The evidence in favor of employee recognition programs is overwhelming. Companies with strategic recognition have reported a turnover rate 23.4 percent lower than those without and they are also 12 times more likely to enjoy strong business outcomes. As mentioned in our previous installment, and the Christmas party is a great time to recognize employees and award the best of them.

But how do we go about doing it?


Why give recognition and awards

To begin, we need to understand the reason behind giving these accolades.


1. To commend extraordinary efforts and accomplishments

67 percent of workers list praise and commendation from managers as their top performance motivator, beating out other noncash and even financial incentives. Employees who pour their blood, sweat, and tears day in and day out want to know that the company actually cares. It’s these gestures that are crucial in uplifting and maintaining employee morale, driving them to keep up the good work.


2.  To motivate others

We tend to emulate people who we look up to, so by recognizing the people who have performed extraordinary feats, you set a good example to others. Career opportunities, recognition, and organization reputation helps employees feel passionate about their jobs and enhance their performance.

Employee Retention

3. Employee retention

70 percent of employees feel that their most meaningful recognition had no monetary value. This just proves how recognition gives people a sense of fulfillment, which is a big factor in retaining their services. Keep your people happy through appreciation, and they will stay.


How to properly recognize and award employees

Next, let’s think about how to give stellar employees the appreciation that they desire.

Acknowledge the employee

1. Acknowledge them the right way

Always ask your employees, “How do you want to be recognized?” This question is often overlooked when organizing awarding ceremonies. Ask them individually, or set up a poll to see what way works for them best. Do they want to be lauded in front of others in during the Christmas party? Maybe they want to be awarded as a group or team? Ask for their opinion and they will definitely be more appreciative. 

Be personal in recognizing employees

2. Be personal in recognizing employees

Avoid a generic template as much as possible by adding a personal touch to your awards. This will show that you went out of your way to show your gratitude. One way could be by designing a certificate with things that express their personality. If it’s a speech, then talk about special and specific experiences, like when John worked overtime for a week to finish a report.

Don’t be boring

3. Don’t be boring

Prevent your awarding ceremony from becoming a snooze fest. Make the effort to do something fun or unique. Why not a roll out the red carpet and do it Oscars-style? Maybe a Grammy-level performance from one of your vocally gifted officemates? And don’t forget to add flavor to your prizes and awards - Bobblehead trophies, Renaissance-inspired self-portraits, or even life-sized standees are some ways you can avoid the overused paper certificate. 

Find unique ways to award everyone

4. Find unique ways to award everyone

Nobody wants to be left out, especially when everybody else has them. Find unique and quirky ways to shine light on the positive aspects of every employee. Who doesn’t love Ted’s unending puns or Sarah’s impeccable impressions of Filipino celebrities? Awarding the “pun-iest” person or giving out FAMAS trophies is not just amusing, but also encourages a sense of camaraderie amongst coworkers.

Add other perks to your awards

5. Add other perks to your awards

Make it more than just an award – add other perks or benefits! Bundle it with a spa gift certificate for the overtime king, or free movie passes for the resident film aficionado. Make your awarding that much sweeter by adding a little something that they can actually use.

The recognition and awards portion of your Christmas party is all about your employees, so do your best to implement it in an authentic, personal manner. Most of all, don’t forget to have fun, so that everyone in the company will feel like winners.

If finding ideas for awards and a source for trophies and unique prizes are taking away valuable time away from crucial end-of-the-year work, consider getting an event management company to take over the details. It can save time and effort while ensuring the success of your Christmas party. 

A Christmas party isn’t complete until everyone gets there. Watch out for next installment: Arranging Transportation. Subscribe to receive new articles fast!