Celebrating employee achievements is an effective way of boosting productivity, morale, and efficiency. However, it’s often debated that handing out too many trophies or unearned awards is detrimental to the workplace. What’s the truth? Do trophies produce positive or negative effects?
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The Pros and Cons of Awarding Trophies in the Workplace
Awarding trophies to your staff is overall positive. Most of the negative effects are almost always due to a poor employee recognition system, meaning the following cons can be eliminated.
Pro 1: Awards Offer Positive Reinforcement
Studies show that negative reinforcement doesn’t work, even when it does. That’s because positive reinforcement maximizes performance, whereas negative reinforcement encourages minimal effort to skate by. Awards and trophies are great positive reinforcement techniques.
Con 1: Participation Trophies Can Kill Competition
Failure is terrifying, but it can be a great learning experience. If everyone gets an award, no one will truly feel like they’ve earned it. It’s not a good idea to give participation trophies or too many awards, as it creates a workplace of stagnancy and can make your team less motivated to try.
Pro 2: Classy Trophies Will Be Treasured Forever
Kind words and temporary gifts, like money and food, are definitely welcomed and treasured. At the same time, they will be forgotten in time. However, corporate awards from Able Recognition are memorable and unique and serve as a constant reminder of your employee’s achievements.
Con 2: Too Little Trophies Stifles Employee Progress
Sometimes we miss the mark and don’t reach our workplace goals, but that doesn’t mean we should be ignored. People who’ve made significant improvements should be rewarded because it encourages growth. If you only celebrate big wins, you’re stifling your employee’s progress.
Pro 3: Ceremonies Strengthen Brand Image for Clients
Typically, trophies are given to employees at a ceremony. Whether at a conference center or in the office, a well-documented awards ceremony can show clients you take good care of your employees. Keep this up, and you’ll build a positive brand image that attracts great talent.
Con 3: Employees Won’t Learn From Their Mistakes
There’s an impression that awards can actually prevent growth. This is only true if employees don’t receive feedback. If an employee didn’t earn a reward, it’s essential to explain why and where improvements can be made. Highlight their positive attributes to keep them motivated.
Pro 4: Peer-to-Peer Awards Create a Happy Atmosphere
It’s common for workplaces to forget about peer-to-peer recognition, but it’s just as important as manager-to-employee recognition. A peer-to-peer trophy program can enhance company culture, foster diversity and inclusion, improve performance and strengthen team morale.
Con 4: An Excess of Rewards Promotes Entitlement
High achievers in the workplace may be awarded more often than other team members. This can make them entitled, which may make them hard to work with. To create an inclusive work environment, be clear that bragging and put-downs aren’t appropriate in the workplace.
Pro 5: Employee Recognition Programs Attract Talent
Employees want to work where they’re appreciated, and an employee recognition program proves you’re doing just that. If you want to attract and retain talent, you need to be one of those companies that’s interested in your employees’ growth, health, happiness, and career goals.
Con 5: A Toxic Award-Based Environment Could Form
If employees have to stay late, work on weekends, or stay on-call 24/7 to get a reward because the goals set are too high, managers are inadvertently encouraging unhealthy behaviors. Any positive the trophy would have brought is gone, as employees are burnout and too tired.