Business

Recognizing superior service

By Jean Sanders
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Organizations give awards to recognize those who have gone beyond the minimum.
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Use custom awards to reward quality

When a business, club, sports team, charity, association or other organization wants to recognize someone for doing well, one excellent way to do it is through custom awards. These awards can come in many forms. There may be an appreciation dinner, an article in the organization's newsletter or a check in the mail.

But when a more tangible and permanent means of giving credit to a person who has performed beyond expectations is desired, custom awards are the best way. The award itself can come in many forms. It might be a sculpture, a photograph or a painting that conveys the good performance of the recipient by including the person's likeness. The award could be a gift that fits with the recipient's taste even if it has nothing to do with what they did to deserve it.

What is given depends on whether the organization has any existing traditions to follow or whether the award is something new. Traditions may dictate a particular form of award. If this is the first time such an award is being given, there may be an opportunity to be creative in deciding how to honor the person involved. Since the goal is not only to recognize the achievement but also to give something of meaning to the achiever, it is important to match the type of award to the situation.

Many organizations give award plaques in recognition of various honors. They can be for superior service, for winning a competition, to recognize charitable efforts or for completing a course of study.

Typical award plaques are personalized with information about the award. This will include what the award is for, the name of the recipient, the year the award was given and the level of the prize if any.

Award plaques can be made of different materials. A simple plaque might be paper with elegant hand lettering. More elaborate plaques have a wooden backing with a metal plate on which the personal information appears. Plaques can even be made of wood or stone with inscribed wording. They are all usually attractive, as they are designed to be displayed on the recipient's wall.

Award trophies are given to athletes and teams to recognize their success in sports. Many famous trophies are named for former athletes or coaches who were renowned for their success in the sport, like football's Lombardi Trophy and Heisman Trophy.

Some athletic award trophies go to individual athletes. They are given at every level of sport, from Little League and high school to college and professional. When award trophies are presented to individual athletes, their name and the date are engraved on the trophy and they get to keep it.

Team trophies can be a different story. They are usually kept in a display case in the team's office. They will have the name of the winning team and the date engraved on them. Depending on the trophy, all the players who participated on the winning team may have their names included as well.

Some trophies for major athletic events like the Kentucky Derby have the names of each year's winners engraved on them, creating a long, complete list of the victors. These trophies remain with the event and are given to the new winner only long enough to have pictures taken. Visitors to the venues where these events are held can view the trophies while there, allowing them to recall the full history of the event.

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