At face value, rewards can seem childish. No employee needs a gold star on the completion of a project. However, as our concept of a “job well done” evolves, so too should our understanding of rewards and recognition on the job. Taking time to recognize and reward employees, even in a simple way, can boost workplace satisfaction, increase job efficiency and lead to a positive workplace overall.

Say It

Telling someone “good job” takes little to no effort on your part, but it can turn a coworker’s day around. It’s by far the easiest way to express recognition, but it might be the least utilized tool in the workplace. A lot of us think we say “good job”, but consciously remind yourself to commend a coworker - for both large and small achievements.

It should go without saying, but there’s no need to pile on false praise. But, even a “good idea” tossed to a coworker in a meeting can incite more motivation and satisfaction within a job. Remember, positive reinforcement will always be more memorable than the negative commentary.

Once you get into the practice of vocalizing recognition, you’ll be surprised by how contagious it is. Kindness catches on, and can change the entire office environment.

Review It

Never downplay the importance of an employee performance review. Most companies consider this to be a time of constructive feedback, which it is, but it can also be used a time for reward and recognition. If someone is doing a good job, don’t skimp on letting them know. Many of us think that a review needs to be harsh, or that providing encouragement is soft, but being positive and telling someone “well done” is a sign of strong leadership. When you’re able to identify both the good and bad in a review, you’ll create a more positive and effective experience overall. You’ll build trust between teammates and yourself.

When providing positive and negative feedback, always consider “sandwiching.” Put constructive feedback in between positive feedback points. When you focus some energy on recognition during the employee performance review, you make it a more positive experience overall.

Do It

A pat on the back is always welcome, but do you have an opportunity in your role to additionally boost recognition for employees that excel? Can you call out a job well done at an all hands meeting? Can you offer financial incentives for teammates reaching their stretch goals?

When you put a rewards system in place, whether it be additional vacation time, or a monetary bonus, you help create stronger self-management skills. Employees have a clear idea of the goals they’re working towards, and will strive to achieve it. This clearly spells out expectations for team members-- instead of guessing what to do better, everyone has an idea of what to work towards.

The definition of a reward might’ve changed since childhood days, but the importance of them shouldn’t. As a team leader, it’s not possible to run out of compliments. Recognition is important, and at the end of the day, if your team thinks they’re doing a good job, they’ll strive to do even better. Don’t shy away from rewarding a good day’s work.


Recognize your employees' talents and reward them with a coach to help them further develop their skills. Interested in learning more about training and development for your employees? Talk to an Ace-up representative or read about what we can do for your team or organization.

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