How to Organize an Inhouse Awards System for Employees

Set up a corporate rewards system that employees want

Employee performance is like a lovely flower. Without the proper care and water, it fades at one point or another. To get the productivity juices flowing, you have to make an internal rewards system a part of your employee retention strategy.

What does rewarding employees mean?

Whether it’s for reaching specific goals, implementing new ideas, or going the extra mile, rewarding employees is about honoring what people achieve in the workplace. The essence of rewarding employees is reinforcing specific behaviors and motivating people to perform better.

Why is it important to reward employees?

A smart employee recognition system is a win-win for both the organization and its associates. Indeed, while high performance brings bonuses to your staff, it also supports the organizational goals and values your business promotes. Here are the central perks of creating an employee recognition program:

  • Satisfaction. Greater enjoyment of work is what employees experience when they are involved in an internal awards system.
  • Feedback. To achieve more, you have to know the directions. Internal award programs involve frequent performance evaluations. By collecting direct feedbacks, employees get great guidance.
  • Low turnover. Employees who perform high-quality work and know your organization from A to Z are a special value for your business. In this context, keeping turnover low is vital.
  • Teamwork perks. The more people who stay with your organization long-term, the healthier the atmosphere inside you team is. Enhanced teamwork generates more effective collaboration which is key to building a powerful business strategy.

Teamwork perks.

  • Time- and cost-efficiency. Since intrinsic rewards for employees benefit retention, business owners save much time and the cost they would have otherwise spent training new hires.

What are the incentives for an employee?

Did you know that Aflac organizes a six-day appreciation week every year which involves skating, giveaway contests, and movie days? And GoDaddy takes employees for rafting or cooking classes every month during paid work hours. If we tap into recognition incentives that the gurus of business employ, we find it’s not only about pay raises.

Check out the top 3 creative incentives for employees you could make the good use of:

  • Provide PTO for employee service. An excellent way to show company commitment to the global community is to offer paid time off for volunteer service. Collect a list of volunteer opportunities your staff might be interested in and let people choose the most enticing projects.
  • Incentivize through equity. Following the buy-and-sell model of ownership, some businesses offer equity to the most successful members of their team, based on company valuation.
  • Creative nominations. Throw a big, Oscar-level awards event for your employees, nominate the candidates, and reward them with special prizes or creative titles like “The Best Corporate Early Riser” or “The Guru of Remote Work.”

How can you reward your employees?

Organizing an internal reward system requires two things: the knowledge of the goals your employees have and the ability to generate value for your staff through appropriate awards.

Here are few examples from SnackNation on how to do it WRONG:

And here are some tips on how to do it RIGHT:

  1. Let employees know what value they bring. A crisis of employee motivation is often caused by low understanding of value that a team generates for an organization. Set up regular one-on-one meetings with employees to inform them about their contributions to the bottom line.
  2. Communicate the vision. Share the vision that you have for the future of your organization at team presentations, creative events, and meetings.
  3. Set up performance reviews. To keep an eye open for how employees are doing in your organization, have regular performance review meetings.
  4. Personalize nominations. Awarding isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Nominate employees based on the number of years of service, their occupations, professional interests, and personality types to keep satisfaction high.

Types of awards for employees

On-the-spot awards

There are some milestones that your employees most likely surpass every day. To reward their efforts, you can offer on-the-spot rewards like a creative badge for every achievement, a bar of chocolate, and more.

Inhouse awards events

For those companies that want to attract public attention to employee rewards and generate buzz, organizing in-house awards events is vital. Plan an awards ceremony based on a specific theme and enhance company/team recognition in this target field.

Social media awards campaigns

With the growth of social media hype, it’s possible there’s an employee recognition idea for every cause. Launch creative social media awards if you want to build quick win-and-go experiences.

How to organize inhouse awards for employees: A step-by-step guide

Inhouse awards for employees

So, you’ve decided to plan and organize an inhouse awards event. Where do you start?

Here’s a short, step-by-step guide to build an internal reward system for employees through an inhouse event:

  • Create a strong value offer. Ask yourself why you’re going to have this event and how your staff can benefit from it. In other words, think about the internal rewards for employees in terms of a worthy value cause.
  • Find judges. Whether these are going to be people from inside your organization or guests, it’s important these people are experts in the field.
  • Use the right tone. If you feel your staff is up for some fun, think of creative nominations like “Office lunch expert,” “The risk taker,” “The human handbook,” etc. Using the appropriate tone will help you boost engagement.
  • Add interesting speeches. To enhance the importance of internal rewards, you can also invite speakers that your employees would appreciate hearing.
  • Automate manual work. Before starting any event planning work, find a reliable software to help you automate manual tasks.

Relevant: How digital technology can solve your contest organization problems?


An effective internal rewards system is a great tool for providing direct feedback about employees’ performances. Solidify your employees’ aspirations and keep turnover low through reward events.

Judgify is a beginning-to-end solution for online awards/contest/abstract management which supports modules for public voting, flexible entry submission & judging, as well as free events at no cost. So, if you are up for awards automation, get started with Judgify free of charge!

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