HRM Five: Fun ways to recognise employees

Some tips on rewarding deserving staff in ways they will appreciate.

It’s tempting for some people to think that employees who are being fairly compensated for their work don’t need anything further. But most human beings enjoy recognition for a job very well done. Taking the time to appreciate an employee who has gone above and beyond is a way to show respect and reward positive attitudes.

As such, employee recognition doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive – the most important aspect is the acknowledgement. Organisations should have objective guidelines on how to identify and praise such employees, and also clearly communicate these to its people.

You don’t want your employee recognition program to backfire and end up demoralising you staff, instead, but this is exactly what can happen if people think that getting recognised is just about who is best as sucking up to the boss, or who has close personal connections to upper management.  

Employee rewards don’t have to be stodgy or impersonal, either. Here are five fun and easy ways to get started on building a culture of recognition.

  1. Company swag

Instead of the usual t-shirts and mugs, how about embossed leather notebook or power banks for mobile devices? Or even specially designed enamel pins – you can have different colours for different occasions.

  1. Surprise bonuses

If a new product has seen tremendous sales, or you’ve just closed out an amazing deal, why not spread the wealth to the specific employees who helped make it happen? It’s not about disbursing a high monetary amount, however, but about showing your people that you see and appreciate their hard work.

  1. Commuting help

A fuel or bus/train subsidy would be practical and legitimately useful to most (if not all) employees. This also gives them the freedom to use the savings from their pay check as they see fit.  

  1. Parties

If you want to recognise the entire company for banding together to create a successful event or peak season, a tea party full of food and drink (and maybe gift bags) will not go amiss. You could also have exclusive soirées at the end of the year or quarter just for employees who have done something special.

  1.  Spa retreats

Working life – or life, in general! – can be stressful. For those who can’t take the time or money to go on holiday, a trip to the spa for a massage or facial is a decent alternative. These are great employee recognition as they promote both work-life balance and stress relief. They are also little luxuries that many people won’t often bother to pursue for themselves.


Yamini Chinnuswamy offers five important points on everything you wanted to know about HR practices today, but were too afraid to ask. Check out previous editions of HRM Five here.


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