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.

  • Annual perfect attendance: Lunch with president of division and engraved pen or pencil.
  • Massage therapy
  • AIMS Award: Attractive antique gold card preprinted with a carbon set. Recipient gets the original and the copy goes to an awards committee for further consideration (among others who got the award during the same time period).
  • Secret pal (peer-to-peer): Periodic gifts or rememberances commemorating special personal events.
  • Free use of a cell phone for a week.
  • Let employees leave work early if they are meeting their productivity goals.
  • Bring something back from vacation for your staff.
  • Post a letter of thanks from a customer.
  • Write a letter to the spouse of an employee to thank him or her for the support enabling the employee to do his or her best.
  • Attach thank you's to employee paychecks.
  • Bring popcorn for employees to share.
  • Outdoor meetings during the summer.
  • Software bug-of-the-week contest.
  • Free use of cell phone for a week.
  • E-mail thank-you note to person with copy to his or her boss.
  • Decorate your business cards with stickers and a personal note -- send as a thank-you card to others.  For example, a light bulb sticker for good ideas/suggestions.
  • Be creative with birthdays.   Instead of a cake, have a balloon tied to the person's chair that everyone can sign.  Send an e-mail reminder to other staff members asking them to stop by and give well wishes.
  • "Lifesaver Awards" -- Rolls of decorated Lifesavers candy given quarterly to high achievers with e-mail announcement of individuals and their achievements sent to the division by senior vice president.  Lifesavers delivered personally by the senior vice president.
  • Name tags with the number of years noted -- in colors!
  • Business cards personalized with nicknames!

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