How to recognize your employees without breaking the bank


August 11, 2016


Who doesn’t love getting praise for a job well done? I certainly do, and so do my colleagues and most of the candidates I interview. When phone-screening potential interviewees, I always ask if there’s anything besides money that keeps them productive and invested in a company, and individual employee recognition comes in second only to company culture.

There are tons of software and programs available that facilitate employee recognition, but for a small company like ours, that’s not necessarily in the budget. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to praise your employees with little to no overhead cost.

Utilize company meetings

The quickest way to start incorporating recognition is during company staff meetings. We use a templated PowerPoint during our meetings to keep the agenda defined, and at the very beginning, we have an empty slide titled “Thanks and Recognition.” This is a chance for employees to recognize whoever they want, and it’s a great way to get everyone involved. For instance, someone might give a shout-out to a member of the team for staying late to help with a particularly difficult project. Or if someone passed a certification test, their manager may choose this time to announce it. Additionally, as a way to reinforce your company’s core values, you could encourage kudo-givers to relate their praise back to this foundation.

In-house advertisingMyITpros Employee Recognition Board

Another easy way to promote employee accomplishments is to use a whiteboard. We have a large dry-erase board in a main office hallway that I use for announcements. I like to decorate the board depending on the holiday or season to catch everyone’s attention, but I also incorporate sales victories, upcoming events, “lunch & learn topics,” and employee recognition. There’s a section dedicated to employee shout-outs that includes birthdays, anniversary, promotions and anything else praise-worthy.

Social media spotlights

Employee spotlights take a little more time and effort, but we definitely reap the benefits. Once a month, our marketing coordinator picks one lucky employee to write a blog about. This process isn’t arbitrary – she speaks with other department heads, and together they pick someone who has accomplished something noteworthy, which adds an extra layer of achievement. She starts off by asking the employee job-specific questions as well as having him or her fill out a personal questionnaire. The end result is a quick look at the individual’s success here at MyITpros, along with a cute graphic that features fun facts. These blogs are then posted on our website and across all social media so the whole world can see how awesome our employees are.

Incentivize performance reviews

This last idea does cost a little money, but how much is completely discretionary and based on your budget. Whenever anemployee is personally recognized by a client on any of our social media sites (think a Yelp review or a Facebook post), he or she gets a gift card ranging


from $25–$50. We then take that review and share it with the company. This public praise (along with the gift card) has dual benefits. First, it pushes employees to encourage their clients to write reviews, meaning the company receives positive public commentary that benefits its SEO. Second, the employee gets his or her work highlighted, plus a gift (and we all love gifts). Win-win!

At the end of the day, a little praise can go a long way. Your employees are the heart of your organization and you need to make sure they are treated as such. Remember, you don’t always need big dollars to make them feel recognized and valued.

Meredith Thomas MyITpros

The purpose of this blog is to answer the questions you ask! Check out our related business management posts for tips and tricks to managing a successful business. To read about and recognize our awesome employees, head over to our !

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