Informal Recognition….an informal key to engagement

Want to make employees feel appreciated, but don’t know exactly what to say? Then you’ve come to the right place. In today’s candidate-driven market, company culture is key to retaining top talent. And one of the best ways to create a culture of value is to offer a word of appreciation for employees, whether it be with thank you notes, a fun gift set, or even a trophy.


Appreciation is a fundamental human need. People, be it employees in an organization, kids in a school or home makers, need appreciation to be able to work effectively. Humans respond to appreciation by way of improved work, no matter whom it comes from. It makes them feel valued and respected and their level of commitment increases to maintain or improve their good work.

Talking about appreciation at workplace, it is often seen that organizations focus a lot on formal recognition by means of holidays, cash, etc. which are far & few in between. A very important aspect to be appreciated is the fact that recognition or appreciation is an ongoing need. Hence it is critical to have a culture that promotes “informal recognition”,which is nothing but simple ways to appreciate an employee on a regular basis, either by the company or the employee groups themselves.

Informal recognition is a highly cost effective and speedy form of recognition. Another aspect that adds value to it is fact that it comes from employees themselves irrespective of their level. This makes the individual, receiving the recognition, more happy, as it is perceived as being free from biases. This also encourages a healthy culture of positivity and gratitude within the organization.

Informal recognition is beyond all formal boundaries of recognition policies of any organization. No matter how effective it may be, it being completely voluntary, needs a lot of rigor from a company to be inculcated in the system. Hence, it is important for HR to have systems in place to drive this program consistently. Also, informal recognition should not be restricted only to a pat on the back or recognizing good work within a group, it is important for the organization to have mechanisms which drives, maintainsand uplifts the culture of informal recognition. 

One of the simplest things an organization can do is to have a system where employees praise the others, for some good work done, by writing “Thank You” and the reason, on a card and hand it over personally to the individual. Imagine if 1-2 employees came to you daily with a card reading as “Thank You for a speedy resolution to my query”, your motivation would be sky high, and you are bound to put in more efforts, realizing the fact that your good work is impacting someone positively. You would strive hard to increase the numbers of “Thank You” cards you receive every day.

Almost every organization now is talking about employee engagement and attempting to keep their employees motivated and engaged. It should soon be realized that employee engagement is as much the responsibility of the employees as it is of the organizations. Hence, the efforts of the organization will not be complete without an equal contribution from the employees to keep each other engaged, motivated and valued.

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