Low Cost Recognition Ideas

It seems that we can never get enough ideas on how to improve the ways that we reward and recognize our employees. With that thought in mind, we have assembled almost 150 of a wide variety of the many terrific ideas submitted by attendees of Bob Nelson's public seminars. We hope that some of these free resources will help you reach your own goals.

  • "Welcome to the team" flowers on the first day of work.
  • Whenever something positive happens, put it in the "smile box" -- read once a week -- draw one for a winner ($25 gift certificate).
  • Put gold stars on employee computers or name badges along with note of thanks. Brown bag welcoming lunch to meet new employees.
  • Post a sign at entry with employee's name.
  • Have a group picnic with ice cream sundaes.
  • Get to know exactly what an employee really wants.
  • "You da" awards: Monthly trophy where individuals nominate one another.
  • Written thank-you notes.
  • The All-Star Award: $50 gift certificate and paperweight (Quarterly with public announcement in company newsletter).
  • Department pizza party.
  • Birthday club (to support department team building).
  • Read letters from satisfied customers to all teachers at faculty meeting.
  • Do patient survey and share the results with coworkers; post on the "Way to Go" bulletin board.
  • Star Program: If employees do something beyond their normal job, they are given a star in public recognition.
  • The Chief Operating Officer (COO) distributed ice cream to employees himself -- not one of his employees.
  • Give an employee a giant Tootsie Roll.
  • Golden Nugget award and certificate to employees who do an outstanding job.
  • One-on-One Praising: Set interviews and meeting times with employees, who set the agenda.
  • Dinner certificates
  • Continuous improvement team lunch.

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