Did you know that 40% of American employees say that they would likely put more energy and effort into their job if they were more often recognized for it? 

There is a well-known saying by Sir Richard Branson that goes, "Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients." 

Employee appreciation is a crucial part of the success of your business. Ensure that your team knows they are appreciated with these creative award design ideas. 

The Benefits Of Team Awards 

Before we dive into the creative award ideas, let's have a look at the benefits of doing employee awards for your team. If done correctly, employee appreciation can have the following benefits: 
  • A higher loyalty with the workforce and higher satisfaction scores
  • Better teamwork and flow
  • Significantly lower employee turnover
  • A lower level of absenteeism and stress
  • A sense of camaraderie and healthy competition between team members 
Think about it as something as simple as being thanked when you've done a good job. Employees will respond in a positive manner to receiving an award or some form of recognition for something they've done which in turn, allows them to continue in the office with a positive outlook. 

Creative Award Ideas 

Awards for your employees don't have to have a large chunk of your budget to be effective and meaningful. Even small gifts such as drinkware or keychains are appreciated. Recognition isn't about winning a prize, and more about holding a title. 

Take a moment to look at your workforce and your employees, what is the median age? Are they mostly male or female? Do they work in teams? Do they work alone in their positions? 

Deciding On The 'How' First 

We're sure you know your workforce pretty well, and what type of awards will be well received and what won't. Before you go ahead and start handing out trophies, you want to make sure that the nomination and voting process is fair. Will each department be able to nominate a star within their midst? Will management be making the decisions on who wins and who doesn't? Perhaps you could allow the employees to nominate members of staff, and then management makes the final decision depending on the motivations that came with each nomination. 

Just ensure that the way your awards are determined is transparent to your workforce; you don't want anybody upset by feeling left out or forgotten. 

Creative Awards For Your Employees 

Let's have a look at the most creative ways for you to give recognition to your employees, and great ways to simply say "thank you:" 
  1. Trophies That Stand Out.  Large trophies can be reserved for the real superstars of each team, the top performers in each division of the business. This award can come with really creative names such as: President's Award, Spotlight Award, Hero Award,  Hall of Fame,  Executive Choice Award, etc.  For top performers, you'll want to make sure that the award handed over really stands out and shouts, "I'm appreciated!" Acrylic trophies truly have a sophisticated, higher-level look to them.
  2. Attendance Awards.  If an employee hasn't missed a day of work in a year or more, that's definitely something to show gratitude for. Attendance awards are a great way to say "we appreciate you."   These awards can have cool names such as: Always Present Award, Ace Attendance,  Dedicated Employee Award, etc.  Choosing an elegant, stand-up plaque for attendance awards is the best way to display their perfect attendance to their teammates and clients.
  3. Whole Team Awards.  You may find your business has different teams that compete against each other for sales or other measurable deliverables. One of the best ways to recognize a winning team is to get everyone matching medals! These can be hung in their office area or communal eating areas as a reminder of what winners they are. Awards can have catchy names like: Helping Hands,  A Force To Reckon With,  Super Squad,  The Dream Team,  League of Superheroes, etc.  Recognizing a team as a whole can be a great idea as you encourage synergy and teamwork. Teams, in particular, can sometimes have doubts that they're not working together in the best way, and to let them know that they are, goes a long way.
  4. Customer Service Awards.  The people in your business that look after your customers are probably one of the most important departments. Recognizing their efforts according to great customer feedback is a surefire way to put a spring in their step. You could name the awards as follows: Customer Success Awards, Customer's Favorite, Client Whisperer, Peace in the Chaos, etc.  Awarding your customer service consultants will let them know that they are important to you and your business. 
Employee Appreciation Awards 

Deciding to reward and recognize your employees is a positive step as management. Sometimes putting an award, trophy, or even a plaque together with the act of saying thank you, can go miles for how your workforce sees and performs their function. Often, if a person feels like they add value, they'll add more effort to what they're doing, in order to be recognized again. It's human nature. 


Choosing the right creative award for your staff is about knowing them well. Humorous awards may not be well received by an older, more respectable workforce. Younger, trendier teams might take better to light-hearted awards that cause a giggle throughout the room. Knowing your workforce is the best way to ensure that your employee recognition award ideas will be well-received, and appreciated. Don't be afraid to change it up, if you have certain people in mind, you can adapt each award to suit them, their personality and their style. 

Can't find the perfect fit? Browse our custom category and we will help you create the right award.