The business press is awash with stories of recognition, employee engagement, and what organizations should do to make their employees feel valued. If you’re working in a large organization, you may be given the responsibility and resources to design programs that reward employees performing at a high level. If so, your next question is: Do business recognition awards work?
This is the conundrum today’s employers face. It’s something that leaders in some of the world’s largest companies are struggling with as they try to make sense of what many people refer to as the “employee engagement crisis.” What should businesses be doing? Many employees would say it comes down to simple things like managers showing more appreciation, giving out more promotions, and providing better benefits.
There may be some validity to these requests, but they’re unlikely to make a real impact unless the relationship between employee and employer is strengthened. This means taking a hard look at the factors that really drive employee engagement, like feeling respected and heard, being seen as a person, and having a say in their schedule and career path.
The true value of business recognition is in the increased potential to inspire growth and increase staff productivity and employee satisfaction. All these benefits can add to a business’s value in the long run.
When recognition is in the form of a public award, it has a positive reinforcement effect that will set an example for the rest of your employees. The award lets them know the kind of work you value the most. Recognition is essential for thousands of businesses and millions of workers, with Forbes estimating that recognition is a $46 billion per year business.
Advantages of Business Recognition Awards
Never underestimate the value of setting up an employee recognition awards program. When you watch movie stars and sporting idols enjoying their victories, you probably have an interesting question: Could your business create similar hype through an awards scheme?
A common misconception among many organizations is that business recognition awards are exclusively for large companies. However, with proper planning and the right partner on your side, you can put your top performers in the spotlight and award them with rewards they’ll appreciate.
There are several crucial advantages to establishing an awards program for your leading performers:
H3: Building Brand Awareness
If your business is not particularly large or recently launched, you may struggle to put your brand in front of your target audience.
Business recognition awards can help in this situation. Management and employees can use a software solution to promote top performers and shortlist them for formal recognition. When you combine a recognition program with your organization’s public relations and marketing activities, you can achieve extraordinary visibility for your brand.
By simply putting high performers in front of the public and showing how they are among the best in your industry, you instantly project your company’s positive work culture and brand value.
Improving Strategic Alignment and Direction
How you position your business within your market helps you establish your direction and strategic alignment. Articulating your organization’s strategic vision when submitting awards to your employees makes it easier for your team to believe in and act on your vision.
A formal award program will need you to explain what you need from your employees logically, clearly, and concisely within your specific framework. The awards help you highlight employees’ achievements from the previous year and help you set goals for the upcoming year.
As a result, whether an employee wins an award or not, they can self-evaluate and determine if their work and efforts align with the company’s overall strategic direction.
Increasing Customer Acquisition and Retention
Undoubtedly the ultimate benefit of implementing business recognition awards and generating brand or organization awareness is to potentially boost customer acquisition, sales, customer retention, revenues, and profits.
By winning an award from your company — or even being a finalist in your awards program — your employee has proof to show your prospective customers they and your business can deliver what they promise. Customers are attracted to people with proven credentials and tend to trust them with their business.
As a result, your salespeople will find it much easier to build effective business relationships and create new connections. This is especially important with salespeople, who can engage more when prospects understand they are dealing with award-winning employees.
What’s more, your company will assure your existing customers they are communicating with qualified and experienced service or product experts. When your customers work with an award-winning employee, they feel valued for dealing with the best contact available. As a result, they gain more trust in you, your products, and your services.
Accordingly, other client-facing positions, such as account managers, will find it easier to feel motivated and handle the expectations of their customers. When you increase our customer retention and acquisition numbers, you get to enjoy higher revenues and profits.
More Networking Opportunities
Whether your employee wins or not, the simple fact that they participated in your business recognition awards provides valuable networking benefits.
The award is likely to be acknowledged by senior industry practitioners. Opinion leaders and influential people in your industry will get to know the awarded employee and want to know more about your company.
Suppose award finalists have a formal presentation event or gala. In that case, they get a great chance to network with your company’s top management and other industry leaders who may be in attendance. An awards ceremony offers your people an excellent opportunity to forge alliances and establish lasting relationships.
Finally, it’s one thing to contact people in your industry online. However, the impact is significantly different when you meet the leading lights in your industry face-to-face during an awards ceremony where your employees are the stars of the show.
If your company has trouble attracting the best talent when you advertise for vacancies, then the prospect of a discretionary awards program could sway your candidates. In your job advertisement, you should go out of your way to ensure prospects know that they have a chance at public recognition and earning trophy-value rewards.
Generally, the best people want to work at the best organizations. And besides having better candidates applying for your job openings, genuinely outstanding applicants will approach your company even when no positions are formally available.
What’s more, having your employees in a specific award category can help your company attract the kind of candidate you value the most. For instance, winning the innovation award at your company helps your business attract innovation-minded candidates.
Employee Morale and Retention
Each time one of your employees receives a recognition award, their peers and their immediate team are likely to feel a surge of increased loyalty and pride toward your company.
Interestingly, even the process of shortlisting recipients in an employee recognition program can cause your staff to feel a sense of increased loyalty and a surge of pride.
What few companies understand is that even the process of setting up an employee rewards scheme is an excellent team-building opportunity. Awards for top performers often need a session of brainstorming among stakeholders.
As a result, if they are awarded outstanding performance at a formal event, the shared feeling of achievement and joy is often more valuable than any motivational event you may arrange. The winner’s co-workers will have a sense of shared camaraderie and accomplishment. The members of your team will also have tremendous respect for the contribution of other team members to their success.
Ultimately, the outcome of your employee winning an award – and the associated recognition – is a happier workforce and more engaged employees.
Better Product and Service Quality
When you have been through the rigorous process of designing a winning business recognition awards program, you are highly likely to find inspiration to focus more keenly on the product or service your employees provide to your customers.
If you describe your employee’s positive qualities and attributes before the world, you want them – and your company – to live up to the hype. Your star performer and colleagues have no option but to display innovation, intense attention to detail, better value, high service standards, and enhanced quality.
Whether you like it or not, you have to compare what you offer your customers with your competitors’ products and services. By exciting your employees, you encourage them to improve and show them they can match or exceed whatever the competition offers.
Impressing Investors and Stakeholders
Your employees commonly do a lot of good work that goes unnoticed. However, each task is critical to ensure your business grows, your shareholders are happy, and employees stay loyal to your business.
Through public recognition of the fantastic work your team does, it is easier to be motivated, generate better business results and, therefore, attract investors and bring in new business.
H2: Select the Right Partner For Your Recognition Program
While recognitions are a way for businesses to motivate employees, it is essential to remember that they need to evolve continuously. Each year, the nature and challenges faced by businesses in the modern world change. The way businesses execute recognition programs has to change with it.
Also, remember recognition is not limited to awards. The recognition program should also consider employees’ career growth so they are motivated and on track to achieve their career aspirations.
If you have been following the guidelines of the classic management system of the past and you are struggling to motivate your employees, then you need to upgrade your recognition program. This is where Xceleration comes into the picture. We are a full-service rewards, recognition, and incentives company, offering solutions worldwide through their proprietary web-based platform, RewardStation.
What’s more, our platform is flexible to meet your goals and needs. In most cases, employees earn points when a manager or peer recognizes their achievements. Those points are then redeemable in an online catalog for a variety of merchandise, gift cards, and experiential rewards. In addition to administering programs, we will also provide strategic consultation and account management, including developing a recognition strategy from scratch and revamping an existing strategy.
Contact Xceleration today to see how your company can quickly introduce employee recognition into your company culture to motivate employees.