How to create an employee recognition board display

A quick summary:

  • What is an employee recognition wall?
  • When to give employee recognition
  • Consideration for your recognition wall at work
  • Who is responsible for the recognition board display?
  • Combine your recognition board display with a reward scheme
  • Our final thoughts on an employee recognition wall

One of the best ways to transform employee engagement and performance is through a recognition board display — a wall in your office that exhibits praise for your team and their accomplishments.

Office space is a funny concept. It can motivate employees and inspire creativity. But they can also negatively affect productivity and performance, just to name a few. How leaders choose to construct their work environment determines these results.

In this guide, we’re looking at the role of a recognition board display. What are they? Why are they important? And what should you consider before building a recognition wall at work?

Whilst most view the concept of a recognition board as something reserved for classrooms and educational institutions, it can be a powerful tool for the world of work. It’s just knowing how to start one and what to include and avoid.

An office fit for a recognition display board
What is a recognition board display?

What is a recognition board display?

A recognition board display is a way of recognising someone for their hard work and efforts. Whether it’s a school environment or an office space, a recognition board is about openly praising someone’s great work.

Now, this guide is more tailored to the workplace. So, what’s the difference between a general recognition board and a recognition wall at work? Firstly, the kind of accomplishments recognised will be very different.

In an office, a recognition board display will focus on things such as closing deals, hitting sales targets, and receiving customer reviews. It might also be improving a process or operation within the business.

For many organisations, the “employee of the month” is an alternative to an employee recognition wall. It’s a way of focusing solely on one employee and can only be awarded twelve times a year.

However, we’d argue that a recognition board display offers a lot more. Here are a few of the reasons we prefer the recognition board concept:

  • It adds a bit of light and colour to a sometimes dull office
  • It invites creativity — there are plenty of ideas you can add to a board
  • It publicly highlights employees and allows for more than one winner

The only negative? A recognition board display requires a little more management from your HR team. But that’s nothing to worry about!

So, now that you know exactly what makes a recognition wall at work so spectacular, let’s find out when to give employee recognition.  

Did you know: when employee recognition is done effectively, employees are 4X as likely to be engaged in the workplace!

Similar read: 4 reasons why traditional employee engagement is dead

What are the benefits of an employee recognition wall?

As we’ll explore later on in this guide, there are many objectives and outcomes that leaders should pinpoint carrying out any kind of recognition board. However, to give you a sneak peek, let’s talk about the benefits.

But rather than focus entirely on an employee recognition wall, let’s think more broadly. So, what can recognition do for a company? Well, despite many leaders believing recognition and reward isn’t a key priority, here are some of the possibilities:

  • Recognition can gradually improve company culture
  • By recognising efforts, it develops a sense of purpose for employees
  • Employee morale increases positively
  • Recognising employees boosts retention

This list is by no means exhaustive, but as you can see the outcomes are tangible and worthwhile. We’ll discuss this topic more towards the end, but for now, begin thinking about how a recognition board can support actual business goals.

Employees walking downstairs in a modern office
What are the benefits of an employee recognition wall?

When to give employee recognition

Employee recognition should be given regularly but also authentically. Some companies use their recognition wall at work to highlight achievements from last week, last month, or last quarter.

The problem is, if you only recognise accomplishments each quarter or year, it might not do the trick. Instead, come up with affordable and meaningful ways to show your appreciation. This might be a gift voucher, a staff wellbeing basket or something else.

One of the flaws some leadership teams face is offering employee recognition too often. Yes, you heard that correctly. Too much recognition can actually have a negative impact — let us explain…

By recognising the smallest of achievements, you are setting a standard for expectations. All of a sudden, employees will realise that recognition from leadership teams doesn’t hold much weight – they’re given out loosely and without much meaning.

Employees will become toxic if they don’t receive recognition for small wins like their peers. This will create mayhem for managers who will find themselves focusing more on who hasn’t received praise instead of who genuinely deserves it.

For this reason, it’s absolutely vital that your HR department manages the frequency of the employee recognition board display effectively. It’s supposed to be a tool for positivity and motivation, don’t let it become the downfall of your office.

Hopefully, this point should give you some indication as to when to give employee recognition in general, not just via a recognition board.

Similar read: Revealing the secrets of employee engagement experts

Who is responsible for the recognition board display?

Without efficient management of your recognition board display, it’s likely appreciation and praise will run dry. Someone must be handed the responsibility of managing the display.

This is down to leadership teams to decide. It may be that co-managing the recognition board display is the best option. Ultimately, like anything, mismanagement will lead to poor results, and in the case of an employee recognition wall, an unhappy workforce.

After you’ve decided who is responsible for managing the new recognition wall at work, here are some of the things they should carry out on a regular basis:

  1. Redesign the employee recognition wall display with new quotes and images
  2. The general maintenance of the display, ensuring it stays intact.
  3. Announcing and informing employees of their accomplishments

These responsibilities will ensure the board is well looked after and not forgotten about. The last thing you want is to invest in creating a recognition board display just for it to be abandoned or mistreated.

A table in the middle of a small office
Considerations for your recognition wall at work

Consideration for your recognition wall at work

Below, we’re looking at a number of ways to best recognise team achievements via your recognition board display. Making these careful considerations should prompt ideas and inspiration for your own recognition wall at work.

Create a timeline to highlight company's success

Firstly, depending on the size of your employee recognition wall, think about the space you have and what you can include. There might be bits of information and accomplishments that deserve longer appreciation.

For instance, consider highlighting the board of directors, including their photo and title. For this idea, you might want to include a visual timeline showcasing the road to success the company has made, and the individuals involved.

Make your employee recognition wall colourful

Our next consideration is to make your recognition board display as colourful as possible. After all, employee recognition is something to shout about — you want to make it clear why you’re praising employees.

We needn’t help you with this point. Grab some colourful pens, and different coloured sticky notes and get creative. This is a task I’m sure your HR team will love. The objective of making a colourful recognition board display is to make it bold.

An office with a skyline view
Be careful where you situate your recognition board in the office

Situate your employee recognition wall somewhere obvious

Next up, ensure your recognition wall at work is obvious. So many times, recognition board displays are hidden away somewhere in the darkest corners of a room — this won’t achieve anything.

Think about any area or passage in your office that receives a lot of footfall and presence. Perhaps near the entrance, in a communal space or in a meeting room. Simply make your employee recognition wall obvious and visible!

Think about the box with employee recognition

Last but not least, get creative and you’ll find many ways to develop a recognition board display for your organisation. The purpose of your board is to motivate, inspire and drive workplace engagement.

And if there’s one thing we know about engagement, it’s that employees are much more productive, perform better and generally enjoy their job more when they are engaged. When thinking about your board, decide what ideas can make boost engagement.

Similar read: Staff wellbeing board ideas for your office

Combine your recognition board display with a reward scheme

Finally, let’s talk about the need for a reward scheme alongside your new employee recognition wall. Along with your leadership team, decide on an appropriate budget and some ideas for rewarding employees.

That way, employees not only receive praise but also a small reward. It doesn’t have to break the bank, it just has to be meaningful. Of course, for businesses that are without much of a budget, a recognition board display is good enough.

This point is simply about trying to boost engagement higher. And as you can imagine, the addition of a rewards scheme can push employee engagement further.

This might be a nice time to consider a benefits platform like Heka — a streamlined way of rewarding employees monthly with an allowance to support their health and happiness.

Because although chocolates are nice to receive, giving everyone and anyone a box of chocolates all the time isn’t a meaningful reward. Instead, look to gift something like book tokens or wellness experience vouchers.

Rewarding employees isn’t a complicated process. Providing leaders personalise their reward process, employees will appreciate it much more and feel like a valued part of the team. Here are three considerations around choosing rewards:

  1. How do I combine employee rewards with a recognition board display
  2. Do my reward ideas support their health, wellbeing and happiness?
  3. Have I personalised employee recognition rewards to the individual?

Start improving employee engagement by answering these three questions. Combining your employee recognition wall with meaningful rewards is the optimal approach.

Top tip: Make employee recognition and rewards even easier by finding out more about Heka and the 3,000+ experiences available on our platform.

A very modern workspace
Our thoughts on an employee recognition wall

Our final thoughts on an employee recognition wall

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of this guide on developing a recognition board display in the office. We’ve covered all the basics, and you should now have a stronger understanding of what a recognition wall at work entails and how to make one.

All in all, we believe that any kind of recognition board display depends on good management, commitment and genuine praise and rewards. It’s also a cost-effective way to boost engagement in the workplace.

As a leader, you must think about an employee recognition wall based on the outcomes you want to achieve. This may include some of the following:

  • Develop a culture of recognition and praise
  • Boost individual motivation and determination
  • Help engage employees with their roles and duties
  • Build stronger relationships amongst teams
  • Increase performance and output

It’s important leadership teams sit down and consider some of the objectives they want to achieve with their recognition board displays. Having these conversations makes implementing any kind of recognition wall at work much easier.

But remember, never neglect the power of rewards too. Your employee recognition wall can be twice as effective when combined with a wider rewards strategy. Think about the kind of hobbies and interests your team member have, and ask yourself:

  • What does Lisa really enjoy doing outside of work?
  • How can we help Simon with his healthy eating regime?
  • What does Helen do to support her wellbeing that we can gift her?

These are ways to offer meaningful rewards on top of an already robust recognition board display. Remember that we all need praise and recognition from time to time, and engagement is an essential ingredient to a successful workforce.

As long as your recognition board display is meaningful, personalised and your praise is authentic, you will see engagement and job satisfaction come on in leaps and bounds.

Finally, we cannot ignore retention when discussing recognition. These two qualities go hand-in-hand. When creating a recognition board, think about your HR metrics such as job satisfaction, and engagement — but also consider your current labour turnover rate.

By improving recognition, you’re actively retaining top talent! And in a working world battling a war for talent, this is more important than ever. So, what are you waiting for? Start creating your employee recognition wall!

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