Are your 5-Star Employees Receiving 5-Star Recognition?

Aug 10, 2022

We all like that special feeling of recognition. When we surround ourselves with close family and friends, we’re subconsciously picking the people that make us feel good about ourselves. We tend to do the same thing in work environments.

Employee recognition is crucial for retention and the upkeep of a healthy and vibrant company culture. If you build a cadence of persistent and inclusive employee recognition you will inadvertently be telling your employees hey, I like you! And your employees need to hear that. You worked your ass off building solid recruitment and hiring processes, so don’t skimp out on employee retention!

As the Big Boss, you owe your 5-Star Employees recognition. Your employees will think you are the best boss and company to work with/for. We’ve got some unique ideas to make your people feel appreciated – what are you waiting for?  Give one or all of these a try!

1.  Handwritten "Thank You" Notes

In the world of emails and texts - how special is it to receive a "Handwritten" note - especially from the boss.  Providing handwritten notes to your new hires and current employees means more than you think!

Giving a handwritten note to thank, recognize, or share a nice thought with an employees makes them feel special! 

"I had no idea this simple gesture would mean so much - employees were displaying handwritten notes from me in their cubicles".  DM


2.  Give a Gift Card to a great, local restaurant.

Have an employee who has gone the extra mile to finish a project or help a team member?  

Offer up a Gift card to a local 5-star restaurant and encourage a date night with their significant other.  Even throw in some cash to cover a sitter, if applicable.

3. Years of Service Award

The service award celebrates the tenure of your employees. If you’ve got 5-Star people who have been with you for a specific period of time, this would be great recognition. 

An example would be to give certificates for 1, 3,and 5 years of service and so on.  Use whatever time frame works for you and your business.

Along with the certificates make sure your employees receive a “shout-out” announcing their big day.  Use it as a “Celebration” in your Daily Huddle!

Also, for 1-year employees include a small monetary gift such as a $10 gift card for their favorite coffee shop, then increase the monetary or gift amounts based on the years of employment.

Even the smallest show of appreciation will make employees feel special and that you notice their contribution to your business.

4. Employee Recognition Wall

It’s a common trope for businesses to have an ‘employee of the month’ wall. You could change up the look with some more décor, fun pictures of each employee on the wall, or perhaps even homemade portraits of each employee (employees love when their bosses/company owners get involved on a personal level, so something like this would express the utmost appreciation).

5. Shoutouts On Social Media Platforms

Maybe a physical employee recognition wall won’t work for your organization, but you could have a virtual wall! Use Facebook, Instagram, or any popular picture-sharing media platform could act as your virtual recognition tool!

6. Employee Appreciation Events

Recognizing your employees ceremoniously is always a great idea. You could always take a few minutes to recognize your 5-Star Employees during office outings, holiday parties, even throw a surprise celebration! Any event where everybody is already gathered is a perfect recognition opportunity.


Heenle Turner, the HR Guru of The ALL IN Company, has a personal   account of a unique employee appreciation event:

“We had a program at Paychex for employee recognition based on customer service performance. In an organization of 15,000, about 15 people received the award every year. Your peers had to submit a story to their manager, then it would go all the way to the regional level for approval. The winners were treated like royalty and would fly to Rochester for a big ceremony. And we got this award TSA tried to confiscate, it was that big. But the ceremony and award made us all feel really, really special.” 

There are endless employee recognition possibilities. You will really be surprised how much this motivates your employees.

What kinds of unique awards or ceremonies could you arrange for your employees?