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What Are You Awarding People For?

Giving out employee recognition awards is a great way to show your staff that you really care about them and appreciate their hard work during the year. But handing out an award to everyone can actually undermine the whole process! If everyone gets one what makes them special? So who exactly should you give awards to?

Here are 3 reasons you might want to invest in an award of your employees:

1. Years of service

Employee turnover is defined as “the rate at which employees enter and leave a company in a given fiscal year.” Some employees may choose to leave voluntarily (moving, new job, retiring, etc), while others could be fired due to performance issues or let go because of the economy. Regardless of why your company is one employee short, employee turnover can actually be very expensive because it puts extra work pressure on the rest of your staff, leaves you scrambling to find a replacement employee (if the departure was unexpected), and requires you to ramp up any new hires.

In 2009, job satisfaction peaked, with 86% of U.S. employees saying they were satisfied with their current job. This suggests that in the midst of a very poor economy, employees were simply happy to have a job. In the last three years, however, job satisfaction has begun to trend downward, slowly slipping in the direction of the pre-recession rates.

One of the contributing causes to voluntary employee turnover is because employees don't feel valued. During the worst of the recession employees were happy to have any decent job and didn't want to make a fuss and put their position at risk. Now, with times slowing improving, employees might be looking for greener pastures where they aren't just viewed as bodies, but as valuable members of your organizations.

One great way to engage your employees and show them how much you appreciate their hard work is to hand out awards for years of service. Someone that has been with your organization for a decade has seen plenty of other people come and go, yet they have stayed and helped your business grow. Why not reward them with a custom design that speaks to their character and commitment as an employee?

2. Amazing customer support

Happy customers are what keep all of our doors open, and customer service and support is the cornerstone of keeping your customer happy. Ask around your customer service and sales teams and see who has some truly amazing customer support skills. For instance, Zappos (the King of Customer Service) made headlines when an agent spent 10 hours on the phone with a customer. Maybe you don't have someone who spent quite that much time on the phone with a customer, but did someone pull a rabbit out of their hat and get an order shipped last minute? Track down a missing package or lost customer item? For instance, the Ritz-Carlton in Florida sent a little boy's missing stuffed animal on a mini-vacation around the property before sending it back to the family. Just sending back the toy would have made the family happy, but Ritz-Carlton employees took it one step further and delivered truly amazing service!

If someone on your team makes that kind of magic happen for your customers don't they deserve a little recognition?

3. Biggest sale of the year

If someone on your sales teams lands a huge deal for your company, why not acknowledge that at the end-of-the-quarter meeting? Just make sure you are acknowledging the person who is really responsible for landing that account. If more than one person worked on that getting that client be sure you acknowledge everyone. The last thing you want to do is reward someone who snuck in at the last second while someone else did all of the heavy lifting!