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4 Recognition Trends We Expect in 2021

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We are optimistic for 2021 to be a year of recovery – and with that recovery will come change and innovation, both in our industry and beyond.  With so much of the business world changing around us, we expect the following recognition trends to be most impactful towards employee motivation and morale:

Social Recognition Will Grow

Social Recognition is already an important and popular feature in successful programs.  And with so many of us now working remote or hybrid schedules, many of our regular interactions with coworkers have fundamentally changed.  Staying connected virtually when we’re physically apart can be as critically important to both morale and company culture – and using Social Recognition to help facilitate this connection in a positive way will be valuable in the months ahead.

More Focus on Employee Wellness

One thing we learned from the last year was the importance of supporting employees’ physical and emotional well-being.  Programs and initiatives which aligned with this objective became important tools as we adjusted to the changes we all experienced in 2020.  In fact, they were so valuable and well-received that we expect they are here to stay.  We believe in creating an intentional Culture of Recognition, and we’ve seen the impact this can make in all areas of work life.

Rethinking Top-Tier Recognition

Top-tier rewards will continue to evolve in 2021.  For many companies, travel and experiential rewards have been an important part of their recognition strategy for quite some time.  That landscape changed in 2020, and as the travel industry recovers, many companies have begun to think about meaningful alternatives to this wonderful reward option.  Personalized, concierge rewards will be on-trend in 2021.  These afford the opportunity to both adapt to make these rewards personal, as well as create a truly luxury experience, with a high level of service and impressive reward items.

Growth of Peer to Peer Recognition

Already a valuable component of many successful reward and recognition programs, peer-to-peer recognition will continue its upward trend in 2021.  As with social recognition, fostering positive connections between employees through a strong peer-to-peer program can help business create and sustain a culture of recognition.  Giving employees a meaningful, tangible way to show each other appreciation for hard work and a job well done compliments manager recognition initiatives to make comprehensive programs and strengthen the Cycle of Motivation.

We look forward to an exciting year of innovation and adaptation as the business world adjusts to a new normal and an evolving recognition landscape. Reach out to us at to learn more!

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