Corporate Awards Ideas for Recognizing Your Employees

Employees thrive on recognition. When companies show employees appreciation for exceptional work and give credit when it is due, employees are likely to stick around longer. When they do leave, they do so with a positive vibe and glowing recommendation of the company they worked for.

Employee retention strategy is important for attracting and keeping top talents in the industry. While many star employees are bound to move on, recognizing their performance will bode well for companies. There’s a reason Fortune publishes lists like “100 Best Companies to Work For.”

One of the best ways to show recognition is through corporate awards. Awards are tangible and signify more than a soulless “thanks.” They’re also given in front of people in most cases, making the recognition public.

Over the years though, many employee awards have become predictable and boring. They lose their effect when presented as simply one of the checkboxes companies have to check off.


How should companies approach their corporate awards?

Tie them to physical rewards

Awards and trophies alone might’ve been good enough in grade school, but in a corporate world, they should ideally accompany other tangible rewards: gift certificates, trips, prizes, or money.

Make them fun

This depends largely on each company’s corporate culture, but the same old “length of service” and “exceptional performance” awards can be tiring. Just as there are both Academy Awards for best in the movie industry and Golden Raspberry Awards for the worst, varying things up can be fun. (This is not to say that companies should name underperforming employees; the time for that is during an annual evaluation, in private.)

SurePayroll, a payroll services company based in Illinois, was showcased in the media heavily in 2011 for their approach to unique corporate awards. The company gives out the year’s most impressive screwup award. “Screwup” in this case is not to be insulting. It’s to celebrate employees with big ideas who are not afraid of taking risks and failing.

Unusual awards breathe life into otherwise stale award-giving culture. However, it’s important not to go overboard and create weird awards for every conceivable category, as that would defeat the purpose of giving out awards – to celebrate special and innovative achievements.

Raise the stakes

Awards are recognition for the past work as well as the demand for better future performance. Employees who receive corporate awards shouldn’t stagnate, but that’s sometimes the case.

They need to be propelled into larger roles. For someone receiving an innovator award, it’d be good for him/her to receive a budget to develop one of the ideas.

Coming up with meaningful corporate awards ideas is essential for employee retention. Companies should thoughtfully approach employee recognition and the awards should reflect that. This can go a long way towards strengthening the relationship employees have with their companies. Awards are also a great reminder of company values and goals. helps companies recognize their employees by crafting beautiful custom and corporate awards for Fortune 500 companies and other organizations around the world, providing quality awards in a timely manner.