The Secret Ingredient to Business Success


“In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those
who show their good qualities in action.” —Aristotle

The success of any business, big or small, rests solely on the backs of its employees. From maintenance to CEOs, every individual is paramount. That’s why it is so important for employers to acknowledge these unsung heroes, to show appreciation for their hard work, long nights, and dedication to helping the company grow and perform. Studies have been done and what we all knew to be true has finally been given some clout — the more you show your employees that you recognize and appreciate their hard work, the more they’re willing to go the extra mile for you and your company. Recognition programs serve as a visual reminder to the recipient and everyone else in the company that they are valued and extra effort will be noticed and rewarded. Letting your team know that what they do matters, inspiring a bit of competition amongst them, and improving the general atmosphere and morale are just a sampling of what an awards program can do.

Starting an award program doesn’t have to be complex — it’s not brain surgery. First, identify the type of work and employee you would like to acknowledge and recognize as a role model for others in the company. The three most popular gift cycle programs are for excellent attendance, loyalty or length of service, and going above and beyond expectations in a given project or program.

Second, clearly define expectations and award types to everyone who would be in contention. Use your company’s philosophy regarding teamwork, dedication, and performance to show how your company feels rewards are an integral part of success. Outline the types of awards and the requirements to receive it. Identify the program’s objectives, length, and measurement system. If possible, give a description of the actual award or prize each individual will be getting. Make sure to describe what departments or teams are being considered for each award cycle if not taking everyone into consideration at once.

Finally, the award doesn’t have to be too extravagant, but do make sure that it’s been chosen to represent the individual set to receive it. Create an award that clearly shows that your company puts as much effort into the selection as the recipient does into their job performance. If possible, have a presentation ceremony — it doesn’t have to be long or take up too much of the workday, but try to make the recipient feel extra special and important; don’t give the award in private, but rather, try to call a short meeting or set up a corporate luncheon for the team members.

If your company is sales-driven, consider a sales incentive award to either the person who has sold the most, or the person whose numbers have improved the most — or both! Customize a sophisticated photo frame for someone with perfect attendance; specially commission an art glass sculpture for someone who has been an employee for five or ten years; show thanks and appreciation with a customized stationery gift set for someone who has exceeded expectations and gone above and beyond for the company.

Diana Martin Gifts has been providing companies like AT&T, Intel, and Cadence with their corporate awards, executive retirement gifts, and special occasion awards since 1988.