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Employee Recognition
Planning a Recognition Event

How a recognition award is presented can be more important and meaningful than the award itself. Excellent presentations spotlight the individual and include these elements:

Before The Presentation During The Presentation After The Presentation
  • Decide when and where to hold the event.
  • Obtain the award or gift. Double-check to ensure that the award is correct and in good condition.
  • Obtain a card to accompany the gift or print one of the specially designed service recognition cards.
  • Plan for refreshments.
  • Invite others to attend.
  • Select coworkers who will speak.
  • Complete the "Presentation Facts List"
    • Recipient's name, job title, responsibilities and date of hire
    • Specific contributions to unit/department
    • Anecdotes, humorous stories and personal information
    • Activities away from work
  • Follow planned presentation format.
  • Call upon those who are prepared to speak.
  • Describe specific accomplishments.
  • For service recognition milestones, acknowledge the actual anniversary date (if before or after the presentation).
  • Talk with the recipient to see how he or she felt about the presentation.
  • Send a letter to acknowledge the anniversary and/or the individual’s accomplishments.
  • Create additional recognition moments by displaying your own award and commenting on others' awards.
  • Continue to reinforce employee contributions.

Presentation Topics

When developing recognition presentation remarks, consider talking about:

Overall success Recent changes Customer service
Quality Importance of people Significant work improvement
University/Department mission Specific contributions Personal qualities
University/Department history Examples of initiative and creativity Consistent dedicated performance

Handling Common Challenges

Sometimes circumstances make it difficult to know what to say. Consider the following:

The award recipient's accomplishments aren't easily defined
Use specifics whenever possible, such as jobs completed, orders processed, etc. Focus on personal qualities such as reliability, friendliness, neatness, courtesy. Coworkers may mention interests away from work, hobbies, or community involvement.
The organization is facing hard times
Focus on the individual effort and contributions. Be honest about situations. Make sure the recipient knows he or she is still valued.
The award recipient is shy
Create a quiet gathering and invite only the people the recipient selects. If the person is uncomfortable in any group setting, have others sign a card or other personal expression of appreciation to include with the award.

(O. C. Tanner Recognition Company has provided information for this web page.)

Employee Recognition