Your employees carry different titles, dissimilar roles, and have different priorities. They don’t all experience fulfillment in the same ways and don’t have equal levels of training and experience. Regardless of these differences, your employees appreciate feeling appreciated. If you recognize them with an award specific to the job that they pride themselves on, then you'll boost morale and create loyal employees. Consider, then, these many different types of employee recognition awards for your workers.
As a broad category, these awards focus on workers’ highly principled conduct in their work for your business. These recognize an employee’s character, focus on others, commitment to making work enjoyable and hospitable, and general love for what they do.
First, you can give a Loyalty Award to those who show a commitment over time to your company. Base this on time spent working at the company, and give it once someone reaches 5, 10, or 20 years of service. This signals to all your employees that you value a stable and grounded culture and want to invest in your people for a long time. Also, this can show that you value your older workers who stay on for a while. Many workplaces mistreat their more senior employees, whereas you can give them a home where you applaud their loyalty and value their wisdom.
You can also give a Leadership Award to those who set the pace, determine your vision, and readily take the initiative. These people are uniquely valuable because, if not for them, your operation would be aimless and shortsighted. And this doesn’t need to apply only to business associates. Consider how you can reward all kinds of leaders who impact your life. Give your pastor a plaque to uphold their shepherding strengths and undying care for everyone in their church.
Next up, the Adversity Award allows employees to feel seen as they go through a difficult vocational time. Maybe they’ve changed roles in the company or dealt with a transition that required they work more to fill the gap. You can also award this to encourage an employee through a difficult time in their personal life. If they’re caring for a chronically ill loved one or suffered a death in their circle and were still able to invest themselves in their work, that’s laudable. Giving the award in these cases acknowledges the importance of employees’ lives outside of work and assures them that their company values them as a person.
Additionally, an Others-Focused Award applauds a worker who always puts clients’ and other workers’ success and well-being before themselves. They’re willing to go the extra mile to make sure a customer is happy and colleagues feel supported. They make sacrifices often, sometimes without many people knowing, because they believe in what they’re doing and how they’re helping. This person probably won’t expect an award that recognizes their role in the company’s success, which is even more reason to give it to them.
Another way you can conceptualize this Others-First Award is in terms of exemplary humanitarian service. Just as employees focus on clients and colleagues, you may work with someone who really cares about helping those in need. Perhaps they even advocated for the creation of a company-wide giving program or a volunteer-time-off initiative. Give this award to encourage further service and give your workplace added purpose.
A company’s culture is difficult to manufacture. It needs to come organically from a group of people who model what it’s like to succeed in the company. Whether your culture is one that thrives on healthy competition or mutual support and care, if it works, then you probably owe some people a Culture Award for making it happen. To make things fun and the award more fitting, consider holding an employee vote for the Culture Award.
Rewarding workers’ character, like many other awards, indicates there is more to a job than the tasks workers complete. That said, it may affect worker productivity. Giving a Character Award incentivizes a culture of high values and recognizes someone’s unwillingness to cut corners, which is a constant temptation. This helps keep the quality of your service or product top-notch and ensures your employees challenge themselves rather than bend to an unforeseen challenge.
Outstanding Service Member Award
This one is specifically for a remarkable firefighter, policeman, or other service member. Give the Outstanding Service Member Award to members of your firehouse or precinct who demonstrate unwavering resolve in tough situations. You might also give it to an individual who stays grounded through the inherent stress of their day-to-day.
A second award category pertains to performance-based accomplishments and the people who strive to push themselves every day.
Exceeds Expectations Award
First, you can award people for exceeding expectations. This goes to people who set goals, continually press forward, and achieve more than they set out to do. This award rewards people for demonstrating a strong internal motivation to be better or more efficient regardless of their boss’s or others’ expectations of them. This will encourage others to follow suit.
One common one is the Sales Award. This can be for any period of time—one month, one quarter, or one fiscal year—and simply recognizes a salesperson who secures the most sales. You can couple this with a monetary incentive or get creative with other things you offer, such as luxurious trips and gift cards. A Sales Award sets every salesperson’s sights on beating out others, meaning that, as you track sales and announce leaders, others will work harder to beat them. This could exponentially increase the sales team’s success.
Employee of the Month
Here’s a classic—the Employee of the Month Award. You give this to someone who either demonstrated the spirit of the company or had a solid stretch of successes. Employee of the Month Awards are unique because you can point to a specific instance of exemplary service when giving it. Drawing attention to what people do well gives others a precise model for how they can improve.
Behind the Scenes Award
The Behind the Scenes Award is a less conventional performance award. This one brings someone into the limelight whose role is important but not regularly visible. Companies can award this to many different types of employees, ranging from the resident data analyst or web developer that supports staff to the cleaning staff who prepare workspaces. This shows that the company doesn’t forget anyone or favor any one group of workers.