Awards programs and choice have not always gone hand in hand. It was generally accepted that whatever the manager or boss thought was sufficient to give to employees to recognize achievements was sufficient and achieved the goals of motivating the employees. We know that to be totally false! People like choice but too much choice can be a bad thing. It's like Goldilocks, she didn't want to burn her tongue on the porridge that was too hot and the porridge that was too cold was not very tasty. It took her until the third bowl to find the porridge that was just right, and baby bear may not of thought it was the right temperature for him, even though it was perfect for Miss Locks.
The point of this is there is not a one size fits all approach to this recognition thing. The goals themselves will often times be different. One thing is for sure though, you need to approach it with goals in mind and then approach it accordingly. Plaques and awards are the second most used recognition item next to cash, and there is a reason for this. The reason is plaques and awards are generally used in conjunction with that trip or tv that was used to entice them. While meeting your sales goals does get that flat screen 52", a salesperson working for a company also enjoys a sales meeting where they are singled out for their accomplishments in front of the rest of the workforce and publicly thanked for their achievements. This also helps motivate the other employees by showing them they are appreciated and will be recognized for the work they do.
It is to the point now where HR managers are becoming focused on the total recognition package, and it is this package that is going to help you achieve your goals of greater profits, and to efficiently manag your human resources.