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Types of Employee Recognition and Rewards   

jauhar khan
@jauhar123 | Posted 25 Sep. 2019


Employee rewards and recognition program will vary from organization to organization, and how you appreciate employees will depend on your unique company needs. Your team could be motivated by a company-sponsored outing, a thoughtful email, or a gift card to their favourite store. 

Types of Recognition


There are many types of bonuses, ranging from small to large.

Small bonuses, sometimes called spot bonuses because they’re given “on the spot,” are small monetary rewards given frequently by one colleague to another in recognition of a valuable contribution. 

Small bonuses provide several unique benefits. Like spot bonuses, staff recognition in the form of bonuses can be given in the very moment that a valuable contribution is made by an employee.

Because these bonuses are small by nature, everyone can give them out often, providing multiple positive instances of employee recognition without dramatically altering an employee's compensation. Their on-the-spot nature dictates that spot bonuses are given at an irregular cadence, in contrast to annual and quarterly bonuses.

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Written praise

Writing thank-you notes can not only show appreciation but is tangible proof of an employee’s contributions. Written praise is a flexible method of recognition and notes of praise are almost universally appreciated, whether written or sent as electronic communication.

Verbal praise

Verbal praise is perhaps the oldest, and longest-standing form of peer-to-peer recognition in the workplace. Verbal praise is given by colleagues, generally in an ad-hoc fashion, in recognition of a staff member's valuable contribution. Although nearly always informal in nature, verbal praise is occasionally solicited as part of a formal staff recognition program.

When should recognition be given?

We’ll cover the characteristics of effective recognition in a later section, but here’s a sneak peek of one of the main components—timeliness. It’s important to recognize employees at key moments, whether that’s right after a project has been completed, on their work anniversary, or even their birthday.

EventsEmployee’s first day

Should you recognize employees before they even start working? We think yes. Besides, we think the stressful process of interviewing, negotiating, and making it through the first days or weeks definitely deserves some kudos! The benefits here are twofold: new employees feel welcomed into the fold right away, and existing employees are able to break the ice immediately.

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Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is a semi-formal holiday founded by Bob Nelson, a founding board member of Recognition Professional International. Over the past 20 years, other companies have embraced the unofficial holiday, paying homage to their employees on the first Friday of March.

As a low-key “holiday,” Employee Appreciation Day is a great opportunity to recognize employees without the pressure of annual or quarterly reviews. Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with small company-funded events like barbecues, office parties, or with fun decorations!