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10 Tips for Becoming a Recognition Pro

Jan 06, 2023

Managers wear a lot of hats. They’re in meetings upon meetings, they’re making huge company decisions, and they’re leading a group of professionals to the depths of their greatest potential. It’s challenging, especially when trying to encourage a happy and healthy work culture in the mix of it all.

According to Recognition Professionals International, employees who understand organizational values and are integrated into recognition are 17 times more engaged than those who aren’t. Additionally, organizations with high engagement rates are more productive and profitable. What does all this mean? Well, it means that recognition is an integral part of the workplace – it’s an absolute MUST for managers to practice and understand.

If you don’t know where to start in the world of employee appreciation, you have come to the right place. We have a bunch of tips that will help you navigate recognition in the workplace.

10 Tips for Becoming a Recognition Professional

1. Get Organized: Like many things in the office, organization is key when it comes to a smooth recognition system. Here is a list of info to keep up to date that will help you in the long run:

  • A list of employee birthdays
  • A list of work anniversaries
  • A list of important dates (such as Employee Appreciation Day)
  • A list of who you have recognized lately + how

Keeping all this information in one place will set you up for recognition success. Plus, it will make the process a whole lot easier and more efficient.

2. Plan Ahead: Great, you’ve created an organized recognition calendar! Now what? It’s time to start planning! If there is a birthday coming up, think about how you want to celebrate that. If a holiday is only weeks away, start planning for how you are going to surprise your employees. Planning ahead will give you time to think, and people will notice the thoughtfulness you put in.

3. Acknowledge Good Things When You See Them: This one might seem obvious, but it’s so, so important. When you see great work happen, call it out! Small acts of thanks are great motivators and show your employees that you notice their hard work.

Plus, small gestures of gratitude can change the whole trajectory of a day. It will make your employee feel good, but will make you feel good, too. Here’s some small acts of thanks that have a big impact:

  • Send them a quick email or teams message thanking them for their work. Be specific!
  • Give them a shout-out at your team meeting.
  • Drop off a hand-written note or card.
  • Gift them with a small, useful token of gratitude.


4. Learn Different Communication Styles: Say it with me: “Communication is key.” Yep, communication can make or break a team just like any other relationship. The problem? Communication is complex and everyone does it in a different way. As a manager, you NEED to learn, study, understand, and adapt to different communication styles.

The best way to do this is really just by getting to know your employees. However, an even more direct approach is literally just by asking. Send out a survey or ask in a meeting: How do you prefer to communicate? Are you a visual learner? Are you an extrovert or an introvert? Learning these things will make your relationship stronger, your communication more effective, and your work more successful.

5. Implement an In-Depth Onboarding Program: Did you know that successful onboarding programs increase engagement, reduce turnover, and encourage a positive work culture? According to Zippia, employees are 69% more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experience great onboarding. Basically, onboarding is the foundation of culture in the workplace, and having a successful process in place is a necessity!


Click here to learn the what, the why, and the how of employee onboarding.

6. Host Weekly Check-Ins: Here at Baudville, we love our weekly check-ins! Also known as 1-on-1s, a weekly manager-employee meeting is important to build a working relationship. It provides space and time for open communication about work, life, frustrations, and successes. It’s a great time to monitor how your employees are feeling or if they need help with anything.

7. Celebrate Successes: Daily acknowledgement is essential, but so are big celebrations for large milestones! When there is a work anniversary, retirement, or a promotion, make it a big deal! Let your employees know that you care! I personally love a good lunch outing or happy hour with my team. It’s a great time outside of work to connect and learn more about each other.

8. Invite Feedback: Employees are often intimidated or feel like they don’t have the power to provide feedback to their managers. This is a huge miss because it closes off a wealth of ideas and knowledge. To build a strong relationship with your employees, you need to empower them to have two-way communication with you, to voice their ideas, and to think critically.

9. Bring Fun to Work: We’ve talked about big work events, but what about holidays or other celebrations? Fun isn’t only for home…bring some to work! We love hosting little parties for Days like Halloween or Thanksgiving. Plus, who doesn’t love a celebratory summer picnic? Bringing the fun to work encourages a positive work culture and also shows your employees how appreciated they are.

10. Start an Award Program: An important thing to remember is that recognizing is not the same as awarding. When you award someone, you are shining a spotlight on excellence. It’s big. It’s sought after. Not everyone gets an award, but everyone wants one. A great way to award achievement is by starting a formal award program. Not sure how? Learn more here!


Ultimately, being a manager means taking care of, leading, and understanding your people. In the center of it all is a relationship that needs to be fostered. While the task of maintaining and nurturing that relationship can seem tricky, it’s truly the foundation of your business culture, engagement, and success. We hope these ten tips help you in your managerial journey.