Best Practices


5 ways to acknowledge employees 

Everybody loves applause, but not everyone prefers the same mode of recognition. Some feel uncomfortable with public praise; others thrive on it. As an organization, you may already have systems in place for both peer-to-peer recognition and corporate recognition of individual employees. There are tons of online platforms to provide both.

But you also might want to recommend that individual managers provide steady recognition to the individuals on their teams. And you might suggest that they pay attention to which employees seem to respond best to which types of recognition. Here are five directions to try:


Image Placeholder

Humanizing leadership

Frontline managers can use pre-shift huddles or safety meetings as an occasion for publicly recognizing employees for work achievements, service milestones, safety records, or going above and beyond at work. Being recognized in one’s immediate team community can be particularly meaningful for some people. (Some, however, feel uncomfortable being the center of attention.)

Image Placeholder

Private recognition

One-on-one meetings with direct reports offer the opportunity to go into more depth with recognition. Many employees prefer to have specific examples of actions recognized, rather than hearing vague praise. These focused meetings give managers time to give additional detail so employees understand what they’re doing right — and then hopefully do more of it.

Image Placeholder

Peer-to-peer public recognition

It can be more meaningful to some employees to know they’re respected and appreciated by their co-workers than leadership. Encourage your managers to create recognition opportunities — maybe by asking in staff meetings if anyone on the team deserves special recognition, or by having a medal or trophy that gets passed from one employee to another each week or month

Image Placeholder

Peer-to-peer anonymous recognition

Some employees are more comfortable giving praise to their peers anonymously than face-to-face or in a public setting. Managers might set up an anonymous online survey to collect positive recognition comments for each employee at their service anniversary milestone or do a team-wide praisefest at the end of the year to acknowledge accomplishments of the past year.

Image Placeholder

Secondhand recognition

Ironically, this type of recognition can mean the most to some people. Instead of a manager addressing the employee directly, the manager would mention to someone else (preferably someone close to that employee) something great that he or she did or accomplished. Almost invariably, that praise will be passed on to the employee in record time.

How can we help?

Tribe does internal communications – and that’s all we do. We’re a full-service shop, from audits and strategy to creative and production.

Steve Baskin
President and Chief Strategy Officer
Office: (404) 256-5858
Mobile: (404) 663-7910
[email protected]