4 types of recognition for employees

The workplace doesn’t look like it used to — and recognition doesn’t either. Gone are the days where employees were satisfied with the occasional “attaboy” given in the hall after a meeting or a brief ceremony and plaque provided after every five years of service. Instead, today’s employees want and expect personalized recognition to be a part of their everyday experience on the job, whether they’re working remotely, still in office, or splitting time between the two.

Building a culture of recognition requires leveraging each and every type of recognition to the fullest. Here’s a brief rundown of 4 major types of recognition your organization should incorporate into the employee experience.

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1. Informal recognition

Informal recognition includes every form of appreciation that isn’t planned in advance by your organization. It might be a shout out in the weekly staff meeting, a thank you message over chat, or a gift of reward points on your organization’s employee recognition platform. These small scale instances of recognition add up and make the difference between a company where employees feel genuinely valued and one where recognition seems forced and insincere.

Just because recognition is informal doesn’t mean that your organization shouldn’t play a supportive role, of course. Empower employees to provide recognition whenever and wherever the mood strikes them with a mobile-friendly employee recognition solution. And provide awards for the top recognition receivers and givers at your company to keep the cycle of appreciation rolling.

2. Formal recognition

Formal recognition encompasses many forms of appreciation that organizations have practiced for decades. It includes everything from anniversary celebrations, to favorable performance reviews, to bonuses and raises. While formal recognition is no longer enough on its own, it still plays an important role in any successful recognition program. You can think of formal recognition as the foundation your organization’s recognition program relies on. Without planning to recognize team members’ big moments and major successes, your other recognition initiatives will fall flat. 

The two remaining types of recognition show how both formal and informal recognition can coalesce to power your employee recognition program.

3. Social recognition

Social recognition is just as impactful as monetary recognition. Enabling social recognition at your organization requires providing employees with both the means and the motivation to show their appreciation to other team members frequently. The “means” part of the equation requires an employee recognition solution that allows employees to say thank you anytime, anywhere. It should also make saying thank you engaging with the ability to interact with others’ messages of recognition through comments, emojis, and gifs.

The motivation component requires your leaders to serve as examples for the rest of your organization to follow. Employees are far more likely to start practicing recognition when the most important figures at your organization demonstrate its importance to your company culture. Managers and other leaders should also ensure that they make communication with employees a two-way street. This encourages employees to provide both recognition and valuable constructive feedback to your company’s leadership team.

Effective social recognition benefits from and helps build strong peer-to-peer networks. Peer-to-peer recognition boosts collaboration, supports diversity and inclusion, and keeps employee morale high. While recognition from your manager is always appreciated, a message of thanks from a team member you work with closely can be even more meaningful.

4. Monetary recognition

Rewarding employees provides them with tangible proof that your organization values them. Monetary recognition includes traditional incentives like bonuses and raises, but a comprehensive reward and recognition program has to go beyond these standard incentives and provide personalized rewards. Employees respond best to rewards they actually want, but individualizing rewards for each and every team member is an impossible task. 

That’s one of the reasons a points-based rewards system makes so much sense. With a points-based system, team members receive a set number of points through your company’s employee recognition platform every month or quarter. They can then spend these points on rewards that excite them from a catalog that should include items, experiences, and more from hundreds or even thousands of brands.

Centralize all types of recognition in a single platform

The need for a modern employee recognition platform is the thread that connects every type of recognition and every organization’s recognition program. Achievers Recognize is an employee recognition solution that supports your team members’ mobile devices, makes providing recognition an engaging experience, and includes a curated collection of global rewards from over 2500 brands. Social and monetary recognition, milestone celebrations, an interactive recognition experience — whatever you’re looking for in your recognition solution, Achievers Recognize has you covered.

Try a free demo of Achievers Recognize and start building a culture of recognition at your organization today.

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