Staff Recognition Ideas


We know recognizing people is an important part of being a leader.  Check out these ideas you might like to try.  

Topics Covered:

  • Role Models
  • Staff Development
  • Engagement

Premium Content:

Staff Recognition Ideas

Recognizing people--in real, meaningful, and sometimes public ways-- shows them that you appreciate them for what they do and who they are. Forms of recognition don’t need to be extravagant . . . often times it is the heartfelt nature of complimenting someone’s work that means the most. Below are a few ideas for simple strategies that help acknowledge the good work you see in staff. Remember, we all need a little pick-me-up once in a while!

Have you tried this?

  • Offer short profiles of selected staff members (anyone who works in the building or is in contact with youth in your organization) at meetings or times when all staff members are together. An alternative: ask staff members to provide you information on a skill, talent, travel experience, or other detail that their colleagues may not know about them. Randomly read a few at each all-staff gathering and invite people to guess the person to whom it applies.
  • Periodically award a certificate to staff members who have put forth extra effort to make your workplace a safe and caring space. Better yet, ask the youth in your organization or school to recognize a staff member who supports them. Sweeten the deal by adding a gift card to a local coffee shop along with the public acknowledgement! (Local businesses may even be willing to provide a limited number if they know your intended use of them.)
  • Do you have a young person in your organization that has made a notable turn-around in their performance or achievement? Talk with them about staff members who have made a difference for them, then invite the young person to recognize that staff member (with details of how they supported the young person) at an all-staff gathering. If the young person prefers not to be part of the recognition, reflect the specific, tangible behaviors identified as supportive when YOU recognize them. Highlight the good things people are doing to build the climate we all know matters. It helps people to hear specific examples of what young people find supportive.
  • If you are a supervisor of other staff members, turn the “gotcha!” phenomenon of supervision on its head. The next time you see someone you oversee doing something right, send a hand-written note thanking them for their good work. Be SPECIFIC about what you saw them do and why you saw it as important to building a positive climate in your organization.

Go forth and build positive climates for young people!


PDF Icon Implementation Strategy Download
(This is a PDF)