Have you noticed signs of low employee morale in your office lately? Look closely. Have you noticed frustrated sighs, eye rolls, less laughter, fewer conversations or a lack of collaboration? Perhaps your morale problem has gone even further and has already translated into high turnover or lackluster performance. You need to implement recognition awards. Quickly.
Employee appreciation awards are proven to work. In fact, 97% of managers agree that employee recognition improves morale. But why is recognition so important? And how can you use recognition awards to your advantage?
Why Is Employee Morale Important?
Employee morale is a term used to describe the overall attitude of a company’s workers. It includes things like job satisfaction, outlook about the future of the business, relationships with coworkers and whether they feel appreciated. It has a direct effect on your business: employees with high morale are more productive, more involved in the company and less likely to quit. Low morale leads to a negative company culture and high turnover rate. It’s really that simple.
How Does Recognition Improve Morale?
Recognition awards make people feel appreciated, and appreciation is essential: 55% of employees are willing to quit their jobs to join a company that clearly recognizes its workers. Employee appreciation awards are a low-cost and effective way to do that. Recognition motivates workers and can give them a positive outlook on their job, and even employees themselves recognize this – 40% of Americans say they’d put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often.
Recognition awards ceremonies also improve morale by creating a fun, personal experience outside of office hours. This type of bonding is great for building closer relationships between employees. And close colleagues are more likely to love their companies.
How to Use Recognition Awards to Boost Morale
Thinking morale might be low – or dropping – in your workplace? Employee appreciation could be one reason why: One study found that only 21% of employees feel valued in the workplace. It’s time to have a recognition awards ceremony. This is a fun way to boost morale, but it has to be done right.
First, coworker involvement is key: Peer participation makes award recipients feel more appreciated. Recognition awards should involve the whole company, during the nomination process and at the actual ceremony. It’s also important to have executive involvement, however. Executives should present the awards and speak at the ceremony.
To boost morale, make sure your employee appreciation awards recognize the individual. While teamwork awards and years-of-service awards are excellent for increasing loyalty and hard work, recognition awards meant to improve morale should appreciate specific contributions of each person. For an overall boost to your company culture and retention, consider implementing an employee recognition program in addition to hosting a one-time ceremony.
Finally, make it fun. Your recognition awards ceremony doesn’t have to be buttoned-up and hyper-professional. Make a theme, like “Out of this World” or casino night. Have dancing and games. And this is also the time for humorous awards and funny speeches that remind your employees why they love working at your company.
The Best Employee Appreciation Awards
Employee appreciation awards that recognize individuals for their skills and professional development are best for boosting morale. Here are some ideas:
- Fire Fighter Award for the project manager or account rep who is always putting out the fires.
- Customer Whisperer Award for the customer service representative who resolved the most complaints in the past year.
- New Kid on the Block for an exceptional new hire.
- Dependable Draft Pick for those early-arrivers and late-leavers at the office.
- Mover of Mountains for someone who landed a big account or finished an impossible project on time.
- Culture Champion for a positive presence who always exemplifies your company values.
- Above and Beyond for an employee who has gained professional skills outside of company time.
- Helping Hand for the person who always jumps in to get things done.
- Rising Star for a recent promotion or a new manager who is doing a great job.
- Highest of Fives to the most enthusiastic employee.
- The Steve Jobs for the most innovative and creative person on your staff.
These are just a few ideas for recognition awards that can improve your company morale. Choose your awards, then create a company survey and let your whole office vote. Not everyone can win an employee appreciation award, but when everyone participates and has fun doing it, morale will rise.