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What Does Employee Recognition Look Like for the Post-Pandemic Workforce?

Vaccines have been rolled out, restrictions have been lifted, and businesses are coming out of “survival mode.” Even though we are halfway through 2021, it feels like a new beginning. Our next few blogs will be focusing on employee recognition, and I believe the best place to start this series is by taking a look at the new 2021 recognition landscape.

Power to the People

With so many companies hiring at once, and temporary unemployment benefits keeping people afloat, workers have leverage in the job market that hasn’t been seen in decades. Many who lost their jobs due to Covid layoffs want to find something more secure. They don’t want just any job, but a fulfilling one at a company that cares about them. In this climate, it’s up to businesses to make themselves appealing to qualified candidates. A great way to do this is to establish a culture of recognition at the company. When people feel recognized and valued for their work, they tend to be happier, more productive, and more engaged employees. This helps to create a positive work environment that candidates are searching for.

The Multi-Gen Workforce

In a truly unique turn of events, for the first time in modern history, there are 5 generations currently active in the US workforce! This includes the “Silent Generation,” “Boomers,” “”Gen X,” “Millennials,” and “Gen Z.” These age groups have many quirks and differences, but recognition is a common denominator. No matter what their age, people want to be recognized for their contributions to the company. However, if you have a multigenerational workforce, consider making recognition as easy as possible for those who are less tech-savvy. The last thing you want is to make employees feel excluded because they can’t get the hang of a fancy new recognition app.

Return of the Remoters

While Covid may have permanently changed the work-from-home landscape, many companies are asking their employees to come back to the office at least a few days a week. If you have remote workers returning, it’s a great idea to recognize them for their achievements while they were out of the office. Many remoters have grown to feel isolated and distant from the companies they work for. Reestablish the personal connection by visiting these people in person and welcoming them back (way better than a cold mass email). If you’re able, host in-person award ceremonies where everyone can come together and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Take advantage of the beautiful summer weather to have Covid-safe events – and recover from Zoom fatigue!

Award Trends

Not surprisingly, experiential gifts have taken a dive over the last year as travel and gatherings came to a halt. However, as more people get vaccinated, and barring any nasty variant outbreak, company trips and outings are expected to trend again. Health and wellness are also trending topics with more companies investing in the mental and physical health of their employees. It’s now becoming more popular to reward employees for meeting their wellness goals or completing a course to learn something new. This is a wonderful bounce-back from a year of stress, burnout, idleness, and uncertainty.

By now, we’re no strangers to change, and while the recognition landscape has shifted, it’s still as important as ever to recognize your workforce. Come back next week for more recognition insights from the recognition jewelry experts – us!


By Aubrey Dion

Aubrey Dion is proud to be back working for the family business she grew up in. Over the years, she has performed a wide variety of jobs in both the office and factory, becoming a true "jack of all trades." Aubrey credits her quick learning ability to her strong theatre background, where memorization and attention to detail are vital. Working in the marketing department allows her to stay creative and work on exciting new projects for the company.


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