Hampshire Hospitals WOW Awards

Seven ways to say thank you

From awards ceremonies to social posts or a good old-fashioned “thank you”, employee recognition comes in all shapes and forms. We share some of the ways the organisations we work with celebrate their employees’ successes.

We all like to be appreciated

Employee recognition is all about acknowledging your people for doing great work.

A little appreciation goes a long way. A simple thanks at the end of the working day and your team will leave the office feeling valued, engaged and ready to do their best tomorrow.

But amplify that into an employee recognition programme and the benefits are significant. In fact, according to Kartik Mandaville, Forbes Council Member:

A successful recognition program could improve workplace culture, employee engagement and retention.

Kartik Mandaville,

Forbes Council Member

What makes effective employee recognition?

Being unbiased and objective is key. One of the benefits of working with The WOW! Awards is that it offers impartiality. The judges have no links to the businesses and know nothing of the people involved, meaning every nominee is judged solely on merit.

To do employee recognition well, nominations need to be personal and specific. With The WOW! Awards, your customers and employees can nominate individual team members and explain exactly how they’re doing a great job. This sets us apart from other review platforms which generally gather feedback on teams or the organisation as a whole. The WOW! Awards allow you to highlight not only the individual who is delivering exceptional service but the specific way in which they have done so –  meaning you can thank them directly.

With this information, you can choose to celebrate in whatever way best suits your company – after all, everyone’s different. It’s helpful to remember that some people love the spotlight of an awards event, while others might feel far more comfortable with a personal call of thanks.

Turning nominations into celebrations

Celebrating service excellence isn’t only great for individual nominees. Zoom out, and the wider team gets to understand what good likes like too – with specific real-life examples. That encourages others to replicate those behaviours, which in turn leads to improvements across the company, more nominees being awarded, more best practice examples shared, and so the cycle goes on.

So how do you make your employees feel appreciated and valued? Take a look at some of the ways the organisations we work with celebrate their award winners.

1. Sharing it within the organisation at Zehnder.

Internal newsletters are one way to celebrate successes within your company. Zehnder’s newsletter, for example, includes photos of award winners being presented with their certificates. As well as celebrating these individuals, it also serves as a prompt for other employees to nominate each other in future months. And a deeper look behind the nominations highlights the company’s values – reinforcing them across the workforce, but with a light touch.

2. SafeMove broadcast it to the world.

Posting on social media about winners is a great way to applaud individual team members, as well as share positive messages about your organisation with the wider world. Take this SafeMove LinkedIn post, for example. Firstly, it gives a big shout-out for the notable work of one of their employees. But by also posting the actual nomination, it spells out just why their service is so good to any potential new customers. But that’s not the only way SafeMove celebrates success. Monthly award presentations, small prizes and even an annual awards ceremony are all ways in which they bring their teams together to recognise excellent service. And when events have to be held online, they send out treats to employees’ children – it’s the little things that count.

Safe Move WOW Awards

3. Celebrating in person with Stevenage Leisure Limited.

With in-person events possible again, Stevenage Leisure Limited recently invited their winners to a lunch, where they were presented with framed certificates. Reading out nominations meant that everyone knew exactly why the winners were so deserving of their awards and how they’d gone the extra mile. As put by their CEO:

When we see the smile on the faces of the winners, or the tears in their eyes when they have been thanked for doing a great job, that’s when you can really see the true value of a programme like this.

Ian Morton

Managing Director (Former)

4. Surprise awards at Barnsley Premier Leisure (BPL).

When BPL realised that formal awards presentations weren’t hitting the spot with employees, they decided to do something different. Now they surprise award winners with, for example, a senior member of staff popping into a fitness class to present them with their certificate. This low-key approach also means winners can celebrate with their site colleagues. Sometimes less is more!

5. A personal phone call at Affinity Water.

Sometimes, it’s the personal touch that counts the most. Each month, Affinity Water makes a selection of best nominations, from which The WOW! Awards selects one overall winner. That employee receives a call from their CEO who personally congratulates them on their outstanding service to the company.

6. Online awards at Peabody.

When the pandemic kicked in, Peabody shifted their monthly office-based awards events online. Hosted by their Executive team, the events celebrate the achievements of their employees in providing first-class customer service and demonstrating the values of the organisation. According to David Lavarack, Peabody’s Corporate Services Executive Director: “The awards were created to thank and recognise the hard work of our employees and I’m delighted that the new online format worked so well.”

Peabody WOW Awards

7. Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust steps outside.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust recently presented a WOW! Award to one of their Winchester Hospice team. They chose to award it under bright blue skies in their beautiful Psalm 23 Garden, and then shared the occasion on Twitter.


Reach out today

Want an employee recognition programme that’s straightforward and unbiased? Get in touch with The WOW! Awards today.