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Recognize Employees for Their Hard Work With These 6 Strategies

When an employee does great work, it's important to recognize them for their achievements. But how can you showcase that in a way that the whole team can rally behind? These six entrepreneurs commend their employees regularly and involve their teams so that accomplishments are something to be celebrated by all, rather than resented.

Highlight team members during regular meetings. If you want everyone on your team to feel appreciated, arrange regular opportunities for team members to receive recognition. Ryan Shank, CEO of call tracking and automation software company PhoneWagon, holds weekly team meetings where different employees can shine. "Every week we do an all-hands team meeting. This is where we highlight key team members who have done something remarkable," says Shank. "By having it weekly and highlighting someone every week, other team members don't feel like they are being left out. It's a regular occurrence that makes employees want to be featured."

Recognize employees based on peer nominations. Hongwei Liu, co-founder and CEO of mapping service mappedin, holds quarterly awards ceremonies to celebrate team members' achievements. And while the co-founders have the final say on who gets the prize, peer submissions allow everyone on the team to get involved. "Creating programs where teammates select or nominate their peers for recognition is a great way to do this. We have a quarterly impact award that earns the recipient a plaque and company-wide recognition," says Liu.

Create a Slack channel to call out jobs well done. "As a remote team, we employ unique forms of communication, and one of the tools we use most often is Slack," says Dave Nevogt, co-founder and CMO of Hubstaff, a time-tracking software platform for remote teams. Because the entire team can participate in the channel in real time, it makes recognition easy and fun. "We have Slack channels for different teams and topics, including 'employee showcases.' Any time a team member notices someone has done exceptionally great work, we bring it up in the channel. This is an easy way for the entire team to get involved and celebrate a job well done."

Award employees of the month -- based on manager and peer review. Employee-of-the-month awards are a great way for managers to recognize employees for their hard work. Leila Lewis, founder and CEO of wedding PR agency Be Inspired PR, acknowledges two employees each month by factoring in peer nominations. "When I announce the winners, I always include specific reasons why the manager-chosen EOM was picked," says Lewis. "The peer-nominated winner is important too, because it gives your employees a voice and a chance to highlight a peer who has done great work."

Give your team the chance to showcase their work. Elle Kaplan, founder and managing partner of asset management firm LexION Capital, understands that busy executives don't always have time to notice all of their team's great work. That's why she asks her employees to bring it to her attention. "Unless you're micromanaging everything, some of the great things your team does will slip through the cracks. That's why I give them opportunities to showcase this, rather than wait for me to spot it," says Kaplan. "Every Friday, the whole team shares something they're proud of doing. This allows stars to shine on their own accord while avoiding favoritism."

Tie individual achievements into the team's achievements. "While a team is made up of individuals, the team as a whole is responsible for productivity," says Nicole Munoz, founder and CEO of SEO and marketing company StartRankingNow. Achievements should be recognized individually while celebrating the team as a whole. "You can showcase an individual's efforts and how that ties into the team's achievements," says Munoz. "Just like a sports team, when one player makes a good play, it reflects positively on the team. Show them how that works in your own business by raising up the individual and the team."


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