15 Employee recognition messages examples to drive impact

Written by: Deanna deBara | Illustrated by: Officevibe team
Published on: July 14, 2021 |  Reading time: 5m

If you want your employees to be engaged, productive, and perform at a high level, they need to feel seen, appreciated, and recognized for their efforts. And, as a manager, that means letting them know you see, appreciate, and recognize them. In other words, making employee recognition a priority. We know you’re busy, so we put together some employee recognition messages examples for common situations that call for recognition.

It’s important to recognize your employees on a regular basis. But coming up with what to say and how to recognize them can be time-consuming.

Use these employee recognition messages examples for inspiration when you want to show your team members that they’re valued. Take your recognition practices to the next level by encouraging a culture of peer-to-peer recognition on your team. Because as much as employees want to know that you care, they also want to know that their colleagues see their hard work, too.

Employee recognition messages examples

We get that you might not have extra time in your day for planning elaborate employee recognition ideas. A quick thank you message can have a really big impact. These examples are meant to be for inspiration, and we recommend that you do put your own personal touch on them rather than copy and paste.

Message examples for when an employee reaches their goals

Employee goal setting is an important part of helping your team reach their full potential. But setting the goals is only one part of the process. If you want to keep your employees motivated, you need to recognize (and celebrate!) when they achieve those goals.

Here are a few recognition message examples you might use with an employee after they hit one of their goals:

  • There was never a doubt in my mind you’d accomplish this, but now that you have? Just want to say congratulations on hitting your goal!
  • Incredible job hitting this goal! You really knocked it out of the park.
  • You consistently impress me with your ability to not only set ambitious goals, but to achieve them.

Recognition messages for when an employee contributes to the team above and beyond their role

For a team to function, every member has to show up and do their job. But for some team members, simply showing up and doing their job isn’t enough. They go above and beyond what their role calls for to do their best work, support their co-workers, and elevate the team.

And those team members deserve some serious recognition.

Here are a few employee recognition message examples for when a team member exceeds expectations and contributes to the team above and beyond their role:

  • Thanks for your contribution today. You really went above and beyond!
  • Thanks for going above and beyond today. Your efforts make our team stronger!
  • I just want you to know that your commitment to this team and your willingness to step up and do what needs to be done — even if it falls outside of your job title — doesn’t go unnoticed.

Example recognition messages for a work anniversary

You want to keep top performers on your team for as long as possible. And one way to do that? Acknowledge when they’ve put in a full year on your team. Celebrating work anniversaries is a great way to show employees you appreciate their hard work and dedication. And hopefully, keep them committed to your team through their next anniversary.

Here are a few examples of messages to share with your team when they’re celebrating a year, five years, or another milestone anniversary with your team/organization:

  • Happy work anniversary! You make this company a better place to work every year you’re here.
  • Another work anniversary, another year I’m grateful to work with you!
  • Over the past year, you’ve showed up, you’ve worked hard, you’ve supported your team, and you’ve knocked your goals out of the park. Happy work anniversary. We’re so lucky to have you! Can’t wait to see what’s coming in the year ahead.

Recognition message examples for a noteworthy attitude

An employee who shows up to work with a great attitude can completely change the vibe of the team. They’re easier to work with, they’re fun to be around, and they make for a more positive, supportive work environment. Attitude is everything — and when you have an employee with the kind of attitude that positively impacts the team, it’s important to recognize it.

Here are a few examples of employee recognition messages to use with team members who bring an A+ attitude to work each day:

  • Working hard is important. But working kind is just as important, and you’ve nailed both! Thanks for being such a pleasure to work with.
  • Your positive attitude is contagious, and it makes our team (and our organization!) better. Thanks for bringing the positivity to work every day!
  • Your optimism, happiness, and overall positive attitude is an attribute to this team. Thank you for being you!

Messages to recognize employee efforts when times are hard

All the examples we’ve covered so far have been about recognizing employees when things are going well. And while it’s important to recognize your team when things are on the up and up, it’s just as important to recognize them when things aren’t going so well.

Motivation has a tendency to dip when times are hard. For example, during a challenging project, when a key team member leaves, or during times of transition or change with your company leadership. If you want to keep your team moving forward during challenging times, a little recognition goes a long way.

Here are a few recognition messages you can use to recognize your employees’ efforts when work is more challenging, hard, or uncertain:

  • I know things haven’t been easy. But I just wanted to thank you for always showing up and supporting this team, even when it’s hard.
  • Things have been tough, but every day you show up, roll up your sleeves, and make things happen. Thanks for pushing through, we appreciate you!
  • It’s easy to show up with a smile on your face when things are going well. But you’ve continued to show up with a smile on your face, even when things have been tough. Thanks for all you do!

Use these employee recognition messages to show your employees they’re valued

Recognition is a key tool in motivating and inspiring your employees. And with these employee recognition messages examples, you have everything you need to acknowledge, recognize, and celebrate your employees and inspire them to do their best work in the process.