The Purpose of Recognition Awards

What to give

Since employees usually pay bills with cash or forget what they bought with it, most recognition consultants recommend staying away from cash gifts.

While money is probably the most universally desired reward, it is not the best recognition award because it has no symbolic value and, once spent, there is nothing to remind the employee of the special event. The best awards are functional jewelry, office or home accessories that are made of precious metals that contain some form of symbolism, such as the company logo or colors.

How to give
The best companies don’t just hand out gifts to recognize achievement; they create memorable experiences for employees and their co-workers. The most powerful moment of a recognition experience can come when and award is presented. What is said in that setting has tremendous potential for positive impact on the heart and soul of the recipient and on co-workers who are present.

Cash vs. Awards
Strategic recognition and award programs can enhance performance and help retain your top performers. According to a 1999 survey of 17,000 recent recognition award recipients, the vast majorities want to be formally appreciated for their work.
Cash Facts – Employees that received cash used the money for the following:
• 29% Paid bills.
• 18% cannot remember where the money went.
• 11% Purchased gifts.
• 11% Purchased household items.
• 11% Put into savings

“Realize it’s not the money that drives people away” writes Dr. John Sullivan, a human resources professor at the University of San Francisco and a consultant to major corporations. “One firm tracked the difference in salary between what former employees were paid at their old jobs and what they earned at their new firms. They found the average salary differential was little more than 5%. People don’t leave their jobs for money”

Dr. Sullivan notes that companies with low turnover typically have good managers, and those managers provide employees with challenges, opportunities, and confirmation that they make a difference, recognition and awards.