Making Recognition Stick:
How to Use Sticky Notes as a Recognition Tool

On the cover, the title of my book Thanks! GREAT Job! appears to have been written on a sticky note, which is just one example of a simple, easy-to-use, low-cost staff recognition tools described in the book. Sticky notes are easy to use. Just write your brief, Genuine message and stick it anywhere, or to anything:

  1. Sticky notes come in different shapes and colours. Select one shape or colour and reserve these notes just for acknowledging and praising staff. Soon staff members will come to understand that a green circle or purple square attached to a desk or computer screen is an expression of your gratitude—even before they read your message.
  2. Congratulate a staff member who is profiled or quoted in a magazine or newspaper, with a note attached to the article.
  3. Add your praise on a note attached to a positive letter or comment card from a customer.
  4. Thank a staff member for a well-written letter or report, on a note attached to the document.
  5. Make a newcomer feel part of the team with a welcoming note attached to a box of business cards.
  6. Encourage a deserving staff member to take a break, on a note attached to the individual’s favourite treat.
  7. Provide public recognition by posting notes on a bulletin board where they will be seen by others.
  8. Say thanks on a note attached to a book by the staff member’s favourite author, or on a topic of interest.
  9. Greet a staff member when he/she arrives, with a note attached to her desk or computer that expresses gratitude for a contribution made the previous day.
  10. Attach a sticky note to a photograph of a staff member at work before mailing it to the employee’s family: “Your parent/spouse/child makes an important contribution to our business. We enjoy having him/her on our staff. Thank you for sharing him/her with us.”
  11. Bundle evaluation forms collected at the end of a workshop that a staff member presented successfully. Deliver these to the presenter, but before you do, attach a sticky note on which you summarize the positive comments and add your own works of appreciation for a job well done.
  12. Present a package of “super sticky” notes to an employee, with a message that acknowledges the employee for “sticking to it” until a difficult task was completed.
  13. Welcome new staff members with a note attached to a treat or a gift card to a nearby coffee shop. Highlight one skill that you discovered during the hiring process and describe how you feel the newcomer will be able to use this skill on the job.
  14. Begin the day with a pad of sticky notes and a goal of leaving a brief expression of appreciation on each staff member’s desk before the day ends.
  15. Remind yourself to recognize staff on a note attached to your calendar, portfolio or on your bathroom mirror.
  16. When you witness someone doing a task well, express your appreciation with a brief message written on a sticky note, which you leave on the individual’s desk or attached to the employee’s toolkit.
  17. Create an instant coupon on a sticky note that can be exchanged for a drink or treat in the company cafeteria. Describe what the staff member did that entitles the bearer to a complimentary beverage or treat.

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