There are many ways to recognize and reward individuals or organizations. Companies use a wide variety of recognition vehicles for their recipients, including trips, merchandise, gift cards, and special privileges, such as the use of special parking spaces.
Many of these vehicles, however, are transient – they are impactful at the time of presentation and use, but, as many studies show, their impact diminishes over time as the memory of their use fades.
One of the big benefits of presenting physical awards to recognize accomplishments or achievements is that it becomes a permanent reminder of the recognition. It reminds recipients that their contributions were appreciated, and reinforces the behavior that resulted in these accomplishments. It also highlights their accomplishments to others within the organization, providing additional motivation for them.
However, the type of award chosen can have a big impact on the effectiveness of this. If the award is a cheap, low quality trophy – something the recipient does not feel proud displaying – it can devalue the accomplishments it was intended to reward. Quality does make a difference!
This point was hammered home recently when we produced a custom award for Groominglounge.com’s “King of All Follicles Award,” recognizing the “Best Men’s Hair in America.” Howard Stern received this award during his broadcast show. Interesting, part of the dialogue during the Howard Stern Wrap Up Show, between hosts John Hein and Gary Dell’Abate, related to the quality and impact of the physical award:
Jon Hein: “You think that is award is sort of a goof and funny, and this and that, but Howard is taking it very, very seriously.”
Gary Dell’Abate: “Well, first of all, he beat some pretty big people, and, second of all, once there’s a trophy made – Howard always said we should make trophies and give people awards and they’ll show up – but once there is a trophy it just makes it seem much more real. And, by the way, we’ve had them before, but that trophy is, hands down, one of the best ones that anyone’s ever brought”.
Dell’Abate: “Well, first of all, it’s heavy, it’s substantial, it’s not like something you bought at a gift shop.”
The dialogue goes on from there, but you get the idea. The full dialogue can be found at: