3 steps to a personalized award experience
Christmas Eve at my grandmother’s house marked a momentous occasion during my childhood. My grandma always knew which gift I wanted most—whether a giant 18” Batman action figure or a Jurassic Park T-Rex that roared with the push of a button, grandma’s gifts never disappointed. She personalized my gift experiences, leading me to cherish Christmas Eve more than any other day of the year.
Similarly, when an employee is honored with a personalized award experience, it deepens the relationship with his or her job, coworkers, bosses, and company more than any other means of recognition. It magnifies dedication and appreciation for the mission of the company and each task at hand. Studies show that employees that have been appreciated and recognized in a personalized manner are more driven, accountable, and passionate about their work.
The magic of the holidays isn’t easy to recreate, and it takes a certain intuition to know how to make someone feel special and appreciated the way my grandmother did. Nevertheless, each company can strive to replicate that sort of feeling every time one of its employees reaches a milestone or completes a job well done. It’s hardly realistic for companies with a large employee base to find the perfect award like my grandmother did with gifts, which is why crafting a personalized award catalog is so critical to each individual company.
Here are three ways to help ensure a company is creating a personalized award experience for each employee milestone and recognition moment.
1. Personalize with selection
I recently visited a friend and noticed a trophy on his shelf. He told me that he had received it for his five-year milestone at his current occupation, but added that when he moves in a few months, he probably wouldn’t bother packing it along.
A trophy is a great award—for the right person. But my friend’s company gives that same trophy to each of its employees when they reach a milestone. Traditional trophies that are mass produced and devoid of personalization won’t leave a lasting impression on an employee. A unique, personalized trophy is the perfect award for some, while others may prefer something more practical, such as a kitchen appliance or tools. Some may find tools or appliances unfit for their career milestone and choose a ring or bracelet instead. Others may desire the latest trend in electronics or fashion over jewelry, trophies or kitchenware. Whatever they end up selecting, it becomes personal to them.
2. Craft to your employee base
When building an awards catalog, a company must know its employee base and craft the award selection to fit that base. What demographics and age groups do you employ? A small business that employs many recent college grads would probably fill its award catalogs differently than a Fortune 500 company with hundreds of employees working into their 30- and 40-year career milestones. The latest electronics and gadgets would be better suited to fill the catalog of the recent grads, while the more experienced generation may gravitate toward the classic feel of watches and jewelry.
In addition, there are a lot of companies out there that employ a fluid variety of Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. For this kind of company, it’s even more crucial to create a wide variety of awards that appeal to each demographic within that employee base. The key is to know that base and build around it.
3. Individualize to reflect culture
It’s critical to know and recognize the culture of each region in which your company employs, so that each of those employees enjoys the same uplifting recognition experience. This will happen if the international catalog is full of choices that are fit for their specific culture. A porcelain good luck charm with Chinese lettering is perfect for an award catalog in China, but probably wouldn’t be appropriate for a European or North American catalog.
Whether building a Service or Performance catalog, personalized appreciation is the key to motivated and passionate employees. Knowing the demographic and culture of an employee base allows a company to build a wide award selection that allows each employee’s recognition experience to be truly personalized and unique—in a manner that deepens his or her dedication and accountability for each task at hand.