Modern organizations function better when each member decides wholeheartedly to contribute to every conversation or brainstorming session. It’s cliche to say that swimming against the flow disrupts teamwork and, in effect, hampers productivity. However, considering that recognition is also a human need, it’s still important for managers like yourself to encourage and incentivize participation. 

Recognition does more than motivate an individual. When an employee feels appreciated, they are more likely to collaborate with others on the team. When you feel as though your people lack cohesion, then it matters a lot to implement a recognition program that works.

Types of Recognition

Taken plainly, recognition is all about letting an employee know that their time and efforts are valuable to the success of the collective. The question now is knowing how to express recognition. There are two types:

Formal Recognition

This is all about appreciating an employee through existing corporate rewards and incentives policies. Your organization might have a yearly event that rewards tenured employees who have served for more than five years. It might also involve using promotion mechanisms to elevate an employee to a higher pay grade or to a position that matches their level of experience.

Informal Recognition

Unlike formal recognition programs, informal types of recognition can be given at any time of the day. These often take the form of small gestures such as thank you letters, free vouchers, or light-hearted talks where you get to impart sage advice. While simple, these examples shouldn’t be underestimated. They could have the power to inspire and encourage employees to contribute more to the team’s success.

4 Ideas for Recognition Programs That Boost Teamwork

Now that you have a good idea of what a potentially successful recognition program looks like, here are a few concepts you can bank on:

1. Organize a sports fest 

Like kids who learn the essence of camaraderie through a soccer summer camp, your employees could function better as a team through a sports fest. They can showcase their skills and discover each other’s strengths. This lays the groundwork for showing respect which will continue to thrive even in the office.

2. Give them opportunities to teach

Free food is always expected in modern workplace culture, so you will have to come up with a better way to celebrate wins and empower employees to do better. For this, you can recognize high-performing employees by giving them a platform to share best practices. This is also a great way to identify potential leaders in your team.

3. Celebrate important milestones

As a team leader, you also have the responsibility of making sure each member is valued inside and outside the office. Aside from celebrating a major sales closure, commemorate their engagement or give them comfort when they’ve lost a loved one. This communicates a sense of solidarity that extends toward the other members of the team.

4. Be a mentor and a teacher

Leading by example is still the best way to communicate recognition. When allowed to train a new member of the team, don’t settle for giving out technical advice. Provide them with valuable lessons that will fuel their hunger for success and make them feel appreciated. You’d be impressed by the quality of their contributions during team meetings.


To build a goal-oriented team, you need members who go all-out knowing that their abilities and contributions are being noticed. Start with this guide and watch your team go over and beyond expectations.

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