VerticalResponse Blog

Employee recognition is a much talked about, but often overlooked part of the workplace. Recognizing and rewarding your employees can be a slippery slope to navigate and sometimes it seems that managers either get it, or they don’t. If recognition is not sincere and genuine, your employees will know it.

Our director of retention & conversion marketing, Kim Stiglitz, spent 7 years designing reward and recognition programs for one of the largest retailers in the world and today she is sharing 7 Tips for Recognizing Your Peeps – this list isn’t about expensive ways to reward your employees because we know you can figure that out, but more subtle no-cost ideas that educate, motivate and inspire your team because a happy, invested team will always outperform a bunch of bitter Betty’s!

7 Tips for Recognizing Your Peeps

  1. Give ‘Em the 411: Informed peeps are empowered. Many managers make the mistake of keeping all the information to themselves. Instead, share information with your team. Fill them in on how your organization is doing, what the future holds and how they play a part in it. By giving your peeps information, you empower them to make informed, confident decisions and choices, which not only benefit them, but your organization.
  2. Miss (or Mr.) Independent: How many people like being micromanaged? Not too many! Employees value independence, so give it to them. When you work with your peeps to tell them what needs to be done and then give them the ability to decide how to do it, you increase their independence and ability to take more ownership of their role.
  3. Be Gumby: Everyone appreciates flexibility in their work whether it’s working flex hours, working from home or something else. This can be very motivating and shows you trust your peeps. In workplaces where this may not be possible, find ways to be flexible and your employees will respond.
  4. Give Me More: We all know training and development happen in real-time, on the job. Provide your peeps lots of opportunities to grow and learn by investing in their development and provide them stretch goals. It shows your peeps that you trust, respect and want the best for them. You’ll be rewarded when they perform at higher levels with each opportunity.
  5. Decisions, Decisions: How does it feel when all the decisions are made for you? Not so much eh? Well, your peeps are closer than anyone to the work they do so they are really the best decision makers. Sometimes as managers we make the mistake of deciding for our employees. Take a step back and ask them what they think and what they recommend. They’ll be more involved in the process and therefore more invested in the outcome.
  6. How Am I Doing? Everyone wants to know how they are doing at any time so hold frequent check-ins throughout the year so you can have honest conversations about your peeps performance. Take the time to share what they are doing well and what could use some work. Also, remember to share great feedback with the leadership team of your company so they’re aware of the contributions your peeps are making. The more feedback you give your employees, the more they will be equipped to respond to the needs of your organization.
  7. Celebrate! Often we are so busy strategizing, working and executing that we cruise through the year without taking the time to celebrate all the success along the way. Remember, if you celebrate often you’ll get more back in return and you’ll foster a culture of recognition.

How are you recognizing your peeps? We’d love to hear.

© 2010 – 2012, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

  • Jerry Shelton

    Great list Kim. I’m in the military and this is almost step-by-step how I’ve led/managed my teams throughout my 29 years of service. Leaders are temporary…we’re really “training our replacements.” I believe an employee-focused approach does more than improve performance – it develops good leaders.
    – Jerry

  • Chris Tompkins

    Great post Kim, found it via StumbleUpon as well. Sage advice.

  • Billy Kirsch

    Just stumbled across this post, it’s been out there a while but is a good one. I’ll use this list when I’m working with leadership groups to remind them of how to empower others.

  • English Language Courses

    Thank you for sharing this! I am a little business proprietor and have just hire my first worker! I must say I am a little scared by the responsibility of being a superior for the first time but have been enjoy it.

  • Domain4me

    Very good HR insights.
    Having great employees is any employers dream. But its tough nowadays to keep em. Small and medium companies have to come up with ideas and methods to make employees happier to keep them. Keeping good employees is the MUST for SMB success.
    Good article. Kudos

  • J.B.

    Good Post for New Managers! People like to be treated like human beings.

  • Amy C.

    Everyone is motivated differently. One person may grow professionally from having somebody push them a little, while their cohort improves from getting space and silent confidence from all his/ her bosses. It’s about finding the proper assessment for everybody. IF you want a fair working environment.

  • Creative Writing Blog

    I agree that ndependence is important!I don’t think anyone likes being “managed”. But I think that most people understand the importance of organization. Micromanagement makes people feel like animals. Great tips!

  • Peter G.

    Good post! Many thanks for sharing!

  • Ayman

    good article and touched real concerns on recognition for boosting business results, i am one of those peeps who didn’t saw much of these points and now am heading to work elsewhere just because of this.
    thanks for real, it enriched my expertise.

  • Iris

    Thank you for sharing this! I am a small business owner and have just hired my first employee! I must say I am a little intimidated by the responsibility of being a boss for the first time but have been enjoying it. I will definitely keep all these in mind.

  • Chandler

    I can think of quite a few managers I’ve meet over the years, who clearly don’t recognise any of those principles! If you give someone the responsibility over a task, and the freedom to do it their way they will usually impress you.

  • Ron Lovell

    The one thing that is overlooked in this article is there are many people who say, I need independence and all they do is spend the day on their cellphone and tweeting. Minimum is done and then they scream I did not have enough freedom to do the job. Human Nature is to get away with the minimum which is required.
    The truly independent worker just does their job without complaining about not having enough independence because they know they have a sense of job worth from doing the job right. “Do The Job Right or Do Not Do It At All” is their mantra.

  • Simon

    Stopping and celebrating the successes you have a long the way is very important. I just finished up with my company in China, and this was something they just didnt understand at all. It was really hard to motivate staff there to work.

  • Clayton Rifkind

    Could not agree more! Empowerment is what people want. I’ve been doing this in some form since my early days as a manager. I always try to install in my staff that I work for them and am only there as a resource to help them do their job.
    Good post!


    You’ve brought up a really good point, Kim. It’s not the bonus programs and trophy awards that make people feel valued; it’s feeling like what they do matters. Allowing them to contribute, through making decisions (or at least being asked what they think before a decision is made) goes miles to increasing an employee’s sense of value in their own job.

  • Businessright

    I absolutely agree with this. I feel as though a lot of employees are overlooked and favored over others. The best way to always deal with it is to show even the ones who aren’t performing so well with more recognition and praise to make them perform better.
    I learned a lot from this post!

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