Recognition. It’s So Necessary.

As an HR professional, I hear a lot about employee rewards and perks, retention incentives, etc. Working for a nonprofit, I also hear a lot about a lack of funds for offering these. Employee recognition doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. If you take the time to know your employees, you will come to understand what is important to them. When you know what is important to them, you will better be able to recognize them in meaningful ways and those ways won’t necessarily cost a lot of money. Sometimes it may not cost anything other than a little time, effort and thoughtfulness.

I recently came across a video of a school janitor being recognized by the students and staff for a job well done. This video really touched me because so often – too often- people go about their work day, solving problems, putting out fires, holding things together, yet rarely receive so much as a “thank you.” It’s just taken for granted that they will be there. Yes; we are paid to do our jobs, but a little extra encouragement never hurts. In fact it can be just that thing that motivates an employee who is feeling burnt out/unappreciated/overworked to not throw in the towel.

It’s important to recognize employees consistently, not just once a year or when they go above and beyond the call of duty. Here are a few tips:


  • take employees for granted
  • treat them like you’re doing them a favor by employing them
  • view them as replaceable cogs in the system


  • treat employees as valuable team members
  • think of meaningful and creative ways to recognize employees
  • incentivize employees to remain with your organization for more than just a paycheck

Watch the video below and think of how you can recognize your employees today. Keep a tissue handy. 🙂

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