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Employee recognition awards 🏆🥇 are the best way to convey your appreciation and gratitude for the excellent work delivered by your teams.

When designing your employee recognition categories, think of the entire employee journey. An employee starts as an applicant, comes on board as a new hire, completes those tough first six to twelve months, and then goes about completing critical milestones until exit or retirement.

Your recognition awards 🏆🥇 can span each of these stages in the employee’s journey, apart from recognizing extraordinary performance, goal achievements, and positive behaviours that align with the company’s values.

Getting the wording right for your employee recognition awards can be a game-changer. Take a cue from companies like Waffle House, which have come up with a brilliant way of combining recognition with promotions.

This blog will share some creative employee recognition award titles and ideas you can add to your employee recognition program.

Let's dive in!

What are Employee Awards?

An employee award is a prize or a token of appreciation given to an employee for accomplishing something exceptional, like doing incredible work or contributing to a specific field.

Employees who work hard and go the extra mile deserve to be rewarded. Awarding employees motivates them and brings a sense of gratification and belonging.

Awards bring about a sense of achievement and acknowledgement for the hard work employees put in. Awards are usually given whenever an achievement is complete or a milestone is crossed. Encouraging employees to complete tasks brings greater productivity and ensures that duties and responsibilities are handled promptly.

Creating fun and outstanding employee recognition award isn't rocket science, yet it can be challenging. If you're looking for employee award ideas to motivate and surprise your employees, you've come to the right place. Below you will find 60 creative employee recognition award titles and ideas that are easier on your budget but better in terms of inspiration.

List of Creative Employee Recognition Award Ideas and Titles with Categories

We know that no company is the same, nor is the culture and office dynamics. Hence, we understand that not all employee recognition award 🏆🥇 categories will fit your workplace structure.

However, there are universal employee recognition award categories everywhere that are similar to your current employee rewards and recognition system.

Following are some creative employees award titles and employee award categories -

New hire awards ‍

New hire awards ‍

These award titles are used for appreciating top-performing new hires. This employee has performed remarkably well within their first month/quarter/or year of joining the company.

Here are a few creative new employee recognition award ideas-

  1. Rookie Rockstar
  2. Rookie of the month/ quarter/ year
  3. Rookie Sailor
  4. Fast Starter
  5. Bright Beginner
  6. Dashing Debut
  7. Amazing Addition
  8. Budding Star
  9. Exceptional Hire
  10. Best First Impression

Top performer recognition award

Top performer recognition award

Performance awards or performance recognition awards 🏆🥇 are completely based on the efficiency and productivity of the employee at the workplace.

This award is for employees at the top of their game, slayers of deadlines, and are the best at what they do (no matter the time or circumstances).

Following are some creative employee award titles that best suit their attributes.

  1. Mr./Ms. Significant
  2. Precious Gem Award
  3. Superstar Award
  4. Prime Player Award
  5. Shining Star Award
  6. Mr/Ms WoW Machine
  7. Cloud 9Collaborator
  8. Pinnacle Performer
  9. Alpha player
  10. Mover of Mountains

Perfect attendance awards‍

Perfect attendance awards‍

Perfect attendance shows employees’ dedication to working. Such behavior needs to be recognized.

With these awards, managers can use an attendance point system to applaud employees who are not skipping work and send a subtle message to employees with poor attendance to show them the benefit of not skipping work.  

Some creative employee award titles in this category could be -

  1. Always Present Award
  2. Perfectly Present Award
  3. Happy Everyday Award
  4. Count You In
  5. Never Missed a Beat
  6. Dedicated Employee (Of the month/quarter/ year)
  7. Always Timely Award
  8. Mr./Ms. Consistent
  9. No Missed Opportunities
  10. Aced Attendance

Team awards

Team awards

When a team works exceptionally well and brings out great results from solid teamwork goals, they deserve to be awarded.

Here are a few creative award title ideas for such teams -

  1. League Of Superheroes
  2. The Dream Team
  3. The Fist Bump Award
  4. High Five Award
  5. Helping Hands
  6. Ace Alliance
  7. Synergic Force
  8. Force To Reckon With
  9. Squad Goals
  10. Super Squad

Mentor/leadership recognition award names

Mentor/leadership recognition award names

We have all had leaders and mentors who have made a significant difference through their guidance and helped us unlock our true potential or find our true calling.

Here are some great award titles to honor such bosses.

  1. Galactic Gratitude
  2. 3 Cheers
  3. The Transformer
  4. The Inspirer
  5. Key Differentiator
  6. The Jedi
  7. Mentoring Champion
  8. The Sensei
  9. The Helping Hand
  10. The Allstar

Customer service awards

Customer service awards

Customer service awards 🏆🥇 are for those who go beyond their call of duty to keep customers happy and content.

Here are a few customer service awards titles to remind them that you’ve noticed their hard work.

  1. Joy Givers
  2. Customer Success Champions
  3. Peace in the Chaos
  4. Distributor of smiles
  5. Super Satisfyer
  6. Calmer of Storms
  7. Client Whisperer
  8. Customer Comforter
  9. Client Care Champ
  10. Five-star Customer Service

Peer-to-peer awards‍

Peer-to-peer awards‍

These awards are by the employees, the employees, and the employee. Employees choose a peer who exhibits trust, friendship, reliability, loyalty, kindness, etc., during the course of their work and has helped them achieve amazing results.

Here are a few award ideas for those exemplary peers -

  1. Above and Beyond
  2. Helping Hand
  3. Key contributor
  4. Outstanding Dependability
  5. Bestower of Energy
  6. Ultimate Team Player
  7. Everyday Hero Award
  8. Behind the Scenes Award
  9. Caught in the Act of Caring Award
  10. Makes My Day Award

Tenure awards

Tenure awards

These are awards that celebrate employee stickiness and loyalty. Tenure awards help you recognize employees who chose to stick with you over the years and contribute to your success.

Consider recognizing the tenure of employees completing the following periods with your company.

  1. One
  2. Two
  3. Five
  4. Ten
  5. Fifteen
  6. Twenty
  7. Twenty Five
  8. Thirty
  9. Thirty-Five
  10. Forty

While we have explored some awards that mean business, you can also have awards that are offbeat.

Wondering what they can be? Let’s now look at some employee recognition award examples that are out-of-the-box and funny.

Funny employee recognition award ideas

Drum roll, please…

1. Walking Encyclopedia Award

For the employee who knows everything (or at least thinks so 😉)

2. Office DJ Award

For the employee who is always on the headphones, listening to music. And is ready to be the in-house DJ for any office party.

3. Always in a Meeting Award

For the employee whose calendar is always full and is difficult to catch up with.

4. Office Parent Award

For the employee who remembers everyone’s birthdays, anniversaries collects funds to celebrate occasions, has medicines that everyone needs!

5. Wannabe MJ Award

For the employee who never hesitates to set the stage on fire with their incredible dance moves at any office party.

6. Super Snacker Award

For that employee who is always seen snacking, or has a desk drawer full of snacks.

7. The Captain Planet Award

The employee whose desk is adorned with plants provides a welcome sight to sore eyes.

8. The Wizard of Words

For the employee who knows and speaks all the buzzwords and corporate acronyms.

9. The Office Masterchef

For that employee who always cooks and brings the tastiest food in their lunchbox doesn’t hesitate to share it with others.

10. The Just-not-in-time

For that employee who is never on time – be it to the office or meetings.


At the end of the day, though, employee recognition is about one thing: celebrating achievements and thanking employees for their hard work. There are countless ways to inspire your staff and employee award titles are one of them. Showcase your company culture by creating aspirational employee awards. Develop an exceptional employee recognition program that serves as the best tool for employee retention and talent attraction.

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Poonam Das

Poonam Das LinkedIn

Poonam Das is a Storyteller and Content Strategist from Mumbai, Maharashtra.