In one of the seminars I conducted for Lopez Sugar Corporation 

“sending your staff to training will not only enhance the skills, knowledge and attitude of your staff, it will also increase their morale knowing the investment you gave them”


Many organizations spend so much money on recruiting and hiring new staff.   But I cannot understand some organizations  pay a little attention on how to retain the best people they hire. I suppose if an employee adds value to your organization, then it’s common sense to have some sort of employee recognition.

I need not cite a research to strengthen my claims, but based on my experience (am sure with yours too), motivated employees are more productive and are less likely to look for another  job.

For any manager or entrepreneurs managing people, you need to understand the psychology of praising others for their good work and  practice  the principles of employee recognition  in order to be really effective in your jobs.

Recognition is part of the basic needs of men, according to Maslow.   Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued. When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work.

Of course, nothing is free nowadays. Recognition has a cost. But there are thousands of ways to appreciate and reward the good performance of your employees depending on what you can afford.


The author with Hon Jocelle Sigue and First Lady Josefa Puentebella:  When I was given a recognition by the City of Bacolod in the field of visual arts

Here are my top  10 Ways of Recognizing Employees:

  1. Praise an employee publicly for a job well done. The cheapest way to recognize a job well done is to say it publicly. Say “very good” as often as you can whenever you see a job done very well.
  2. Say “Thank you”  for their hard work and contributions.  One may say “why say thank you to people when they are paid to do the job anyway?” Well’ just remember this, not everyone does an excellent job; not everyone  goes an extra mile; not  everyone works  as neat as the secretary who work with you for more than 20 years already… the list can go on…

A deaf-mute food server I meet in Palawan. In her shirt a line which says: “Deaf, Proudly working”

3. Remember or ask your secretary to remind you of the birthdays of your employees. A greeting card or a simple gift will surely make your subordinates happy. I remember in one company I worked with before as an HR Executive, we spare a small budget for a very simple birthday cake for our employees.

4. If you can afford, give money!. Who doesn’t like money as an incentive?   Year end  bonuses, perfect attendance  bonuses, quarterly bonuses or gift certificates.

5. Simple gifts matter. Whenever you travel, don’t forget to buy little inexpensive (made it expensive if you can afford) pasalubong for your staff—this is a popular Filipino tradition. Last month I even raffled off the cellular phone I got from Globe. Thanks to globe for the phone .:)


“Share a good time with your staff over a cup of coffee”

6. Take a staff who did a very good job  to a lunch or just a coffee in a nice cafe.  I guess almost everyone appreciates food.  Let your guest pick the restaurant of course. In my own small handicraft business, for example, each year we compete in a design competition, of course I usually promised to give a treat to everyone each time we received a recognition. In effect they try their best to come up with a real product out of my design.

“Pancit Lomi  has been never expensive, but it brings a smile to the face of everyone in the workplace”

7. Bring food for everyone. If your budget cannot accommodate everyone for a good dinner, then bring food for everybody whenever the team did a laudable performance. Our staff  at the Jojo Vto Designs Gallery really loves whenever I bring a casserole of  Arroz Caldo or pancit Lomi or Pancit Bihon whenever I asked everyone to work overtime whenever we have shipments or delivery. Pancit Lomi  has been never expensive, but it brings a smile to the face of everyone.

“Merzci Breads and Pastries’ Outing: The ATV was sent by the owner of the company for his people to enjoy..”

8.  Create a fun tradition. When I was still an HR Executive before one of the program I created for summer is our annual “Summer Fun”. We bring our staff for an overnight stay in a not so expensive resort (not so expensive because we’re too many) and create some crazy activities which everyone love. Of course the program was in consultation with employees. We also do a lot of themed parties where everyone comes in costume including the top executives. Another activity which our employees loved at that time was our annual sport fest, complete with an opening salvo, parade with muses, cheering contest and many more. Ideas to create a tradition of fun is unlimited…


“The People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP)-Negros Chapter. I had been a member of this professional organization since the 1980’s and I always thank my former boss for supporting my membership in this group”

9. Send your people in an out of town training or have them attend professional association meetings and represent your organization at civic and philanthropic events. These activities  will not only enhance the skills, knowledge and attitude of your staff, it will also increase their morale knowing the investment you gave them.


Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod has an annual budget for these trophies to be given to their Outstanding Employees.     Trophies by Jojo Vito Designs Gallery

10.Formal recognition. Inclusion of your employee of the month in your company publication can spur people on. It can give people that five minutes of fame and instill pride in their performance. Of course, who doesn’t like receiving a Plaque of recognition or Trophies for their performances? The actual reward process can be a very public affair with an Oscar or FAMAS  like a presentation evening in a hotel. Or it can be a simple event  in the  office and a smile and handshake behind closed doors. Either way, the staff member and their peers will realize that their efforts are appreciated and rewarded and acknowledged.

Employee recognition  is never old fashion. Make a difference by demonstrating your gratitude to your corporate heroes.


Artisans of Jojo Vito Designs Gallery taking a pose after completing the trophies they made for Dinagyang Festival 2015


  1. Jude Michael Belicano

    I totally agree “motivated employees are more productive and are less likely to look for another job” . since we are contented with our job or happy with what we are doing we can do more positive things.

  2. Employees are not just to acknowledge their work but also to motivate them to continue with the same passion. It is a fact that organizations that make recognition a priority are highly successful.

  3. If you appreciate the work of an employee, that certain person will feel good that he/she is appreciated of what he/she does. that
    person will just automatically do better or to do more to be appreciated. All the hard works can be paid off with a simple appreciation.

  4. Rasha Mustafa

    As an employee,It is very important to know that your work is valued and appreciated because it improves morale.And it enhances loyalty.Working in aviation as a cabin crew has a lot of boss.Our day will become brigther if our passengers will recognise that the flight is amazing because of our perfect service.Having a good positive boss can create an comfortble harmony in each employee.I love this blogg because of the content and you will be able to express and appreciate the possitivity of your boss,company and your job.

  5. Rasha Mustafa

    As an employee.It is important that our work is valued and appreciated.I am thankful for having a good boss most of my flight.Working in aviation company is not pleasing 1 boss only.Passengers is our boss,Our supervisor every flight and our boss in the office is different 🙂
    So it is a big plus in your day if somebody will recognise that flight is amazing because of you because of your good job inflight or in work field.I love this blog so much because this is for us employee to be able to appreciate the possitivity that your company or boss given to you.

  6. Ana Mae G. Trencio BSBA-HRM 2016

    I definitely agree, when your employees see that they are just as important to the organization as someone in a more prominent role, they will become more engaged as a result.

  7. Richve A. Dema-ala

    I wish my company visits this site and get ideas on giving value, specially to us in a BPO industry where we are oblige to provide good customer satisfaction yet no applause nor recognition were given when we did well. It could have been encouraging for call center agents, whose job required egos to be battered on a daily basis; to highlight our Kudos more than our Red Flags.

  8. Showing appreciation to employees doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money. A sincere “thank you” will do and effective.
    Employee recognition help employees feel valued, appreciated, motivated and happy to come to work each day.

  9. Maria Ercie G. Magbanua

    I hope other bosses realize how important for an employee to be recognized. So sad that I have known a person in a high position who doesn’t do that. I will suggest that our office should hold a seminar/training specifically for this one. It’s a big honor that we can invite sir Jojo Vito to be the trainor/resource speaker.

    Maria Ercie G. Magbanua LCCB – ETEAAP

  10. Karen P. Montellano

    Employees never leave a company that motivates and gives recognition to their hard work. Aside from the incentives or rewards they receive, they will remain loyal to the company they’re in because they feel appreciated and they will always do more than is expected.

  11. ma.noragison@yahoo.com

    Recognition of an employee by their supervisors are contributed and motivated the employee to do their task more harder to overshoot their targets and accomplishments.

  12. Rodena Zuniga Vilches

    Motivated employees are productive employees. Employers/bossess must not only remove things that discourage their staffs/employees but also insert positive elements that may encourage them to go extra mile for their job. Appreciating or giving recognition of a job well done is an excellent way to motivate them. In that way they may also feel that they are part of something important.
    -R.Z Vilches

  13. Ma. febe Legaspi

    Motivation is important since employee can effectively work and perform well in his task. It will change their mindset and always hit the goal.

    Ma. Febe Legaspi
    HR 2015

  14. Anjo Ferraris

    Coming from an industry that puts high value on human capital I certainly agree that retention is the best way to go and that employee recognition plays an important role in keeping employees. To add to the 10 different ways cited, what other better way of recognizing employees other than offering them a career path and developmental training.

  15. Christy Mae Tenila

    For me, the best formula for recognizing an individual for their efforts is thank the person by name specifically state what was done that is being recognized. HRM2015

  16. Sheila Memoria. HR2015

    A simple thank you or a pat on the back will surely go a long way for your staff. The person will feel important ang will appreciate it.

  17. This is a very nice read. Recognition is very essential especially in my corporate world where retention is at its minimal.

    Antonio Jose Ferraris HRM2015

  18. As an employee we are very happy when our bosses appreciated our work and our contribution to our organization by appreciating our accomplishment in our organization.

  19. I always love when my boss bring food for us to celebrate without any important event, she always says its for everybody.. 🙂

  20. Ruth Angila Vaflor

    The little things we do matter to the people we work with, i agree with giving small gifts to performing employees and for extra work that needs to be done, it makes them feel appreciated and respected as individuals. Small actions that contribute to better productivity “kai-zen”.

  21. I read an article once that said “Happy employees equals happy customers; and in turn happy customers equals good business”. It is always valued by any individual once he/she is being recognized, small acts of recognition if the company can’t afford grand bonuses or prizes sometimes is enough for people to be more motivated. Very informative article with a lot of insights.

    Leidor Cuenza – BSBA HRM 2015

  22. Jeli Grace Alvarez

    Employer should know how to take care of there employee. Once a person is appreciated even in small ways will keep them motivated and inspired to do more in there work!

  23. Ignacio C. Eboseo Jr.

    I really like this blog because you’re given an opportunity to express your opinion and ideas:)

  24. Grace Tanjusay

    Employee recognition is not only a nice thing to do for people who are working under your business or company, it is also a good communication tool that will encourage employees to give more positive outcomes. As an employee myself, a recognition will not only boost my morale, but it will definitely motivate me to better my performance. – HRM2015

  25. Rizza Rebadomia

    I couldn’t agree more! Employee recognition is something that most employers tend to forget, or worse, disregard. Happiness don’t require luxury. A simple “good job!” can mean a lot to an employee. (HR2015)

  26. Marvin Panes

    Even a simple congratulation for a job well done is OK. My previous area supervisor would always congratulate me for I always top the monthly ranking, this simple gesture mean a lot to me for I was being recognize for what I have done. This gives me more reason to do more and to deliver what they expected from me.

  27. Verlaine Sales

    I definitely agree to this. Employees respond to appreciation expressed through recognition of their good work because it confirms their work is valued. When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work thus making a fun working environment.

  28. This is true! Once staff is being recognized by a job well done, this leads them to be more productive on their work. So much so, staff are more likely to stay with the company.

  29. Mai Hernandez

    Employee recognition is really a very good tool for motivation. In the company I’m with, the management (as much as possible) tries to recognize a job well done by every employee. Especially that we are working in a foreign land, it is our company’s goal to keep all employees motivated, confident, and happy. I will definitely share this article to my boss so we will have 10 more ways in recognising employees.

  30. Carlo Magno

    In any situation, positive reinforcement is indeed effective. This Blog is really worth sharing to enhance workforce and encourage employees to love what they are doing. By recognizing those hard working employees, they will realize that they are not just doing their jobs but more on working hard for a career.

    C. Magno

  31. I consider employee engagement as a priority when managing team productivity and the working environment, happy employees equals good business.

  32. Jo Cherryl Javellana

    This sure was very informative. I hope every business owners, HR, leaders or anyone who is the position to do the things you’ve mentioned would be able to read so employees could really get the motivation and drive to do better in their workplace. I personally would keep these tips in mind. Thank you! 🙂

    – Jo Cherryl

  33. Joel Lagunilla

    This is very true. When I received the plaque of recognition as one of the best employee in region 6, I was in ecstasy and was so motivated to even work harder. For this year, the reward is a free trip to Palawan, hence I’m working my ass off to go there… Hahaha

  34. Norman Villa Jr

    This is very helpful! Especially I worked as a supervisor. Appreciating your people is one way of motivating them to do good and excel in the business industry. Thanks for sharing sir Joji!

    Norman Villa

  35. I definitely agree that employee recognition is important. Some employers make the mistake of thinking that it’s expensive but it doesn’t have to be.

  36. I agree it’s cheaper to keep a good talent than to reinvest frequently on new employees. We really need to keep their morale up and have a good career path for them.

  37. worth sharing 🙂

  38. oh i wish all bosses and company was like that! not any single day i would waste, its such overwhelming receiving appreciation from your boss, much more if you all those aforementioned are well applied,it feels like you are well compensated and treasured not just because for a job well done but because you know your company took care of you as a employee.

  39. Employees begin to love the company they are working for when they feel they are appreciated and and their efforts are recognized.

  40. This is one of the many things I always suggest to my bosses when I was in the corporate world. As much as we want to give our full attention to our customers, there is a need to make our employees feel special as well. 🙂

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