Equality may be a standard when speaking of opportunities and rights. However, equality has no business in a company rewards program. If every employee gets the same bonus or an identical award, there is no reason to strive for better performance. Participation awards serve their purpose, but they should definitely not be the same as the awards given to employees in recognition of outstanding or record breaking performance.

Competition may be a dirty word to some people, but it remains an essential part of modern business culture. Companies compete for customers and contracts. Employees compete for clients, projects, and promotions. Establishing a clear system of employee awards will inspire many employees to strive for higher and higher standards of performance. They will want to earn the fancy engraved glass awards , not the simple paper certificates.

There is a delicate balance between competition and morale. It is possible for companies to turn awards into something that actually damages morale. Giving out too few awards, having unclear standards for earning them, or giving everyone and anyone an award diminishes the effectiveness of the recognition program. Effective recognition calls attention to those employees that meet high performance standards — or set new standards — and serve as incentives for future performance.