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22 Team Award Ideas Your Staff Will Love

May 6, 2024

Say 'thank you' to your top performing teams with these meaningful team award ideas.

Do you want to recognize your high performing teams in a meaningful way? Employee awards are perfecting for recognizing and appreciating the unique contributions of teams who go above and beyond -- motivating them to strive for excellence and fostering a sense of belonging and pride in their work. 

Here are 22 team award ideas to inspire and delight your staff.

What are Team Awards?

Employee team awards are a form of recognition bestowed upon groups within an organization to celebrate their collective achievements, contributions, and collaborative efforts. These awards acknowledge the synergy, teamwork, and dedication exhibited by teams in achieving shared goals and objectives. Often these awards are used to reinforce positive behaviors and achievements, fostering a sense of camaraderie and pride, and promoting a culture of appreciation within the workplace.

Benefits of Team Awards

Everyday countless organizations have internal teams who go the extra mile to not only meet but exceed their goals and expectations. These teams often propel organizations forward by implementing innovative strategies and optimizing processes for better business results.  

Employee team awards are one small gesture organizations can present to these hardworking teams to express their gratitude for their unwavering dedication and contributions. When done right, these awards offer a multitude of benefits that extend beyond individual recognition.

  • Elevate employee performance: Research from Deloitte shows recognition increases employee engagement, productivity, and performance by 14%. Recognize your teams’ successes and achievements to encourage high engagement. High performing teams that receive public recognition serve as a great example, inspiring others to follow suit and contributing to overall organizational growth and success.
  • Improve job satisfaction and retention: Create a more satisfying experience for your employees by frequently rewarding your high performing teams. In fact, Zippia reports employees. who are recognized are almost 6x more likely to stay at their jobs than those who aren’t.
  • Foster a culture of trust and appreciation: Recognizing team achievements publicly enhances organizational transparency and communication, fostering trust and accountability. And there is data that validates this: 66% of people in highly recognized teams agreed that they trust their everyday team members, according to Gallup.
  • Foster values-aligned behaviors: Promote and encourage employees to align their behaviors and attitudes with core values by rewarding them. 92% of employees are likely to repeat a specific action if given recognition for it, as reported by Zippia.

Team awards can have a ripple effect, inspiring other teams to emulate the behaviors and practices that led to success, thus promoting overall organizational growth and success. Ultimately, celebrating teams who go the extra mile through meaningful awards can improve team performance, enhance engagement, and drive. positive business outcomes.

10 Team Recognition Awards Ideas:

  1. MVP (Most Valuable Players) Award: Present this prestigious award at the end of the year to a team who consistently goes above and beyond.
  2. Leadership Excellence Team Award: Commend the team that has demonstrated exceptional leadership, vision, and initiative, inspiring others to reach new heights of success.
  3. Quality Excellence Award: Award the team that upholds the highest standards of quality, integrity, and professionalism, ensuring that excellence is ingrained in every aspect of their work.
  4. Resilience Rockstars: Recognize the team that has demonstrated exceptional resilience, agility, and adaptability in the face of adversity, turning challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation.
  5. Team Spirit Award: Honor a team who embodies and promotes your organizations core values and who spreads positivity, motivation, and encouragement throughout the organization.
  6. Efficiency Experts: Award your teams who take efficiency to heart, ensuring they effectively use their time and have efficient documentation and processes in place.
  7. Innovative Team of the Year: Commend the team who continuously demonstrate and present forward-thinking ideas and solutions.
  8. Growth Catalyst Award: Celebrate the team who has shown remarkable growth and development throughout the year.
  9. Cross-Functional Collaboration Champions: Celebrate your teams who effectively collaborate and communicate between different departments or teams to achieve a common goal or project.
  10. Trailblazer Trophy: Honor the team who dares to explore new challenges, break barriers, and pioneer innovative approaches.

12 Funny Team Awards Ideas

  1. Coffee Connoisseur Award: Honor the department or group known for maintaining a well-stocked coffee station, ensuring everyone stays caffeinated and productive throughout the day.
  2. Tech Troublemakers Trophy: Celebrate the team known for their expertise in resolving technical issues, providing invaluable support to their colleagues and keeping operations running smoothly.
  3. Emoji Enthusiast Award: Recognize the team who communicates primarily through emojis in chat messages and emails.
  4. Snack Ninja Award: Celebrate the teams who always seems to have the best snacks hidden away in their desk drawer.
  5. Meme Master Trophy: Award to the team who can always find and share the perfect meme for any situation, lightening the mood in the office.
  6. Wizard of Wordplay: Celebrate the team with a knack for humor and clever communication, injecting levity and creativity into their interactions and projects.
  7. Queen/King of the Copy Machine: Recognize the department or team that effectively manages and maintains the office's printing and copying infrastructure, ensuring reliable access for all.
  8. MVP (Most Valuable Punsters): Celebrate the team with a talent for wordplay and humor, bringing laughter and light-heartedness to the workplace environment.
  9. Most Likely to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse: Award the team renowned for their adaptability, problem-solving skills, and ability to work together seamlessly in even the most challenging circumstances.
  10. Office DJ Extraordinaire: Honor the team known for curating the perfect playlist for workplace productivity, setting the mood for collaboration and creativity.
  11. Zen Master of Stress Relief: Acknowledge the team that cultivates a supportive and calming atmosphere, helping colleagues navigate stressors and challenges with resilience and composure.
  12. Office Energizer Bunnies: Recognize the team whose infectious energy and enthusiasm uplift the entire workplace, fostering a positive and motivating environment for all.

How to Celebrate Your Teams

Celebrating team awards should be more than just a one-time event – it's an opportunity to reinforce the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and appreciation within the workplace. Team awards serve as powerful tools for acknowledging collective efforts and reinforcing the value of collaboration. But they shouldn't just encompass handing out awards. Here are a few best practices to follow to make your awards more meaningful.

Choose Meaningful Awards

Consider creating custom awards that reflect the team's unique strengths, accomplishments, and values. Personalized awards not only demonstrate thoughtfulness but also serve as lasting symbols of appreciation.

Pair Awards with Rewards

To amplify the impact of team recognition, consider pairing awards with tangible rewards. These rewards can range from gift cards and vouchers to experiences or additional perks within the workplace. By attaching rewards to the awards, you provide teams with tangible incentives that acknowledge their hard work and dedication.

One way to add a personal touch to team awards is by offering recipients a gift of choice. Instead of pre-determined rewards, allow team members to select a gift that aligns with their interests or preferences. This empowers individuals to choose something meaningful to them, enhancing the value of the reward and fostering a sense of appreciation.

Host a Celebration

To truly honor team achievements, consider hosting a celebratory event or gathering. Whether it's a luncheon, happy hour, or team outing, bringing everyone together to commemorate their accomplishments fosters camaraderie and strengthens team bonds. Use this opportunity to present the awards, distribute rewards, and express gratitude to the team for their hard work.

Encourage Peer Recognition

In addition to presenting formal awards, encourage peers to participate in celebrating their teammates. Provide opportunities for team members to nominate and acknowledge their colleagues for their contributions and support. Peer recognition not only reinforces positive behaviors but also promotes a culture of appreciation and mutual respect.

Summing It All Up

Incorporating team awards into your workplace culture can significantly enhance employee engagement and satisfaction. By recognizing and celebrating the diverse talents and contributions of your team members, you not only boost morale but also cultivate a supportive and rewarding work environment where everyone feels valued and appreciated.

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