PLEASE NOTE: Our Showroom will be closed this Friday, March 29th, 2024 for the Easter holiday.

How do you meaningfully recognize an employee?

July 24, 2023

True recognition goes beyond a generic pat on the back. Each employee is unique, and their contributions can be acknowledged accordingly. Customized awards tailored to reflect an employee’s personality, achievements, and company impact take the recognition experience to a whole new level. By showcasing attention to detail and thoughtfulness, these awards become cherished mementos that symbolize an employee’s journey within your organization.

At FiveStar Awards & Engraving, we take immense pride in crafting high-end, completely custom awards for companies nationwide. We operate from our home production base in Cary, NC to make awards items as unique as your brand.

The best companies honor and recognize their employees regularly. It improves morale, creates great company culture, and retains top talent. What we saw during the pandemic was that companies jumped on the opportunity to save money by recognizing people with a flash on zoom. Kudos for recognition, but what they found out soon enough was that employees wanted tangible appreciation. Yes, that award on the shelf DID have meaning. After the pandemic we had customers playing catch-up. Why? Because that flash on zoom did not help retain talent, and our customers were feeling the sting.

Let us help you get the creativity flowing. 

Want help brainstorming what is best for your brand? We can help you honor your team members! Contact us today.

Celebrating Employee Excellence: Meaningful Recognition Ideas

This list of ideas is going to have tons of tangible award ideas. But we also believe that tangible + intangible rewards make a great combination. So you’ll notice a few ideas that aren’t just awards and trophies in the mix! Physical awards hold undeniable sentimental value, but it’s important to remember that recognition goes beyond material objects. 

Pairing awards with intangible rewards, like personalized notes, public praise, or professional development opportunities can amplify the impact of your recognition efforts. 

Let’s get inspired:

Years of Service Awards

Celebrate big milestones! These awards recognize employees’ dedication and loyalty based on their tenure with the company. They are often given at significant milestones such as 5, 10, or 20 years of service. Years of Service Awards can include personalized plaques, engraved trophies, or symbolic gifts that commemorate the employee’s journey within the organization. 

One of our favorites pictured below was for WithersRavenel who came to us with new branding and wanting to incorporate the brand in that award. It became a very cool piece where they added “tokens” for every milestone. Our customer was thrilled with the design.

Pairs Well With: In addition to milestone awards, a thoughtful note about what their tenure means to your company would make a five-star pairing! 

Employee of the Month/Quarter/Year

This type of award recognizes outstanding performance and is given on a regular basis so employees know when the next opportunity is around the bend. It acknowledges employees who consistently demonstrate exceptional work, go above and beyond their responsibilities, and contribute significantly to the organization’s success. Employee of the Month awards can include certificates or trophies. Many companies create a Perpetual Plaque that is prominently displayed somewhere in the workplace for everyone to see. 

Pairs Well With: Employees love monetary rewards or additional perks, so think about pairing a cash prize with the physical award! 

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Peer-to-peer recognition programs encourage employees to appreciate and acknowledge their colleagues’ achievements. This type of award allows employees to nominate and recognize their peers for their hard work, collaboration, and support. SHRM research shows that a peer recognition model is 35.7% more likely to benefit your financial results—even more than manager recognition. 

Pairs Well With: Create a program where people can nominate someone for something like free coffee day— and we can help you make custom drinkware to pair with it! 

Team-Based Awards

These awards recognize outstanding teamwork, collaboration, Core Values, and successful project completion. They celebrate the collective efforts and achievements of a group or department. Team-based awards can include trophies, plaques, or certificates presented to the team as a whole. 

Pairs Well With: Once you give them that big FiveStar trophy, pair it with team outings or special events to celebrate their accomplishments!

Innovation Awards

Innovation awards recognize employees who have contributed innovative ideas, processes, or solutions that have made a significant impact on the organization. These awards encourage creativity and problem-solving skills. They can include certificates, trophies, or special recognition events to highlight the employee’s innovative contributions. 

Pairs Well With: We think some of our innovative, beautiful art glass could make a great selection for this category, and it would pair well with some extra PTO!

Leadership Awards

Leadership awards honor employees who demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities and inspire their colleagues. These awards recognize individuals who lead by example, motivate others, and contribute to the development and growth of their teams. 

Pairs Well With: We think amazing Leadership awards can include personalized plaques or trophies — and that they pair well with professional development opportunities!

Special Achievement Awards

These awards celebrate employees’ special achievements outside of their regular job responsibilities. It could be recognition for completing a significant project, winning an industry award, or making a noteworthy contribution to the organization. Special Achievement Awards can be customized based on the employee’s accomplishment and can include plaques, trophies of any kind.

Pairs Well With: Pair that perfect plaque with a gift card for dinner out on the town to celebrate that special achievement!

Remember, the key to effective employee recognition is personalization and aligning the award with the specific achievements and values of your organization. Customizing the awards to reflect the unique contributions and preferences of your employees adds a thoughtful touch to the recognition process.

We would love to partner with you in your efforts to foster a culture of recognition! Meaningful recognition should not be a one-time event — let’s work together to make it an integral part of your company’s culture.

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