Create an Employee Awards Program With These Tips

Good managers are always looking for ways to motivate employees and increase productivity. One effective way to achieve these goals is through employee recognition. Showing recognition increases satisfaction and lets employees know you value them.

While there are many ways to show appreciation and recognition, having an employee awards program can be particularly effective. An awards program can get employees excited about work, and you can also align awards with business goals. Celebrating these achievements as a team can also bring people together.

In this post, we will explore tips to help managers create effective employee award programs.

Employee Wellbeing

Set Goals and Define the Purpose of Awards

If you want to get the most from the program, you must determine why you’re giving awards and what you hope to achieve. And this goes beyond simply wanting to boost morale or motivate employees. Those are fine goals, but you should try to tie some of the awards to business objectives.

Some awards could be for fun or to increase satisfaction, but you might want to consider ideas that are a little more concrete. For example, if you work in a sales environment, getting the most sales or the highest total dollar value during the competition could be awards ideas. If you produce goods, it could be for the most productive employee.

Create Guidelines and Criteria for Awards

In general, you want the awards to have objective standards. That ensures fairness and satisfaction from employees. Define clear, measurable standards for each award. That way, employees understand what is required to win. Make these criteria easy to understand and communicate them to all participants. This not only ensures everyone knows how the awards work, but it also provides clear goals for employees to aim for.

Get Creative With Award Ideas

You don’t need to limit yourself to offering just one award category. Having multiple award categories ensures broader recognition and keeps the program engaging. Different awards can target various business objectives or employee achievements. You could even get creative and offer a few awards that go outside the standard objectives, like Best Salesperson or Outstanding Team Member.

One idea could be to create competition. Maybe it could be a race to reach a specific, measurable goal. Another idea is an innovation competition. Including categories where employees can nominate and vote for their peers also builds a sense of community and involvement. Offering a range of awards not only motivates more employees but also creates more opportunities to align awards with business goals.

Give Physical Awards

While winning and receiving verbal recognition can be nice, offering a tangible representation of the award can make it more real in employees’ minds. It gives winners something they can take home or proudly display in their workspace. Consider trophies, plaques, or certificates to commemorate their achievements. You could head to a local trophy store or online seller to find customized options that fit your company’s style. These tangible awards can serve as lasting reminders of their hard work and success.

Don’t Limit it to One Winner

Recognizing just one winner can be limiting and may not fully capture the diverse talents within your team. Instead, consider awarding first, second, and third places, or recognizing multiple individuals who meet the criteria. This broader approach ensures more employees feel valued and motivated. By celebrating several winners, you foster a more inclusive and encouraging environment, where more people feel they have a chance to win.

Offer Prizes for Awards

An awards program doesn’t need prizes to be effective, but prizes can take the program to the next level. Beyond trophies and plaques, a nice prize can do a lot to motivate employees and get them to go the extra distance to win. It can also be an added signal to employees that you value their work and participation in the program.

You could consider a wide array of awards that cater to different interests. A cash bonus could be attractive, but you could get more creative with the prizes. Consider gift cards for popular local stores or online shopping platforms. You could give tickets to concerts or local sporting events. By offering unique and attractive prizes, you can do a lot to make the awards more appealing.

Track Progress and Leaders

Another fun way to add something extra to the competition could be to track progress through the competition and have leaderboards. With a leaderboard, everyone can see who is in the lead and which employees are close to catching them. It could be something you post about every day or send out an email to show where people stand. You might even be able to set up a live leaderboard that employees can check.

Make it a Celebration

Giving awards is good, but making the awards process an event can be another way to enhance their significance and feelings of recognition. It could be as simple as taking time to gather everyone at the beginning of the day. You could also do it at lunchtime and order a nice lunch for everyone to enjoy while you announce and hand out awards. If you want to go all out, you could make it a complete event away from the workplace and outside work hours.

As a final tip, you may need to refine your awards program over time. Analyze the results and see how well employees perform. You should also ask employees for feedback to see what they think and if there are ways to improve the program.

While most of the people around the world are busy in arguing about whether Android is better or iPhone, Jon is busy in exploring both of these platforms to find their pros & cons. Yes, he owns both and he loves to shares helpful tips, tricks, apps & hacks for Android & iOS by the means of our website.