Resolve to Recognize

2016 has come and gone and a new year is upon us. And even if it’s not a formal resolution, it’s probably safe to say that many of us simply want this year to be better than the last. There are plenty of ways we can make our year better. We can choose salad over pizza, or get more sleep, or try to exercise more (or at all, let’s be completely honest). But even if some of those changes don’t live to see February, the good news is that there’s one change you can make that can still have a big impact on your year. With 2017 well under way, now is the perfect time to make a simple resolution to recognize.

According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resources, 55 percent of workers say that being recognized by management is “very important.” Yet less than a third of employees feel satisfied with the amount of recognition they receive. Appreciating employees or organization members doesn’t need a huge budget or lots of planning. When it comes to recognition, a little goes a long way. Here are two ways you can start recognizing that are easier than you think.


A simple ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of your team over the past year creates exponential benefits. It gives employees a chance to recognize and appreciate each other, creates a positive work environment, motivates high performance, and reinforces constructive behavior. In fact, nearly 76% of workers find peer praise to be very or extremely motivating. You can also raise employee engagement by giving employees an opportunity to nominate their co-workers for specific awards like “best team player” or “best attitude”.

Take advantage of the new year to finally start an employee of the month program. Or get creative and create a monthly award that is more fitting to your unique work environment, like “most creative problem solver” or an award for the person that “went the extra mile” that month.


As much as everyone enjoys flowers or food, consider a gift someone can proudly display in their work space. A long-lasting gifts doesn’t have to be more pricey than those temporary gifts either. Almost any quality gift can be laser engraved or personalized with a meaningful message of recognition. Giving a gift that recognizes a specific trait or achievement can serve as a daily reminder and encourage the recipient to continue that behavior or attitude. Another great way to make a little recognition go a long way is to include a handwritten thank you note with your gift. Even a short, simple message pointing to specific achievements shows you care and appreciate an employee’s hard work and dedication.

So say thanks for a great year and start the new one off right by recognizing others for all they do because when it comes to recognition, a little goes a long way!

Check out our website for ideas on how to recognize employees, donors, colleagues, and more!

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