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The Cycle of Success: 25 Employees Who Deserve Your Recognition

Jan 04, 2016

Written by: John O'Brien
(View Author Bio)

What goes around, comes around. What happens when you recognize an employee’s desired behavior? You start a cycle of success, grounded in the science of behavioral economics.

25 Employees to Recognize


The key to boosting your employees’ engagement – and your organization’s long-term success – is to make a habit of recognizing game-changing employees that show any of these 25 behaviors.

Employee recognition works like this:

  • The employee you recognized experiences the dopamine effect, a rush felt after something good happens.
  • He or she feels valued and appreciated, which leads to enhanced subjective well-being, or perceived happiness.
  • Your employee repeats the desired behavior in order to feel the beneficial effects of recognition and in turn, becomes more engaged and motivated.

The key to boosting your employees’ engagement – and your organization’s long-term success – is to make a habit of recognizing game-changing employees like these.

1. The day brighteners. A cheerful, always-positive attitude helps build morale and energizes your entire workforce.
2. The organizers/planners. Who’s your go-to person for planning a celebration, event or special guest’s visit? An employee’s ability (and willingness) to plan and organize is definitely recognition-worthy.
3. The participators. Do you ever feel that half the battle is getting your employees to speak up? Recognize those who get the conversation started — and keep it going by engaging others.
4. The go-the-extra-milers. Be on the lookout for the employee who always does whatever it takes to get the job done — and done right.
5. The volunteers. When you’re looking for volunteers, is there someone who’s always ready to jump in? The willingness to volunteer deserves some recognition.
6. The mentors. Strong role models are invaluable assets, not only to the individuals they’re guiding but also to your entire organization. 

7. The accountables. There’s nothing like being able to rely on someone. Recognize those who always do what they say they’re going to do. 

8. The on-timers. People who are late are always noticed. Better to shine the light of recognition on those who are always on time finish tasks in a timely manner and consistently meet deadlines.

9. The recognizers. Those who regularly take time to praise others should be recognized for it.
10. The initiative-takers. If something needs to be done, this person does it without being asked.
11. The team players. Behaviors that make it easy to work well within a group are vital to employees’ individual and sharedsuccesses.
12. The idea generators. Fresh ideas are the lifeblood of your organization. Be sure to recognize employees who are always coming up with something new

Start Recognizing Your Employees Today. Download the Full Whitepaper.

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John O'Brien

John O'Brien

Vice President
Employee Performance Group

As Vice President of BI WORLDWIDE’s Employee Performance Group, John O’Brien’s primary focus is to develop employee engagement strategies and solutions that change the behaviors of employees to align with customers’ business objectives. An expert in Employee Recognition Strategy, he educates HR professionals around the world on how to best engage their employees through employee engagement strategies, solutions and best practices.