What Awards Shows Get Right About Recognizing Top Talent: 5 Lessons for HR

While awards shows are on to something when it comes to rewards and recognition, you don’t need to roll out the red carpet for your employees to feel valued. Instead, boost engagement and retention with these 5 strategies.
What Awards Shows Get Right About Recognizing Top Talent- 5 Lessons for HR
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And the Emmy Eddy Award goes to … [enter employee of the month’s name here]! *applause*

If you haven’t noticed, it’s awards season—the time of year when Hollywood’s biggest stars arrive on the red carpet looking their best, and hoping for the best, too. That is, hoping to bring home the coveted award in their line of work (e.g., an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe, Tony award, and so on). 

So what do, say, the stars of Ted Lasso and your employees have in common? A lot, actually. They all want to be recognized for their hard work. They all deserve their moment to shine. And they wouldn’t be Emmy, or your-employee-award-name, winners without one another. 

Indeed, every member of your cast has a role to play—some a leading role, others behind the scenes—and everyone is important to making your company a success. So, how can you take a nod from awards shows and show your people that you appreciate them? 

If you’re not sure where to get started, not to worry! We’ve rounded up some ways to get employee rewards and recognition right (no designer dress or tux required).

1. Use Rewards and Recognition to Boost Retention

Whether you’re Mare of Easttown or a frontline manager, everyone wants rewards, recognition, and positive affirmation—even in the workplace. Indeed, recognition programs make 92 percent of employees feel appreciated. 

When you give employees recognition, you see benefits in many different areas, including strengthening the relationship between employees and your organization (i.e., retention). Employees who feel their work is rewarded and recognized are less likely to transfer out of their team or leave your organization. 

Giving people things that they really value shows that you’re listening, that you understand them, and that you care. Great, non-traditional rewards make life a little bit easier or more fun for your employees.

Conversely, if people feel they’re not valued, they won’t be motivated to perform—and they’re more likely to leave.

2. Make Recognition Visible to Have an Impact

Another reason why awards shows work is they’re highly visible. That means your recognition program should be, as well. 

At Eddy, we reward and recognize our employees in public forums, including:

  • A public company Slack channel, where we give each other fist-bumps and shout out each other’s hard work. 
  • Our social media channels (check us out on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook), where we highlight our quarterly Eddy Award winners (more on that reward program, below).

Don’t have public Slack or social channels? You can also simply send a congratulatory email to an employee and CC their manager so they’re aware of the kudos. 

3. Recognize Your Award Winners All Year Long

While awards season happens once a year, recognizing your employees should happen at a more regular frequency. Frequent enough that attention is paid close to the event, milestone, or achievement being recognized, but not so frequent that your recognition program loses its luster. 

Here’s an example. At Eddy, we give out a quarterly Eddy Award to honor an outstanding employee. The Eddy Award goes to an employee who pushed the company further, took risks, made a positive impact, or best embodied our core values. 

As part of our reward and recognition program, the employee gets their name on a traveling trophy and they get to spin the wheel of prizes—a favorite Eddy perk! 

4. Encourage Peer Recognition

Employees that are most satisfied with their organization’s recognition program are those that are not only aware of how people are recognized, but also who can do the recognizing—in this case, everyone.

Peer recognition is considered more powerful [than top-down recognition]. It is almost 36 percent more likely than top-down recognition to have a positive impact on the bottom line. Peer recognition drives commitment and engagement more than top-down recognition.

Tip: Your people might not know they can recognize their peers for their good work. Encourage them to recognize their peers via the same channels leaders do.

5. Make Rewards and Recognition Personal

Unlike the awards shows that are pretty much one-size-fits-all (I mean, all Emmys are the same size, right?), your reward and recognition program should be the opposite—it should fit the employee being rewarded and recognized. 

In other words, how you give recognition, as well as what you say, should be personal and genuine. Each individual likes to be recognized in different ways. Some may prefer being recognized in a meeting in front of their peers (or on stage in front of millions of TV viewers). 

Others may prefer to be recognized just by you, not in front of other employees. Get to know each individual on your team, and take the time to recognize them in ways that are most meaningful to them.

The Show Must Go On

We know running reward and recognition programs is just one piece of the HR puzzle. 

At Eddy, we help busy HR professionals by taking administrative tasks off your plate, so you can focus on taking care of your employees. 

Want to keep up with the trends shaping the HR industry? Subscribe to get our weekly updates right to your inbox.

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