Understanding how to show your employees you appreciate them can be a journey. Different people respond to different types of recognition, so implementing a rewards system that suits everyone can take time. 

One way to improve employee satisfaction is to use an employee recognition board. But how do you know if this is the right move for you? To help your human resources department decide on its next recognition strategy, we’ll be looking into what an employee recognition board is, use cases, and the many benefits (and a few small drawbacks) before exploring how you can create your own. 

What is an Employee Recognition Board?

An employee recognition board is a display or physical board typically found in a workplace or office setting. It serves as a visible platform to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements, contributions, and milestones of employees within an organization. 

The bulletin board is designed to publicly recognize and appreciate employees’ hard work, dedication, and positive impact on the company. It’s likely you’ve seen this in various workplaces before, and it may seem like a simple solution. However, if used correctly, they can have a huge impact on staff morale and create a great workplace culture. 

Use cases of employee recognition boards

Depending on your company and the industry you operate in, you’re likely to use a recognition board in your own way. Get creative, the sky is the limit! For some inspiration, below are some common use cases:

  1. Shout-outs: You don’t have to wait a whole month to show your appreciation for one team member. Why not do weekly or even daily shout-outs of team players who are nailing it? This will avoid people feeling left out or disillusioned with the company, as you’ll have a chance to recognize everyone who’s having a positive impact on your business. 

  2. Birthdays, weddings, babies: It may seem obvious, but it’s essential to remember that your employees are people with their own lives outside of your business. So, don’t just celebrate work-related events. Show you care by announcing significant moments in their personal lives.

  3. Employee of the month: Knowing that one member of staff will be rewarded every single month for their hard work will motivate your team to stay productive. Announcing an employee of the month publicly on a board is a great way to show your appreciation. Why not award them with a gift card? 

  4. Work anniversaries: It’s a significant occasion when someone is celebrating a milestone with your company. Celebrating work anniversaries publicly can improve employee retention and brand loyalty. It’ll show the rest of the team that you are a great employer who appreciates those that work for you. 

  5. Company newsletter: If your employees feel disconnected from your company, then they’re unlikely to be invested in your success. Every single team member is a crucial component of your business’s success, so keep them in the loop. With company newsletters, you can provide updates on clients, successes, and, if you want to be completely transparent, current struggles. 

  6. Employee achievements: If your team have been working hard to meet tight deadlines recently, show them you appreciate the effort. Highlight individual or team accomplishments such as meeting specific targets, completing projects successfully, receiving accolades, or going above and beyond their regular responsibilities. This can be hand-written notes or official testimonials. 


Benefits of using an employee recognition board

So, why would you use an employee recognition board over a different form of recognition? Well, the answer is simple. This personalized and public approach has a wealth of benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the most important.

Employee engagement

When employees feel recognized and appreciated for their hard work, they tend to be more engaged in their roles. Recognition boards create a positive work environment where employees feel connected to the organization and its goals, leading to higher levels of commitment and productivity.

Employee recognition boards often highlight team achievements, fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. By showcasing successful projects or collaborative efforts, it encourages employees to work together, share knowledge, and support each other to achieve common goals.

The higher your level of employee engagement, the higher your:

  1. Productivity

  2. Efficiency

  3. Retention


Recognizing and appreciating employees’ efforts and accomplishments can serve as a powerful motivator. Employees who feel recognized and valued are more likely to be encouraged to continue performing at a high level. Moreover, recognition contributes to employee retention, as individuals are more likely to stay with an organization that acknowledges their hard work and provides a positive work environment.

Having a team of employees that have been with the company for a while means you’ll have a team that’s more invested in its success. This kind of loyalty also improves productivity. Not having to constantly hire, onboard, and train new staff will free up the HR department’s time and resources. This means more attention can be given to existing staff to ensure they feel rewarded for their work. 

Prioritize wellbeing, pay competitive salaries, offer flexibility, growth opportunities, incentives and rewards, listen to feedback


Positive work environment 

An employee recognition board contributes to a positive company culture by reinforcing the organization’s values and commitment to recognizing and appreciating employee contributions. It creates a culture of recognition where employees feel valued and supported, leading to increased loyalty and a sense of belonging.

Not only will this improve employee morale, but it’ll make hiring for new positions easier. If your company has a genuinely positive reputation and you can prove you have a great work environment, people will want to work for you. 

Believe it or not, it can be rare to find an environment these days where you feel nurtured, cared for, and appreciated. Don’t underestimate how attractive your company will be to work with and for if your team are happy. 

Improved performance

When employees are motivated, engaged, and recognized for their work, it often translates into improved performance and increased productivity. Recognition boards create a healthy competitive spirit and inspire employees to excel in their roles, leading to better results for the organization. 

Efficiency is key when running a business. If your whole team are motivated, the sky is the limit for the success of your company. 

94% of respondents report they are between 2 and 4 times more likely to produce more for their organization if they love their workplace


Drawbacks of using an employee recognition board

While it may seem like an employee recognition board is the right way forward, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks to decide whether it’s right for your company. 

  1. Maintenance and updates: Keeping an employee recognition board up to date requires consistent effort and resources. If the board is not regularly updated or maintained, it can lose its impact and effectiveness over time, potentially leading to disillusionment among employees. Before you decide to create yours, make sure you have a clear timetable of who updates it and when to prevent this from happening.

  2. Selective recognition: The use of an employee recognition board may inadvertently lead to a perception of favoritism or bias if certain individuals or teams receive more frequent or prominent recognition. This can create feelings of resentment and demotivation among employees who believe their contributions are not adequately acknowledged. For this reason, for every award, make sure you clearly identify why they won the award and showcase the work that led to it. Be sure not to overlook any employees (this can be tricky if you have a big team).

  3. Inequality in visibility: Employees who work in less visible roles or departments may feel overlooked or undervalued if the recognition board primarily focuses on specific areas or functions. For example, the employee responsible for your social media presence may be more likely to receive recognition because their impact can be directly measured in likes, comments, and shares. However, a coder, for example, may be overlooked because it is more difficult to find a direct correlation between their work and conversions. 

These don’t have to be reasons why you shouldn’t create an employee recognition board. Instead, they should just be elements to consider before you start. If you have multiple offices with a large number of employees, maybe consider a board for each office. This will make it easier to avoid employees feeling ignored and easier to keep it up to date. 

How to create your employee recognition board

So, you’ve weighed up the pros and cons. All you need now is to know how to actually create your board. Every board will be different depending on:

  1. The industry you work in

  2. The number of employees you have

  3. Your time and resources

But, we’ll outline some basic ways to create an employee recognition board to kickstart your team-building program. 

Digital or physical?

First, you need to decide whether you want to go digital or physical. There are pros and cons to both. 





  • Easy to access for large numbers of employees

  • Less resources needed, and quick and easy to update

  • Works for a remote team

  • People may be less inclined to check it, and so it may not be as effective.


  • People are more likely to see it every day if they are in the office

  • Can brighten up the workplace

  • Fun and interactive

  • Takes a lot of time and resources to update

Depending on your team, one of these options will be more suited to you. Be sure to consider all the pros and cons before making a decision. There are plenty of templates available for both options, so be sure to have a good search for helpful resources before you get started. 

Ensure your team are onboard

While it’s ultimately your decision, you’ll want to know that your existing employees are onboard (excuse the pun). Even if you know you’re going to create the board, why not ask them for some appreciation ideas? After all, these are the people it will impact the most. 

A great way to do this is an employee survey. Ask your team how you can improve the employee experience, and ask new employees what they think is missing in regard to peer recognition. 

Be prepared that you won’t only receive positive feedback, and this is a good thing. The answers will give you a whole new perspective and a wealth of new employee recognition ideas. Your team are also more likely to engage with the board if they know they’ve had a say. 

Decide what you’re rewarding

In order for your board to be successful and not cause controversy or tension, you’ll need to decide on exactly what awards you’ll be giving out. This means you need to have specific metrics you are monitoring to make your decision. Whether you’re opting for:

  1. Service awards for long-term employees

  2. Job Well Done awards for specific clients 

  3. Employee appreciation day for specific staff members

Each one needs to be based on statistics and data to avoid subconscious bias playing a part. Consider monitoring:

  1. Deadlines

  2. Feedback

  3. Conversions

However, be sure to give your metrics close thought. Many employers fall into the trap of rewarding employees for achievements, which can create a toxic environment. For example, rewarding the least amount of sick days may encourage people to work through illness, leading to burnout.  

Get branding

Don’t lose the opportunity to transform your workplace because of a lack of effort. To make sure your board is effective, get creative. This involves branding. You’ll want to name your program and create a color scheme and logo so it’s easily recognizable. This means you can include the logo in company newsletters, emails, and other correspondence, encouraging your team to engage. 

To help brainstorm, decide what your ultimate goal is. Ask yourself, is it to:

  1. Unite your team?

  2. Increase productivity?

  3. Improve employee satisfaction and retention?

  4. Create a new workplace culture?

Depending on your answers, whether it’s one specific goal or all of the above, it will help inform your branding and how you communicate about the program to your team. 

As well as nurturing new talent, you also need to be attractive for developed employees who are looking to further and better their opportunities in their selected field.

Get creating

Now you’ve made the key decisions and prepped your team for the changes, you’re ready to get creating. If you’ve opted for a digital employee recognition board, find the software that will work best for you. Consider pricing, UI, and the integrations each software offers. You’ll want to be able to make it easy to access and engaging. You’ll also need any template you use to be highly customizable so you can add your branding. 

If you’ve opted for a physical board, you’ll need to stock up on sticky notes, a cork board, pins, staples, and anything else that will help make your board look fun and interactive. It’ll be helpful to print out photos of every employee so people can recognize each other’s achievements (especially new hires who may find it tricky otherwise). 

Decide where you want to mount your board. Is there a coffee machine or a kitchen where people tend to hang out? Or a staff room/lunch area? Be sure to choose somewhere that your staff frequent. 

Should your company use one?

It’s absolutely essential that companies reward employees and show appreciation for their hard work. It helps solidify company values and improve the overall wellness of your staff. If you’ve considered all of the pros and cons and have decided a board is not the right choice for your team, that’s fine! Every business operates differently. 

However, it’s absolutely essential that your company has some sort of employee recognition program in place. Without this, you risk high turnover rates and low productivity. Plus, you risk never becoming a Most Loved Workplace®.