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More Honorable Company Awards Lead To More Loyal Employees

Jan 2, 2008
Companies have used recognition awards for decades as a way to show they value their employees. From the classic gold watch at retirement to Employee of the Month perpetual plaques, employee awards have become a standard part of doing business.

However the fact that company awards have become so common, so everyday, is exactly what is wrong with them. Employees no longer feel special. It's simply a routine part of the workday, an excuse to get away from the desk for a few minutes.

With a little creativity, you can restore that special feeling to company awards. Make your employees feel unique by giving them unique honors.

Certificates aren't worth the paper they are printed on

If your company gives out certificates for events like Employee of the Month, you need to stop. The durability of a gift sends a message about the durability of your feelings. Paper is disposable and a paper award, no matter how nice the penmanship is, says your loyalty to your people is disposable as well.

Think about it - why do you use paper certificates? Because they are inexpensive. If you want to save money on pens and staples that's one thing, but going cheap on employee awards means you are going cheap on employee relations.

Stay away from the same old plaques

Maybe you are one of the companies that give out actual plaques. You know those black plaques on dark wood (or wood-like plastic) with gold or silver engraving - the same plaques that every other company hands out.

A plaque is a step in the right direction. It's durable and sturdy. It has some heft to it and says that your commitment is solid.

On the other hand, the message this sends is, "You're unique - just like everybody else." Employees don't want to feel like a cog in the machine, even a valuable cog. For all the talk of teamwork, employees want to be rewarded as individuals.

Make unique awards for your unique people

Break out of the mold of boring plaques and explore other options.

Rather than the same old run-of-the-mill "Company Award Plaque #3" look through the catalog and see what else there is to offer. Find ways to personalize the award, say by going for a plaque that includes the employee's picture or a sports plaque.

Add a personal message that reflects the employee's individual contribution to the company. Why is this person being honored? If it is because of a broken sales record or an idea that saved the company a half-million dollars, say so.

Try abandoning plaques entirely. Splurge on a breathtaking crystal trophy or silver cup that an employee will be proud to display prominently on a desk.

Will these ideas cost more? Yes, probably. However an exceptional employee is the most valuable asset your company will have. A genuine act of appreciation boosts morale not just of the recipient but of all employees and that's money in the bank.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on
Company Awards, visit
http://www.Allstar-Awards.com/.
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