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7 Best Ideas for Recognizing Top Performers

Recognizing and rewarding their efforts and achievements is key to enhancing the engagement and loyalty of the workforce. Recognizing top performers assures them that they are valued by their employers and their contribution is truly appreciated.

What are the Most Effective Ways of Recognizing Top Performers?

Employee Rewards and Recognition

For rewarding and recognizing their best employees, organizations need to be creative and thoughtful to get the best results.

Hence, doing it right can help to boost the morale and motivation of the entire workforce.

Here are the 7 best employee recognition ideas that organizations can consider:

What are the most effective ways of recognizing top performers?

1. Personal Message from the CEO/ Senior Leader

personal email or video message from the CEO or a senior leader can go a long way in sending out the right message.

It is important to ensure that the note reflects a sense of care and value for the employee.

Such small gestures can create a deeper impact than other tangible rewards including cash.

2. Celebrations for their Achievements

Importance of Celebrating Personal Milestones of Employees

Moreover, celebrating the success and achievements of outstanding employees by throwing a party or a meal in their honor is another effective way to show appreciation.

Such a gesture can surely make the employees feel more appreciative of the organization and motivate them to continue their good performance.

3. Extra Time-off


Another effective way of recognizing top performers is by giving them a few days off from work on full pay.

This will allow them to spend quality time with their family and make up for the long hours they have been spending at work.

Hence, this will restore some work-life balance and enhance their happiness and satisfaction levels.

4. Tickets to an Event

Offering employees free tickets to concerts or sports events can be a great way to appreciate their hard work and achievements.

However, it needs to be ensured that the events match the tastes and preferences of the employees being rewarded.

From sports events to music nights, movies, and food festivals, the organization can choose from various options based on what the selected employee finds most appealing.

5. Paid Vacation

Family Vacation

Also, paid vacation is considered to be one of the best rewards that organizations can leverage for recognizing top performers.

In addition to providing the employees with an opportunity to enjoy and relax in the company of their family or friends, such vacations can help deepen the sense of loyalty and belonging in the employees. 

The employees would return to work filled with a greater sense of commitment and a determination to give their best in every way.

6. Special Assignments


Additionally, top performers usually look for ways to contribute more to their organization and also to learn and develop themselves. 

Special assignments such as cross-functional short-term projects are good ways to reward and motivate such outstanding employees.

Hence, they perceive the value of such assignments and see them as opportunities to grow in the organization and contribute more.

7. Learning and Development Opportunities

A Guide to Rewards and Recognition for Learning and Development

Importantly, investing in various training and development programs for them is another excellent way to reward top talent.

Hence, the employees would feel that the organization is supportive of their endeavor to enhance their professional skills and competencies. 

Therefore, this would be reciprocated by the employees through a continued high level of performance and dedication towards the organization.


Implementing the above ideas of rewarding and recognizing top performers can help organizations enhance the engagement and motivation levels of their best employees and thus get more out of them.

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.