Best practice in any workplace includes employee awards and recognition of achievements. These awards aren’t just any ritual process, in many cases. Employees have to work hard to get awards like “Salesperson of the Year”, for example. The awards and recognition often have high CV and career values, too, particularly at the corporate level, adding another level of significance.

For employers, these awards are major incentives which deliver value for their businesses and are particularly helpful criteria for identifying real talent and achievement in their workforces. The employee awards are directly linked to performance and therefore part of core business operations.

1. Employee award ideas and options

The best awards aren’t “ritualized/pick a staff member for this month” awards. The most effective employee awards have a range of fundamental characteristics:

  • Status- They represent real accomplishments on the part of recipients which will be understood and appreciated by other staff on their merits. They have undeniable “I deserve this award” characteristics.
  • Value- The value-based awards are effectively bonuses or material rewards. This approach adds to the status factor and acts as a very effective incentive.
  • Linked to high performance- The high performance-based awards like sales records or client-feedback based awards have unique values in terms of their relationship to the recipient’s career path and track within the organization. The relationship between a sales record and candidacy for promotion is obvious.
  • Team awards- These can be a lot of fun, and they also generate a lot of performance, spreading the incentives further in the workforce. They’re very high productivity awards, too, and often produce surprising results in terms of actual business.

2. Combination awards

Another option which is particularly good and adds a further set of dimensions to these general types of award is the combination award, which is literally a mix of several types of award, including:

  • The “hard to get” status effect
  • High material values
  • Top performance characteristics
  • Best team “bragging rights”

These are the sorts of award which will generate real competition and can be great staff morale boosters. They represent real management engagement at the staff’s own level, recognition and genuine achievement possibilities for the staff.

3. Organizational awards and values

In the very demanding corporate awards field a range of award types are available options which can provide some important benchmark performance standards.

For example:

  • Best salesperson
  • Best customer service person
  • Top manager
  • Best sales team
  • Best supply chain team

The possibilities are literally endless. In large organizations, these awards have both very high status and high values for recipients. The awards are effectively “workplace credentials”, and their value to employers is immense. Taking employee awards out of “routine” context and putting them into the performance context is a very valuable approach which puts in place a whole range of best practice options.

The other aspect of employee awards is less obvious, but equally valuable, particularly to high value staff- Recognition. The most sensitive part of any employee’s opinion of their workplace is whether they’re receiving adequate recognition. These awards are proof positive.

When considering employee awards, think about your options. You’ll get back more than you give.


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