Employee recognition: the superpower of appreciation


Employee recognition: the superpower of appreciation

March 02 / 2023

The establishment of objectives and the evaluation of results are undoubtedly fundamental points in the world of work. Deadlines, ROI, sales or conversions are terms that will accompany us throughout our professional lives. 

It is clear that it is necessary to set goals in order not to lose focus, as well as to agree on rewards to maintain motivation. However, the processes and best practices that lead to the achievement of the objectives set are often overlooked. Employee recognition is the best way to reward these processes. 

Orientation towards objectives

Before focusing on recognition at work, let’s first talk about goals to be achieved and the motivation.

Setting goals is essential in order to develop strategies, encourage effort and persevere in the face of failure. Such goals should be clear and realistic. They can be approached in two ways:

  • Learning goals: there is interest in developing a new skill. The success or failure of this objective is up to us. There is an intrinsic motivation linked to personal satisfaction, passion or fun that drives us to try. Practicing the activity becomes an aim in itself.
  • Performance goals: the objective is to demonstrate competence and hunger for success. These goals are related to extrinsic motivation, external to us. Success or failure depends on the outside and generates rewards or penalties. The activity to be carried out is a means to an end.

Both types of motivation can coexist to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the activity. Rewards help reinforce desired behaviors and outcomes. Done at the right time, they often help retain talent.

Recognition of processes at work

According to a survey conducted by Great Place To Work, a relevant reward system leads to mindset changes among workers. 

Respondents considered promotions as a very fair professional acknowledgement, as well as a motivation for their daily work. Rewarding the processes uses intrinsic motivation, in which the end is the process and its learning.

In cases where learning goals are set, an environment of trust, personal development and continuous study is also fostered.

Employee recognition: what to reward?

Among the various aspects for which to be grateful to the professionals who make up the company we can find, for example: 

Cultivation of relationships

The ability to relate easily and establish working relationships with customers, suppliers and people outside the company is highly valued. This makes it easy for word-of-mouth referrals and business opportunities to arise.


The closing of a business transaction usually involves a whole team, even if the visible part is only the salesperson dealing with the customer. Rewarding the entire team that contributed to the goal makes them feel valued. 


It is not only the salespeople who bring large accounts to the company who should receive recognition. Also deserving of acknowledgement are those colleagues who strive to maintain them or close several smaller deals simultaneously. 

Tips for effective employee appreciation

Accuracy and relevance. 

The more specific you are in stating the reason for rewarding an employee, the more meaningful the recognition will be. It is very important to emphasize the attitude or the process carried out in order to establish a behavior/reward relationship. 

Search for the right moment. 

Employee recognition will have a greater impact if it is done at the right time. A late acknowledgment may be considered by the recipient as forced and not as important as it should be.

It doesn’t always have to be money.

A personalized gift, a dinner or a trip is always welcome. It is a way of being grateful that seeks above all to address the emotional side of people. 

The value of small details. 

When striving to achieve a goal, any effort made adds up. Public recognition of this is appreciated and encourages us to continue along this path. 

Sending an e-mail or posting a message in the team chat congratulating is always rewarding and strengthens the good atmosphere among all members.  

Peer recognition. 

It is linked to the strengthening of the ties between team members in the previous point. Appreciation does not come from the boss, but from the colleagues themselves. It is, without a doubt, one of the most valuable rewards on a personal level.

Being part of something bigger.

The members of the different work teams must feel part of a much larger project. They actively collaborate in the achievement of the general objectives of their company, so their participation is essential because it is part of the whole. 

Being grateful to employees is a fundamental attitude to motivate, generate a good environment and acknowledge achievements. The way to reward varies depending on each company. 

However, establishing an employee recognition plan is essential to any organizational culture. It appeals to the basic needs of workers in a competitive environment.  

Measuring and rewarding based on results is the norm, but processes must also be valued. In this way, we are committed to continuous improvement and professional development. 

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