Have you ever wondered why they give out ribbons at county fairs? It makes people feel like their lives have meaning. For instance, a person will go through a lot of trouble to raise the finest livestock or make the very best preserves in the area, just to receive an award for their hard work. This is part of the power wrapped up in employee recognition awards and you don’t have to wait until someone has 10 years with the company or is ready to retire. In fact, there are many good reasons to recognize employees and let’s explore some of the possibilities.


Has someone in the sales department been doing things worth noting? Perhaps a driver has no accidents for several years. Maybe one of the production lines has been outperforming all the others. Perhaps one branch office is outperforming the other branches. This is a good time for some well-deserved recognition. Maybe a special performance bonus and some personalized employee recognition awards are in order?

Off the Job Activities

When you stay in touch with your employee’s personal lives you can greatly enhance your working relationship. For example, maybe one of your people gives tirelessly and unselfishly to a good cause in the community. When you express appreciation for these types of accomplishments, it has special meaning to the employee and this person is not likely to forget you when overtime or a special favor is required.

Fun Awards

Sometimes an awards ceremony needs to be only about frivolous or fun things. For example, you could give out special awards for people competing at a local company picnic event. Maybe you can sponsor a special company “comedy night” in which workers get up do their best to impersonate company officials. You also may wish to conduct a special roast for someone. When you show your people you have a sense of humor, it shows you are human and not just a face on the wall or a name on a check endorsement.

Beware of Cheap Imitations

When you give employee recognition awards, don’t go the cheap route. After all, you are telling these people exactly what you think of them and a beautiful crystal award which has been personalized provides a different message than a cheaply made plaque or trophy. In fact, a cheap or flimsy award (which is of little value) may have just the opposite effect it is intended to instill. Choose quality awards to reward quality behavior.