In a business, awards can inspire employees to perform at their best; the prospect of receiving the public recognition of co-workers and superiors can be a motivating factor. Choose awards that are appropriate to your industry, and tailor them to the goals of the company in order to promote productivity in targeted areas.
To encourage employees who think out of the box, give an award for innovation. Meet with the managers of your team and talk about staff members who have developed a unique solution to a common industry problem, devised a way to remove a bottleneck, or taken the initiative to solve a problem that was costing the company extra money or time. Employees who take it upon themselves to improve the work flow of your business can be a benefit to all areas of production. By rewarding them, you give license for other employees to follow suit.
For most businesses, customer service and customer relations are paramount to building a solid client base. Keep track of your employees during the year and note who goes beyond the standard procedures for helping a customer or making sure they are satisfied with their purchase. Watch out for thank-you notes or comments from clients that mention specific employees; when a customer takes the time to single out an employee, it means they were impressed with her performance.
If you have an employee who is continuously working to ensure that your company maintains high social responsibility standards, reward him for his efforts. Choose an employee that researches your suppliers, vendors and clients and recommends people and products that have excellent human rights records. This might be an employee who advises you to switch office supply companies because of the use of sweat shops or pushes for vendors who choose environmentally-friendly products in their businesses. Look for employees who have campaigned for energy efficient office standards or spearheaded an office recycling program. Employees who look out for the good of the world around them can help your company build a positive reputation in the community and among consumers.
Employees have the potential to have a positive impact on your bottom line. To encourage behavior that benefits sales or profits, create an award that recognizes those who do. The terms of the award will vary by industry and business type: you might reward employees who bring in new clients, for example, or people who have a high sales percentage. By rewarding people who help your business, you can inspire them to participate more and give them a sense of ownership over the business.