Appreciation, Recognition, and Rewards – How It All Adds Up


Star Achiever AwardWhen you are talking about corporate awards, these three terms are often used interchangeably: appreciation, recognition, and rewards. It may seem like they are the same, but in reality, there are specific differences between the three. Also, please note, all three types of awards are important and play roles in determining the culture of a company or organization, are great at motivating others and keep morale at a high level.

What are appreciation awards?

Appreciation is at the lowest level of these three awards. It should be widespread throughout your company. These awards should be received by all employees simply for fulfilling the requirements of their role. Appreciation awards are simple and informal, but they signal to them that their work is seen, and they are valued for the contributions they make.

Appreciation awards should be shared and received by every employee or member of the organization. It is most often done informally just to acknowledge a job well done. This is not a fancy level of awards. It can be a simple “thank you” note, special emojis sent in Slack, or a certificate or token acknowledging each person.

What are recognition awards?

Black and Blue Glass ClockNext, recognition awards are a step up from appreciation awards.  These rewards are more exclusive than those given for appreciation. Be sure to tie these awards to specific milestones or behaviors which exceed expectations. Some examples of recognition awards are someone who goes above and beyond their performance. This might include closing a huge deal, making a stellar sell, or crushing a deadline for a big project. For example, recognition awards may also include time of service awards, such as a first-year or a 5-year work anniversary.

Recognition awards should be delivered in a way that is personal and resonates most with the employee. They should also be publicly made known whether that is a ceremony, public announcement, or images posted later on the company newsletter or website. These awards are more formal in nature. This may be where a peer-based employee award system comes into play. Colleagues and managers can nominate others for the reward. Engrave these hand-picked awards with personalized congratulatory remarks and pertinent information such as why the award was given.

What are rewards?

Finally, at the top level are rewards. Save these awards for the top tier of performers. You can present these awards to those who go way above and beyond what was expected of them. These are the most inspirational and can create a ripple effect that encourages and motivates continued behavior across the board. Rewards offer your company or organization a way to establish and reinforce company values like excellence, passion, originality. Choose recipients based on how they have demonstrated pre-determined core values. Engrave and personalize these top awards with a special message to the recipient.

Let Suburban Custom Awards Help

Hopefully, you gathered a few ideas from this post. You can also contact us for more assistance. We can help you decide on the best and most fitting awards for your programs. We can also help with personalizing and engraving awards. Let our years of experience and expertise work for you! Call us today.