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Behind every business success is a team of hard working and dedicated employees who make it happen. Acknowledging employee contributions is important for retention, continued performance and overall morale. By having a special event to honor those top performers, you’re creating a fun, positive experience for all employees. Planning an employee awards ceremony is a big undertaking and there are many things one must take into consideration.

Company Culture

How would you describe your organization? What industry are you in? How many employees do you have? Knowing your company culture is a good starting point in determining the type of awards ceremony you would like to hold. If your organization if a more formal, corporate environment, you would be likely choose a hotel ballroom as your venue and give glass or crystal business awards. For the more casual organization, a restaurant is a good place and you can give acrylic awards or plaques.

Form a Committee

Planning any event requires collaboration and forming a committee is a great way to get the ball rolling. The best way to form your committee is to ask for volunteers. Once your group is in place, assign roles to each volunteer. Choose someone as treasurer to handle the budget, another person in charge of decorating the venue and someone to decide which awards to purchase. Once that’s done, it’s time to get down to business and have a brainstorming session. What are you going to call your event? Have the committee submit names and then vote on the best one.

Set a Budget

Once you’ve formed your committee and decided “who does what,” it’s time to start setting the plan into action. At the foundation of every event plan is a budget. Once the budget is set, the committee needs to decide how funds will be allocated. Choosing the right venue is going to be the major expenditure but what about food, awards or guest speakers? If you have a generous budget and want to add a little extra fun, why not have a raffle? Gift cards make a great prize and are an affordable option.

Choose a Venue

Aside from budget, your workplace culture will play a big role in the type of venue you choose. If your company is very casual, holding the ceremony at a local restaurant could be an option. Is yours a large, corporate organization? Then renting a ballroom at a nearby hotel could work. Whatever you choose, you can have fun setting up and decorating the area.

Choosing Winners

When it comes to deciding the winners, there are a couple of ways to go about it. First, you could select a panel of judges to select nominees and decide the winners. Another great way to choose winners is to have all the employees vote or nominate people. You can send out a notice to employees and invite them to nominate someone for specific categories. It’s a great way to get everyone involved and increase participation.

Set the Date then Celebrate!

Now that you’ve chosen the venue, nominations have been made and everything is pinned down, it’s time to send out the invitations. You can send traditional paper invitations or do it electronically via email. No matter what you decide, a good turnout is the ultimate goal. Having a successful awards event is a great way to increase engagement and motivate employees. But most of all, it’s a great way to have fun!