The value of recognising good work


It’s good to be recognised and rewarded, appreciation is a basic human need.  It’s something managers can do easily – whether it’s just saying “well done” or using a formal reward package.

Recognition isn’t all about bonuses and pay rises.  It has been identified that employees receiving sincere thanks is often more important than receiving something tangible.  Recognition helps employees feel valued and encouraged, their satisfaction, productivity, engagement and motivation goes up and as a result an employer is more likely to retain their staff.

My own experience of recognition has been varied across my career where some managers were great at encouraging teams and individuals.  And others where it was simply not something they did with the result, demotivated and disaffected staff.  Recognition is something I’ve always seen as good management practice and have tried to practise what I preach throughout my career.

The most memorable recognition I received… and therefore the most rewarding for both me and my employer… was following a successful client presentation. I was thanked publically by the department head and was offered a generous bonus in the form of store vouchers.  However, I asked whether I could book an “experience” rather than receiving a monetary reward.

The company agreed and I was booked on a week-long cookery course.  Not only was the course a really enjoyable time away from the office, I had the opportunity of learning new skills which I could apply back at work (and at home!).  I also met like-minded people, gained lots of inspiration, shared ideas and knowledge… as well as having a lot of fun.

I would say the value of that piece of recognition was immeasurable.  Yes, there was a monetary outlay by my employer in purchasing the course and letting me have time off.  However the value returned was increased for them, as I came back with new and transferrable skills, more motivated and highly engaged.

And the value for me personally, as someone who believes in life-long learning, was that I had learnt new skills that I still use today.  It gave me confidence and motivation in pursing my career and helping others pursue theirs in recognising their achievements.

It doesn’t cost a lot to say “well done”.

I’d love to hear your recognition stories.


The Cooking Academy offers cookery courses which can be used towards company learning and development schemes or reward and recognition programmes and we are happy to help you facilitate this.


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