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7 Creative Recognition Award Ideas

February 10, 2022

Team Going Over Recognition Awards on Whiteboard

Recognize your employee's hard work, dedication and achievements by rewarding them with creative recognition award ideas.

Benefits of Employee Awards

In Glassdoor's Employee Appreciation Survey, more than half (53%) of employees disclosed they would stay longer at their company if there was more appreciation from leadership. Additionally, 81% of employees reported they’re motivated to work harder when leadership shows appreciation for their hard work.

Within the same survey, 37% of employees reported they’re motivated to work harder because they fear losing their job. The goal of recognition is to ensure that employees feel appropriately valued for their daily, yearly, and long-term successes. By establishing a healthy work environment, organizations will see less turnover, and improved employee satisfaction.

With a thoughtful recognition award, employees have a meaningful and tangible item that they can treasure. What is a great way to do this?  Implementing a recognition program for years to come!


Recognition Award Ideas

Organizations that develop meaningful awards and recognition programs show employees their contributions and time are valued. Invest in your employees, and you’ll see a great return. Check out these recognition award ideas as a good start in recognizing and engaging your people!

1. Employee of "Week, Month or Year" Award

It’s a favorite award for many organizations. Recognizing all-around achievement for the month or year is standard practice. Although many companies have a similar award in place, establishing a creative recognition award program would benefit the organization and its employees.

Spruce up your award by getting a little more creative with what rewards you offer. Better yet, you could implement more awards like “employee of the week,” and “employee of the month” that allow multiple employees to work hard for stellar achievements.

However, you chose to award your employees, make sure to clearly define what you're looking for in an employee who will be eligible to receive the award.

Want to be a little more inclusive? Implement an "employee of the year" recognition alongside employee of the month. More award is a great way to help keep employees engaged who are already top achievers.


2. Milestone and Service Awards

Let’s paint a picture of an employee who works at a company for over 20 years. They have worked hard the entire time, adding value to the company through the years. Do you think that is worth celebrating? We do.

Recognizing the dedication and work ethic of those employees who have put in years, or even decades, with your company, should be a part of your company culture. When organizations celebrate an employee’s important milestone, it makes them feel as if all the years spent were worth it. Recognition goes a long way in the satisfaction, and retention of employees.

Retaining loyal, and hardworking employees are invaluable to an organization. Replacing a tenured employee can cost the company hundreds, if not thousands, per employee. A creative recognition award for employees who have shown their loyalty is an excellent idea for engagement but it also helps to retain and recruit amazing employees.


RELATED: 60+ Creative Award Names for Employee Recognition


3. Team-Based Award

Big or small, teamwork makes the dream work. Organizations are often made up of several (if not more) departments. To have a successful company, it’s important for these different departments to work well together.

Rewarding people who take the leadership role within a team is a great way to encourage more strong, positive collaboration.


4. Innovation Awards

Tired of boring and outdated awards? Well then, this is for the ideas people. The unique problem solvers. The ones who consistently show innovation.

Recognizing employees who come up with a creative solution to a problem (that may have been difficult to overcome), or those who propose a fun, new idea to boost employee morale is a fresh take on recognition awards.

These individuals can help to grow the organization in multiple ways. And that effort should be recognized.


5. Above and Beyond Award

High achievers. The ones who get it done. The ones who go the extra mile to complete tasks. Whether it’s helping a colleague with a problem or taking on special projects, employees who go above and beyond are more likely to continue their efforts with proper recognition.

Recognizing extraordinary efforts will also encourage others to follow in the award recipient's footsteps. Can you imagine if more employees gave just 10% more effort? You’d see major improvements in the organization’s bottom line and workplace environment. We’ve included 5 popular Above & Beyond award ideas just for you:

    1. Give a WOW Award
    2. High-Five Award
    3. Best and Beyond Award
    4. Spotlight Award
    5. Collaborative Champion


6. Customer Service Award

The first line of defense, or so they say. Customer service roles are imperative in the success of any organization. Employees who are on the customer service team are the liaison between your company and the public.

They represent your brand while having firsthand knowledge of how the public feels about your organization. Customer service employees that are awarded for their talents and exemplify their dedication will show them how much they are valued. Here are 10 creative award ideas to celebrate and recognize customer service excellence.

    1. Customer Service Champions
    2. Super Satisfier
    3. Customer Whisperer
    4. Customer Hero Award
    5. Chief Happiness Award
    6. Customer Care Award
    7. Customer Kudos
    8. Joy Givers
    9. First Class Service
    10. Customer Care Champion


7. Top Performer Awards

Your top performers deserve incredible recognition for their great achievements! Any creative award names for your top performers will make your teams feel encouraged to do their best. The goal is to make them feel as if they have earned elite status with their awards. Here are some ideas to get you started.

    1. President’s Club
    2. Chairman’s Award
    3. President’s Award
    4. Leadership Award
    5. Pinnacle of Success
    6. Superstar of Sales
    7. Diamond Club
    8. Circle of Excellence

RELATED: 10 Employee Anniversary Recognition Ideas

Recognition Possibilities are Endless

Looking for more recognition award ideas? We have you covered. There’s a budget for everyone in mind, from low-cost programs to something quite remarkable. Terryberry has the experience and expertise with the development of recognition programs. Here are a few creative recognition awards we’ve helped implement:

  • Welcome Aboard Awards
  • Length of Service Awards
  • Retirement Gifts
  • Peer-to-peer recognition
  • Recognition for "Above & Beyond"
  • Recognition for "Caught in the Act"
  • On-the-Spot Recognition
  • Innovation Awards
  • "Great Idea" Awards
  • Attendance Awards
  • Performance Points
  • Performance and Sales Incentives
  • Safety Awards
  • Wellness Challenge Completion
  • Customer Service Excellence
  • President's Club Achievement
  • Quality Level Attainment
  • Training Program Completion
  • Dealer Incentive Programs
  • Successful Project Completion
  • Mentor Recognition
  • Donor Recognition
  • Volunteer Recognition


Terryberry offers employee service award programs for every milestone, achievement, and anniversary, from onboarding to retirement. We believe that that implementing an appropriate employee recognition program will motivate, engage, and inspire your employees for years to come.