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Employee Awards Titles to Use for Your Next Annual Party

By Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

Employee Awards Titles to Use for Your Next Annual Party

Annual company parties are typically all about rewarding employees for their hard work throughout the year. While treating staff to a whole bunch of food, drink and entertainment certainly creates a celebratory atmosphere, the event can also be made more meaningful by the addition of accolades that recognize employee contributions and success stories. Coming up with the right employee award titles to get people excited and engaged, however, can be a challenge.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of reliable options so you can remain focused on planning the party.

1. What Should Be Included in an Appreciation Award?

Just announcing the recipients of employee awards titles doesn’t cut the mustard. To make the occasion feel more prestigious and noteworthy, many companies present some form of certificate, plaque or trophy that is inscribed with the individual’s name alongside the employee award title. It’s also common to offer either a cash bonus or a voucher to be used at a particular store or e-commerce shop as an additional gift. What is the best reward for employee recognition in your organization will most likely come down to budget.

Remember that these kinds of accolades are about more than just recognizing stellar work and noteworthy contributions. They are also useful for showing everybody at a company that the elbow grease they put into their jobs is noticed and recognized by senior executives. This in turn can enhance staff motivation and enthusiasm, thereby reducing the occurrence of issues like staff churn.

2. What Are Some Good Employee Award Titles?

2.1 Awards for Employee of the Year

 Awards for Employee of the Year

The cornerstone of many recognition programs is the Employee of the Year award, also sometimes called the Best Employee Award. As its title suggests, this is given out to the person whose contribution has had the biggest impact over a set period. How this is judged can be based on hard numbers – whether that’s sales figures, unique visitors or support tickets resolved – or a consensus about whose attitude has most impressed. You might also consider setting up a judging panel and asking managers to submit for consideration any members of their team who they consider deserve to be made Employee of the Year, along with any relevant evidence or documentation.

This accolade is normally given to one individual in a company, but you can adjust it slightly so that it is provided to one individual per department (e.g., Sales Employee of the Year or Marketing Employee of the Year), depending on the size of the organization and its focus. Obviously, the more prizes you give out, the more expensive it becomes and the more the significance is diluted. However, if you work at an enterprise where there are hundreds of staff, highlighting people from different areas of the business will show that each arm of the company is valued, having a greater effect on overall morale.

2.2 Awards for Years of Service and Work

Some presentations are less about recognizing success and more about rewarding company loyalty. Depending on the longevity of staff at your business, you can congratulate people for work anniversaries after 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years. The longer the tenure, the more generous you can make the accompanying bonus or voucher. After all, it makes sense to show greater appreciation to someone who has been on your staff more than a decade than to someone who has reached the 5-year mark.

You might also consider giving out smaller prizes – perhaps even with gag gifts – to new joiners or people who have just celebrated their first year with the organization. These don’t need to feature as prominently in an annual event but can make fresh hires feel like they are already becoming part of the culture of the company.

2.3 Awards for MVP

Awards for MVP

What constitutes the Most Valuable Player will depend on the kind of business you operate. Perhaps it will come down to quantitative success or perhaps it will be more about the person who anchors a team, ensuring everybody else is able to complete their tasks or meet their quotas. MVP for your company might even translate into employee award titles for leadership prowess, which you can stylize as MVL (Most Valuable Leader).

Aspects of the MVP overlap with Employee of the Year, though the former tends to be viewed as implying a slightly lower degree of prestige compared to the latter. MVPs are more often given out to several candidates rather than just one, though the significance differs from place to place.

2.4 Awards for Improvement 

Especially for staff that may have struggled in the past with their role, awards for improvement can bolster confidence. They also illustrate that a company appreciates people who make the effort to develop their skills as well as those who are outright top performers.

Improvement awards can come in many shapes and forms, which gives you some flexibility when it comes to employee award titles (e.g., Most Improved Communicator or Most Improved Organizer). You could zero in on someone’s improved presentation skills or simply their general dedication towards learning and development. There may be occasions where you’ve provided a member of staff with some constructive criticism during their annual review, and as a result they’ve very clearly made the effort to fix the issues and strengthen the identified weaknesses. 

2.5 Awards for Teamwork

Good morale is essential to a high-functioning, productive office. That’s why drawing attention to individuals who encourage esprit de corps is so important. Awards for teamwork are all about celebrating the person in your ranks who brings a smile to the faces of their coworkers and keeps them pumped, even when the team is going through a difficult stretch.

Teamwork isn’t just about a friendly work environment. It’s also about building shared goals and getting others to invest in collaborative efforts. The office cheerleaders may not be the top performers in a company, but they still play a crucial role in ensuring things run smoothly, reducing absenteeism and increasing well-being through their can-do attitude and the sheer magnetism of their personality.

2.6 Awards for Creativity

Creativity benefits both employers and employees. For management, staff who demonstrate creative problem solving can make in-office processes more efficient, while also creating the positive impression in the minds of customers and clients that the company is one that is always chasing innovation. For staff, the opportunity to think outside the box once in a while can make them feel more like active participants in the business, thus increasing engagement.

All these forms of creativity should be applauded. More general creative award names could focus on a person’s ability to always spitball ideas (e.g., Idea Machine) or the way they come up with unorthodox solutions to tech problems (e.g., Star Solver). Alternatively, you could opt to give out awards for creativity based on specific projects, like a successful marketing campaign.

2.7 Employees Choice Awards

 Employees Choice Awards

While most awards should probably be decided by higher ups based on merit, don’t rule out the possibility of incorporating a number of employee awards titles for friends to nominate one another for. Things like teamwork in particular might best be decided via a popular vote instead of by managers. 

Peer recognition can be very effective generally in the workplace, increasing positive emotions, strengthening office relationships and boosting well-being. You can foster these elements at your annual party by including staff voices into your awards ceremony. 

3. FAQs  

  • What Kind of Employee Awards Are There?

It’s fairly standard to include employee award titles such as Employee of the Year or Best Team Player. You can also come up with creative award titles for employees, such as the Hidden Gem Award for most underappreciated individual or the Sales Whisperer Award for most smooth-tongued salesperson.

  • What Are Some Examples of Recognition-Based Awards?

You might want to feature accolades that highlight specific achievements. Examples of employee recognition awards could include things like Biggest Sale of the Year, Most Successful Marketing Campaign of the Year or Most Shared Article of the Year. 

  • What Are Some Funny Award Title Ideas?

What do you call an employee award for a person who is married to their organization? - Most Engaged Member of Staff! Mixing in some employee awards titles with funny connotations alongside the more serious presentations can add some levity to an annual company event – it is a party, after all! Try to stick with gently humorous things like the Coffeeholic Award, the Walking Wikipedia Award or the Office Clown Award. The last thing you want to do is cause anybody unintentional offense.

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