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Recognizing and Rewarding Team Excellence

Recognizing and Rewarding Team Excellence

Even though “the workplace” as a concept is changing rapidly (with remote teams, working from home or in the field more often and using technology of various kinds to get tasks done), one thing seems to remain the same – in general most people don’t appear to experience a great sense of value from what they do at their work and in broad terms feel unappreciated by their leaders. In other words, many employees don’t feel appreciated and recognized for their efforts and would like to have more enjoyment and engagement while they are at work. 

There are many ways in which any business can help to better engage employees ranging from very simple and easy to do to much more complicated and time consuming to implement – lets look at 8 of these. 

  1. Perhaps first and foremost most leaders do not simply thank individuals on the team anywhere near enough. This may seem obvious but it has to both happen reasonably frequently and be delivered genuinely and sincerely. This action alone, can significant lift employee morale, contribution and engagement.
  2. Clearly define the team or organization’s vision. This is a crucial roadmap for individuals, without which many people will feel lost or even confused. By crafting and communicating this (in many ways ideally) it can act as a great engagement tool.
  3. Give employees what they need and don’t just assume that each individual has all the right tools, training, and support from their leader(s) that they need – check in with each person personally and find out.
  4. Communicate often and use multiple channels to do so. Training sessions, e-mails, memos, newsletters, and meetings can all be used to present your goals and ideas to individuals on your team. Allow plenty of time for questions so that the future tasks or work together can be as open and collaborative as possible.
  5. Coach every individual, according to their needs, and provide as much feedback as necessary. Positive feedback in particular should be given right away, to encourage more of the same performance. Negative feedback should also be given relatively quickly (but with more care and patience), so that individuals have the opportunity to adjust.
  6. When individual performance problems arise, be as fair or even-handed as possible by examining the context and circumstances, before passing judgment or acting. In basic terms you should respect and trust your team and you will get the same in return. This includes making mistakes as a leader. If you make a mistake, apologize and quickly admit you were wrong.
  7. Give attention to high-performance outcomes in people. For these individuals put more time and resources into career development and training or offer them new projects that will help them to grow, and develop and be a great role model for others to emulate.
  8. Design and implement creative incentive programs. Such programs can improve performance significantly if they are well and fairly applied. 

Employee engagement strategies are not restricted to the eight described above. However, even 3 or 4 of these will make a huge difference to both individual and overall team performance.

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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