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

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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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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