Team Awards – How To Decide Best Team Award in Employee Recognition & Rewards Program

16 Jan

Team Awards – How To Decide Best Team Award in Employee Recognition & Rewards Program


As an HR Manager, it may be quite a challenging task to put a framework around deciding the Best Team award as a part of our overall Employee Reward and Recognition Program.


So, what do you do? Especially if the choice is between the departments/ functions/ teams those are in the front office and those in support or back office?


In industries those have customer facing teams/ departments and non – customer facing departments, it becomes quite a challenge to distinguish one from the other in terms of efficiency and superlative performance. Their respective roles and deliveries are of different genres  and it may not be fair to compare their merits on  the same yardstick.


One of the best practices across industries about choosing Team awards have been to give equal importance to performances of all teams irrespective of their roles and responsibilities. The performances of teams with customer facing functions and non customer facing functions  are given equal opportunity to nominate their respective teams for the Best Team Award.


Application of various criteria to choose / select the best teams depend on the organizations. Once the following are established, selecting the best team for the award is not that difficult. However, keeping the sensitivities around Employee Reward and Recognition Program in mind, the selection process needs to be transparent, fair and meritocratic. More importantly, adequate attention should be paid on the communication of process. (how have the winners been selected, the nomination process etc)


How To Select Best Team For Employee Rewards and Recognition Program


  • Assess the team’s contribution to the organization


  • What is the benefit that the team has brought to the organization


  • Why is the team performance noteworthy


  • What is the team composition


  • What assignments did the team work on


Can the team performance be quantified or qualified?


This is  very critical piece of deciding the best team award. There are teams whose performance may be quantified. for e g. how many new customer acquisition/ meeting customer satisfaction index/ revenue generation etc and there are teams whose performance may be qualified for e,g. Process improvement, business excellence,  research support provided etc. These two are equally important for the organization but their impact on the organization are diverse in more than one way.




It is often noticed that organization who want to recognize team performance on the basis of meritocracy, give equal opportunities to both front office and back office teams.


They create two separate categories for teams to be nominated


  1. Teams from front office functions


  1. Teams from back office functions


This may be viewed as an egalitarian approach but this is also accepted as a practical way of recognizing teams that have divergent roles and targets but are equally important to the organization.


Some companies also practice the philosophy of One winning Team for the Best Team Award as a part of their Employee Reward and Recognition Program and that can be any team. A Front Office Team or a team from the Back office may eventually win the Best Team Award. Organizations that have this practice usually have a very Robust Rewards and Recognition Program that runs for a few years and the awards categories are well established and the program has a high buy in and credibility with the employees.


For HR managers in newer organizations or who are launching Employee Rewards and Recognition programs for the first time in the organizations may keep two separate buckets of Team awards:


Best Team in Front office Function


Best Team in Support Functions




It is a long drawn and continuous process to establish a transparent, fair and meritocratic Employee Reward and Recognition Program that employees view as aspirational and the awards given are really valuable to employees not in monetary terms but for prestige, pride and honor. Any credible employee rewards program evolves over a period of time  through regular evaluation and improvement. Hence as a HR Manager you really need to understnd your role in the process and have a fantastic understanding of the organization and the composition of its workforce.


When employees come back to you to ask when is the next Employee Rewards and Recognition event, as an HR Manager you can take pride in your Employee R&R program.


Albeit, it is a challenging task to choose the best team in the organization but an approach to outbox your thoughts clubbed with solid business understanding, you can create a best practice in your organization in the category of Employee Rewards and Recognition.


Look forward to hearing from you about how do you decide Team Awards  and your approach on How To Decide Best Team Award in Employee Recognition & Rewards Program.



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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Employee Relations


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