In continue to the above reading (https://revunit.com/effectively-thank-employees/) , and as prep for the coming Jewish new year which is a time of self-examination and atonement , these are the five simple, sincere and effective ways to recognize employees, all of which I implemented myself many times and have worked very effectively (assuming you keep the principles described in the above article - don’t over do it, learn your teams, sincerity, fairness, etc…)
The most basic and the most important one, which should be implemented based on effort (and not necessarily achievement) and convey the fact that the effort is seen and truly appreciated. Can be by mail (which should include more than “thank you”…), or in person. Should be simple, to the point and be done as frequent as a good effort or a nice achievement is made.
A very nice way to show the people that the management sees their efforts and contribution and do not take it for granted. People who made a special effort get a call, a short desk visit or a video call of a senior manager (2-3 levels up) that sincerely thank them for the specific contribution and tell them how it makes the difference to the customer /project/organization.
Formal, but very effective way to thank. Can be based on a theme that is defined per month, or based on ongoing effort, but in any case, the criteria should be published up front, and the selection should be made either by the management of the organization or by a selected committee. In any case, this recognition is published, and of course should be accompanied by a small recognition gift. (see picture at the end for example)
This is a indirect way to recognize but it is very effective. Pick a project or a team every once in a while, and ask them to prepare a review of their work and present it to the management of the organization. Although the discussion is professional, it is a great opportunity for the team to share and to feel that they are being heard. It is also a good opportunity to recognize them and their good work. I found people feel seen and understood after those reviews, and that it increases motivation significantly.
After a special effort or achievement of a team, join their next team meeting, not necessarily for the whole time, but pay a visit (preferably in person, but VC if not possible) and convey your appreciation for their effort and contribution. To be effective, it should be timely, and you should know the details.
Hope it helps, as always comments are welcome, or if you have questions – contact me.