach is the best one in a company culture that is focused on recognition. 

Now you know the main types of employee recognition. Analyze each alternative and evaluate their benefits. You will certainly find an option that will fit the specific characteristics of your organization. 

At Talent2Win, we strive to align your company’s business objectives with the best Talent Acquisition strategies available. If you want to learn more about the services we offer, do not hesitate to contact us.       

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