Help: Quarterly employee rewards & awards that works

Hi all, 

I'm looking for awards and rewards that works and has an impact where people want to participate and nominate, and feel as if the process is fair and worth going through. 

I work for a global technology company with several generous rewards and awards that we hand out from time to time. The biggest one is a quarterly award where we ask anyone in the business to nominate themselves, a team, any individual or basically ANYONE in the business including cross functional (non traditional) teams. There is a form to fill in that asks simple questions that asks for specifics around values-based behaviours and the outcomes they deliver. We ask of a maximum of 750 words.

In the past we had one winner (team or individual) who would get a smashing prize of £5000. We got the feedback that people didn't want to put in nominations because they felt as if nothing they did would ever be good enough for that sort of prize.. so we changed it, and instead had one winner per value which split the prize per winner to £5000/4 (1 for each of our 4 values). 

Again, we didn't get the nomination as people felt as if they were simply doing their job and felt shy to give us nominations. 

We re-did the award again, and now the team or individual instead gets a smaller sum of money that is to be dedicated to a team activity or dinner for the winners (if you were an individual who won we would make sure you could bring someone else with you, no matter if that person works for us or not). There is now an unlimited amount of winners, and majority of things that are nominated gets a prize.

The winners are chosen by our Senior Leadership Team who each has a couple of points they can award each nomination. We then present the winner in our quarterly launch and celebrate it along with other achievements. 

As the above is not working, we're not seeing the engagement we want and people seem hesitant to get involved.. What do you think would work? What would you do differently? We have a great internal culture, amazing people and the HR team along with the c-suites just want them to know how appreciated they are, but we're running out of ideas and I think it would be sad to scrap this as it's for our people - but at the moment it's a lot of work for me and others who own the process, but no rewards to anyone anywhere to make it worth it. 

Please help. 


  • Talk to your staff about what THEY would like in terms of recognition, don't try to double guess them.....
  • In reply to Ray:

    Thank you! I will do that, but it would be great to ask them what they want, while also offer them some ideas of what's possible so they can get creative and start thinking