Small Employee Recognition Practices That Make a Big Difference

Effective recognition increases employee engagement, drives productivity and decreases turnover. But what kind of recognition...

March 29, 2021
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How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
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Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
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What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
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Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
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Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
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Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

Did you know Gallup recommends that employee feedback at least every seven days? If you’re wondering how that’s possible, keep reading.

Effective recognition increases employee engagement, drives productivity and decreases turnover. But what kind of recognition makes that impact? It’s not just large sums of cash or over-the-top productions of gratitude that move the needle. Effective recognition - recognition that gets results - is the sum of meaningful moments that occur over time.

Here are small employee recognition practices that make a big difference.

Recognize in Real-Time

Formal recognition and rewards programs are essential and beneficial, but they are not the only form of recognition you need. Traditional recognition programs require planning and processes that take time, but real-time recognition requires much less.

When you recognize an employee closer to or in the moment, they better correlate what they did to earn that recognition. Everyone around them can also see what they did as well, so they have a visual representation of the behaviors you celebrate and how you celebrate them. You can recognize in real-time by sending an email shoutout, having a certificate ready, or using Assembly’s offerings to share a recognition post in Microsoft Teams or Slack.

Core Values

Tying employee recognition back to your core values is another simple but effective way to impact your organization significantly for the better. Core values provide employees with a sense of belonging and clear expectations, increasing employee engagement and reducing turnover. By integrating them into your employee recognition efforts, you can repeatedly reinforce those core values and the behaviors you want to see. Be sure to expressly state what core value an employee exhibited and the impact of their work.

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

If you want to build a strong recognition culture, don’t leave recognition up to your managers alone. Please do your best to clarify that recognition is everyone’s job and encourages employees to show gratitude and appreciation for one another. Managers operating at a higher level aren’t always there for things that happen in the moment, but team members can take action and recognize their peers in a timely and meaningful way when appropriate.

Know Your Employees’ Strengths and Celebrate Them

Did you know that employees who believe their managers can name their strengths are 71% more likely to feel engaged and energized by their work? Employees don’t want to wait an entire year to hear how great they are at performance review time. Make it a point to have more small recognition touchpoints throughout the year using the strategies discussed above, and don’t forget about professional development! If you identify strengths in an employee, offer them an opportunity to use them, whether as a mentor or project leader. As your employees begin to see they are understood and valued, their discretionary effort will increase.

As you commit to creating a culture of recognition within your company, don’t lose sight that small actions make a big difference over time.

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Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

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Employee recognition guide