When it comes to your people’s outstanding efforts and achievements, it’s not a good idea for your people leaders and decision-makers to be the strong silent types. Bersin by Deloitte found that in companies where recognition occurs, employee engagement, productivity, and customer service is 14% higher than in those where there’s little or no recognition. Bersin also found that companies with recognition programs that are highly effective at improving engagement have a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate than companies with ineffective recognition programs. 

So your company culture should constantly be pressing the praise button. But how can you clearly get the message across to your superstars that their presence around the office is noticed, their contributions matter, and their opinions are priceless? Below, is an appreciation playlist that will have your best and brightest groovin’ to the funkadelic beats of recognition, rewards, and…retention. 

  1. “I Just Called To Say…Stay Home!”: What can be more rewarding to one of your stellar performers than to get a call from the CEO early one weekday morning. Your company leader’s message can be short and sweet: “Take a day off on us.” To make sure that this surprise but a well earned day off rejuvenates on of your company’s hardest workers, HR should outlaw – for this one day only – emails or phone check-ins from and to the winner of this spontaneous vacay.

  2. “Eye of the Tiger”: Working long and hard on a project can wear you down, emotionally, psychologically, and physically. An amazing way to show how proud your company is of one particular person is to encourage that employee to detach from their office computer. Hiring a personal trainer to work with your outstanding staffers during the workday a couple of times a week will show your people that your company expects everyone to work hard, but to also know when it’s time to take a break and look out for their own wellbeing and cater to their work-life balance.

  3. “Make You Banana Pancakes…”: For those people who know their fusilli from their rigatoni, there’s no better way for your company to single out outstanding effort than by sending them to a five-star restaurant in your city. Besides making them feel appreciated, this type of reward will also bring together the people who’ve been specially chosen to take part in such a delectable feast. Bonbons plus bonding equals motivated employees squared…

  4. “What’s Going On?”: Actively seeking out your people’s opinions as often as possible will help them understand that their people leaders appreciate the work they’re doing. Finding what your company’s most valuable assets are thinking is also a smart way to open them up to constructive criticism as needed. It’s important to empower your best and brightest to not only weigh in on work-related problems but also ways to solve them. 

  5. “Game On”: Gamification is a great way to show your people how proud their company is of them because it allows each team member to decide which projects to be evaluated on, by receiving points whenever certain tasks are completed. These points can then be redeemed for anything from extra work-from-home days to continuing education programs paid for by the company. Gamification gives your people the power to be appreciated in a way that’s most meaningful to them.

  6. “Money, Money, Money”: Good old fashioned moolah is a powerful way to praise the good work being done by your company’s hardest-working people. While potential monetary rewards can be worked into performance review goals, there’s something just plain awesome about the CEO, team manager, or HR head calling up a deserving staffer at the end of an all-hands meeting and surprising this person with cold hard cash, a firm handshake, or a round of applause from everyone in attendance.

  7. “LOL Smiley Face”: It’s common practice for HR to recognize their people’s birthdays on its company’s social channels. Why not go a step further by using social media to tell the world how grateful you are to have a certain amazing employee on board? The trick is to be brief but specific about a person’s contributions. You may also want to include an interesting fact about your star employee, something that colleagues may not know about the person they sit next to and work with every day. 

Don’t be afraid to slam dunk the funk with these star treatment techniques that are sure to make your people feel special. Noticing when your employees put their best foot forward, find internal motivation, and truly care about what they do can make or break your employer branding and how successful your business is in the long run. Don’t lose your people at the final countdown to those other companies that are willing to acknowledge hard work and effort that pays off. Instead, tell ‘em something good and they’ll keep on truckin’ with a happy pep in their step! 


from Stephanie Stevens

Stephanie is Content Marketer at Hibob. She has a background in Clinical Psychology and Crisis Management, and enjoys abstract painting and watching horror films in her spare time. She believes that people can connect with themselves, their peers, and the world around them through creative writing, helping them foster a deeper sense of self and their life goals in the process.