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Rewards and recognition

You feel appreciated when your colleagues and managers reward you and praise you for your effort. Without this recognition, you may become frustrated, burned out and stressed. Read more here about rewards and recognition and what you can do as an employee, a manager or a member of the health and safety group.

VIDEO - INSPIRATION FOR STAFF MEETING - watch this video and talk about how how you can recognise each other and what kind of rewards would be meaningful for you (in Danish with English subtitles).

Understanding rewards and recognition

When do you feel appreciated? And how do you help others feel appreciated?

How to work on recognition and rewards

Feeling unappreciated can lead to frustration, burnout and stress.

For employees

For employees

Do you feel appreciated?

As an employee, you can ask yourself a number of questions about feeling appreciated. Both with regards to rewards (concrete rewards) and the way in which you give each other feedback.

Your needs – ask yourself:
  • Why are rewards, recognition, development and salary important to me, and what is most important?
  • What do I want to achieve? Recognition in everyday work, more education, an extra day off, a higher salary or…?
  • What kind of reward can I achieve?
  • Do I feel appreciated for my work?
  • Do you know the criteria for rewards (pay, bonuses, pay supplements and other benefits such as continuing training)? If not, be curious and look for answers.
How do we talk to each other?
  • Do we praise each other and give positive feedback (between colleagues and to/from managers)?
  • How do we tell each other when we want something to change? Is it harsh criticism or constructive feedback?
  • Do we say good morning and goodbye, do we welcome colleagues back when returning from illness and absence – do we remember each other’s special days?

Here is what you can do

Once you have thought about the questions, you could consider what you and your colleagues can do yourselves. Here are some examples others have found useful:

Praise each other

You can help build a culture at your workplace in which you praise each other and give each other positive feedback for being helpful, cheerful, making an effort, displaying products attractively, etc.

Praise and positive feedback should of course always be honest and sincere – otherwise it’ll have the opposite effect.

Talk about the small successes

You can make your work visible by talking about your successes or contributions to successes. This could be:

  • A satisfied customer who has praised you
  • That you dealt well with an unsatisfied customer
  • That the display set up generated additional sales.

If you don’t talk about your positive experiences, they will not be visible to colleagues and managers. Your colleagues will therefore not be able to recognise and reward you for your efforts. Drawing attention to yourself can be difficult. For many, it’s easier to praise a colleague.

Remember: Help each other

If you help highlight a colleague’s good work, it’s very likely that he or she will do the same for you.

For managers

Recognition and rewards

It makes sense to look at how you can reward your employees and make sure that they feel appreciated.

When recognition and rewards are used wisely, they are a strong management tool to achieve the goals of the company.

Recognition and rewards increase employee engagement and motivation, whereas lack of recognition and rewards can lead to frustration, burnout, stress and a feeling of worthlessness.

Video films

The film at the top of the page is a good place to start, because it’s a fictitious workplace. Include the film on the agenda for a staff meeting (and perhaps look under “Materials” in the menu for a staff meeting guide).

Remember: Watch the film carefully before the meeting, so that you know exactly what it’s about.

Staff meeting

Prepare yourself for what you’re going to say at the meeting. Consider whether you want to come to a conclusion at the meeting, or whether you need more time to think about what’s being said before launching any initiatives.

Being clear about your expectations when the meeting begins will ensure that employees’ expectations about reaching a conclusion and any actions are aligned with what you’ve planned.

If you want to introduce rewards and recognition, you can use the material on this page.

Here is what you can do:

Below are a number of specific initiatives other managers have found useful:


Think about the following

Rewards and recognition
  • When do I want to reward a work effort?
  • What kind of reward (recognition, development opportunities or salary) can I give?
  • Do I remember to recognise my employees’ work efforts?
  • Also in specific situations?
  • Do my employees think that I praise and recognise them fairly?
  • Do they think that I do this based on clear criteria and without unfair treatment?
Is it me?
  • Do I praise and recognise my employees, or do I mostly think about doing it?
  • What’s holding me back?
  • How do I give criticism?
  • Is it constructive or merely critical?
  • Do I think about the background and situation of the employee?
  • How do I support employees?
  • In what situations do I support them?
  • When do they need my support?
Feedback and recognition
  • Is there generally a positive, appreciative and praising culture in the workplace?
  • Do you say good morning and goodbye, thank each other when receiving help, do you welcome each other back when returning from illness and absence, and do you remember each other’s special days?

Tools and links

Related pages on Det du mærker

For health and safety groups

The work of the health and safety group

The health and safety group does not have a clearly defined responsibility in ensuring rewards and recognition at the workplace.  Through the health and safety risk assessment (APV), the employee satisfaction survey, surveys of your psychosocial working conditions, or through some other channel, you may receive feedback from employees about:

  • Recognition from management and colleagues
  • Feeling noticed, heard and respected
  • Fair treatment and distribution of staff benefits
  • The nature of criticism and praise.

If there are positive reports, you can capitalise further on your good experiences. If there are negative reports, then rewards and recognition can be a way to improve things.

Here is what you can do

The quick method

If you want to address the subject of rewards and being appreciated at a small workplace, a simple staff meeting may be a good place to start. The meeting will help you put your experiences and thoughts into words. At the end of the meeting, you can all assess whether there is a need to launch initiatives.

  • Watch the film about rewards together.
  • Talk about the film: What is it like at our workplace?
  • What can we do to make us feel more appreciated?
Initiatives based on a health and safety risk assessment

You can conduct a health and safety risk assessment (APV) with special focus on the psychosocial working conditions and examine the factors that affect the experience of recognition and rewards.

There are several ways to conduct a health and safety risk assessment:

  • The dialogue method by which you identify the problems at a staff meeting and discuss causes and solutions together.
  • The questionnaire method by which you collect employees’ opinions and experiences in writing, and then find causes and solutions either in the health and safety group or at a staff meeting.

Tools and links

Related pages on Det du mærker