Non-Performance Reasons to Recognize your Employees


When an employee smashes a sales goal, when a worker boosts efficiency by over 100 percent, when a team member receives glowing praise from a customer – these are all excellent reasons to appreciate your staff. However, you should not always wait for a worker to blow you away with their performance before you recognize their effort within your organization. Plenty of members of your workforce maintain consistently high performance but rarely grab attention with awards and career-related achievements, and these workers deserve recognition and praise for their contributions, too.

If you notice that you have not recognized a few members of your team, here are some good reasons you might call attention to them and offer praise in the coming months.


Plenty of people find it silly to celebrate birthdays, but plenty more love the attention and affection they receive on that one special day every year. Most workplace birthdays do not need to be major events, but you should mark the birthday of every member of your team and plan for the day with a card, a small gift and a small office treat. If you have a larger organization, you might group birthdays together into weeks or months, so not every day is interrupted with singing and cake.

Milestone birthdays, especially 40 and 50, might warrant larger celebrations considering that so many workers consider career changes around this time. You might talk to your employee to get a sense of how they would prefer to honor this special occasion, which might involve a workplace party, a formal dinner or additional career opportunities like mentorship or continued education.

Work Anniversary

Many managers downplay the importance of employee anniversary recognition. Considering that employment culture in the 21st century greatly incentivizes job-hopping, any full year spent with the same employer should be a cause for celebration. This is especially true in the midst of the Great Resignation when so many employees are willing to be unemployed while they search for the best possible positions.

No work anniversary should pass unrecognized by business leaders. You should have a different gift in mind for every anniversary for at least the first five years. After five years, your worker should be rewarded for their loyalty with promotions and perks as befits their performance in your firm.

Personal Goals or Achievements

Employees are not mindless labor; they are thinking, feeling humans who have much more going on in their lives than what they might demonstrate at work. You should take the time to get to know your workers on a personal level. It must be there at least to the degree they feel comfortable. Then, when a worker celebrates some personal achievement or milestone, like marriage, a new baby or a major purchase, you can help them feel special. Your sincere and timely involvement will multiply their merriment manifold. It will show them that you and your whole organization are standing beside them and sharing their joys altogether.


It is easy to recognize achievement; it is much more difficult to recognize consistent performance. However, organizations thrive when employees are consistent — when they clock into work dependably when they produce work of reliable quality when they are steady communicators. You should strive to pay attention to workers who you can trust to do their job, and you should recognize their effort even when it does not lead directly to major achievement. Remember, it is the little drops of water that make an ocean in the long run. Appreciating and encouraging your consistent workers will also give a crucial message to their co-workers to do the same and get lauded by the higher-ups.

Continued Education

In many fields, continued education is mandatory for maintaining certain certifications, but if a worker engages in education of their own volition, you should recognize their endeavor to build their strengths. In fact, if their education directly contributes to knowledge and skills that your business benefits from, you might offer to compensate them for some of their learning expenses or give them a raise as their enhanced abilities pay off.

Commitment to Values

Every workplace has a culture that is founded upon a set of values, even if those values are not explicitly stated. You should work with your employees to identify the values driving your organization to success — and then you should recognize the workers who uphold those values every day. You might craft specific awards related to the most important values, so workers can adorn their workspace with signs of your appreciation to increase their morale every day.

High performance is absolutely deserving of recognition, but it is not the only reason managers should appreciate and congratulate their workers. By paying attention to other milestones and achievements in your employees’ lives, you can generate satisfaction and loyalty in your workforce.


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