There are many ways to recognize results and the positive impact of employee work effort - driving improved employee engagement. In my experience both in the management consulting industry as well as part of a large consumer goods company, I have implemented, participated in and observed a number of employee recognition programs. Here are a few thoughts on the "Employee Engagement and Appreciation" idea: "Indispensable Awards": This is an award process that recognizes employees quarterly and includes documented results / comments / feedback in a presentation that is distributed to all employees in the organizational business unit. The employee is recognized at quarterly meetings and receives additional time off in addition to the public recognition of their outstanding work. This is a simple yet public (and therefore powerful) way of recognizing outstanding performance on a regular basis. (Thanks to Keith Harris for introducing this concept!)
"Open-and-Honest Trust-Based Communication Channels": If the leadership of an organization is over-the-top open with communication, employees will follow. This approach works with feedback up and down the organization. Employees take time to elevate positive feedback if leadership takes action on that feedback and recognizes the performer.
"Hand-Written Notes": I write hand-written notes to individuals that exhibit "above-and-beyond" performance. There are not many individuals that take the time to write a note card - whether for thank you notes or other - and it is a great way to recognize performance as the comments / notes / feedback may be saved for future reference and encouragement. Simple, yet powerful.