Organizational Wellness

Your Guide to Employee Spotlights (With Ideas and Examples)

Jun 6, 2023
Last Updated May 15, 2024

Employees are the foundation of your company. As a human resources leader, you probably know how important it is to recognize your employees for all of that hard work. There are plenty of great ways to reward employees, and employee spotlights can be an extremely effective tactic. 

Employee spotlight initiatives help foster a culture of recognition that can makes your team feel valued and appreciated. And everyone wins when that happens: Employees who feel that recognition is a strong part of their company's culture are 91% more likely to thrive at work. 

Let’s get down to how you can leverage the power of recognition at your organization!


What is an Employee Spotlight?

An employee spotlight is a recognition program that focuses on celebrating and recognizing the work of individual employees. They publicly acknowledge those who go above and beyond in their roles or contributed significantly to the company.

These initiatives involve external and/or internal recognition by highlighting an employee's history, skills, successes, and accomplishments. Spotlights may include interviews with the employee, showcasing their work experience and background, sharing details about their successes and achievements, or discussing how they contribute to their team and the organization.

Where Do Companies Share Employee Spotlights?

Companies can promote employee spotlights both internally and externally.

  • Internal employee spotlights can be used to recognize the hard work of individuals within a company and provide motivation to strive for excellence. This is also a great way for employees to get to know colleagues in different departments. You can share internal spotlights via email, a company messaging platform, or a company wiki. 
  • External employee spotlights can be used as a way to showcase team members' successes and accomplishments to attract talent or build relationships with customers and partners. You can post these spotlights on social media platforms, in a company newsletter, or on your website, such as your About Us or Careers pages.

Benefits of Employee Spotlights 

Employee spotlights are a great way to boost morale and show appreciation for your team's hard work. By prioritizing these spotlights, you can increase employee engagement and retention and attract top talent.

Increased Employee Engagement

When managers frequently acknowledge employees for their efforts, it encourages them to strive for greater success, leading to higher levels of engagement, according to one study.

There are many reasons why companies want their employees to be engaged. Compared to disengaged employees, engaged employees are more likely to:

  • Be more productive and creative.
  • Contribute to organizational success.
  • Foster a company culture of trust and collaboration.
  • Have better relationships with colleagues and management.
  • Show greater loyalty to the organization.
  • Stay longer in their positions.

Improved Employee Retention

Research has shown that employees are more likely to stay at a job where they are recognized, valued, and appreciated. In one survey, nearly half of the employees (46%) said they left a job because they felt unappreciated.

Highlighting the accomplishments of your employees shows them that you do appreciate them. If you can show your teams you appreciate their accomplishments and everything they do for your company, they’ll be more likely to stay with you.

Attract Top Talent

Job seekers are often looking for more than just a job where they can log eight hours a day. They want to do fulfilling work in a positive culture. Job seekers often want to learn about what it’s really like to work at a company, and one of the primary ways they learn about a company's culture is through its employees. By showcasing your employees through employee spotlights on your social platforms or LinkedIn, you can demonstrate what’s great about working for your company and what you offer employees.

Five Employee Spotlight Examples

There are many different ways to spotlight employees. These examples are cost- and time-effective — they don't take a ton of time, and you can do them without a big budget.

  1. Employee Questionnaires or Q&A Sessions

Asking employees questions can make an employee feel heard and show that you value what they have to say. Questionnaires or Q&A sessions help foster relationships between employees and management and provide a space for employees to share their successes and accomplishments. These sessions can be done via a written interview or in-person meeting.

You can ask your employees about their work history, experience, accomplishments, and interests. Share the Q&A –– via a short video or write-up –– as a social media post or on the company's internal communication channels.

  1. Project Highlights

Recognize employees who successfully completed projects. This shines a light on your employees’ specific skills and contributions to their teams and your company’s success. 

You can call out multiple employees and talk about their specific contributions to the project that made it successful. You can also share details about the project, including the employee's role, any challenges they’ve faced, and the outcomes the team or employee achieved. 

Project highlights are primarily an internal way to spotlight employees, since external folks likely don't lack context for company initiatives and goals. 

  1. Employee Recognition Awards

An official or company-wide award can go a long way in acknowledging your employees’ contributions and dedication. Consider setting up a regularly occurring plan to give out recognition awards. For example, you can hold an annual in-person employee recognition event or hold one virtually through a monthly recognition program. 

After announcing the recognition award(s) internally, consider sharing it externally on your company's blog, news page, or social media.

  1. Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Encouraging peer-to-peer recognition allows employees to recognize and appreciate one another. This type of recognition helps foster a positive work culture where team members can easily collaborate with one another. Peer recognition can also create a sense of belonging among employees.

You can set up a program where team members can recognize each other's achievements and contributions. Consider asking employees to nominate their coworkers for their hard work or exceptional performance. 

  1. Employee Day in the Life Video

Employee “day in the life” videos offer an interesting and relatable way to show off the personalities, responsibilities, and accomplishments of your team members. By creating these videos, viewers can get an inside look at what it's like to work in a certain role or department.

You can create these videos for either external, internal employee spotlights, or both. This spotlight tactic is especially useful for attracting talent to your organization and culture. When used internally, it can help other employees understand if they want to move into another role. When posted externally, it can act as a testimonial, helping to showcase your company culture to potential job candidates. 

Employee Spotlights Go Hand-in-Hand With Employee Wellbeing

When you regularly recognize your employees, it can foster a culture where employees can succeed. And your employees want to be part of a culture where they can thrive. A study by WorkHuman shows that employees are twice as likely to feel positive about their lives when they feel a sense of wellbeing at work.

In addition to employee spotlights, a wellness program can further promote a sense of wellbeing among your employees that makes them want to stick around. In fact, 93% of employees consider their wellbeing at work to be equally important to their salary. Wellness programs can help improve work-life wellness for your employees by giving more structure to their wellness routines or goals and providing them with resources. 

Do you want to learn more about how wellness programs can boost employee wellbeing? Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist today.

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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