Employee Appreciation Day: 6 Effective Recognition Examples

Written by
Laura Saracho
Laura Saracho

Employee Appreciation Day is almost here! While this holiday is an important opportunity to emphasize the importance of team appreciation, we’re also here to remind you that yes—every day should be Employee Appreciation Day. 😉

Recognition can take many forms; there really is no single way to do it “right.” You can show appreciation for a colleague by sending them a thank you message over Slack or Teams, delivering a surprise gift card to their inbox, or making a public gesture at your next team meeting. Or, if you’re lucky, your company uses a recognition platform like Bonusly to make recognition fun, easy, and meaningful. 💚


For a sidesplitting way to celebrate: 😂

Download Hilarious Team Activity for Employee Appreciation Day


No matter what recognition looks like on your team, at Bonusly, we believe there are specific characteristics of effective recognition. They are: 


We’ll dive into what each one means and share specific employee recognition examples from Bonusly teammates using our very own product! 🤩

Effective recognition: 6 real-world Bonusly examples!

1. Timely

Recognition is effective when it’s given soon after someone does something noteworthy. Now, you don’t need to go off to the recognition races the moment a contribution is made, but it loses its value over time if you wait days or even weeks to acknowledge someone. The last thing your team wants is to wait for their performance review to receive praise.

Here’s an example between Dave and Chynna at Bonusly. Dave sent this recognition soon after their meeting ended: 

recognition post

2. Frequent

Did you know: there is overwhelming evidence that demonstrates the benefits of frequent praise and recognition? Don’t just wait for something really monumental to happen before dishing out the goods! Get into the habit of baking recognition into your daily routine, whether that’s starting a meeting with a quick thanks to someone, or encouraging peer-to-peer recognition.

In this example, Liz gave her manager Kai recognition after their 1:1—a meeting that happens at least once a week on their team!

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3. Specific 

Has your manager or peer ever told you “you’re doing great!” but doesn’t specify what you’re doing great at? If so, you’re not alone. Specific recognition is super important because it helps your team understand exactly what they did that contributed to a greater goal.

Below, Vanessa told Erik exactly what he did that deserved some praise: 

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Appreciate your teams with laughter! 

Download Hilarious Team Activity for Employee Appreciation Day

4. Visible 

Praise can definitely be served in a 1:1 or another private setting. Yet, there are many benefits to public recognition. The big one? Visible recognition allows other people to see a commendable behavior or action and repeat it. By seeing what other awesome things people are up to, it can provide inspiration to try it yourself.

Here, Maja gave Helen recognition for setting up a brainstorming session to help reduce team meetings. She even linked to a Mural board where the magic happened—an open invitation for others to replicate the brainstorm and maybe reduce their meeting load too. 

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5. Inclusive 

We’re big believers of peer-to-peer recognition at Bonusly. When you diversify the parties responsible for giving recognition (aka, not only top-down) you’ll likely increase the amount of recognition that is given, creating an inclusive environment that builds equity, belonging, and psychological safety.

Chris, a Senior Product Designer at Bonusly recently gave recognition to a handful of their peers on our Engineering and Product team:

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6. Values-based 

This is one of our favorite characteristics of meaningful recognition. At Bonusly, we make our daily recognition practice values-based. This encourages our team to work toward our shared set of company core values, versus forgetting they exist unless you wander over to the team About page. 😬

One of Bonusly’s values is "work-smarter"—we strive to evaluate and improve how we execute on a daily basis to optimize work and get more done. Here, Scott gave Chris recognition tied directly to this value:

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Recognition doesn’t have to be hard, but it does need to be effective in order to reap its many benefits. A company that has a strong culture of recognition can boost engagement, productivity, and employee morale—so why not get started today?

Kickstart meaningful recognition with this hilarious team activity to appreciate your employees!

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Originally published on February 21, 2022 → Last updated February 9, 2023

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Laura Saracho

Laura is the content marketing manager at Bonusly and is passionate about employee engagement and uncovering creative, data-driven ways to drive impact. She loves writing and going on excessively long trail runs.


Bonusly is a fun, personal employee recognition and rewards platform that helps people feel engaged and successful at work. ✨ Learn more about us.