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Recognition Practices

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Support Professional Development

Encourage team members to seek out professional development opportunities that interest them and that support current and future unit programs and initiatives. Units should provide financial support when possible. This will demonstrate the unit’s commitment to developing team members and considering them for advancement opportunities.

Chris Yohe
Safety and Security Administration

Relationship Types: Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

Superhero Award

IRB Office Marvel Superhero Although it may have started as a tiny, humorous statue being passed around at monthly staff meetings to recognize individual talents & contributions, I think the IRB Office Marvel Superhero award grew to become something so much more/better/fun/awesome with the onset of the global COVID pandemic. On a base level, it is a statue that is given at the monthly all-staff meeting during a time at the beginning specifically dedicated for acknowledging individual team members. Its fun, its thoughtful, and reinforces a culture of recognition. But the award goes beyond just displaying appreciation for the unique contributions of IRB Office staff. Its used as a way to exemplify how individuals have gone ‘above and beyond,’ exhibiting the OR Values in a meaningful way and acting as a true role model for others to look to (professionally and personally). Its also a way for leadership in the IRB to demonstrate that these conversations and supporting one another is truly, meaningfully, important. Positive affirmation is not just a nice thing to have, it’s a way to keep people engaged and interested in the work itself. The award brought levity and much needed positivity throughout the COVID pandemic, and is a great way for staff on all levels to meaningfully connect and model taking time to appreciate one another.

Beth Irwin
IRB Office

Relationship Types: Peer-to-Peer, Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

Microaffirmations

Microaffirmations - include nods, facial expressions, choices of words, and tones of voice that convey inclusion, caring, and listening.

Judy Moskowitz
Feinberg

Relationship Types: Peer-to-Peer, Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

Feinberg Service Excellence Program

Feinberg has a service excellence program to honor staff who have gone above and beyond, who have helped solve complex and diverse institutional challenges, and whose leadership and dedication are deserving of praise. Nominations are submitted online, and the awardee receives email notification of nomination and a certificate, in addition to being recognized during Feinberg Staff Town Halls.

Kathleen Dunne Balducci
Feinberg

Relationship Types: Peer-to-Peer, Manager to Team Members

Format Types: Virtual

Recognizing Team Members' Strengths to Their Accomplishments

Link team members' strengths to their accomplishments. If the team has taken an assessment such as DISC or CliftonStrengths, then it can be powerful to reinforce strengths or attributes from the assessment and how they show up as valuable for others.

WELL Team
Office of Human Resources

Relationship Types: Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

Take employees out to lunch

When a team performs admirably and meets its goals, a meal is a great way to celebrate. Having lunch outings, in person or over a Zoom meeting, allows managers to give kudos to their employees and engage in a more casual setting. This could be funded by the department if funding is available, or each could pay for themselves.

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

Professional Development Opportunities

Understanding your employee’s strengths and supporting their development is an important role as a leader. Are there any upcoming projects in which you think your employee's strengths will shine? Involve them! It shows that you trust in their abilities and growth.

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

Team Swag

Swag provides a physical connection between people and where they work. Northwestern branded swag can be purchased at the Athletics website or the Northwestern Spirit Shop at Norris Bookstore.

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

Coffee or Lunch Outing

If your employee isn’t one for public recognition, try a private coffee or lunch with just the two of you instead. 

This will allow a quiet space for you to express gratitude towards your employee and their hard work. This could be funded by the department if funding is available, or each could pay for themselves.

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

The Traveling Trophy

Peers are awarded based upon their performance on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. The selected peer will then choose the next trophy holderThis trophy is recommended to be tangible and fun!

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Peer-to-Peer

Format Types: In-Person

Appreciation Flip Chart Exercise

Create a flipchart for each team member with their name at the top. Have all team members write a statement on the flipchart stating what they appreciate about that person. Post it notes can also be used. 

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Peer-to-Peer, Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person

Gratitude Round Robin

Each team member takes a turn expressing gratitude to another team member. Keep going until each team member has received gratitude from at least one colleague.

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Peer-to-Peer, Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

Thank You Notes

Give each team member a box of thank you notes. Encourage them to use the notes to thank colleagues. Notes can also be posted on a bulletin board.

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person

Add Celebrations to Team Agenda

Create an agenda item for your team meetings for celebration. Managers can recognize team members for service anniversaries, birthdays, and other milestones. Accomplishments and praise from stakeholders can also be shared.

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

Favorites List

When new staff members join the team, ask them to list their favorite foods, drinks, entertainment, and any other categories you wish. Reference the list when you want to recognize people. They will appreciate getting something they like, and that their manager took the time and effort to personalize the gift. 

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Manager to Team Members

Format Types: In-Person, Virtual

Kellogg 'You Rock' Program

Kellogg provides a form for staff recognition. Winners are chosen and receive a cash award. 

Jennifer Wilson
Kellogg

Relationship Types: Peer-to-Peer, Manager to Team Members

Format Types: Virtual

MS Teams Praise

Use the 'Praise' feature in MS Teams to recognize a colleague. Choose the Praise icon (looks like a medal) in Chat or Teams message. Select a badge and write a personalized message. Be specific about what the recipient did and the impact it had. Preview and send!

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Peer-to-Peer, Manager to Team Members

Format Types: Virtual

Thank You Email

Send a heartfelt email thanking someone for what they did. Copy their supervisor. Be sure to mention specifically what you found valuable and the impact it had.

WELL Team
Human Resources

Relationship Types: Peer-to-Peer, Manager to Team Members

Format Types: Virtual