Skip to content
by Laura Fox
on April 30, 2019

Five Creative ways to Celebrate Employee Accomplishments

Whether you manage two or 200 employees, you can quickly recognize that each individual has different strengths and unique ways in which they contribute to your team and your goals. To encourage your team and boost morale, it is imperative to celebrate employee accomplishments. People who feel valued, in turn create value.
Employee FAQs: 11 Must-Answer Questions During Organizational Change  Get the PDF

Our CEO, Stephen Beach, was recently featured by Inc.—talking about celebrating employee accomplishments. To expand on these thoughts, we’d like to share some more ways in which you can ensure that your employees feel recognized. Consider these methods for celebrating your team members’ accomplishments:

1. Quarterly, public recognition

Take a look at your company’s core values and pillars. Is your company committed to integrity, leadership, innovation? Whatever your values may be, you can emphasize their importance by recognizing employees who exemplify these traits. Consider holding a public meeting on a regular cadence, whether in office (if your team is small), or setting up a video/dial-in webinar. The idea is to set aside a dedicated time during which you can both review what is important to your company, and also recognize individuals who have demonstrated your company’s core values through their actions and accomplishments. You want your entire team to be able to see the person talking, and hear the leaders explain how the award winners have successfully demonstrated core values. Present winners with a plaque or other tangible item that can be displayed in their workspace. Making this event feel like a special occasion further instills company goals and encourages other employees to think about how they, too, can rise to the occasion in the future.  

Pro Tip

Send a follow up email or video to explain why the person was selected. It can be difficult to articulate this well in a meeting, but demonstrating how this person exemplifies customer service or some other tenant can be more powerful than simply telling people. For example, share clips from customers expressing their appreciation for this person, or explain specifics on how they helped improve a process and what that means for the business (saving the company time or money, for example).

2. Team nominations

Set the bar high and consider a higher-level, yearly award for real movers and shakers. Get your entire company in on the idea, and set up a way in which they can nominate their fellow coworkers and explain each individual’s unique accomplishments. This award should be really sought after. Maybe it’s a larger monetary bonus, or a swanky trip, limited to one or just a handful of winners. Present the award in a public format and consider having runner-up prizes as well.

Pro Tip

When presenting the award, share notable anecdotes from the peer submissions about the top individuals, so you’re providing a full picture of the unique contributions. You might also consider creating a compilation video of different employees and managers thanking the colleague from different departments across the company.

3. Email or social board “atta-boys”

Not all recognition must be formal. But when an employee does something notable, it’s good to loop in the rest of the team. Doing so can inspire other employees, and also help the recognized employee to feel appreciated. If one of your employees implemented a process improvement, stayed late to help bring an initiative to the finish line, or went above and beyond for the client – those are notable accomplishments! If you have a team message board, share the news there, or email the team, publicly thanking the employee and congratulating them for a job well done.

4. Unexpected trinkets and thank-yous

When your employees have made a great contribution, consider reaching them in a more unexpected way. Send them a handwritten thank-you card along with a small gift, be it a coffee mug, a gift card to their favorite restaurant, etc. These inexpensive tokens of appreciation can put a smile on an employee’s face, and show them that their efforts are fully recognized.

5. Show employees that their commitment leads to growth

Don’t forget to celebrate on an individual level, and tie an employee’s accomplishments back to his or her career path and goals. When your employee does an outstanding job, talk with them about the next steps in their career, any additional or different responsibilities that they can take on, and chart how such accomplishments will help them get to where they want to be. Be sure to promote star performers and encourage their continuous growth.

Pro Tip

Create templates for your leaders to use when conducting one-on-ones with their team members. This is a helpful way to log all conversations they’ve had with employees on their goals and careers, and to track progress on additional responsibilities and growth.

Recognizing employee accomplishments benefits your entire team. Individuals want to feel that their efforts are appreciated, recognized, and rewarded. Drop us a line to discuss how you can implement a communications plan that facilitates the celebration of employee accomplishments.