Ask DN: Employee Recognition Ideas

over 5 years ago from , Sr. UX Designer @ Dell

What are some ways your company rewards and celebrates their employees? From small things like notes with praise for accomplishments or free lunches, to larger awards like bonuses. Looking for ideas more along the lines of special quarterly/annual accolades rather than permanent benefits (i.e. free snacks & soda all the time).

edit: For a little more context, our HQ in Seattle has around 1,800 employees, but we're looking for new, fun ways to reward employees in the marketing department (~80 people). We have weekly all-hands meetings and bi-weekly marketing meetings and don't specifically celebrate employees at this time, but do have "high fives" that employees give other coworkers – basically a shout out for going above and beyond that appear in our internal company wide e-newsletter.


  • Aaron MoodyAaron Moody, over 5 years ago

    We have a system in place where staff can provide anonymous feedback to managers / directors about the company as a whole, make suggestions...etc Within this system we also have the option to praise co-workers

    These could be for anything from helping out on a project/request, to just cheering someone up that day. When you get 10, 20,30...etc you get a personally designed card, with a hand written message from your manager in it.

    ...Being in the design team though, I have to design my own cards.

    7 points
  • Toby ShorinToby Shorin, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    I read in the latest issue of Offscreen that there is a "Beautifully Simple" award at Zendesk. Text from interview with Alexander Aghassipour follows:

    "I really want us to remember that we are here because we applied common sense, compassion, and immediacy to an industry that emphasized anything but.

    One way we try to achieve this is through our internal Beautifully Simple award, an award we periodically give to any employee that has made our life that much simpler and nicer. The award is not just about the product we sell, it involves everything at our company, from the way we should expense, to legal disclaimers. It's certainly not about design."

    I thought this was really cool

    2 points
  • Mitch Malone, over 5 years ago

    Great topic. Thanks for posing this question.

    Apart from formal raises, bonuses, or equity, things I recommend: 1. Informal recognition/props made during company-wide meetings. If your shop has regular State of the Unions or All-Hands meetings, giving people a shout-out, props, etc in front of everyone can be great. 2. Dinner out. Treating your people with a one-on-one dinner is awesome. It doesn't have to be announced (some people might be shy about public recognition) but it's always appreciated.

    1 point
  • Max LindMax Lind, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    +1 for this question... permanent perks/benefits are really great, but sometimes it seems like the rewards and celebrations can be more valued.

    My take, the best employees will stick around for the long haul because they are invested in the company/product and have a connection to what they do (rather than just filling a role because the have the right credentials). Maybe (and hopefully) you hired them because you see long term potential in who they can grow to become.

    All that being said :) ...maybe you can find gifts / awards / bonuses that that encourage them to grow their talents and skills (even if it falls outside of "things they do at work") .

    For example, for the person who is always doodling in their free time, encourage them to draw, paint, etc with classes or books or tools/resources.

    If possible, the more personalized you can get, the better.

    1 point
  • Laura McCartney, over 5 years ago

    My friend built this which does just the thing :-)


    0 points