5 things not to do during an awards ceremony

March 21, 2017

In Employee Engagement

5 choses à ne pas faire pour réussir une remise de prix

An award ceremony is a great way to inspire your team. But to do so, it must be carefully organized. After all, you don’t want people to remember your ceremony the same way they remember the infamous blunder at the 89th Academy Awards.

Whether you watched the ceremony live or not, you’ve probably heard of the that occurred. The presenters received the wrong envelope which lead to an extremely embarrassing moment: La La Land was announced as the year’s best picture. The entire cast and crew climbed up on stage only to be interrupted a few moments later by the producers who had realized a mistake had been made. Alas, the award should have been given to Moonlight. To everyone’s dismay, the first group had to exit the stage to make way for the real winners… Ouch!

If the Oscars are usually an example of flawless organization, this year’s ceremony highlights the importance of paying attention to every detail. Rewarding your team for a milestone or an accomplishment should be done with this same fastidiousness. Here are examples of what not to do (other than give the award to the wrong recipient).

1. Send the trophy by mail

You want your employee to be at their best when they receive their prize. You have no control over the context if you send your award by mail. Handing an award in person, ideally at the award ceremony, is the best way to maximize impact.

2. Give a gift without a card

Giving a symbolic award is also an opportunity to show your recognition for your employee. How have they contributed to the success of your organization in the last few years? A card with a handwritten message can make all the difference. You’ll be able to provide your employee with a personalized recognition that details a few ways they’ve done a good job.

3. Provide no context for the award

If you are giving your employee an award, you need the right context: the reason you are recognizing their work. In other words, you need to make sure the purpose of the award is clear if you want to produce the effect desired. An employee who knows that their work is truly appreciated and recognized is much more likely to stay motivated and loyal to your mission.

4. Omit to designate a person of authority to present the award

The choice of who hands out the award cannot be left up to chance. It’s important that the presenter has a direct link to the employee so the gesture is seen as sincere and authentic. For example, it could be their direct supervisor, your company’s CEO, or even a famous guest! Avoid choosing a person that your employees barely know, such as a third party host hired to MC your award ceremony.

5. Choose an award that doesn’t mean anything

The physical aspect of the award is also important. An award with a shape that speaks to the recipient is much more significant and envied. That’s why it’s important to design a custom-made award that represents your organization and the accomplishment you want to highlight. It must be emotionally powerful and symbolic.


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