Corporate awards - choosing the right award

Corporate awards – choosing the right award

Corporate awards or recognition programs have been part of the business world for decades.  Employee recognition programs motivate staff. Studies have shown that motivated staff is more likely to provide positive input during projects and employee satisfaction, increase teamwork resulting in increased corporate performance.

Corporate awards

Awarding excellence:

Now in modern times, corporate awards and ceremonies related to rewarding the best of the best in the business, whether it is sport, music, art, or just the employee of the month is still a way for the human race to acknowledge excellence and outstanding performance. Trophies, crystal awards, and plaques are a visual representation of the field of excellence and in a way, the inscriptions on these awards signify the field of excellence in a similar way the ancient Greece added a description of the battle to their trophies which they hung on trees.

The value of corporate awards programs:

Management of various sized companies is facing a challenge with global competitiveness which is forever on the increase.  A strategically planned employee recognition program focus on providing recognition to all employees, regardless of their status in the organization - such a program could increase teamwork and overall production of the organization. Companies should also include a premier business awards program (take part in competitions) in their corporate awards strategy.  These types of competitions are held on an annual basis and rewards companies rather than individuals in business.  Various categories for such corporate competitions exist and could be invaluable to external and internal public relations.  Start with local business competitions, if you have a small business and work your way up to international competitions as sales increase. The following points should be taken into consideration when a corporate awards program is planned:
  • Ensure that the mission statement is enforced by the corporate rewards program.  If the mission is to improve customer service, then the employee recognition program should target all customer service departments.
  • High performing employees prefer to work for an award winning company.  A proper company awards program will attract the best in the business, therefore, ensure that your awards program target and reward talent.
  • Corporate clients love to purchase from successful suppliers.  Suppliers could use their corporate awards to create credibility and even use the awards they won in competitions to increase sales.
  • Public relations and publicity are major players in any marketing plan.  Companies that win awards inevitably receive free publicity in the media and more importantly, digital exposure.  The same goes for internal public relations.  Company newsletters normally feature the winners of the sales, marketing, customer service and other awards.  Internal newsletters and the company's website represent internal publicity.  This type of exposure will most likely motivate junior employees to try and improve performance in order to qualify for the corporate awards.
  • Corporate awards programs are not just suitable for big business.  The benefits of an employee recognition program to medium and small business has the same value.  Award winning smaller business could gain overnight credibility, leading to an increase in sales just by winning an award and be recognized as a player in the marketplace.  Studies in specific market segments indicated an increase of 63% in operational income and an increase of up to 39% in gross sales when companies with corporate awards strategies are compared to companies that do not have any strategy in place.

Interesting corporate awards statistics:

Engravers Journal conducted a survey in 2012 to obtain more information about the corporate award market in the United States.  The results might be 4 years old, but it is still interesting to see where the potential lies and how the corporate award market has grown. Here are some interesting findings from the survey:
  • The corporate awards market appeared to be the biggest single market when compared to academic, sports and other awards markets.
  • Most companies manufacturing, engraving and selling awards supply medium, small-sized businesses, and government organizations.  Corporate awards clients included private clubs, wholesale awards, and theological institutions.  The majority of sales was made to large corporate clients on a repeat basis.
  • Corporate sales were 3% more than the non-corporate market, but both markets showed strong growth.
  • Ongoing recognition programs were the highest source of repeat business which implied that most corporate clients have employee recognition programs in place.  Monthly, quarterly or annual rewards were on the increase and the results implied that this is a great source of increased sales as the companies might consider implementing new employee recognition programs.
  • Retirement, long-standing service, and performance rewards were the most popular programs while innovation and training or attendance programs were not as popular.
  • Corporate awards were voted more popular than vacations, gift certificates or alternative monetary rewards i.e. the companies and employees alike still prefer to get a tangible award which they could display.
  • Plaques remained high on the preferred type of corporate rewards list.  Crystal and glass awards also ranked high, but desk items, clothing, and mugs were not popular at all amongst the companies surveyed.

Planning a corporate awards ceremony or event

Ask the following questions when an awards ceremony is planned:
  1. Which category or department of your business will be rewarded?  Sales, marketing, public relations, customer service, creative department, human resources, new products, information technology or innovation department?
  2. How formal will the rewards ceremony be?  Black tie, semi-formal or will the rewards ceremony be informal?
  3. What sort of budget is available to arrange the whole event, including ordering and engraving the rewards and trophies?
  4. Does the reward of choice compliment your corporate image?
  5. How much time will be available to design, manufacture, engrave and ship the trophies and awards?
As a general guideline, the following will apply when choosing the right award for a corporate awards ceremony:
  • Crystal engraved corporate awards A crystal engraved corporate award resembles greatness, talent, honesty, and precision.
    • Sales and marketing rewards - A Crystal obelisk, diamond, and octagon, rectangle, round shape or crystal cube are popular choices.  A modern alternative to the most popular choices includes colored glass trophies in various shapes and sizes.
    • Crystal designs that include any form of stars are suitable for persons that earned their rewards for private or individual achievements.   Star awards are also great for those best skilled and trained, for example, the employee of the year or month.
    • Custom designed crystal trophies with Eagles or flags represent skill, dependability, allegiance, courage and persistence.  These awards are normally used for Military or loyal employees retiring.
  • Glass awards The use of glass to manufacture trophies and awards has been around for decades.  It is elegant and beautiful when customized which makes glass awards a perfect a unique corporate reward.  Art glass is beautifully designed rewards and comes in various colors and shapes which will provide a unique and special element to be treasured by the recipient for a long time.  Glass also does not fade and is resistant to the elements that provide product longevity.  Add stylish engraving and this award could be a winner for any corporate awards event.
  • Acrylic awards The versatility of acrylic awards allows this type of reward to be used across a broad spectrum of reward ceremonies. Acrylic awards are also more affordable, so this type of reward is suitable to be used by anyone from small business to corporate clients.  The shape and color of an acrylic award could literally be anything as it depends on the die and type of acrylic resin used.  An added advantage is the fact that acrylic awards are very clear and weighs fifty percent less than glass trophies which will influence shipping costs.
  • Trophy cups Trophy cups are most likely the most traditional form of reward used.  Materials range from silver plated cups to gold or custom shaped trophies.  This form of reward is either a floating trophy or one-time award.  Floating trophies will have a list of recipients' names and year in which they received the award on the base of the trophies.  Floating trophies have to be returned every year before the next corporate rewards evening in order for it to be passed on to the next person or be formally handed to the recipient if they are the winner for a consecutive year.  Crystal trophies will add more value and class to the award, but might cost a bit more.
  • Engraved plaques: Plaques resemble acknowledgment for contributions made and are available in various materials, shapes and sizes - plaques are also known as recognition awards.Plaques range from bronze plaques to photo or custom manufactured plaques.  The type of material used will mostly depend on the type of contribution made - it might be best to discuss the reward with a professional consultant at the trophy supplier. Plaques are still a popular choice for donations made and retirement or service awards.
Abraham Maslow wrote a paper in 1943 based on basic theory in psychology.  In this paper, he featured the hierarchy of needs (theory of motivation) which more public relations and human resources departments use to motivate staff members.  Self-esteem ranks fourth in this hierarchy indicating a basic human need to be recognized. Corporate awards programs are just one way in which a company could recognize the employees' efforts and motivate staff to work as a team in order to increase the company's standing from a financial and social perspective.  The ultimate reward takes place when such a company grows in size, leading to public, personal and financial satisfaction for the group. Further credibility could be earned through a nomination into any premier local or business competition. Imagine the pride a team experience when the company wins a premier business reward such as a Stevie® Award in any particular category. (Stevie awards are a premier business award competition where companies are nominated based on a particular field of business expertise.  Judges evaluate the entrants on a point basis with the winner receiving a 24-karat gold Stevie award.  Winners of these trophies join Corporates such as Ford, Acer, Samsung, British Telecoms, just to mention a few as part of the premier business group.) A corporate awards program (internal and external) is invaluable to any business and the pros of having such a program for your business outweigh the cons.

About Martin Awards:

Martin Awards has been in business since 1993 as a corporate awards supplier with over 1,000 custom corporate rewards and trophies in their catalog.

Service excellence is their motto and the company enjoys an A+ BBB rating.

BBB A+ Rating for Martin Awards

BBB A+ Rating for Martin Awards

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