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GREEN Recognition

You know recognizing employees is the right thing to do but all the paper, certificates, mail, fuss makes you think twice! Do you find yourself asking, Can we do this a better way?

From all the employees that I have asked, the great majority say that their favorite recognition is a SINCERE THANK YOU. Keep this is mind, and move toward keeping your recognition simple, repeatable, and GREEN.

Try using these simple ideas to have a more environmentally friendly recognition program:

  • Use online services that send acknowledgements through email, several companies do this – try super certificates, Amazon gift cards, Borders books etc. Make sure to keep track of what you mailed to whom, when and the $ amount, at a minimum. You’ll want to check that recognitions have been received and used without problems, when you first start a program like this.
  • There are many choices, that you can combine with a fun theme. For example, a package of seeds for a newly started project, a coffee mug to replace the throw out cups, an email recognition for a local lunch spot, or letting a team member they can go home early to acknowledge a “job well done”.
  • Pay attention to packaging. The package should fit the item. If you select gift items carefully, you can find fun things that don’t require padding, and extensive packaging.
  • Avoid cheap gimicky plastic stuff and over-wrapped items.
  • Do you think  brown recycled paper is Too boring ?? ! !

– You can make your plain paper boxes and bags more interesting by  using stamps of stars on the bag, box or envelope. That will energize the look and the “home made” quality makes it feel more personal. When your team member feels that the recognition is JUST FOR THEM you have succeeded! That is a great thing for any recognition.


  • Share books among your team. If they are work-oriented, set aside a place in the office, a shelf for them to reside on.  If the books are fun reading, then make sure to mark them with a return to our reading shelf, or a label stating “Bring a book, borrow a book. These books are for our Team to share!” This sharing idea, works for DVDs and other media.
  • Take a Walk – organize a team outing, get outside. Take a walk or have a walking meeting.
  • Visit a museum as a team. Organize a docent to highlight the great art or exhibits.
  • Have Photo Contest, pick a theme, find volunteer judges, have a luncheon or organize the photos into a calendar.
  • Ask your co-workers to help you find a way to pick environmentally friendly acknowledgements. Spending time and thought on find the right solution makes recognition work for your team.
  • Consider planning a GREEN Event, Earth Day is a perfect place to start.  The celebration of Earth Day is  in April, there is a great deal of history, and suggestions on adding more conservation, recycling, new tools to your make your life greener.