Program Planning

2 min read

How to Award Employees

On your journey to starting a recognition program, you will make many decisions. One of the first (and most important) choices will be how to award employees. There are many ways to approach recognition and it’s not a one size fits all situation. With over 60 years in the recognition industry, Awards Network can help you along the way and share best practices that have worked well for thousands of our clients. Try starting by asking yourself these three questions:

1. What is your program's goal?  

Setting your recognition program's main objective is the perfect place to start when choosing how to award employees. Having an overarching goal in mind will make it much easier to determine the reasons you will award employees.

The most common award program goals are improving company culture, promoting company standards and developing areas of improvement.

2. How frequently can awards be earned?  

Defining and understanding the frequency you expect awards to be earned is crucial when developing your program. It will help you with budgeting, deciding on any presentation materials, and can ultimately help narrow down what you really want to award.

For example, if you’re keeping it simple and awarding for onetime instances like birthdays or anniversaries, you can expect to budget one or two awards per employee per year.

On the other hand, if your program is robust, including employee engagement features that are interacted with on a daily or weekly basis, you should try to predict the usage and budget accordingly.

3. How much should an accomplishment be worth?

Every program needs a realistic budget – one that allows enough for employees to be compensated according to their achievements but also one that works for your company. Again, the frequency of awarding will help greatly with determining this.

Here are some recommendations:

For awards that can be earned multiple times in a year (like monthly attendance, weekly sales goals, or completing trainings) start around the $5 per award mark. Consider going higher (between $10 - $25) if they are areas you really want employees to focus on or are more complicated to achieve. For those awards that will only be earned once or twice throughout a year, consider starting at a larger amount. Anniversaries, for example, should start at a minimum of $25 and good rule of thumb is $10-$20 per year of service achieved.

A great recognition program will be fluid and adjust to what your company needs at any given point in time. As mentioned, there isn't just one way to reward your employees, but asking these questions can help lay the ground work to get you started.

If you'd like to read more on this topic, check out our ebook!

10 Achievements That Deserve Recognition Download

Leave a Comment