Companies Known for Their Superior Recognition Programs

Employees want their efforts and achievements to be recognized by those in charge. When a worker does not feel appropriately valued by their employer, they will not hesitate to leave their position in search of an organization that places the wellbeing of their workforce at a higher priority.

Amidst the Great Resignation, more workers than ever before are on the hunt for employers who can show they care about the energy and accomplishments of their staff. Businesses should take inspiration from organizations known for their employee recognition programs, which consistently keep workers at the highest levels of contentment and performance:

Walt Disney World

The most magical place on Earth is committed to being a magical place of employment, as well. Disney boasts over 180 employee recognition programs, giving workers dozens of ways to earn praise and rewards. One of the most interesting and indisputably unique recognition programs from Disney is the Spirit of Fred Award, which is an annual award given to a cast member at Walt Disney World who models dependability and friendliness — just like Fred, a longtime employee who crafts the plaques himself.


Apple has developed its employee recognition program around the concept of celebration. Throughout the year, the tech giant hosts a variety of parties and gatherings on its Cupertino campus, which are intended to allow employees to take a break from their sometimes-intense work schedules and find fun in different forms. Equally important, Apple celebrates high-achieving workers with career-building opportunities, which fosters loyalty in its increasingly skilled and knowledgeable staff.


Rather than singling out an employee with a reward, Groupon strives to bring a high-performing worker closer to the team. Every work anniversary — internally called a Grouponiversary — earns an employee a bright-green Adidas track jacket personalized to the worker’s preference and boasting stars patches for every year of service. Thus, employees are strongly incentivized to stay by the drive to match their coworkers’ special style.  

Motley Fool

Employee Appreciation Day comes around once per year — and workplaces that did not celebrate in 2022 already missed their chance. Fortunately for employees at Motley Fool, leaders at this tech company decided long ago that once per year was not nearly often enough to celebrate the effort and achievements of their staff. Motley Fool hosts dozens of employee recognition events every year to give their workforce plenty of opportunities to relax, have fun and enjoy the fruits of their effort.


Online retailer Zappos puts the power of the company’s culture of recognition in the hands of the workforce. Instead of relying on leaders to organize appreciation events or offer recognition for jobs well done, Zappos provides employees with the opportunity to reward one another with $50 when they have accomplished something that benefits the team. What’s more, the company maintains the Zollar Program, which allows workers to build up points through recognition that allows them to purchase items of value from the Zappos shop, like gym bags and water bottles. Thus, Zappos employees have more control over what recognition means to them.


Salesforce is best known for providing cloud computing solutions that keep organizations well-organized, but its workers develop a strong loyalty to the company thanks to its “Aloha culture.” This culture of recognition is founded on the kind, honest interactions that provide comfort and support to the workforce. When it comes to recognition, Salesforce is exceedingly generous, giving its employees all sorts of treats and goodies — including Giants tickets to any worker who provides a referral for a new hire.


Nike makes sure to recognize the effort of every employee at every level of the organization in every corner of the globe. Today, the international shoe manufacturer offers all sorts of incredible perks, from paid sabbaticals to tuition assistance — to employees’ families as well as the workers themselves. This commitment to physical and mental health and wellness is what keeps Nike’s staff excited and engaged.

These organizations demonstrate the importance of thinking about the workforce as people who need support and encouragement in exciting and interesting ways. Business leaders should consider how they can craft employee recognition programs that provide a unique and authentic appreciation for their workers.

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