Mon - Fri 8am - 7pm ET|

The Strategic Role of Informal and Formal Award Programs in Your Organization


Your Expert Award Program Tips are Here!
Shop Awards for your Formal Recognition Program

Learn which programs are best for your organization!

A comprehensive employee recognition strategy includes three approaches to appreciating your team: formal, informal, and day-to-day recognition. We love to talk about day-to-day recognition  and different ways managers can regularly give positive feedback to employees. As we near the end of the year, it’s important to turn our attention to formal and informal recognition programs, too. 

Informal award programs recognize individuals or teams for achieving goals or completing projects, and they’re usually celebrated with a memento or a group celebration. An example would be our distribution center team enjoying a catered lunch together to celebrate a month of 100% accuracy.

Shop Trophies and Awards

Formal award programs are typically identified by their structure, nomination process, and selection criteria. These programs are designed to recognize performance that contributes to organizational values and goals.  Years of service, top performer, and sales awards are examples of formal recognition, and the recipients are honored with trophieslapel pins, and public award ceremonies.

Why do these additional programs matter?

1. Informal and formal recognition programs let employees know how they’re contributing to the big picture. Because goals and values are often directly linked to the award criteria, formal and informal programs show employees how their actions make a difference.

2. Public recognition can motivate a greater number of people to greater performances. Watching a teammate receive a 10 year service anniversary award or a top performer award can be pretty inspirational! These recognition moments will encourage the rest of your team to strive to go above and beyond.

3. Team celebrations have an important influence on your culture. When you honor an individual or team as a larger group, it creates positive mojo for your organization. Everyone loves to celebrate a success story!

4. Informal and formal recognition programs create milestones for the company and managers to thank employees. They are important reminder systems!

When your organization has formal, informal, and day-to-day recognition programs working in tandem, employees are going to be more engaged, productive, and effective. To learn more about the different types of recognition programs, explore our Recognition Resource Center.

Visit the Recognition Resource Center


A traveling trophy system is a quick and easy informal recognition program you can start with your team. For this type of a program, you pass around one trophy to the entire team to recognize different team members. It’s easy to get started! Here are the six simple steps:

1. Select a trophy.

2. Determine program criteria.

3. Identify program frequency.

4. Decide on awards. 

5. Introduce the program to your team.

6.  Start recognizing!

Get more details on a traveling trophy informal recognition program in this  Recognition Resource Center article, How to Start a Traveling Trophy Recognition Program.

Shop Trophies

Shop Trophies

Once you have strategic recognition programs in place, make sure they’re effective by delivering meaningful and sincere award presentations. Whether you’re presenting a traveling trophy or a 20-year service award, what you say and how you say it matters!

Best Practice #1: Plan Carefully
Before you get in front of a group of people to present an award, have an idea of what you want to say.

Best Practice #2: Practice!
The more formal the award situation, the more you should practice your remarks. 

Best Practice #3: Be Sincere
If you want employees to perceive each award as an honor, then you need to treat it that way, too. Express sincerity and appreciation in your presentation to truly recognize your honoree.

To prepare for your upcoming award presentation, download our Award Presentation Guide for help  planning and practicing your speech.

Download the Free Guide
 Shop Holiday Gifts


September 27 – National Thank You Day 

October 1-5 – Customer Service Week 

October 16 – Boss’s Day 

October 27 – National Make a Difference Day 


See more recognition holidays in our Recognition Event Calendar

Visit the Recognition Event Calendar



Get daily insights, ideas, and inspiration on all things
employee recognition, corporate culture, wellness and more!

Email *
Notification Frequency *

You May Also Like:

The Ultimate Reward: A Classic Thank You Note
Suggestions for writing a meaningful thank you note that will reinforce specific actions and behaviors at your organization.
View Newsletter

The Ultimate Reward: A Classic Thank You Note
Give a Token of Appreciation with Meaning
Use Tokens of Appreciation to create your own save and redeem employee recognition program in your organization!
View Newsletter

Give a Token of Appreciation with Meaning

  • Contact Us
  • Catalog Request
  • Shipping & Return Policy
  • Satisfaction Guarantee
  • FAQs
   BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site - Baudville Reviews at Bizrate
1-800-728-0888    5380 52nd Street SE Grand Rapids, MI 49512   
Send comments and corrections to: webmaster
© 2000 - 2016 by Baudville, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.
Legal Notices - Privacy Policy
Live chat by BoldChat