14 Ways to Recognize Employee Engagement

By Bob Nelson

Part of Recognizing and Engaging Employees For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The link between employee recognition and employee engagement occurs on several levels: first, through reinforcing specific desired behaviors; second, through recognizing specific desired results; and third, through recognizing specific desired end states — that is, the environmental culture and core values you’d most like your company to be known for. The following table shows typical engagement behaviors and provides examples of ways you can recognize those behaviors.

Desired Type of Engaged Behaviors by Employees Potential Recognition Activity to Deploy
Understanding corporate mission Use photos, videos, and stories to recognize examples of work
that tie into the mission with
Understanding professional expectations Support question asking; create quizzes and contests about job
descriptions
Providing input on workplace matters Solicit and thank employees regularly for input; make sure
upper management is present during key discussions and
meetings
Making suggestions Actively solicit and recognize ideas, and give employees the
autonomy to try them; trumpet successes and “successful
failures”
Engaging in teamwork and collaboration Recognize team progress; celebrate milestones and final
achievements
Taking initiative Recognize proactivity and those who ask questions; support
extra efforts by allowing flex time and more resources
Quality work and/or service Recognize attaining quality standards, error reductions, client
satisfaction scores, and positive customer feedback
Problem solving Recognize creative group processes, brainstorming, and
innovative solutions
Bonding with manager and building relationships Encourage face time and learning about each other by making
common areas available
Connecting with others Hold recognition celebrations and town hall meetings; provide
networking opportunities by increased access with others
Learning and developing skills Host games and friendly competitions that are based on
workplace and professional skills
Participating in career development Offer workshops, mentorship programs, and time off and/or
funding so employees can attend seminars
Pursuing career paths Give employees job variety, opportunities, and professional
movement
Showing excitement and having fun Hold celebrations and parties