8 Unique Recognition Award Ideas To Appreciate Your Employees

Recognition and awards make everyone at work feel appreciated and motivated. Here are 8 recognition awards for employees that everyone will love.

The key to building a great business is to keep your employees engaged and happy. One way to accomplish this is through proper recognition and awards. Recognition awards are an essential employee motivation tool. They get your team members to up their performance and job satisfaction levels.

There are many types of awards that companies can give to their employees to celebrate them for their outstanding dedication and hard work. Why not get creative with the process to make it more fun and engaging?

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular awards and pick the ones that suit you the best:

Table of content

1. Top performer recognition award

Think of an individual who has gone above and beyond in contributing to your organization. They consistently excel at performing tasks that are the most difficult or most time-consuming, they work extra hours if needed and they champion causes that are not necessarily their own but are beneficial to the larger organization. Those individuals who go out of their way to contribute to your team’s success deserve a reward.

2. Value award

When you recognize your employee’s behavior and the results that you see as a result of positive reinforcement, you are building trust and loyalty in not just the person but in your organization as a whole. A great way to show appreciation is by awarding incentives to recognize specific actions under certain circumstances, where the employee has portrayed model behavior or taken ethical decisions to uphold company values.

3. Service awards

Service-based recognition simply recognizes the time spent by each employee with the organization. It is a way of sending appreciation to each employee for committing themselves to improving the reputation and productivity of the company. Service and tenure awards recognize employees who have served the company in some capacity, ideally several years. It’s a way of showing appreciation for such efforts and perhaps encouraging even greater commitment in the future.

4. Leadership awards

Leadership Awards recognizes members who demonstrate commitment and dedication to the professional success of their peers, as well as a willingness to take on additional responsibilities or assignments at their sole discretion that are coherent with company strategies. The Leadership Award is intended to identify those members who have consistently demonstrated leadership skills and wish to continue to cultivate those skills with others for the betterment of the organization.

5. Customer service awards

Customer service is a widely acknowledged aspect of customer experience and brand recognition. Looking after the customers is almost as important as the actual product or service that you provide. More and more people emphasize their business to become – or remain – a customer’s first choice. Customer service awards for the employees will show your gratitude to employees who go above and beyond their duties when serving customers. Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.

6. ​​Team Awards

Team awards involve granting accolades for teams who have outperformed for not only one season or quarter, but for an entire year or a specific work project (R&D for example). Awards for teams offer a way to highlight the accomplishments of groups or departments for the long term. Team awards are a great way to recognize and reward the achievements of individual team members, as well as reinforcing a sense of teamwork among your employees. Team recognition awards such as trophies, plaques or shields will encourage your team members to engage in collaborative activity, rather than to pursue ‘individual excellence’.

7. Diligence Awards

Diligence Awards fosters the values and standards of corporate culture, and is filled with vitality. It places stress on efficiency, disciplined conduct, as well as on harmonious working relations. It also pays great attention to preventing and dispelling harmful factors in work.

8. Creative awards

Creativity is an indispensable commodity - a magic ingredient for today's organizations. Employees aren't exactly drones who go about their tasks monotonously. They bring their  unique skills to the company. This is why it’s in your best interest to encourage creativity among your employees so that you can benefit from the fresh perspective they bring and be at a competitive advantage in an ever more competitive workforce.


We believe that an excellent recognition award should be an integral part of a well-designed employee engagement strategy. Various companies offer different awards for all occasions, but the best ones are the ones where employees feel valued by the organization and it encourages them to work harder. We hope that this article has been able to address some of the common questions that you may have had before you made a decision on which type of award would be right for your team building event. 


What is an employee recognition program?

An employee recognition is a company’s way of showing employees that they are appreciated. Recognitions can take the form of public praise, financial or material incentives, verbal praise, group or team rewards and other types of rewards. An employee recognition program however is a comprehensive strategy to put these nudges into practice company-wide. It may include annual sales or quality champion awards, monthly best employee awards or even a small gesture of kudos leaderboard for a job well done. 

What are some examples of recognition-based awards?

Awards often come in the form of trophies, certificates, and recognitions. If you’re looking for recognition awards for employees, there are a few things that you should keep in mind-

-What do I want this award to represent?

-What words should I use to describe the award and what it should symbolize?

-How should I present this award?

-How much time should it take me to create something like this?

If these questions sound intimidating or if you don’t have the time or budget for an expensive creation, consider making your own personalized recognition awards! It may not be as fancy as others but they will be more meaningful.

Some of the following awards are given to employees who have gone above and beyond in their job, have been a valuable asset or have done anything that would reflect positively on the company. Some of the most popular recognition awards include:

  1. Employee of the Month
  2. Employee of the Week
  3. Best practices awards
  4. Coaching champion
  5. Sales champion
  6. Quality champion
  7. Safety awards
  8. Leadership awards
  9. Customer success awards
  10. Quality award
  11. Innovation award

How do you write an employee recognition statement?

Having trouble finding the right words for employee recognition? The key to employee recognition is reflecting the actual person or team you are trying to recognize, in their own voice. You want your recognition program to match who this person is. You may have a lot of praise or a lot of other things you want to recognize. But it all comes back to the individual and how they lead, how they work and how they interact with others. What makes them unique and what they excel at. For example, you could praise someone for having that extra spark of leadership in a quiet way.

Are achievement awards taxable?

In India:

Awards and prizes are usually taxed at the rate of 30%. This would effectively come up to 31.2% when you include the cess. This rate is independent of the tax slab that a person belongs to.

In The US: 

The IRS states that “There is now a prohibition on cash, gift cards and other non-tangible personal property as employee achievement awards.” and “Special rules allow an employee to exclude certain achievement awards from their wages if the awards are tangible personal property.” It also further purports “The new law clarifies that tangible personal property doesn’t include cash, cash equivalents, gift cards, gift coupons, certain gift certificates, tickets to theater or sporting events, vacations, meals, lodging, stocks, bonds, securities, and other similar items.”

Play fun Games & Trivia with your team on Slack!
Explore Ricotta
Subscribe to our newsletter
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


Teams uSE
Ricotta Trivia


Fun Games


Icebreaker Questions

Try Ricotta Games & Trivia

Build a great team culture!