Giving your employees praise in a fun way

According to Dr. Donald Clifton’s book How Full Is Your Bucket, the number one reason people leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated.

Recognition is one of the most important things you can do to increase retention and lower turnover. Recognition can come in many ways –  from the company to an individual, by a manager or more powerfully by peers who witness the great contribution of their fellow employees everyday.

Employee recognition is an incredibly powerful tool for helping with productivity and employee satisfaction.

At Work Happy we know that on average people spend 100,000 waking hours at work and according to a recent study conducted by OfficeVibe on employee engagement, 82% of employees think it’s better to give someone praise than a gift and we wanted to share some ideas on employee recognition that are fun and that don’t break the budget.

  1. Post-it Note Fairy
  2. Secret Envelopes
  3. Show and Praise
  4. Praise Circle


Post-it Note FairyPost it note collage

We all love post-it notes around the office for its many different usages. Let’s add one more to it.

  1. Get a stack of post-it notes
  2. Write positive messages about a person or their effort at work on a post-it note
  3. While no one is watching post all of the notes on people’s desks so they are surprised when they get back to their desk


Secret Envelopes


Giving everyone an opportunity to anonymously give praise can be a really amazing way of boosting emotional health.


  1. Place envelopes with everyone’s names on a wall
  2. Write a message  and then place it in an envelope with the person’s name on it
  3. At the end of the day or week have everyone take them home and read the praise at home


Disclaimer: This is done in good faith that no negative messages will be placed in the envelopes. The point of this activity is not anonymous feedback it’s anonymous praise.


Show and Praise

Similar to Secret Envelopes anonymous praise is important but also making sure everyone can see the praise

  1. Designate a whiteboard to be the ‘Show and Praise’
  2. Write everyone’s name on the show and praise board with enough room for comments
  3. Have everyone come in and write positive comments throughout the day

You can maybe even think about making this a permanent activity to promote praise.

Version 2

Praise Circle

Taking the time to recognise someone’s effort or work is important. Recognising them in front of the team or company is even more important.

  1. Gather the team at a pre-booked time at the end of the week
  2. Have a leader that kicks off the meeting by having everyone stand around in a circle
  3. The leader will announce how the game works. Every person has the opportunity to nominate a staff member who they have seen going the extra mile that week and take the time to thank them
  4. Towards the end, let people know that you’re finishing soon (it can very easily last a few hours)
  5. To wrap up, select something the office can be grateful for (you can take suggestions from the group) and then everyone brings their hands into the middle and cheers


All in all, these are just a few things you can do as an organisation to help bring more positivity and praise into the workplace whilst helping increase productivity and employee wellbeing.

If you would like to know more about how you can help improve your workplace culture as well as improving your employee satisfaction, wellbeing and mental health, then feel free to reach out to us at visit our website.