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Employee Spotlights: What They Are and Why You Should Do Them

Updated April 4, 2024 · 13 min read

Recognizing the efforts of your team can often get lost in the shuffle. That’s why you need to have an employee spotlight program in your team.

Acknowledging significant contributions of your workforce is a nice thing to do. But we'll look at some reasons why you should start making this non-negotiable in your organization. Why do employee spotlights matter and how do you implement them?

In this article, we talk about this tool and teach you how to bridge the gap between intention and genuine appreciation.

What is an Employee Spotlight?

What is an Employee Spotlight

What exactly is an employee spotlight? It's an employee recognition program that involves acknowledging your outstanding employees regularly for their hard work and dedication. Normally, you would do this through employee testimonials.

Companies use employee spotlights to recognize their employees, build better company culture, promote a sense belonging and loyalty, and attract new hires. It’s also great for employer branding and even company promotions (more on that later).

Employee spotlights are a platform where your employees take center stage and share their experiences, journeys, and triumphs. It helps nurture a sense of community and pride among your workforce.

Moreover, it reinforces why they chose to be a part of your journey. From their remarkable achievements to the challenges they've conquered, employee spotlights capture the essence of each team member's unique story.

Some great examples of ways you can create employee spotlights include:

  • Creating a video spotlight for the outside world to see
  • Conducting a heartfelt interview and turning into a blog post in your company’s website
  • Adding employee testimonials to career pages
  • A simple photo accompanied by words of praise

These spotlights serve as a form of inspiration to your employees. Shining a spotlight and recognizing their contributions cultivate a workplace where each individual feels valued, heard, and truly appreciated.

Benefits of Having Employee Spotlight Programs

So, why should you bother creating employee spotlights in your team? Here are some clear benefits of creating spotlight programs in your organization.

1) Create a Positive Work Culture

Create a Positive Work Culture

Highlighting employees through an employee spotlight has a positive effect on the company's culture. It helps promote employee appreciation within organizations. It enables the acknowledgment of high-potential employees who demonstrate positive performance.

We’ve seen that this makes team members feel valued and appreciated. Studies show that almost half of employees would leave a company if they feel like they don’t get the recognition and praise they deserve.

Spotlights also highlight the organization’s commitment to honoring and valuing the voices of its workforce. You can use this as a positive testimony for potential employees as well.

2) Delight your Employees

Delight your Employees

Employee recognition leads to increased employee satisfaction. One study shows that employee engagement goes up by eight times if you praise your staff regularly.

The spotlight creates an empowerment culture among employees. That will help nurture their professional growth and enrich their roles.

We like spotlights because it allows organizations to effectively motivate their workforce by having a supportive and nurturing workplace environment. Recognizing employee achievements contributes to improved productivity, as the sense of appreciation and recognition fuels motivation and boosts engagement levels. A happy, contented, and engaged workforce translates into a productive workforce.

Most employees prefer recognition from individuals who wield influence over their career trajectory. As much as feedback from peers is also appreciated, genuine recognition from those capable of influencing promotions or salary raises holds significant weight, and have a deeper impact on a personal level. Employees have a sense of fulfilment and increased chances of longer tenure in the company this way.

Recognition of employees' accomplishments cultivates a sense of belongingness within the workplace. Having an employee spotlight within the company culture creates community, connection, and camaraderie.

Coupled with complementary initiatives such as mentoring programs and performance-based incentives like bonuses, employee spotlights play a significant role in building employee morale and confidence.

3) Creates Connections Among Your Employees

Creates Connections Among Your Employees

Employee spotlight programs improve employee engagement by providing chances for employees to gain more understanding about their colleagues and the organization as a whole. This often results in strengthened connections and a more positive workplace environment. It nurtures closer interpersonal bonds among coworkers.

These programs play a pivotal role in creating a positive company culture by acknowledging and recognizing employees' dedication and accomplishments. This recognition establishes a sense of community and nurtures meaningful relationships among employees, contributing to a more cohesive work atmosphere.

4) Effective Sales Tool

Effective Sales Tool

Employee spotlights are an effective employer branding tool. But they’re also great as a powerful sales asset. Showcasing the people behind your organization can help build trust and credibility with customers. In fact, companies with peer-to-peer recognition programs see up to 41% increases in customer satisfaction. Most people prefer to do business with individuals and brands they know and like.

When customers are unsure about a company's reputation, they often turn to the About page for insights. Featuring employee spotlights on your website can instill confidence in your products and services by providing a glimpse into the organization's culture and values.

In a competitive market where products or services may offer similar benefits and pricing, the personal connection formed through employee spotlights can sway a customer's decision. Customers are more likely to choose a company they perceive as enjoyable to work with.

Sharing employee spotlights on social media amplifies their impact by allowing them to be viewed, liked, commented on, and shared by both employees and potential customers. Adding them into company newsletters provides a personalized way to communicate with customers, increasing visibility and engagement with your clients.

5) Builds Employer Branding

Builds Employer Branding

Employee spotlight help promote the company's brand and values by highlighting the accomplishments and contributions of employees who embody those values. Through these initiatives, the organization effectively feature its brand to the world, serving as a powerful tool for employer branding.

The significance of branding cannot be overstated, oftentimes job seekers visit brand testimonial sites to assess feedback before applying for specific positions. Negative feedback from employees can have detrimental effects on the company's reputation.

On the other hand, positive employee experiences and favorable work environments can lead to great reviews, attracting prospective candidates to apply for open positions. This underscores the importance of having employee spotlight programs as effective marketing tools.

Employee spotlights serve multiple purposes in building employer branding. Inspiring stories featured in employee spotlights can be repurposed as marketing pieces for the brand, while also providing a human aspect to the company, and establishing a more intimate and personal connection with existing and potential clients, thereby increasing sales efforts.

Employee spotlights can also improve the company's social media presence by increasing its reach and engagement. It reinforces employer branding, promoting the company's values, culture, and achievements to internal and external stakeholders alike.

How to Create an Employee Spotlight

How to Create an Employee Spotlight

Maybe you want to create an employee spotlight in your business, but don’t know where to start. We’ve got you covered! Here's a step-by-step process and some best practices to build an effective employee spotlight program in your company.

1) Clarify Your Objectives and KPIs

Before launching an employee spotlight program, it's important to be clear with your objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). Clearly defined objectives provide direction and purpose for the program, while KPIs enable you to measure its effectiveness and impact.

The objectives of an employee spotlight program can vary depending on the organization's goals and priorities. Common objectives include:

  • Recognizing employee contributions
  • Promoting company culture
  • Fostering talent development and retention
  • Enhancing employee engagement
  • Building the employer brand
  • Attracting new employees

There are definitely other objectives for your program. Use them as you deem fit as long as it aligns with the goals of your company.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurable metrics used to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of an employee spotlight program. These KPIs help organizations assess the program's impact, reach, and alignment with their objectives. Here are a few common KPIs you may use for your employee spotlight program:

  • Employee Satisfaction - One of the primary KPIs for an employee spotlight program is employee satisfaction. Conduct surveys, feedback mechanisms, and focus groups that can be used to gather employees' perceptions and opinions about the program, indicating its impact on morale, engagement, and job satisfaction.

  • Retention Rates - Taking note of employee turnover rates before and after implementing the program can provide insights into its effectiveness in talent retention. A decrease in turnover rates may indicate that the program is contributing to employee loyalty and retention. Of course, an increase in turnover rates would indicate otherwise, which means there’s room for improvement for your employee spotlight program. If you want to check your turnover rate, you should try out our free employee turnover calculator.

  • Participation Rates - Monitoring the level of participation and engagement from employees in the spotlight program activities, nominations, and feedback mechanisms can gauge its popularity and effectiveness. Higher participation rates suggest that employees are actively engaged and invested in the program.

2) Determine the Best Format

Selecting the appropriate format for your employee spotlight program is crucial to effectively convey your message and engage your audience. The choice of format will depend on your objectives, target audience, and the intended use of the content collected through your employee spotlight questions.

Consider which platforms and formats will best suit your brand and deliver the information you gather most effectively.

Currently, video and audio formats have gained popularity with social media platforms like TikTok and podcasts. These formats offer engaging ways to showcase employee stories and experiences.

However, for audiences that are more familiar with traditional forms of communication, blog posts or newsletters may be more suitable. Conduct thorough research and experimentation with different platforms to determine the most suitable choice for your brand.

3) Decide Who You Want to Feature

Deciding on who will be featured on your employee spotlight program can sometimes be tricky. When determining which employees to showcase in your spotlight, it's essential to include a diverse range of individuals from various departments and levels of experience.

When you highlight employees across different ranks, it provides prospective candidates with a comprehensive view of the organization and its culture. Keep in mind though, that you should seek consent from employees and ensure they are enthusiastic about being featured in a spotlight. Selecting motivated and engaged individuals ensures that the spotlight effectively portrays the company's goals and values.

Employee spotlights can be an ongoing initiative rather than a one-time thing. Implementing a continuing spotlight program allows the company to refresh its recruitment efforts and marketing materials.

If your'e looking for a way to gather employee data for spotlights, you should consider using a pulse survey tool. This software will gather insights, inputs, and feedback from your employees regularly. Use the positive feedback to create employee spotlights for your platforms.

pulse survey

We recommend checking out Quizbreaker's pulse survey tool to do this. Sign up for free today and test it out. You'll also get access to all kinds of employee engagement tools as well.

4) Promote the Employee Spotlight

When creating your employee spotlight content, make sure that each piece includes the employee's name, position within the company, and a professional photo. You can also include an overview of their career journey, accomplishments, personal interests, as well as the challenges they've overcome.

Once the spotlight details are ready, it's crucial to promote them across all internal communication channels to ensure it’s disseminated for all employees. This inclusive approach builds a sense of collaboration and team unity, at the same time facilitating stronger interdepartmental relationships through increased awareness of colleagues' backgrounds and experiences.


Internally, you could even use a recognition wall to give praise to your employees for their co-workers to see. We have something like that in Quizbreaker called the "Wall of Kudos." Our customers use them all the time to recognize their employees.

Try it out when you sign up to Quizbreaker today.

Extending the promotion outside the confines your organization can significantly improve your corporate brand and reputation. Encourage employees to share the spotlight posts on their social media platforms, contribute content to the corporate blog, and distribute links through newsletters. This allows customers to connect with the human element of your company, helping reinforce trust and authenticity in your brand.

5) Track the Results

It's important to monitor the results following the publication and distribution of your content. This allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your employee spotlight posts across various metrics, including employee engagement, satisfaction, motivation, reach, and corporate brand perception.

Include feedback mechanisms into employee appraisals to gather insights on the effectivity of your spotlights. Solicit opinions on content, platforms, focus, and format to have an idea regarding employee preferences and expectations.

Evaluate whether the interview questions are resonating effectively, if the promotional efforts are reaching the desired audience, and if there is sufficient awareness surrounding the spotlights. Use the feedback collected to refine and enhance future iterations of your employee spotlight program.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should employee spotlights occur?

Employee spotlights can occur at various intervals depending on the company's objectives and resources. Some organizations do it regularly, featuring one employee per month or quarter. This approach ensures consistency and allows for ample time to gather compelling stories and insights from employees.

Others may choose to spotlight employees depending on specific events, milestones, or achievements within the company. Regardless of the frequency, the key is to maintain a balance that keeps employees engaged without overwhelming them with excessive spotlights.

What are some excellent examples of an employee spotlight?

Excellent employee spotlights showcase the unique stories, contributions, and personalities of individuals within the organization. These spotlights go beyond job titles and responsibilities, it delves deeper into personal anecdotes, career journeys, and aspirations.

One good example could be a feature on an employee who spearheaded a successful project, highlighting their leadership skills, innovative approach and hurdles they have overcome.

Another example might focus on an employee who embodies the company's values, demonstrating how their actions align with the organization's goals and culture. Additionally, spotlights that celebrate employee milestones, such as work anniversaries or professional achievements. These serve as inspiring and motivating examples of recognition and appreciation within the workplace.

Ultimately, the best employee spotlights are genuine, relatable, and resonate with both internal and external audiences.

Final Thoughts

Employee spotlights are significant tools for encouraging positive work environment, strengthening company culture, and enhancing employer branding. Shining a spotlight on the unique talents, experiences, and achievements of you employees can create a sense of belonging and recognition among your workforce.

Employee spotlights serve as powerful recruitment and retention tools. Use them to attract top talent and inspiring current employees to excel and perform better. They alsy provide a human element in the workplace, showcasing the diverse individuals who contribute to the company's success.

The world of business is getting more competitive. Your goal should be to find the best team members and retain them for as long as you can. Prioritizing employee spotlights can set organizations apart as employers of choice. Use them to drive loyalty, engagement, and ultimately, business success.

Patrick Mabilog

Article by

Patrick Mabilog

Patrick Mabilog is the Business Development Manager and Customer Success Manager at QuizBreaker and a lover of all things team-building-related. He served in Human Resources and Marketing roles before joining the Quizbreaker team.

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