Seminal research indicates that employees value recognition in the workplace more than money. In fact, 83% of respondents to a survey claimed that recognition for contributions at work were more fulfilling to them than any rewards or gifts they’ve received.
Additionally, 88% claimed that praise from their managers was “very” or “extremely” motivating. A Gallup study also revealed that companies with the highest employee engagement levels use recognition and praise to motivate their employees.
Overall, studies indicate that recognition at work is tied to an employee’s sense of meaning and purpose at work. So, consider handing out and presenting one of the following five awards and accolades to your top performers if you want to keep them motivated and retained at your organization.
1. Peer-Recognition Award
Have employees pick out a fellow employee who really went above and beyond in any given month or quarter. Perhaps the employee helped solve a problem that a department was facing for a long time. Or maybe he or she took on additional tasks while one of his or her coworkers was out ill or handling other work-related duties.
Either way, let employees choose whom they want to recognize and thank publicly. Such recognition can prove more valuable than manager-initiated recognition in certain situations.
2. Community Member Award
Recognize employees who contribute to their local communities, especially if they do so while volunteering in the name of your organization. For example, if your website developer helped build a website for a local nonprofit organization, recognize his or her efforts and how she or she helped. Or, if an employee spearheaded your organization’s holiday food drive, recognize him or her for his or her community-related efforts and work.
3. Most Valuable Employee Award
Encourage your organization’s leadership team and departmental managers to recognize employees who really drive the success and longevity of your organization, as often as possible. For example, if an employee prevented a security breach, recognize him or her publicly for his or her efforts. Or if an employee saved a relationship with a long-term and profitable client, recognize him or her publicly … and, so on.
4. Most Appreciated Team Player Award
Employees should also be recognized when they set aside their individual wants and aspirations to move their team efforts ahead. For example, if they set aside a few minutes here and there to help a coworker learn how to use a new technology platform, or if they completed most of the work on a “team project,” or if they always offer to drive the car during work trips, etc.
5. Innovative Employee Award
When an employee “thinks outside the box” to save your organization money, drive productivity, or develop a new product, thank him or her publicly for his or her innovative ideas and hard work.
Notice how none of the five awards and accolades mentioned above is tied to monetary gains and rewards. And remember to recognize your employees and show your appreciation for them publicly if you want them to remain engaged and committed at your organization.