March 12, 2020 0 Comment

Companies with the Best Employee Recognition Programs

According to Gallup, a great recognition system helps organizations drive engagement and reinforce the organization’s culture. By ensuring that their efforts are appreciated properly and in time, organizations can motivate employees to continue giving their best. So, let’s take a look at the companies with the best employee recognition programs.

These organizations have actually been able to nail down their employee recognition strategy.  In fact, they have succeeded in integrating recognition with employee engagement, to improve the efficiency and retention of their workforce.

Organizations with excellent recognition programs

The key to creating a great employee recognition program is to look beyond giving something to high-performing employees. Hence, the focus needs to be on creating a strong bond between employees and the organization.

The following are examples of 6 companies that have managed to to do this. These companies have come up with truly exclusive recognition programs to reinforce their employer brands and boost productivity:

1. Zappos 

Zappos is a multinational e-commerce chain with a sizeable workforce. The company has a layered employee recognition strategy in sync with their motto – ‘To Live and Deliver WOW!’. It is based on the peer-to-peer format and enables the employees to share low-cost and high-frequency rewards with one another.

It also provides for peer-to-peer bonuses and HERO awards, complete with a proper HERO Cape. This program enables employees to earn Zappos Dollars for participating in various training programs. These dollars are redeemable for goodies at the office.

2. O.C.Tanner

The organization excels in both employee recognition and engagement initiatives. Its reward strategy is focused on maintaining novelty and uniqueness of the program. It covers custom trophies, gift cards, personalized merchandise, social buttons, as well as emblematic and symbolic awards.

Additionally, they focus on building a work culture based on peer-to-peer recognition to develop strong relationships among employees and great teamwork.

3. Google

Google’s renowned employee rewards and recognition initiatives make it one of the best organizations to work for. It focuses on making employees feel valued when receive peer-to-peer recognition called “Thanks”. The initiative enables co-workers to recognize their colleagues and nominate them for the peer bonus program.

In fact, there is a designated “The Wall of Happy”, where employees can place thank you and appreciation notes for their colleagues. The organization also offers a wide range of awards including spot bonuses and personalized awards.

4. Apple

Apple turns employee recognition into a celebration by organizing various events for entertaining and motivating the employees. “Beer Bash” is a popular event with free beer and appetizers for employees and musical performances by renowned artists.

Also, the company supports smart and innovative members of its workforce in their career-building efforts. It also offers a range of recognition benefits including discounted products, tuition reimbursement, health insurance, 401(k) plans, and parental leaves.

5. Nike

This global leader of health and sports goods is known for various initiatives to keep its employees engaged and motivated. It offers competitive total compensation, opportunities to stay fit and ensure the well-being of their families.

In this context, the organization offers benefits such as paid sabbaticals, tuition assistance, and even product discounts. The organization also has an online platform, named “NikeU” that helps employees with leadership development efforts.

6. Salesforce

This cloud computing organization, based in San Francisco ensures great recognition practices through its “Aloha culture” at the workplace. The organization motivates its employees to interact kindly and honestly with their coworkers.

It creates a fun work culture and recognizes the hard work of its employees. The company offers free snacks and beverages to employees throughout the day. It also gives out Giant’s tickets to employees for referrals and additional bonus for those whose referrals get placed.


Looking at the various employee recognition programs running in these highly rated companies, it is clear that linking the organization’s strategy and values to a successful recognition program is the key to success in the highly competitive markets. 

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HiFives ( is an employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. The platform enables supervisors and co-workers to nominate, recognize and reward employees using a points-based system. Budget management, jury-based evaluation and multi-level approval workflows are built into the platform. HiFives has social features such as a wall of fame and gamification features such as leaderboards, e-certificates and digital badges. It also has a global redemption system with country-specific e-gift card options. HiFives integrates with all leading HRMS systems, Office 365, Google Workspace, MS Teams, Slack and other popular tools used at the workplace. HiFives is used by many large enterprises, small businesses and startups across 25+ countries in the world, in many industries including manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media.