If you think that corporate awards ceremonies have to end up like The Dundies from The Office—that is, in disaster—we encourage you to reconsider! While Michael Scott’s attempts fail to hit the mark, crafty bosses worldwide know that there are many benefits to the annual employee appreciation ceremony. Unlike the ones at Dunder Mifflin, well-organized corporate awards programs rarely fail. Instead, they boost the confidence, morale and loyalty of employees, encouraging them to do their best work and restoring pride in your company. Here are some ways that corporate awards can reinvigorate your workforce for the better.
- They Showcase Accomplishments—The primary reason for any company to implement a corporate awards program is to help celebrate the strengths and wins of individual contributors. Managers should always be giving pats on the back, but there’s something special and tangible about employees receiving custom trophies that they can display on their desks. As you may know, showering your employees with appreciation isn’t just good for their egos—it’s also good for business! According to a survey by Glassdoor, 81 percent of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when they’re appreciated for their work. Give those snaps and get better results!
- They Get Everyone Together—Busy organizations need excuses to get the entire team together. Sadly, for many, it’s only the holiday party or the annual retreat where everyone’s in the same room, but we all know that team-building is key to creating a happy, inclusive workplace. In fact, Forbes says that it’s one of the most important investments a company can make due to the fact that it helps mitigate conflict and increase collaboration among employees. Think of your corporate awards event as a way to get everyone together to laugh, celebrate and share in successes. There is never enough of that in today’s fast-paced business world!
- They Boost Employee Morale—Smart bosses have few illusions about what makes employees happy—if they feel appreciated and if their hard work is recognized, they’re much more likely to report that they’re happy in the workplace. It’s really that simple. For the fact that employees will work harder (ideally, with a positive attitude) to reach certain goals—such as earning a specific title at an awards ceremony—and because such ceremonies encourage collaboration and team bonding, you can bet morale will be up after you’ve handed out the prizes.
- They Encourage Company Loyalty—According to the Glassdoor study referenced above, more than half of employees say they’d stay longer at a company if they felt more appreciation from their bosses. For this reason, making sure that your employees’ accomplishments are recognized—not just once a year at an awards ceremony, but year-round with bonuses, raises and incentives—ensures that your best employees don’t look elsewhere for meaningful work. Remember that onboarding quality talent is only half the battle. You also have to work hard at retaining Never assume that team members are afraid to seek out other jobs.
- They Serve as a Continual Reminder of Strengths—What do personalize corporate trophies do that bonuses, raises and annual reviews don’t? They stand as continual, physical reminders of your appreciation for a certain employee. Anytime a worker feels frustrated with his or her position or the company at large, a glance at a special award will help reinvigorate pride and loyalty and encourage better conflict resolution. Coupled with company swag, custom trophies are tangible ways to celebrate a team member’s unique strengths and wins.
- They Encourage Healthy Competition—Whether you choose serious award titles or tongue-in-cheek ones—the “Always Late” award or “Fastest E-Mail Responder” award, for example—you can be sure that employees will fight (in a healthy manner, we hope) to win those sought-after titles. Make sure that managers are reminding employees about awards throughout the year so that they’re constantly keeping them in mind and working towards a specific title. While fun awards are great, be sure that you’re also recognizing serious strengths of employees so they feel that their hard work is not in vain!
- They Showcase Silent Qualities—Sometimes, it can be difficult to recognize the things that specific employees are good at. Maybe someone is particularly great at getting everyone together for happy hour and someone else has a special knack for diffusing tough situations. Besides annual or semi-annual reviews, there are few times when bosses really get to delve deep into what silent strengths make employees so invaluable. Corporate awards ceremonies provide the perfect chance to do that!
- They Encourage Collaboration—Last but not least, one of the most important benefits of corporate awards is the fun in organizing it. Not only does the entire team get to spend time together at the actual event—which, depending on your company culture, you can make as fancy as The Oscars or as lowkey as The Dundies—they also get together during the planning process. You can leverage this to your benefit to encourage collaboration—elect one member of every team or organization as part of the planning committee to make it a whole-company collab and to break down those natural departmental barriers.
At the end of the day, organizing corporate awards is an excellent way to help say “thank you” to your most hard-working, loyal and creative employees. Do your best to make the experience a great one by making it an extra-special event somewhere fun—in other words, don’t host it in the conference room at lunch!—and by investing in standout company trophies that are guaranteed to dazzle your employees!