Appreciation | February 21, 2014
building an effective global awards strategy
By aimee carver
Our recent HRCI-certified webinar featured Sandra Christensen, O.C. Tanner’s Director of Award Design and Development, and Rex Remigi, O.C. Tanner’s Director of Global Awards. During the event, the pair focused on key elements for creating an award experience that celebrates accomplishments, transcends expectations, and fosters indelible memories. Below are highlights from this webinar. You can also listen to the free recording.
“Award brand essence” may sound like fluff to some, but it’s what sets apart truly successful corporate recognition programs from those that exist merely as a formality. The term refers to several key elements—both tangible and intangible—that, when joined together, create an awards program that appreciates, excites, and resonates in ways that cash or dime-a-dozen trinkets alone cannot. It involves thought, strategy, and a thorough understanding of your audience. It considers the “how” and “why” as much as the “what.” It creates an impression. It inspires.
Perhaps the most decisive factor in creating a successful award brand essence is thinking of your company’s awards program as more than just a shopping experience. Giving your employee cash for a job well done or having them pick something out of a hodge-podge line-up of generic items may seem like the easiest path to take but, chances are, such awards could be perceived as lackluster or anti-climactic. Sure, cash can be appreciated, and who couldn’t use a second toaster? But will awards like those create memories that remind the recipient of their accomplishment? Our research tells us the answer is no.
With a little ingenuity, a company can create a standout awards program that inspires even more great work worth rewarding.
Here are the three main directives to consider when creating an effective global awards program:
1. Be familiar with recognition best practices.
• Offer brand name awards
• Create a memorable award-giving experience
• Ensure that symbolism exists
2. Offer an ideal number of awards.
• Don’t overwhelm with too many award choices
• 75% of those surveyed as part of our Cicero research felt less than 50 options was ideal
• 95% of those surveyed agreed that fewer than 100 options was ideal
3. Know the right questions to ask and be willing ask them.
• Think beyond your own personal tastes or those of upper management, and consider a well-rounded assortment that appeals to the masses
• Take your company’s geography, gender mix, income ranges, and diversity into consideration
• Offer awards your employees could see themselves using, experiencing, and/or sharing with others
Creating an ideal awards program is only part of the recognition experience. Timing of the presentation and how it’s executed is just as important. Try to create some level of fanfare in the moment that further emphasizes how much you appreciate their great work. Give a performance award as soon as possible and a service award on their actual anniversary. If any follow-up is required, make sure it gets handled right away.
Lastly, never underestimate the power of symbolism. Like an Olympic medal or ring is to an athlete, a corporate recognition award can also preserve a treasured memory of tremendous accomplishment. Consider pairing a gift along with a commemorative recognition award or trophy, but think outside of the box when it comes to design and curb appeal. Give them something they would be both excited to have and proud to show off.
To learn more, including the most current trends in global recognition awards and ideas for creating the ultimate symbol of your company’s appreciation, listen to our free HRCI-certified webinar recording.
Are you ready to start a corporate symbolic awards program? We can help.