PUMP UP THE RECOGNITION

“I'm a HUGE believer in the Recognition Calendar! I use it as my motivation to pump up the morale for our Team Members all year long.” – Jessie S.

Calendar Best Practices

Everyday across Hilton, Team Members are being recognized and celebrated for their commitment to “fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.” Below are some of our favorite stories. (Past winners are highlighted in bold.) We’ll be adding to this page throughout the year. Thanks for sharing your story.


  • "To celebrate our Maintenance Team, we set up a box with each Team Member's name and placed them in our canteen. For two days, their teammates had the chance to thank Maintenance by writing something nice on a white paper. Afterwards, the Maintenance team read the notes out loud in our canteen. Everyone found it very fun and encouraging!"

    —Tania Leece, DoubleTree by Hilton London Victoria

  • "We recognize our Team Members with a breakfast. Teamwork is the solution to many daily problems, and while sharing a meal our Team Members get to know each other even better and strengthen working ties. "The best things that happen in the corporate world are not the work of one man. It's the work of a whole team." Steve Jobs"

    —Claire Josset, Conrad Bora Bora Nui

  • "To thank all of our Team Members for doing such a wonderful job through the summer, our GM booked a local company to come to the hotel for a few hours and give out chair massages to everyone. It was a great way for the Team Members to get a few minutes away to relax during their day. Everyone loved it, and it brought a very happy environment to the hotel. We also ordered pizza for everyone for lunch, huge success!"

    —Dallas Blankinship, Hampton Inn by Hilton Kirksville

  • "One of the most important event of the year was the Team Member End of the Year party. We are an opening hotel, and during the party we celebrated the many awards that we received during the year, including the Best Opening Hotel, extraordinary Hilton Honor enrollments, and GTMS Best Scores. We created the You Are the Heart of Hilton Award because we cannot do anything without our Team Members. With this award we wanted to recognize the best of our hotel: the best attitude, the best spirit, the best collaboration, the example of hospitality, and all our Values. During the party, the HOD presented a little performance to show our Team Members how important are they area and in how many ways we are available for them. This included a dance performance for them and their families. Our Team Members and their families are very proud of the property where they work. This is the beginning of the history of Hilton Bogota Corferias and the legacy of the Hospitality of the Team Members. "

    —Ivvone Castillo, Hilton Bogota Corferias

  • "After the successful completion of our training programs, I invited participants, HODs, General Manager, and the Regional team to a grand celebration where we recognize the participants' hard work throughout the program. We announced the top three performers and distributed certificates, T-shirts, and gifts to keep for good memories. I used this idea as a motivation tool for participants during the program, when each one did their best to be recognized as one of the top performers at the end of the program. They were very excited for being selected the kings and queens of that day. We have lots of fun!"

    —Nagwa Sedki, Hilton Pyramids Golf

  • "We recognized our property's birthday babies every month with a birthday cake in our CARE Café."

    —Douglas Hilbun, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Orleans

  • "During January, our Accounting Team recognized the Engineering team. One activity was a scavenger hunt. They printed the faces of the different Engineers and hid them around the hotel. The Engineers, while working, hunted for the printed photos of their teammates. They received points based on the level of difficulty level of where the photos were hid. Once all the points were tallied, they each received a gift. The Accounting Team also hosted an all-team huddle where all those in attendance could play Pin the beard on Adam (Chief Engineer). Team Members could choose from different styles of beards as well as a hat, hairstyle, and a manbun to pin on Adam (much like pin the tail on the donkey). The Team Members that played each received a small gift card for participating. They absolutely loved it!"

    —Ivonne Castro Lagodlagod, Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle Downtown Pioneer Square Hotel

  • "As the Catch Me incentive can only be used during June, July, and August, I decided to use HIGH FIVE. To help do that, I printed out all of the Front Office Team Member names. Each week, either due to a special task they do or for helping to the guest for unexpected situations, I'm sending one HIGH FIVE to a specific Team Member. In this way, we both are recognizing different names each week and thanking them for their outstanding work performance, which gives them motivation to do their jobs better. Weekly HIGH FIVEs give us a change to be equal and to celebrate everybody among the team."

    —Begum Altuntas, Hilton Istanbul Maslak

  • "We recognize our team by awarding monthly certificates for those who display the Hilton Values."

    —Shanice Lobato, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Salinas

  • "During Maintenance Week we spoil our Maintenance Team Members. It is a week full of fun and many awards. We started the week with ice cream day and donuts day — a week with lots of snacks! We celebrated Wednesday by starting the day with a breakfast of great energy and with balloon games. We ended the week with a delicious lunch with their favorite food: fried chicken and chips. We also gave them a gift of a water bottle engraved with their names."

    —Berlly Garza, Hilton Princess San Pedro Sula

  • "Each department showed their appreciation to our Engineer and Security Team throughout the month. It was evident how much they are appreciated, from notes to lots of treats. They were treated to biscuits for breakfast, lunch in Villedge with the Chief Facilities Manger and CEO, and every department manager stopped in to say a word of thanks as well. There were cheese cakes, chocolate dipped strawberries, and the list goes on including individual coffee mugs with their very own mug shot. It's been a month filled with goodies and surprises!"

    —Sherrie Thigpen, Hilton Greenville

  • "We celebrated our outstanding engineering team! There were Jimmy John's lunches, personalized thank you cards with gift cards inside, and candies all set up for them to enjoy. We appreciate all their hard work every day!"

    —Mindy Lucas, Doubletree by Hilton Rochester - Mayo Clinic Area

  • "We celebrate each department month. This month we are celebrating Maintenance Month. We have decorated our cantine with pictures of our Maintenance Team and other messages about them. We also had a party for them with cake, coffee, and thanksgiving cards from all the other departments. They deserve everything!"

    —Araceli Carvajal, Hilton Garden Inn Sevilla

  • "My team gets recognized for many things. I approach them randomly and ask them a variety of questions, such as what is our occupancy, tell me about the guests coming in today, what is going on around town, any new items you feel we need to be on top off? When they answer with knowledge and enthusiasm, I award them. The funny thing is they LOVE my gifts, but most are small party favors. I have given them things like Brain Teaser Metal Wire Puzzles, animal crackers in the box that has the handle string, individual candies, stress balls, fun key chains, car deodorizers, notepads, and any other little trinket or small favor, many which I get from the Dollar Store. A lot of the prizes are more like child party favors, but they play with them and love them. Recognition does not have to cost a lot: Just letting them know you value their work means a lot. "

    —Aimee Cooper, Hampton Inn & Suites by HiltonElliston Place

  • "I wanted to have a little attention for my colleagues, so I offered each Team Member a personalized T-shirt to highlight their main personality trait. My colleagues are unique, and even little treats remind them how important they are. Fun Facts for each T-shirt: Mère-Veilleuse is a wonderful mum of two and the mummy who is taking care of us at the office (play on words: Merveilleuse = wonderful / Mère = mother Veilleuse = keep an eye on). Pas du Matin: The best advice is to don't talk to this Team Member before midday, because she is not a morning person (Pas du Matin = not a morning person)! J'peux pas j'ai licorne: This one was for the biggest fan of unicorns: I cannot, I have unicorn (j'peux pas j'ai licorne = I cannot, I have unicorn). My team supports me all year, and without them, the expression 'going at work' would have no sense. #Fun facts #BestSalesTeam #WeAreHilton #WeAreHospitality #WeAreFamily"

    —Savéria Eyer, DoubleTree by Hilton Luxembourg

  • "Last week I provided our Engineering Team with granola bars. I wrapped a ribbon around the bars with a thank you tag with a catchy phrase thanking them for all their hard work. They loved the granola bars and really appreciated the kind gesture. It was great to be able to put a smile on their faces. "

    —Lauren Finn , Tru by Hilton Las Vegas Airport

  • "I created 'Star of the Week' — an initiative to recognize our top KPI performers. Every Monday I see who upsold the most breakfast and room upgrades, and who did the most Hilton Honors enrollments. These people win a voucher for their choice of a luxury lunch freshly prepared by our chefs."

    —Elizabeth Brown, Hilton Bracknell

  • "The hotel held a Team Member appreciation party this past Christmas where Assistant Manager Bill and the other managers served the Team Members food and cleaned up afterwards. Each Team Member was given a whole, uncooked turkey along with a personal gift to take home. Bill asked everyone before the party to purchase a toy, according to their financial ability, for donation to children with disabilities. This was very thoughtful of him. It was a beautiful feeling to see everyone compete to buy the best gift for the kids!"

    —Marwa Ali, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cape Cod - Hyannis

  • "We are proud to be part of an amazing tradition in San Antonio: the Cowboy Breakfast! The Cowboy Breakfast is a kickoff to the Rodeo and includes free breakfast, music, and fun! We decided to have our very own Cowboy Breakfast for our Team Members in recognition of our successful SALT surveys during our first full year of being open in 2019."

    —Katrina Reyna, Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Landmark

  • "I planned to follow and contribute to the Recognition Calendar by using my skills and sustainable resources to create a True Waldorf Experience for each department during their recognition month. For Maintenance & Engineering month, we recognize and highlight the team who literally takes care of the hotel: from creating to fixing, from repairing to changing, from adjusting to simply man-power. And we have a team who is dedicated, passionate, outgoing, and the most helpful engineering team ever. It's a diverse team of do-it-all individuals that never say no and always carry a solution in their tool boxes. For our Engineering team during their month, I made a trophy by cutting out two wrenches and lettering from a box that spelled out ENG WEEK ’20. I also created a portrait of one of the Team Members, making a personal and lasting one-of-a-kind souvenir. We bought a small treat bowl for the team and a created a customized thank you card where each member of the Front Office Team wrote a message for our Engineering Team. Before the last day of the month, we dropped by the Engineering team to extend our appreciation on behalf of the Front Office team! We are thankful that we have been able to gather them to extend our gratitude despite having a high occupancy . The Director of Engineering decided to keep the trophy in their main office so that everyone who passed by can see. 'It is in giving light to other that we shine the brightest.'"

    —Jose Miguel Aranda, Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre

  • "We implemented a new activity for our Team Members who will be celebrating their birthday this year. The activity is aimed at improving their job satisfaction. On their birthdays, Team Members will take a day off to celebrate with family and friends."

    —Berlly Garza, Hilton Princess San Pedro Sula

  • "For National Compliment Day, we put up a tear-off flyer with compliments that Team Members can tear off to pass on to someone else! This was a great way to get the team all together and to make everyone feel good!"

    —Nicolette Villopoto, Embassy Suites by Hilton Berkeley Heights

  • "We recognize our team by hanging large laminated cupcakes in our Team Member break room with our Team Members' birthdays on them. On their birthday, they receive a card in the mail with a gift card for either DD or Turkey Hill as well as a lottery scratch off. Their card is filled with confetti, and, of course, love and praise. "

    —Linda Lovenstein, Tru by Hilton Denver

  • "For Team Member birthdays, we pickup a handmade cupcake or ice cream from a local shop. The GM and leadership team create a handwritten note, personalizing it specifically for the Team Member who is celebrating a birthday. I feel this adds more of a personal touch and not just the normal 'celebrate everyone's birthday at the monthly luncheon.'"

    —Jason Hadley, Homewood Suites by Hilton Lexington Hamburg

  • "I'm constantly recognizing the team for going above and beyond. Examples are: choosing the best upseller of the month, announcing the top Hilton Honors Enroller with the entire team, and recognizing Team Members as Guest Champion whose names are mentioned at least five times on SALT/Social Media and nominating them for TM of the month. Individual motivational prizes are awarded and celebrated as a team by using Hilton Honors reward money. "

    —Javid Almammadov, Hilton Baku

  • "What a beautiful day in Texas to celebrate our Engineers! We've enjoyed a fun filled week of celebrations with our Engineering team, including breakfast, donuts, and some sweets! The week is not over, and we have more fun to come! We are truly lucky to have an amazing team of Engineers that consistently go above and beyond to meet our guests needs!"

    —Katrina Reyna, Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio Landmark

  • "We celebrated our first Maintenance & Engineering Week with lots of surprises. Housekeeping made sure to give them a caffeine boost! A free-flowing iced tea (with a special letter) from Food & Beverage partnered with pizza was certainly a refreshing snack. Front Office surprised the team with a donut attack and a pop-up card! The Executive Office, Recreation, IT, and Security joined forces in giving them an energizing breakfast full of breads, Culinary got them some baked goodies, and the Commercial Department prepared a merienda with a local touch. The HR Department gave them flashlights that will surely help in the Engineering Team's daily duties. Our first celebration recognizing the Engineering Team was definitely memorable and a great way to start a year of recognition!"

    —Aarene Ambrosio, Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort

  • "Our team lead has a VIP (Voluntary Information Profile) form for each person on her team. We share our favorite foods, hobbies, interests, etc. All throughout the year, this allows for a more personalized way to recognize our birthdays and accomplishments."

    —Tammy Piker, Hilton Corporate

  • "Every month, we have a communication meeting within the Front Office team, and we discuss what we did / what we could have done better. In order to recognize our Team Members, specially those who had a magnificent performance throughout 2019, we prepared 'Certificates of Recognition.' The categories were: the top Performers on check in and out, Hilton Honors, `Make It Right' Scores, up-selling , productivity, and name mention. Thanks to our Front Office Manager, Director of Room Divisions, and Human Resource Manager who had join the meeting and delivered certificates. Our aim is to recognize them and also motivate the rest of the team in order to be able to have the same success this year."

    —Begum Altuntas, Hilton Istanbul Maslak

  • "The Landmark team was excited to kick off 2020 with fun events to start the new year. During our Make a Difference meeting, the team immediately started planning events to include: recognition events for Engineering Week, a Cowboy Breakfast (taco) morning, and a Rodeo luncheon! After only one hour of planning (and lots of laughs), the MAD Committee is ready to make 2020 a great year!"

    —Katrina Reyna, Embassy Suites by Hilton San Antonio

  • "Hilton Garden Inn at IUP in Indiana created a wall of appreciation in our Team Member hallway for our Maintenance staff that will be in place for the entire month of January. They were presented with a 'fuel box' filled with lunch items, snacks, and sweet treats. We also surprised them with a meal of lasagna, garlic bread, and salad. We truly appreciate ALL that they do for us and our guests."

    —Cynthia Leasure, Hilton Garden Inn at IUP

  • "During Drivers Month, we decided to prepare something special for our personal Driver who is going all over the UAE for us to submit invoices or collect cheques. He is always on the road to fully support us. That is why we secretly took his car on his birthday (which comes on top of it), and we took it for a professional cleaning. He needs to have a clean ride when he reaches our clients, of course. We made it happen! Nicely decorated, but still safe to drive. #happydriver #recognition #welovefinance"

    —Julia Edlmann, Hilton Corporate SSC Ras Al Khaimah

  • "Every birthday we get a custom cupcake for the Team Member and sing during our morning Huddle. We also honor our Team Members of the month with a $50 gift card and a personal letter from our Regional Manager. We do monthly team gatherings and celebrate our successes and discuss opportunities."

    —Kara McKowen, Homewood Suites by Hilton Clear Lake NASA

  • "At our quarterly Take a Bow (Care Rally), we draw 10 Team Members' names to come up and throw a dart at a board with 20 balloons. The balloons have a money amount inside that the Team Member wins. It is very exciting, and everyone watches to see what the Team Member has won."

    —Larry Freshler, DoubleTree by Hilton Spokane

  • "One member of our Brighthearted Committee suggested making a recognition board for our Team Members to recognize each other. It is awesome to see how our Team Members help one another and the gratitude they express! At the end of the month, I draw a name from the badges who will win a $25 coffee card, and I announce the winner at our Brighthearted Huddle."

    —Tina Wiser, Hilton Garden Inn Billings

  • "I recognize Team Members' personal celebrations and exceptional service. For person celebrations, I meet them and personally wish them Happy Birthday as well as congratulate them for the service they do at Hilton. When you do it in person, it matters more to them: they do appreciate the efforts taken. I thank Team Members for exceptional service delivered to our most valued guests during my rounds in the hotel and meetings at Team Restaurant. I appreciate their work delivering Hilton Values. It helps them to do more."

    —Suranga Jayasinghe, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah



  • "I have been recognizing Team Members in a number of ways. We currently have a board in the back office for staff shout outs/compliments/encouragements. I have sticky notes laid out in front for anyone to leave kind words for any Team Member. We also have SALT survey improvement metrics hung up to monitor, improve, and recognize improvement in that area. A couple of months ago, we played staff scavenger hunt bingo to unite everyone, and we awarded a certificate to the winning department. We keep Hilton Honors enrollment numbers posted and do fun activities to keep track of them. We currently have small poster boards that are being turned into a 2020 vision board with each enrollment. I keep track of good SALT survey mentions, good checkout comments, etc., and make sure to write them down and pass them along to the appropriate Team Members. I have so many more ideas I plan to implement in the future. I love recognizing what a great job everyone does and to make the job fun. We have a great team here in Summersville!"

    —Taylor Auxier, Hampton by Hilton Summersville

  • "We had a pizza day for all our Team Members to celebrate our SALT score for Helpfulness of Hotel Staff during the four months of 2019 that we were open. The scores were over 80%! The entire team was very happy! Way to go team Homewood!"

    —Jatna Diaz, Homewood Suites by Hilton Santo Domingo

  • "We celebrated our first Maintenance & Engineering week with fun games and activities prepared specially to showcase the department, the tools they use, and the facilities. Team Members had better appreciation for the hard work that they do. And to show our appreciation, different departments surprised the Engineering team. Housekeeping prepared a basket of coffee, F&B made special drinks, and Culinary team provided sweet pastries to power them up for the whole day. Thank you, Engineering team!"

    —Silke Astillero, Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort

  • "I arranged to take my team to a local resort in our area for the day of relaxation, a poolside lunch, and a massage with no cell phones (except for pictures, of course). We held a Hilton Honors enrollment contest at our hotel, and I had the most, earning the money to take them. They work hard all year and this break was well deserved by us all! This was a win win —we made our Hilton Honors quota and I have a happy sales Team."

    —Jennifer Pfenninger, Embassy Suites by Hilton Fort Myers Estero

  • "The environment is at the heart of the concerns of Team Members so we organized a lagoon cleaning. This was a morning to raise awareness and protect our beautiful lagoon. Together we go further!"

    —Claire Josset, Conrad Bora Bora Nui

  • "January is Engineering Team Recognition Month. We recognized our team with sweet treats, gift cards, lunch from Chipotle, and a special multi tool gift for each Engineering team member."

    —Tiffany Chorney, Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando-International Drive Convention Center

  • "We use a Getting to Know You survey with our new hire packets. All information is voluntary, but we ask questions regarding kids' birthdays, wedding anniversaries, upcoming graduations, and open space to put in other important dates. This has allowed us to celebrate Team Members for upcoming 3k/5k's, sobriety dates (AA Chip Party!), and a special anniversary for beating cancer. We also try to work with parents to get them the time off they need to celebrate their kids, including offering our pool for them on their birthdays and for when they get good grades. Keeping track of the hard stuff as it happens (deaths/birthdays of loved ones no longer with them) can be greatly appreciated. Although not something you would celebrate property wide, I have given the option to leave early/take the day on the anniversary of the loss of a child. On the anniversary of someone losing their mom, we got her flowers and a small card at the end of her shift. These are the more private things to do that can mean a lot."

    —Tara Brossa, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Boone

  • "Shukran! That is Thank You in Arabic! In line with International Thank You day and the Recognition Calendar, we planned to have one of the pre-shifts dedicated to letting Team Member extend their thanks to their colleagues. I first got in touch with every Team Member to find out how they say thank you in their native language. I then had it personalized on Thank You cards using the collateral we have online. We then distributed the cards to each member of the Front Office Team. We limited the recipient to a single person. From the activity, we found out three things:

    1. Thank you: Although is a common thing to say, it is harder when you actually have to specify and single out something/someone to say it to. We get used to saying thank you as a kind gesture and a practiced response. We seldom do it thoughtfully.
    2. Being the person who distributed the cards, seeing the person received them (especially if it is more than one card) really makes an impact. You can see them saying "thank you" using the other team member's language as a gesture to return the favor.
    3. It is easy to learn how to say Thank you in 12 languages.
    It is not every day that we dedicate time and effort to appreciate and be thankful to people who we will work with for years to come. Having a day to do so can make a difference. A positive culture can make a huge difference, not just in one person's day but to a community as a whole. Shukran | Grazie | Merci Beaucoup | Dhanyavaad | Its jy | Salamat | Dankejewel | Asante | Ngiyabonga Kakhulu |Hvala | Dankeshon |Raxmat | Dziekuje | Na Goda and Thank you from the Front Office Team."
    —Jose Miguel Aranda, Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre

  • "To thank our team for all of their hard work and dedication, we recognized them on Hot Cocoa Day with cocoa with all the trimmings and sweet treats. We wish them and their families warmth and delicious blessings! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!"

    —Melinda Maldonado, Hilton Miami Aiport Blue Lagoon

  • "We celebrated Three kings Day on January 6 with our Team Members. Our activity was to serve a cake with a miniature baby inside. The meaning is that the persons who got the baby won a prize. We gave prizes to two Team Members. It was a very exciting and fun activity because we managed to share a nice time with a coffee and a sweet."

    —Berlly Garza, Hilton Princess San Pedro Sula

  • "I have sent many HIGH FIVE eCards to various colleagues and made personalized Conrad certificates which have gone down as treat and make a lot of peoples' days'. For Housekeeping recognition week, we treated the department to the breakroom to themselves filled with KFC. For management recognition we treated them to treatments in Living Well. The top two Team Members who hit highest score across our targets win prizes quarterly to use outside the hotel. Our team has been hitting target ever since. "

    —Paiche Buckwell, Hilton Avisford Park Arundel

  • "At our year end celebration, we announce our Employee of the Year! The Employee of the Year receives a paid week off, gift, and award plaque. It is a recognition tradition that generates a lot of excitement!"

    —Kathleen Whitty, Hilton Garden Inn Bangor

  • "In order to recognize their Front Office Team, we decided to organize a big New Year's Party at the back office where we usually spend most of our time. The organization started two weeks earlier with a New Year Sweepstake and everyone got a Team Member to buy a small new year's present from Bell team to GR, Guest Service to Front Desk Agents. We then spread the news within the department to get volunteers to prepare some light refreshment. Turkish Hospitality is well-known over the world, and everyone made a huge contribution to the New Year's celebration by preparing some delicious home-made foods. We did nothing for one hour but chat, sharing some thoughtful memories about our lives, laugh, and share our presents to each other. This New Year's Eve was quite amazing for Hilton Maslak Front Office Team and I hope we will have same chance into the next year to celebrate as a whole big family."

    —Begum Altuntas, Hilton Istanbul Maslak

  • "For Maintenance and Engineering week, we gifted each of our hardworking Engineers with a gift card to enjoy a little boost of their favorite beverage. Recently, two of our engineers noticed some marks within the colleague hallway. They came in early before their shift to start on this personal project. Camilo and Arian, your hard work does not go unnoticed. Thank you for taking care of the common areas that Team Members use everyday and treating it as if it was front of house. "

    —Jessica Limprasert, Waldorf Astoria Residences Las Vegas

  • "For international thank you day we put up a few signs saying Happy International Thank You Day and we thanked them for all that they do. We also put up a fun little game where they can match the "thank you" from each language to the correct flag."

    —Nicolette Villopoto, Embassy Suites by Hilton Berkeley Heights



  • "Recognition is a tool which works wonder for the team. I have sent many HIGH FIVE eCards to various colleagues and made personalized Conrad certificates. For contractual staff, I met them during briefing and thanked them for the splendid work they do, be it Security, Housekeeping or Kitchen Stewarding."

    —Akshay Rao, Conrad Pune

  • "Full of Christmas spirit, we held an office decoration competition. We salute all of the festive events which promise to be magical."

    —Claire Josset, Conrad Bora Bora Nui

  • "Our Commercial team is playing a game called secret Santa where everyone chooses a colleague’s name. They will be the colleague’s secret Santa for a week, bringing small gifts. The lucky ones try to guess who their secret Santa is."

    —Mary Ehab, Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences

  • Click here to view more best practices. Please allow time for page to load.

EVERYTHING STARTS WITH A PLAN
Use the calendar to map out your 2020 recognition initiatives and keep track of
important Team Member milestones like birthdays and service anniversaries.