Award Programs in the Workplace: The ROI of Employee Recognition

Award Programs in the Workplace: The ROI of Employee Recognition

Apr 19th 2022

From pre-pandemic times to present day, human resource studies have shown the top reasons employees quit their jobs have remained generally consistent. Aside from seeking higher pay, feeling a lack of respect or appreciation, poor company culture, negative work environments, and feeling disconnected or dissatisfied with company values all rank high on the list of reasons good employees choose to walk away.

Alternatively, employees who feel appreciated and respected in their jobs report taking more pride in their work and feel a stronger sense of connection and loyalty to their employers. They are more motivated, tend to be more productive, and perform better overall. Often, companies that report higher rates of employee satisfaction also show higher rates of customer satisfaction.

The takeaway for employers?

Gregor Black Piano Plaque

While a strong compensation package will always be a critical incentive, providing a positive culture in which employees feel satisfied and valued is key – not only to attracting and retaining talent, but to fostering a team that thrives. And when your team thrives, your business thrives.

Workplace Happiness Matters

What is an Employee Recognition Program?

An employee recognition program, or employee reward program, is an increasingly common way for employers to acknowledge the contributions, merits, and achievements of their team. Recognition programs can also incentivize performance and help keep morale high.

Typically, employers will present a tangible token of appreciation such as a plaque or crystal award to commemorate the service or achievement being recognized. Often, recognition is accompanied by an additional gift or reward. Common examples of rewards include extra vacation days, special parking spaces, monetary bonuses, gift cards, or merchandise.

Gregor Black Piano Plaque
Millennium Crystal Award

Recognition programs can be formal or informal, though more organizations are moving toward implementing more structured programs with clearly defined policies and guidelines on award types, objectives, and criteria. Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to establishing a culture of employee appreciation. Companies of all types and sizes, from large corporations to small local businesses, incorporate some form of official recognition as a key part of their employee retention strategy.

What Types of Awards Should be in my Recognition Program?

When it comes to awards – from recognition categories to the awards themselves – the options are many. Whether you want to reward your top sales performers, honor a loyal team member for years of dedicated service, or get creative and design a fun custom award that is totally unique to your business and brand, you can do just that.

Workplace Recognition

There is no one "right" approach to employee recognition. Generally, most rewards programs include recognition or awards based on performance and values, but the specifics can vary widely based on the size and nature of each organization.

Some common recognition categories include:

  • Sales or performance achievements
  • Customer service
  • Special accomplishments or meeting goals
  • Safety compliance
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership or mentorship
  • Employee of the Month / Quarter / Year
  • Attendance
  • Years of service / employment anniversaries
  • Retirement recognition and gifts

Of course, there are many other possibilities and ideas to consider. What works for one type of organization, may not make sense for another. Developing an employee reward program is often a tailor-made process. Your company's award categories are as customizable as the physical awards you present to recognize them.

Kai Splash Cobalt Recycled Art Glass Award

Commemorative awards and corporate gifts are available in a range of materials, shapes, and sizes to accommodate any vision and budget. From classic plaque awards for individual or perpetual recognition, to colorful art glass awards, stunning crystal awards, and many other popular styles in between, any style you choose can be personalized to your specifications.

With so many options, starting a new award program may sound like a daunting prospect, but it doesn't have to be. With over 25 years of experience and more than 30,000 customers served, our team of pros is here to help you design the perfect award package for your goals.

Give us a call at 800.753.3384, connect with us by chat, or email us at