Employee Award Ideas for Appreciating Your Staff

Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland
May 25, 2023
5 min read

If you’re struggling to develop employee recognition award ideas, you’re not alone. It can be tricky, especially when multiple teams work across different departments in the organisation. But employee award ideas for recognising employees are an important part of a positive company culture.

A lot of companies have successfully implemented an employee recognition strategy and their retention and engagement rates can help back that up. Whether you’re here because you’re looking for new ways to appreciate your employees or start from scratch, we’ve got some employee award ideas for you.

What Are Employee Awards?

Giving employees awards is a great way to make them feel valued, recognised and appreciated. While competitive pay, bonuses and benefits matter, how you make employees feel is vital in attracting and retaining your top talent. 

  • Giving employee awards can boost morale and offer positive affirmation.
  • Employees who experience a positive company culture will naturally become brand ambassadors for your organisation and help bring new talent on board.
  • When employees are satisfied, they will be more motivated to use their initiative and show an interest in the company’s success.

Best Practices for Employee Award Ideas for Recognising Employees

  • Frequent recognition: If you wait for yearly milestones or work anniversaries to recognise your employees’ contributions, your recognition program will likely fall flat. Recognition needs to happen in real-time and regularly to make it part of your company culture.
  • Awards that align with company values: Your awards program should align with your company’s brand, values and the employee experience you want to create to help reinforce key behaviours.
  • Get creative: Why not get creative rather than using standard names for your awards program? Rather than ‘Best Leader’, why not go for something like ‘Exceptional Leadership Award’. 

12 Employee Award Ideas for Recognising Employees

1. Spearheading success award

When you know someone has been instrumental in driving a project forward, it’s nice to mark their efforts with an award. Publicly recognising everything from the successful introduction of a new product or the implementation of a new work process helps employees stay motivated and offers an extra incentive for doing well.

2. Bright Ideas and Innovations award 

It’s also great to have an award recognising bright ideas, especially if they’re not as easy to quantify or may take some time to produce results. Innovation and big ideas will help your business thrive in the future, so be sure to encourage employees to dream them up right now. 

3. Exceptional leadership award

Good leaders are hard to come by. Knowing how to lead a high-performing team successfully is a specialist skill and something that should be rewarded! Defining a good leader is completely up to you, but it’s well worth looking at specific areas such as coaching, mentoring and communication skills when choosing who to recognise.  

4. Strong team player award

Being a great team player is integral to the success of any business, but it’s not recognised as often as some other skills. Shake that up by introducing an award that celebrates the people who work hard to boost collaboration, uphold team values and bring out the best in the entire team.

5. Tenure and work anniversary award

One of the most traditional employee awards is worth hanging on to. You can make the reward or celebration appropriate for the length of service, scaling up as the years progress, and this is an easy one to stay on top of, especially with a rewards and recognition platform like ours, which has automatic reminders. Need a little inspiration? Check out our guide to celebrating work anniversaries

6. Hit the ground running award

Celebrating the new starts who’ve recently joined can also be a great addition to your awards ceremony. The onboarding process can be a delicate one. There’s a lot of new information, and showing new hires that you appreciate their efforts is an excellent way to get them off to a strong start. 

7. Picked by your peers’ awards

Peer-to-peer recognition is an incredibly powerful form of social currency, and when you introduce an award that celebrates this, it can be doubly effective. It’s a nice way to involve everyone and allows staff to think about what makes their colleagues so special. 

8. Superstar listener award

Having a good listener on your team is a surefire way to grow workplace trust and boost employee bonds, so why not take the time to give your superstars a shout-out? Active and empathetic listening can help people feel valued and cared for – and it’s much harder than you might think.

9. Positive power award

There is nothing like having someone who burst into the office like a ray of sunshine, brightening everyone’s day. If you have employees who consistently turn up with a positive attitude and love spreading their joy to the rest of the team, why not take the time to celebrate them?

10. Great growth and learning award

Workplace learning is an incredible asset to a business, as well as to the individual who is undertaking it. Help encourage employee development by introducing awards that recognise people dedicated to expanding their skills.

11. Mighty Communicator award

Communication is the cornerstone of any successful enterprise. Poor communication can cost you dearly, so help promote a more positive experience by recognising the people who do a great job. This could be someone who holds brilliant meetings, who is always concise over email, or who does a great job sharing information over employee communication platforms

12. Most recognised employee award 

Is someone in the organisation always receiving praise from their peers and management? You could award employees who were recognised the most in one month or the quarter. This award can help you incentivise participation in your employee recognition program and let your employees know that you’re grateful for their commitment to the process! 

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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues. Your complete toolkit for connecting and motivating teams in the new world of work. Book a demo with our team today.

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