Martin Awards

11 Creative Employee Awards That Your Team Will Love

Post Date: March 03, 2023

Employees love when their hard work and effort are recognized. Sure, there is an argument that an employee’s reward is the salary they receive, but it’s also important to show them the recognition they deserve when they perform excellent work in other ways, too.

The reality is that a lack of recognition is one of the leading reasons why employees decide to leave a company. Research even shows that it is the most talented employees who are faster to leave a company that they feel does not adequately recognize their efforts. For companies to be successful, it is imperative that they hold on to their top talent.

Employee awards, therefore, are a wonderful way for companies to show their employees some love and recognize them when they perform excellent work. There are many different types of employee awards that a company can give and the more creative you get, the better!

In this blog post, we will highlight 11 creative employee awards that we are sure your team will appreciate. We’ll also look at some different ways you can show your employees just how important they are to your company. Let’s get started with this guide to awarding employees.

1. Long-Service Award

If an employee stays at a company for a considerable amount of time, it’s clear that they are doing something right. Employees who are at a company for several years are invaluable, given that they should be experts at how the company operates and have built up an immense amount of experience within their position. It’s also likely that they have built up strong relationships with clients and customers, something which cannot be overestimated.

We think it’s a great idea to award employees who stay at a company for a long time. For example, you can award an employee once they serve 20 or 30 years at a company. Gifting an award is a nice touch to show how appreciative a company is to an employee for their many years of service.

Remember, it costs far more to hire new employees than it does to keep existing employees. It’s especially important to show your most loyal employees just how much they mean to your company, especially when they reach milestones.

2. Anniversary Award

This award idea is somewhat similar to the long-service award but it can also be awarded to employees who joined more recently. It’s a lovely touch to gift an employee an award once they pass one year at a company, given that it shows them they are appreciated and that they aren’t simply another cog in the system.

An award after an employee’s first anniversary of joining can be followed up with one for their 3rd anniversary, their 5th anniversary, and their 10th anniversary, for example. At that stage, they can start thinking about the long-service award that lies down the road.

Many employees who leave a company do so within the first 24 months. A small gesture such as gifting an anniversary award after one year shows an employee that your company cares. Happy employees who feel recognized, as we have highlighted above, are far less likely to move on.

3. Employee of the Month Award

If your company currently has any type of employee award, it’s likely that it’s the employee of the month (or quarter) award. It’s a tried-and-trusted method of showing your appreciation to top-performing employees and gives everyone an incentive to work hard at all times.

Gifting your employees a physical award, such as a plaque, is a physical representation of your appreciation for their efforts. In addition to an award, companies can reward employees with extra vacation time, bonuses, and gift cards. A small award ceremony each month or quarter also gives your best-performing employee the spotlight and encourages others to perform to their highest level.

4. Performance Award

This award is a little different from the above-mentioned employee of the month or quarter award. It’s different in the sense that it isn’t a regularly-scheduled award and may be presented to an employee at any time.

Really, it’s a way to show recognition when an employee really deserves it, especially following the completion of a busy period or a specific project.

For example, you may choose to award an employee with a performance award once a challenging project has been completed or simply to show some love to an employee who has worked extra hard recently.

It’s important to recognize overachievers in a company. That’s why an impromptu performance award can mean so much to an employee, as it shows them that their employers are able to see the effort they are putting into their job.

5. Newcomer Award

For a small, fast-growing company, it’s likely that there are a lot of newcomers joining (and even some leaving) in a short space of time. It’s a great way to recognize the new employees who have made a positive impression at your company and whose efforts can show other employees just what it takes to be successful.

In order to make this award fair, be sure to stick to a particular time frame. For instance, every six months your company can award an employee who they themselves joined within that timeframe.

Employees will generally have a number of performance reviews during the first several months of starting at a company. It’s nice to also show your appreciation to the top-performing newcomer every now and then by gifting them with an award.

6. Leadership Award

This is an interesting award as there are a few different ways you can approach it. Firstly, you can limit the potential recipients of this award to those of your employees who work in a leadership position (i.e. management/team leads).

Given their importance to the company overall and the amount of work/responsibility they have, it’s nice to show your appreciation from time to time, especially when they go above and beyond with their work.

Another approach with this award is to make everyone at your company eligible, even if they aren’t strictly working in a “leadership” or management position. It could also be awarded to a regular employee who has stepped up and performed their role in a way that inspires others.

7. Health and Fitness Award

A company shouldn’t be all work and no play. Employees do have their own lives outside of the office and many of them will have their own individual goals when it comes to health and fitness. Employees, for example, may be trying to lose a specific amount of weight or complete a race (including a marathon).

Employees who are fit and healthy are less likely to be sick, which is a benefit to their companies. If you are aware that one of your employees has a personal health goal, it’s a lovely touch to show some recognition by presenting them with an award once they complete it.

So, the next time that one of your employees completed a marathon or a similar event, be sure to have an award ready for when they come in to work the next day. They’ll absolutely love the surprise!

8. Peer-to-Peer Award

Here’s an interesting award idea. So far, the awards mentioned above are all gifted from management to employees. However, there is another way to approach giving out awards, which is to allow employees to award their fellow employees.

Every now and then, encourage your employees to come together and decide if there is someone on the team they would all like to recognize. The reality is that the employee chosen to receive the award may feel even happier than receiving an award that comes from management, given that it shows how respected they are by the people they work alongside day after day.

9. Volunteer Award

This award idea is similar to the health and fitness award, as it recognizes that employees have a life outside of the office. Many employees perform charity and voluntary work in their free time, which we think should be recognized and encouraged.

If you know of one of your employees who has been performing voluntary work in their free time, why not show how proud you and your company are of them by gifting them an award?

Likewise, if your company has a charity wing, it’s a nice idea to show appreciation to the employees who volunteer their time to this cause.

10. Team Impact Award

Not every award needs to recognize personal achievement. If your company is sufficiently large to have a number of different teams or departments, why not reward one that has demonstrated excellence?

For example, if a particular department overcame difficult circumstances or a team showed initiative on a project, it’s a lovely idea to show your appreciation with a physical gesture, such as presenting each employee with an award or a perpetual award plaque.

11. Chairman Award

This isn’t an award for the chairman of the company, but rather a special award from the chairman to a top-performing employee. It’s always a nice moment when an employee receives recognition for their efforts, but it is extra nice when they receive an award from a senior figure.

personalized award from the chairman or CEO is highly recommended if there is a particular employee who has gone above and beyond for the company.

How to Award Your Employees in Style

In addition to gifting an employee or a group of employees an award to recognize their hard work at your company, it’s also great to physically ward them with their award in style. Here are some suggestions for this.

Create Your Own Awards Event

Why not take a play from the Michael Scott playbook and host an awards ceremony? You can create your very own “Dundies” for your employees and give out super creative and lighthearted awards (for example, the “whitest sneakers awards”). It’s a fun and quirky way to show just how much your employees mean to the company.

Post on Social Media

Today, the majority of Americans use some form of social media. Research shows that around 70% of Americans use social media to connect with one another and engage with content.

If your company is looking to highlight the high-achievers and award-winners, it’s a wonderful idea to post some photos and content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Create a Wall of Fame

If your company already operates an employee of the month/quarter award, it’s possible that it already has a wall where all of the past winners are recognized.

It’s also a great idea to create a “wall of fame” where every award winner is publically recognized. This wall of fame doesn’t just have to include award winners for things like employee of the month, but all of the award ideas we have listed in this blog post. It’s a fitting way to showcase the best of your team and let everyone see exactly who has won awards at your company.

Creative Employee Awards That Your Team Will Love

The bottom line is that employees love to have their hard work recognized by management and there are many different types of employee awards. Even though the most important “reward” for their efforts in the office is their salary, taking the time to highlight excellent work through employee awards is also hugely beneficial to employee morale.

If you are looking to purchase incredible and unique awards for your company’s employees, look no further than Martin Awards. Check out our home page for more information. We offer free proofs, free engravings, and free logos/vectors, as well as free shipping on orders above $99.

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