Six steps for successful employee awards

Six steps for successful employee awards

April 12, 2016

It’s great to get recognised. Whether it’s receiving a ‘thank you’ in the corridor for the time you’ve put into a project or an Oscar (Leonardo DiCaprio, we’re looking at you), knowing your work is appreciated is a professional feel-good.

More and more companies are tapping into this satisfaction to launch their own internal awards – and Headlines is no exception.

A prize-giving is a fantastic way to deliver a pat on the back to the members of your organisation.

Not only does it celebrate colleagues’ hard work, but it reminds others they work in a business filled with talented individuals, perhaps even inspiring others to follow the example their colleagues have set.

Organising an honours initiative is simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide to kick-starting your own business awards:

1. Set the categories
These could be as simple as ‘Best Sales Representative’ or ‘Greatest Pitch Performance, or more broad, such as ‘Someone Who Has Gone Above and Beyond’ or ‘Someone Who Has Made the Office a Fun Place to Be’. The addition of a fun category – ‘Most Likely to Pinch the Last Biscuit’, for example – is a chance to celebrate company culture. Keep the language simple so people understand what they’re voting for, and pick no more than seven categories to keep it succinct.

2. Launch the campaign
Now it’s time to let your staff know about the awards. Leave leaflets on desks, put posters next to water coolers, mention it in your internal magazine, send out a company-wide email, post a notification to the intranet, or take advantage of social media to get the word out. Create a buzz – it will make the winners feel even more prestigious when they receive their prize. Remember to include the important details: when it’s taking place, what the categories are, and how people can get involved.

3. Organise the ballot
Throwing the vote out to the workforce is a democratic way to let everyone have a say. Place a ballet box in a communal area – next to the kettle, perhaps – and invite staff to post the name of their nominee inside. An online poll on the intranet or a social media platform is another accessible way to get engage people, while also directing traffic towards other IC channels. Agree how the winner will be decided – will it be the nominee with the most tallies, or will you ask voters to include a reason for their choice to help the leadership team pick a champion?

4. Announce the winner
The winners’ names are sealed in that golden envelope; now it’s time to declare the result. Internal channels are one way to go, but why not organise a ceremony? It doesn’t have to be grand – make it part of your company’s next town hall meeting, or down tools half an hour early one Friday to hand out the prizes – but making the presentations in front of the rest of the organisation adds prestige to the awards. It’s also a great opportunity for people from different departments to get talking.

5. Pick a prize
Meaningful recognition is great on its own, but a small gift is an extra way to say thank you to your most-valued employees. Cash or vouchers tend to be popular, but an extra day’s holiday or an internal privilege are inexpensive gestures. Make prizes appropriate, desirable and worthy of the hard work gone in to winning – half a chocolate bar might not cut it for someone who’s landed your business’s next big contract.

6. Make it a regular event
The confetti has been swept away, but don’t let that be the end of the award-giving. Perhaps introduce an Employee of the Month concept to encourage staff to go the extra mile or turn the awards into an annual event.