If you work in the corporate sector within HR, employee engagement or internal communications teams then you will understand the challenge of motivating and keeping employees engaged without a large budget. Employee surveys regularly reveal that financial reward is a big motivational factor but also show that corporate rewards are highly effective. There are so many more ways to motivate and engage employees, from a simple ‘Thank You’ to having grand annual awards ceremonies with corporate trophies and medals.
One of the great things about presenting corporate trophies, cups and awards is that they can be treasured for a very long time, so the effects of the recognition last much longer than other rewards such as vouchers. Some employees will even proudly display their corporate trophy on their desk, providing daily motivation to themselves and may also inspire their peers to work harder to receive the same recognition which can be great for increasing employee productivity.
Organising A Corporate Award Event
There are several aspects of organising a corporate awards event that you need to consider. To start with, the venue and number of guests must be decided in line with budget. If you do not have a large budget then you may need to research some free venues or pull some strings with local businesses. However, if you have a good employee engagement budget, the more extravagant the event is, the more memorable and effective it will be.
You should decide whether it is going to be an event where all employees are invited or whether it is open exclusively to award winners and nominees. Another important decision is the award categories and how the winners are decided. Will peers vote for each other? Or will leadership teams select their choice of winners? Perhaps a combination of the two approaches will work well.
If you are looking for corporate award ideas i.e. which types of awards to give out, a good idea is to align them to your business values or link directly to shared business objectives. This ensures that the awards add real value to the business in terms of employee performance helping to drive the business forward.
Different types of departments should have award categories that are relevant to their roles, for example customer service advisors should have corporate awards that recognise performance in the level of customer service they provide. If you have a contact centre that uses a customer satisfaction survey then selecting the employees with the top ratings for this is a good way of identifying the right people to receive recognition.
The type of trophy is also probably more important than you might think. In national awards ceremonies such as the UK National Contact Centre Awards, you will see that they give out stunning corporate glass awards because they look so professional and give that added sense of importance.
Other corporate awards ideas to consider include deciding who will present the awards. The UK National Contact Centre Awards arranged for Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet (and Eastenders) fame to present their awards. Again, this decision will come down to your allocated budget or your contacts! It can be just as significant (if not more) for employees to receive awards from the CEO or member of the exec/senior leadership team. So have a think about who is available and make sure you get it into their diary as early as possible.
It is also a nice idea to include a certificate to accompany each award, that reiterates in greater detail what the award was actually given for. You can usually only fit a short message or award title onto a trophy or cup, so having a certificate with the full detail of work will further enforce the rationale behind the award. This will help to show other employees the type of behaviour and performance that is required to receive an award. Additionally, it will show that the award is personal to the exact reason the individual was recognised, rather than just a generic award. A certificate can also be signed by the CEO or senior manager, even if they cannot attend the actual event.
One important thing to remember is to get loads of great photos and videos to share with the rest of the business, either through the company intranet or social media. This will help to raise awareness of the event and the different awards that were presented, so it will encourage people who do not attend to strive to receive an invite or win an award or trophy the next one. Sharing on social media will also give your company good PR and will show potential job applicants that your company recognises your top performers.