How to Effectively Recognize Good Employee Performance

Any leader these days will tell you employee recognition is essential, but essential and effective are two different things...

March 11, 2021

Any leader these days will tell you employee recognition is essential, but essential and effective are two different things. What can you do to ensure that your employee recognition is effective – the kind that creates engaged employees and drives business metrics up and to the right?

Effective employee recognition is consistent.

Did you know that 68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback report feeling fulfilled in their jobs? Consistency is one of the most critical aspects of an effective employee recognition program. So, how much recognition is enough? According to one study by Gallup, you should celebrate teammates at least once per week.

Keep in mind that consistent recognition doesn't have to be over-the-top or expensive. More importantly, it merely needs to be timely and specific. Write a thank you message and tell the employee why you are thankful for them. What did they do, and what was the impact? Give them a shoutout on Slack or Microsoft Teams – this can help reinforce the behavior or action for that individual and the others who observe the shoutout.

An effective employee recognition program linked to organizational goals and values.

Before implementing any recognition program, consider your organizational goals and values. They serve as a guiding light for your employees, how they show up each day, and how they make business decisions. Do you want to reward compassion, innovation, teamwork? By tying recognition back to your organizational values, you can reward those who model the behaviors you want to see more frequently.

When expectations for employees (and just people in general) are known and how they can best fit an organization, they perform better. By tying praise to your values, you empower both leaders and employees to recognize one another. You help paint a clear picture of how each celebrated person impacts the organization – no matter their job title.

Effective recognition is personalized and specific.

Some employees want to see their names and faces plastered all over your employee newsletter, while others want to hear thank you and head right back to their office. Consider developing an employee recognition survey for your new employees to learn more about how they like to be recognized.

When it comes to big rewards, before you spend, survey the company to align available rewards with expected or valued rewards. You may find that intrinsic rewards such as professional development opportunities or lunch with the CEO are more meaningful than extrinsic monetary awards or other tangible items. Armed with an understanding of your employees wants and needs, you can build an effective recognition program unique to your organizational needs.

Effective recognition is fitting for the achievement.

There are various recognition types – from formal recognition that requires a nomination process to the more frequent day-to-day recognition. There's a place for each type; knowing when to use which type is essential and can make all the difference in how it's received.

For example, you don't want to reward someone with $1,000 for merely displaying good teamwork. You may, however, want to award someone a $1,000 or a large prize if the team member went above and beyond to design and implement a new project that increased sales and customer engagement.

How will you determine what actions and outcomes are deserving of larger or more formal awards? Thinking through this early on will help you establish a more effective recognition program.

With a little planning and strategy, you can create an employee recognition programs that make your organization more productive, innovative, increase customer happiness, and ultimately increase revenue. Don't underestimate the power of a little recognition. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. These one-time services start at $5,000. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

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