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Just-Right Recognition – a dozen ways to say “good job!”

Recognition is said to increase performance by as much as 24%. Still, finding the perfect way to say “good job” or “I appreciate you” should start with a quick assessment of your goals. What do you hope to achieve by recognizing someone’s effort?

REWARD – focus on Grandiose Achievements

Every once in a while, you need to make your recognition extra special.  For those especially significant accomplishments, celebrate in public, with lots of fanfare.  These resources can help mark the occasion:

  • Certificates and diplomas – these typically get lost in a drawer unless they are distributed in a padded certificate folder, plaque, or DocU-Sleeve.
  • Stage a graduation or award ceremony and invite recipients to give an acceptance speech.
  • Develop a unique trophy that speaks to the particular achievement — choose anything from a custom glass award to a playful piece, depending on the statement you hope to make.

MOTIVATE – shoot for Everyday Accolades

Don’t reserve recognition for momentous events. Build engagement by acknowledging the little stuff too, as frequent feedback will inspire additional effort. In this case, a big “to do” is less important than consistency. Try these tools to make it inexpensive and super easy:

  • Catch someone doing something good and hand them a “You Got Caught” card. Jot a note on the back, reminding them of what they did.
  • Share a Token of Appreciation that folks can keep in their pocket or pass along to the next worthy recipient.
  • Leave a sticky note at someone’s workstation, to acknowledge their effort or contribution.
  • Check off a box on a playful Kudos Note and dash off a note of appreciation.

BUILD UNITY – try some Team Treats

Team success sometimes takes more effort than solo missions. When teams work well together, make a fuss. Recognize both individual and team contributions with items like these:

  • Award a team trophy–anything from a Puzzle Piece trophy to something representative of the team’s achievement.
  • Make peer-to-peer recognition easy with Kudos Notes for teams.
  • Present the same prize to every team member. It can be as small as a desk toy or lapel pin, or as big as a party. Gift cards can also be quite thoughtful, but keep in mind that more visible rewards may give you more bang for the buck in terms of being more memorable.

HAVE FUN – use Playful Prizes to say “good job”

Small prizes can make a big impact when it comes to humor, fun and levity. Playful prizes can encourage participation and inspire positive feelings. These do-it-yourself, low-cost tokens can pack a punch:

  • Customize your own Scratch Tickets.
  • 1,000,000 bill says “Thanks a Million.”
  • Sweet treats can invite a play on words, as well as be tasty and shareable favorite handmade messages include:
    • Tootsie Roll – You’re on a roll!
    • Extra Gum – Thanks for being Extraordinary!
    • Starburst – You’re a star!
    • Milky Way – You’re out of this world!
    • Swedish Fish – you’re o“FISH”ally the best!
    • Barnum’s Animal Crackers – this place would be a zoo without you!
    • M&Ms – you’re Magnificent & Marvelous
  • Build excitement with a Prize Wheel
  • Try the Cracker Jacks or dentist office approach, where the prize winner gets to pick their prize from a display.

Just do it!

Giving recognition does not require a large budget or time investment.  However, saying “great job,” in private or public, with fanfare or discretion, and accompanied by a large or small token, can have an impact that’s much larger than the gesture.


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