Consider these employee recognition award ideas

Employee recognition awards boost connection, morale, loyalty, and they offer a sense of value. They also drive employee engagement. 

Learning how employees prefer to be appreciated before creating a recognition program is essential. Listen to employees and understand what matters to them before choosing how to recognize them. Remember to keep it authentic, personal, and straightforward. 

Consider these recognition award ideas_In Article

Here are some examples:

1. Employee-of-the-month award: Make the most of this award by asking employees to vote with personalized comments about whom they think should be Employee of the Month. It is an excellent opportunity to share personal appreciation and celebrate employees most aligned with company values. 

2. Years of service award: Work anniversaries are important to individuals, and it makes them feel valued. Years of service awards are most successful when companies compile a database of every employee’s start date. Celebrate work anniversaries through company-wide meetings, Slack channels, or even small gifts.

3. Customer service award: A customer-facing team means companies should go the extra mile to appreciate their employees. The additional employee support will ensure positive customer experiences and better brand recognition. 

4. Social media shoutout awards: This is an effective way to show appreciation while gaining brand exposure. Even if your company does not have a big social media following, it is a terrific way to boast about everyone’s most valuable assets: their employees. It is also a wonderful way to attract top talent that values appreciation. 

5. Monetary employee recognition awards: It is no secret that people love money. Bonuses, extra paid time off, and gift cards are popular employee recognition ideas. They are not as personal as some other ideas, so couple monetary awards with unique, individualized ideas. 

6. Employee appreciation awards: Happy hours, office outings, and other company-sponsored social events will boost morale. These are great opportunities to praise employees for their hard work, give peers time to connect, and create more positive relationships in the workplace.

7. Employee appreciation wall: Appreciation walls are a tangible way to motivate employees to work harder and participate in a recognition program. Employee appreciation walls will vary among offices, but most serve as a creative way to broadcast recognition internally. They can feature pre-approved peer-to-peer appreciation, inspirational quotes from leadership, and even document how to give gratitude. 

8. Driving success award: Honor an employee who helps advance the company with creativity, hard work, innovation, and other essential company values. This could be a more traditional award involving an award ceremony, speeches from peers, and a party to celebrate. 

9. Above and beyond award: Reward employees who give their best daily and work hard to advance company values. Bonus points if the awarded person shares appreciation often. Modeling this behavior shows other employees that the company values a culture of gratitude.

Nurturing a culture of appreciation is most successful when it comes from multiple sources and levels across the organization. Managers and leaders should be comfortable constantly adapting to and coming up with innovative ideas. A level of surprise and being personal and specific makes employee recognition even more meaningful. 

Employees know when appreciation is authentic. When you find the right mix of employee award ideas, your company will reap the benefits of employee recognition. 

Bob Helbig is media partnerships director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s partner for Top Workplaces.

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