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How Business Awards Help Motivate Your Team

14 min read
How Business Awards Help Motivate Your Team

$300 billion.

That’s at least how much disengaged workers cost the economy annually.

It’s not necessarily their fault, though. It could be due to a poor workplace environment or employee dissatisfaction.

To tackle these issues, employers must look towards business awards. When employees feel recognized, their happiness and productivity increase. Win-win.

Here’s a break down of how awards help motivate your team.

How Business Awards Motivate Employees

People have two main motivators in life: necessity and reward.

Necessities include food, sleep, water, and the things people need to stay alive and safe. Rewards, on the other hand, are what bring people joy and happiness.

It goes beyond an emotional response. When a person receives a reward, the brain increases dopamine. Dopamine is a part of the pleasure system in the brain and it, amongst other things, increases goal-directed behavior.

This reward system becomes activated when we do things like refresh the newsfeed on Facebook, eat delicious food, and receive business awards at work.

Why Are Awards Important?

Appreciating and recognizing employees leads to increased satisfaction and retention.

When people receive rewards from work, they are more likely to be productive, efficient, creative, energized, and committed.

More importantly, if people don’t feel appreciated at work, they will become dissatisfied and work less. The work they complete will feel stressful and unrewarding.

This may lead to chronic stress, which has debilitating effects on health over time. Stress causes anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, and headaches, to name a few ailments.

Chronic stress also leads to decreased function of major body systems, such as the circulatory system, digestive system, immune system, and reproductive system.

Staggering numbers of employees report feeling stress at work, this study citing at least 94% from a group of over 1,600 workers.

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To decrease stress, you should take care of your team. Include people in goal setting so you can get their feedback on what’s reasonable and easily communicate external pressures on deadlines.

Then, you can provide rewards for that work getting completed. This makes the time spent worth it and generates workspace positivity while decreasing stress.

It’s important to note that any old award won’t do the trick in warding off disengagement and chronic stress.

What Awards Motivate People?

Although we’re talking about employees as a collective group, it’s important to consider the fact that employees are individuals. You can’t assume an award will hold the same value from person to person.

To find what motivates and inspires employees, you should ask for input and feedback. Nobody wants to receive something that’s useless to them.

Intangible Awards

Intangibles work for consistent motivation. This includes taking a person or a team out to lunch, giving them time off, or simply giving a shout-out in an email.

The idea with intangibles is to continue communicating to employees that you value them.

While a great motivator, these awards should be strategically paired with tangible awards.

Tangible Awards

An age-old motivation tactic is to give employees physical representations of success.

This includes trophies, plaques, and certificates. View here to get some ideas about shiny special rewards.

Otherwise, you may consider gift certificates, yoga retreats, or other physical items depending on the person’s taste (like a cool water bottle).

It may be wise to gift something that can help employees better themselves, physically or mentally. This could be a spa-cation, a membership to a gym, or simply a good book.

This type of reward will become more of a trend in the upcoming years, as millennials tend to favor personal development more than other age groups.

Again, it’s important to choose something that your employees want, not something you think they want. The only way to know that is to include them in goal setting and rewards.

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Once you’ve brainstormed the best awards for your crew, you should consider the timing of gifting it.

When To Give Awards

If you give an award for the completion of a task, the employee should obviously receive it upon completion of said task.

If it’s a recognition-based award, you should give it to the individual in front of other employees. This will amplify their feeling of success and inspire others to do the same.

You can do it at a meeting, award ceremony, party, or picnic. Keep in mind that giving the award at a certain place or occasion makes the experience more special and eventful.

Something else to consider as you think about when to give an award is frequency. You want to give awards frequently enough to keep people motivated, but not so often that the award loses value.

Awards Won’t Fix Underlying Issues

Giving awards won’t make existing problems go away. You can’t expect a trophy or a t-shirt to make disengaged employees do a 180.

Be aware of your employees’ specific needs at work. You can find out through a survey what unmotivates people in the office.

It may be too much supervision, low pay, insufficient feedback, or a lack of recognition.

Whatever it may be, listen to your employees and fix the problems. This is how you create a more positive workspace.

Then, the awards you give people will have more juice.

Remember: People Are Your Biggest Asset

Treat your employees as individuals. Know what they like and dislike, give them business awards to recognize success, and keep communication open.

This will improve their personal lives and business success.

Keep reading our blog for more business tips and tricks to become more productive and efficient.

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