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Employee recognition: a simple way to get started

Discover how to start with employee recognition through our guide. Implement a simple, effective tool to appreciate team efforts and boost morale.


A woman at work who is very engaged

Employee recognition refers to the acknowledgement and appreciation of an individual or team's work, dedication, and achievements. It's a key aspect of workplace culture that helps reinforce the values and goals of a company.

The four basic types of recognition include public, private, monetary, and promotional recognition or rewards. Specific and popular examples include giving handwritten thank-you notes, celebrating employee work anniversaries, presenting President's Club awards, and issuing end-of-year bonuses.

In this post, we'll look at only public recognition and specifically, a way to set up an online leaderboard. Each of the other types of recognition are large and nuanced topics in themselves which deserve their own separate treatment.

Before getting started

Before diving in, it's important to understand that public recognition via a platform is part of a broader mindset and company culture. Recognition should not be seen as a one-off task or a box-ticking exercise. Rather, it should be part of a series of genuine, heartfelt initiatives that aim to appreciate and value employees consistently.

A successful recognition strategy is multifaceted and should:

  • Be sincere and authentic, avoiding a mechanical or impersonal approach. For instance, if you were to feel embarrassed explaining it in an all-hands, then you need to return to the drawing board.
  • Reflect the diversity of achievements and contributions across the organization. Some people make contributions that are much harder to measure. How can you recognize that?
  • Complement other forms of appreciation and recognition within the company.
  • Align with your company's values and culture. To give an extreme example: you should not be rewarding your employees with flights to the Bahamas if your company's mission is fighting climate change.

Introducing the Recognition Board

A recognition board, particularly in the form of an online leaderboard, offers a dynamic and public way to honor achievements and contributions.

At, we've designed our leaderboards to cut through the complexity and offer a straightforward, fun solution for boosting engagement. Unlike other tools that can be heavy and pricey, our app is all about easy setup, instant recognition, and customization to your team’s specific needs.

Once you have created a leaderboard, you can share it via a link, embed it on a page ( like Sharepoint) or display it on a TV in the office.

Finally, creating a simple leaderboard is a good way of experimenting. You do not need to commit a large sum of money or management/executive time. It's a good way of testing the waters and building on that foundation.

Ideas for what to track on your recognition board

Because we'll be using a leaderboard, you need to track something numeric, something you can count! This will be very specific to your company or situation, and we can only give you some general ideas.

Here are some ideas for categories you can measure:

  • Kudos from Colleagues: Allow team members to send kudos or expressions of gratitude for their colleagues. This encourages peer recognition and builds a supportive team environment.
  • Top Performers in Key Areas: Recognize those who close the most bugs, make the most sales calls, or close the most support tickets. This not only celebrates high achievers but also motivates others.
  • Customer Satisfaction Champions: Acknowledge reps or support agents who achieve the highest customer satisfaction scores, reinforcing the importance of exceptional service.
  • Innovation and Improvement Leaders: Highlight individuals or teams who contribute innovative ideas or significant improvements to processes or products.
  • Learning and Development: Celebrate those who have completed key training programs or certifications, encouraging continuous personal and professional development.
  • Wellness and Work-Life Balance Advocates: Recognize employees who actively promote and engage in wellness and work-life balance activities, underlining their importance in the workplace.

These categories can be tailored to reflect your organization's needs. You will also need to set up a system of collecting this information. For instance, you could designate a person to collate the data once a week or month and enter it into the leaderboard.

Setting Up Your Leaderboard on

The DEFAULT leaderboard theme
The GAMING leaderboard theme
The SALES leaderboard theme
The BOLD leaderboard theme

You can set up a leaderboard like the ones shown above very quickly and easily.

  1. First, click on the above 👆 button and enter some basic data about your leaderboard.
  2. Enter your team member names in the appropriate field.
  3. Click on "CREATE LEADERBOARD" and you will see your newly created leaderboard.
  4. The final step is to customize it according to your needs. Click on the SETTINGS button, go to the "Select a theme" dropdown and choose a theme that suits you. You can read more about what you can customize in the customization guide. After that you can try changing colors and the font or adding a custom background image
  5. You can make the public view autoscroll, if you want to display the results on a screen. A double-click will make the leaderboard full-screen.
  6. That's it, you are done!
💡 Tip: If you have paid membership you can also upload images and logos to your leaderboard.
🚀 If our standard leaderboards are not what you require, we also build fully-customized solutions: find our more here.

Action Plan for Implementing Your Recognition Program

To wrap up, here's a list of steps that you can take to set up your own employee recognition leaderboard.

  1. Identify Key Recognition Categories: Decide on the categories you want to recognize - these should align with your company’s values and goals.

  2. Set Up Your Leaderboard: Use for easy setup. Choose a theme, customize the appearance, and enter the names of your team members.

  3. Communicate the Purpose: Clearly explain the purpose and mechanics of the leaderboard to your team. Ensure they understand it's a tool for positive reinforcement and appreciation.

  4. Encourage Participation: Motivate your team to participate actively. This could be through regular reminders, showcasing how to give kudos, or even demonstrations in team meetings.

  5. Update Regularly: Keep the leaderboard updated and ensure it reflects the current achievements and standings. Regular updates keep the competition lively and engaging.

  6. Celebrate and Reward: Beyond the leaderboard, consider how you might reward the top performers. This could be anything from public recognition in a meeting to small rewards or bonuses.

  7. Solicit Feedback and Iterate: After running your leaderboard for some time, get feedback from your team. Use this to make improvements or tweak your recognition program.

  8. Maintain Transparency and Fairness: Ensure the criteria for earning points or recognition are clear and applied consistently to all employees.

  9. Keep It Fun: Remember, the goal is to make recognition fun and engaging. Avoid making it feel like another metric for performance evaluation.

  10. Review and Reflect: Periodically review the impact of the recognition program on employee morale and engagement. Be ready to adapt as your team's needs evolve.

Employee recognition is a critical element of a thriving workplace culture. provides a straightforward, flexible way to implement this, enhancing team morale and engagement. By creating a transparent, interactive, and exciting recognition system, you'll not only acknowledge individual achievements but also foster a spirit of unity and collective success.