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Sinead Healy

Fanclub Recognition

Co-founder & MD

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5 must-haves for a modern employee recognition pro


Employee recognition initiatives can come in many shapes and sizes, and the majority of US companies say they do have some form of recognition programme in place for their staff. 

But in the modern working world, which approaches to recognition work best? What features and strategies are now must-haves when it comes to designing your own recognition programme?

Here are five to get you started:

Make it digital

One of the historic reasons why recognition within companies was often infrequent was the amount of manual work required. 

From paper thank-you notes to lengthy nominations created by management, too much recognition activity was often not wanted and created more admin headaches than it was seen to be worth. 

But modern employee recognition programmes harness the power of digital, with online platforms making it easier than ever to give instant recognition for great behaviour or performance, wherever and whenever it happens. 


Numerous studies have found that peer-to-peer recognition is the most powerful programme architecture for an organisation, yet the majority of appreciation initiatives still focus predominantly on long service awards and rewarding, too. 

Peer-to-peer recognition programmes supercharge activity and give every employee within the organisation a voice when it comes to showing thanks to colleagues. It strengthens working relationships, increases collaboration and ensures that recognition becomes part of the day-to-day conversation of the workforce. 

Integrated with daily workflows 

One of the huge advantages of moving recognition online is that it can integrate with the daily working of the business. 

For example, businesses using chat tools such as Slack or Workplace can have dedicated channels dedicated to automatically sharing all the great things that are happening throughout the company, one recognition at a time. 

Integrating with email also ensures that engagement with the programme remains high, and for employees with busy inboxes, it’s a nice bonus to see a message appear saying they’ve just been recognised by a colleague or indeed higher-ups for a great piece of work they have delivered. 

Values-based recognition

Company values can easily become the forgotten bedrock of a workplace, either gathering dust in the corner or only mentioned during an onboarding process. 

Modern employee recognition programmes have changed this, with values forming the basis of why recognition has been given. This approach not only gives additional, wider meaning to the showing of appreciation, it also helps to enforce what those values are and what they mean in professional practice. 

Incorporating company values in this way helps to ensure that they are more naturally adopted and desired employee behaviours are repeated time and time again. 

Flexible rewards

Whilst not technically recognition, employee rewards are often incorporated into recognition programmes to create one central hub of all things appreciation and reward for staff, giving greater options for management to show additional thanks to staff who have showcased a particular level of commitment or performance. 

And whilst some companies may still rely on a catalogue and time-consuming admin to fulfil rewards, modern recognition programmes boast more flexibility and also a lot more choice when it comes to how staff can redeem. 

Digital gift cards, digital vouchers, discount redemptions and even workplace perks are all growing in popularity amongst employees who enjoy being able to treat themselves to something they really value, be it from their favourite online shop, coffee house, cinema and so on.  

Author Profile Picture
Sinead Healy

Co-founder & MD

Read more from Sinead Healy

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