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Spring Clean Your Award Reasons

employees clappingWhen was the last time you revisited your recognition award reasons? If you haven’t evolved your awards since you launched your program, it might be time to re-examine your award reasons and identify opportunities. Reviewing award reasons regularly will help ensure your program is always meaningful and aligned with your culture.

A periodic reassessment of your award reasons is a best practice for every recognition program. Here are five questions to ask as you take a fresh look at recognition this spring:

  1. How are your current award reasons performing? Your first step in spring cleaning your awards is to assess the awards you have. Take a look at your organization’s recognition activity by award reason. Is activity aligned with how you predicted awards would be used when the program was designed? Or are employees leaning more heavily into some award reasons and ignoring others? You may need to promote lesser-used awards or rebalance awards by refreshing them to better meet where your culture is.
  2. What behaviors and values do you want to reinforce? Recognition is a powerful way to bring your values to life by making them practicable and mapping them to everyday behavior. Where some companies simply put values on the wall, including them as recognition reasons is an opportunity to show employees what good looks like. It’s also a great way to center and elevate the behaviors you’d like to see prioritized in your cultures, such as diversity and inclusion, integrity, or social responsibility.
  3. What changes are you trying to support? Whether you are adjusting to growth, have an upcoming merger, or are putting in place other transformations, recognition reasons are a powerful way to support and champion change management initiatives. Design a new or temporary award reason to help rally employees around your new initiatives and associate positive feelings with the transitions.
  4. How has your company evolved since you launched recognition? No culture stays the same forever. Chances are your company has grown and evolved since you implemented recognition – and luckily, your recognition program is designed to evolve with you. Consider how you can update your award reasons to reflect who you are now. Are there new values you should add? Revisit your award reasons regularly to ensure they align with what’s most important.
  5. What are your current goals? Recognition goals are a terrific way to support not only longer-term company values but also goals that may be a focus for a year or so. Consider recognition reasons that are based around your rallying cry or designed to get people excited about a big company initiative.

Creating award reasons based on company values is a powerful way to underscore and support those values, but award reasons can take other creative forms that encourage behavior and underscore culture. Here are some of the unique and interesting award reasons we’ve seen our clients use in the past:


  • Respect the planet
  • Safer, reliable, ethical and sustainable
  • Sustainability is our focus


  • Giving back
  • Connect to the community
  • Social Responsibility
  • Community Builder


  • Respect others
  • Seek diverse perspectives
  • Work as one team

Human first

  • Being care-driven
  • Valuing and developing employees
  • Being an active listener
  • Grit and perseverance
  • Positive mental attitude

Business impact

  • Safety
  • Quality
  • Waste reduction and cost savings
  • Exceed customer expectations
  • Takes creative risk

Ready to take a fresh look at your awards this spring? Talk to your account team to strategize or for help in reviewing and assessing your award reasons.