Over the past several years, the modern workplace has undergone a slew of changes, some of them more obvious than others. Just to name a few – the pandemic ushered in an era of remote work that made employers and employees alike realize its value, more and more millennials are joining the workforce, and inclusion and diversity are becoming more important to corporations and consumers. This just scratches the surface of all the changes the corporate world has seen, and more are on the horizon. Despite all this change, the importance of employee appreciation and recognizing employees with awards has remained the same. In fact, these changes have arguably increased the importance of corporate awards considering their benefits. Many of these benefits are things all companies would like to enjoy, and we’ll be taking a look at some of the crucial of them below.
Employee morale affects just about everything in the office, from employee productivity and engagement to customer satisfaction and overall success. Employees with higher morale are more motivated, engaged, and efficient while at work, and they’ll consistently go above and beyond and put in more hours when necessary. Heightened morale also increases the quality of work and gives a company a competitive edge. It’s estimated that employees with low morale cost companies up to a combined $550 billion a year, but low employee morale doesn’t just negatively affect the company. Employees with low morale can also develop depression and even heart disease, according to the American Psychological Association. The bottom line and the health of their employees is something all companies should care about.
Part of improving morale involves giving employees more confidence in their abilities and self-esteem, and that’s where corporate awards come in. Recognizing your employees and their achievements with awards helps to build up confidence in their skills and increases their self-esteem, thereby boosting their morale. Seeing hard workers get rewarded for their efforts also increases the morale of other employees because they’ll see the company cares, and they’ll join in on the celebration for the deserving recipient(s). Being proactive about recognizing employees also makes the workplace a more positive environment, meaning employees will be happier, more collaborative, and more open in their communication.
Employee recognition awards can boost productivity in the same way bonuses and other monetary incentives based on measurable employee performance do. Companies that recognize their most productive employees with awards show how all that hard work will pay off to the rest of their staff, inspiring them to work more productively so they too can be recognized for their efforts. This is a win-win for both the company and its employees. The company gets more productive workers, meaning they can make more money and provide deliverables to clients faster, and employees get recognized for increasing their output, along with the satisfaction that comes with a job well done.
The effect recognition has on productivity can be measured, just as employee productivity itself can be. Companies with a good recognition program enjoy employee productivity 14% higher than those without. This is estimated to result in a 2% increase in margins. While it may seem like it has a small effect,
Attract and retain talent
As many companies are well aware, millennials are making up more and more of the workforce every day. They’re already the largest segment in the workplace, and it’s estimated that millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. One of the things companies will need to do if they want to attract top upcoming talent is expand their employee recognition programs and put more of an emphasis on giving corporate awards. Millennials value appreciation and recognition, and they prefer it to come from a manager or company-wide event as opposed to peer to peer. Part of the value of corporate awards comes from the recognition an employee receives, as they are almost always presented in front of the company or by someone in an executive position. A more robust employee appreciation program will help companies attract more talent moving forward.
Corporate awards also help you retain talent. It’s simple – employees that feel recognized and valued by the company they work for will be much less likely to seek employment elsewhere. In a recent survey of adults aged 18 to 38, 79% said that increases in recognition awards would make them more loyal to their employer. Furthermore, 91% of HR professionals say recognition and rewards make employees more likely to stay with their current company. Companies that recognize the achievements of their employees with corporate awards will be more likely to retain their talent and prevent high turnover rates. Improving loyalty among employees also helps the company maintain a positive brand image, and it means they won’t have to spend lots of money during the search to find new talent and during the onboarding process.
Strengthen brand image for clients
Customers care about how companies treat their employees, and the “information age” has made it easy for consumers to see the kind of treatment employees from their favorite brands receive. There have been countless examples of brands being exposed, whether on social media, in the news, or in court, for mistreating employees or having harsh working conditions, and no company wants to have their brand image tarnished like that. Obviously, no company should be treating their employees poorly to begin with. Companies have a responsibility to treat their employees well, but the strengthened brand image and more loyal customer base that results from good press is further motivation to do so.
Part of treating employees well is giving out corporate awards and rewarding them for their hard work. Recipients will no doubt post about the awards they received on social media and excitedly tell friends and family, strengthening the company’s image. Keep this up long enough, and you can build an enviable brand image that attracts talent, customers, and great press.
Create a fun atmosphere
During the weekdays, people spend the majority of their time at work, so employers should strive to make it fun and enjoyable. Creating a better work atmosphere will not only increase morale but make employees more engaged and more invested in the company as well. This prevents burnout and absenteeism, as employees will look forward to coming in to work in the morning rather than dreading it or just going through the motions. Fun workplaces will also help companies attract and retain talent.
There are numerous ways to do this, including hosting in-office events, decorating for the holidays, celebrating birthdays, allowing pets in the office, and giving corporate awards. Giving corporate awards help foster a fun atmosphere by encouraging some friendly competition amongst co-workers, but that’s not all. Awards can also highlight some of the already fun elements in your workplace, further supporting their place in the office and telling employees that having fun is encouraged. Furthermore, companies can get creative with the awards they give out, so when the time comes to bestow them upon their recipients, it adds to the fun. These fun awards can honor employees who are always on time, extremely organized or unorganized, always brings the fanciest lunches, or have the best snacks, and we’re sure you can think of quite a few more!
Best Awards from EDCO
If you want to enjoy all these benefits, you’ll need some stellar awards for recognizing your deserving employees. There’s no better place to get them than EDCO, the nation’s #1 supplier of recognition. We have hundreds of different awards in different shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, so you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for, along with some that may inspire you to add some new awards to your employee recognition program because they’re just so eye-catching! We wanted to highlight a few of our favorites that your recipients will be sure to love.
Mixed Media Trophy: Featuring a gorgeous crystal tower atop a handsome walnuts base, the Mixed Media Trophy is about as modern as it gets. The wooden base will make this award stand out from many of the others you’ll find, but the crystal still has plenty of room for inscription so you can include your message and branding. This uniqueness makes it perfect for the employee whose work ethic, effort, or achievements really set them apart from the rest.
Custom Achievement Crystal Award: With a stunning chrome-plated statue holding up a round piece of crystal, we don’t blame you if you’d mistake this as an award from an award show. That crystal round can be engraved with your company logo, giving the award meaning few others have. This makes it perfect for an employee that’s helped the company reach new heights, just as the figure in the award is doing.
Contour Flame Acrylic Award: This award is perfect for the employee whose personality and positive attitude are infectious and can bring some much-needed levity to even the most stressful days like a light in the darkness. The award itself has a distinctive flame shape that’s modern with clean lines and comes in three different sizes.
What does the modern workforce want from their jobs?
People have always looked for purpose and meaning in their jobs, but the modern workforce is looking for a little bit more. Millennials and Generation Z both not only value recognition but expect it from their employers, and it can factor into their decision to stay with a company long-term or look for employment elsewhere. One comprehensive study found that less than a quarter of the workforce feels strongly valued at their work, so companies without good employee recognition programs will likely be experiencing very high turnover rates very soon if they don’t adapt.
In addition to recognition, today’s workforce wants coaching and mentorship opportunities that can help them grow. In fact, close to 80% of millennials see mentoring as a crucial element to their career success. Companies can also show how much they value their employees by offering frequent and personalized feedback through coaching and mentorship. Alongside their employee recognition program, companies should also examine their talent development system to ensure it meets the expectations of the modern workforce.
Workers today also want easy access to learning opportunities that will teach them new skills. Because many grew up with technology that gave them the ability to search for anything, anytime, anywhere, the modern workforce expects a wide variety of learning formats to be available to them at all times. It’s also expected that these learning opportunities will be personalized, just as many of the technologies they’ve used their whole lives, like social media, are. Taking a personalized learning approach ends up benefitting both the employee and employer, so it’s something companies need to start integrating.
Extrinsic motivation versus intrinsic motivation
If you want to increase morale, strengthen brand image, and create an enviable company culture, you need to understand the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation.
Extrinsic motivation is when we engage in activities or display a certain behavior to either earn a reward or avoid a negative consequence. In the workplace, that reward could be a bonus or promotion, and a negative consequence could be a bad performance review or docked pay.
Intrinsic motivation is the motivation we get to do something for its own sake. Rather than engaging in an activities or behaviors in the hopes of earning something, we engage in them because they are their own rewards. In the workplace, intrinsic motivation could be something as simple as the good feeling after a job well done, seeing a client succeed, or knowing that the work one is doing is valued.
It’s important to have a healthy supply of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in the workplace, but finding a good mix of both can be difficult. While giving out awards certainly won’t do the job on their own, they can be a source of both forms of motivation. The award itself and the recognition that comes with it serve as extrinsic motivation, while the personal satisfaction associated with the great work that the award recognizes is intrinsically motivating.
How to keep your recognition program fresh
The best way to keep your recognition program fresh is to be constantly seeking feedback from employees and implementing the changes they wish to see within reason. You should also consider giving out special one-time awards or swapping out the prizes on a regular basis to keep employees interested. Additionally, make recognition something employees are active participants in. Allow all to vote on the recipients of certain awards, so everyone is invested in the results, whether it’s to see if they won or the co-worker they voted for did. Choosing a new recognition theme for every month is another great way to keep employees engaged and make your recognition program feel fresh.
Considering the benefits of giving corporate awards and the changing landscape of the modern workplace where they’re more important than ever, there’s no better time to bolster your employee recognition program with some new awards than now. Shop our large selection of plaques, crystal awards, glass awards, and other trophies today!