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Low Cost or No Cost Employee Recognition Ideas

Recognition is more important than ever as employers face the new and often challenging task of engaging an increasingly remote workforce. While recognition is no less important, recognition budgets are tightening for many organizations facing the financial losses 2020 has brought. Whether your employees are primarily working from home or back in the office, we’ve listed below seven low cost or even no cost employee recognition tips to make sure your team still feels appreciated and valued. 

Send birthday, anniversary, and special event ecards for upcoming events in an employee’s life.

Celebrating the moments of each employee’s life goes a long way to helping establish and grow your relationship. If the employee is comfortable to share, take the time to recognize their personal milestones such as buying a new house, having a child graduate, or even creating a stellar art piece. Feeling recognized in all areas of life will help them feel happier and more engaged in their work lives. 

Surprise them with a special treat.

Surprising your employee with one of their favorite treats can be a great way to recognize at a very low price point! Bring in a Starbucks drink to start their day right, or consider a crisp, new notebook or tool to add some excitement to the workday.

Feature an employee of the month.

Recognize your employees for not only the jobs they do but also the people they are. Have a standing section of your monthly newsletter to feature an Employee Spotlight. Interview willing team members about what they do, their greatest accomplishments on the job, as well as fun favorites like TV shows, foods, and hobbies. 

Make a point to publicly recognize the team members who made it possible.

Never miss an opportunity to recognize someone for a job well done. When in leadership roles, it is our duty to recognize the colleagues who made it happen. Taking credit for someone else’s work is an easy way to break the trust between colleagues and leaders. Make sure to list names, highlight good ideas, and recognize each of the team members for the role they played.

Send a unique, personalized gift to the employee.

Gift gifting is considered one of the five major languages of appreciation, so consider sending your employee a small gift to add to their sense of recognition. If they are into gardening, send a unique plant. If they are an avid reader, share one of your favorite books. The list goes on… find out their passion or hobby and send a small gift to add to the feeling of celebration. 

Make your Zoom call fun.

In our modern remote workforce, employee celebrations from the team or department often go missed. Jazz up your next Zoom call by inviting your attendees to a “Zoom party” for their colleagues. Wear that colleague’s favorite sports team jerseys, decorate your background with streamers or a homemade poster, and bring a sweet treat to the call to celebrate (just make sure to mute yourself while snacking!).

Host food days to celebrate.

Food plays an important role in cultures all around the world, so it makes sense that food could play an important role in your company culture too! When recognizing an employee for a birthday or anniversary, ask everyone on their team to bring a dish or treat. Just make sure to incorporate any food restrictions or preferences of your celebrant beforehand!

Have an additional no cost recognition tip? Drop it below; we’d love to add it to our list!

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