Walking a Fine LineAwarding a challenge coin to an employee is a simple act of recognition and team solidarity, but its return on investment can be huge if given genuinely and as part of a broader employee recognition program with a catchy name. A customized challenge coin is much more personal than a trophy cup or printed award certificate and demonstrates a level of creativity that really connects with employees. It doesn’t break the bank to design a custom challenge coin for your company, but giving one out is worth more than its weight in gold.
Timing, however, is very important when awarding a challenge coin to employees. Award challenge coins to only a few employees and it can imply the efforts of the rest of the team were somehow insufficient, but give them out too liberally and you’ve devalued the challenge coin as an actual gesture of personal recognition and rendered it into more of a curiosity than anything else. To help find the best moment to share a company challenge coin, consider these eight suggestions.
1) During a Company LunchOne of the most common and appreciated gestures a company can make for its employees is offering a company paid lunch. These occasions are a merry time for all involved and gather all the members of a team or department together in a very personal environment full of food made sweeter by the company dime.
Award challenge coins to employees during a company lunch, maybe held as part of a broader celebration, and you’re individually recognizing and rewarding those employees. Not to mention, whenever they look at their coin down the line, they’ll be reminded of the positive times they’ve shared as employees of a company and the time when their employers took the time to individually recognize them for their contributions.
2) As Part of a Positive Performance ReviewPerformance reviews are a key channel of direct feedback from employer to employee. When an employee has demonstrated consistent performance, showing how much they’re valued is key to retaining them as an asset. Awarding a challenge coin as part of a positive personal review between employer and employee is a very personalized gesture of recognition. A positive review is a great personal achievement for employees because it confirms to them that their employers value the skills and contributions they bring.
Giving an employee a challenge coin gives them a direct symbol of their achievement they can proudly display or carry to show others. It also demonstrates that the business values the worker as an individual and remains a symbol of an employer’s regard long after the review.
3) As Part of a Promotion or RaiseCommemorating an employee moving onto a higher position with a challenge coin is a very powerful gesture because that coin will remain a reminder of their previous experiences and personal validation of receiving a promotion. Nothing shows how much an employee is valued more than a direct promotion of that employee to a position of greater responsibility. It’s a powerful moment that confirms all the time and effort they’ve put into a company has been worth it for their own personal achievements.
4) In Recognition of Long ServiceTenure-based awards can be hit or miss depending on how they’re handled, but awarding a customized challenge coin along with a tangible reward of time off or merchandise is a good option. It shows direct recognition for an employee’s loyalty and service to the company without devaluing the services or quality of work from more recent hires if awarded to all employees who stay long-term. These awards can be celebrations for employers as well for successfully running a business that manages to keep long-term employees.
5) During a Company AnniversaryRunning a company successfully for a long-term is a great achievement for any employer and major events like five year, 10 year or 20 year anniversaries are big milestones for any company. Hosting a celebration during a major company anniversary shares the company’s success story. Awarding custom challenge coins during these events are both an affordable option and a solid means of recognizing a staff’s part in the company’s success. It builds employee confidence in the business they work for and serves as an emblem of long-term success, especially if they’ve been with an employer through thick and thin.
6) Upon Completion of a Major ProjectNo matter what business you’re a part of, there is always going to be a big break or project that is absolutely critical to success. These projects could be an ambitious new undertaking, a new product or a big contract that can change everything. The successful completion of a major project is an ideal time to award the department or team with custom challenge coins.
During major projects, nerves will be fried, coffee will be downed by the gallon, and a department’s ability to function and work together will be tested until the project is completed. However, these times can also be bonding experiences for coworkers and employers. Awarding a challenge coin to every member who took part not only demonstrates appreciation for their efforts during the project, but also becomes a shared symbol of solidarity reminding everyone of their shared efforts and success.
7) As a Team Building GiftEveryone loves feeling like they are part of something great and working together with a team. In the military, some challenge coins are given to soldiers for performing above the call of duty. Other coins are given to entire units as a symbol of group solidarity and teamwork. Consider giving challenge coins to every member of a department in the same vein. Use the coins for team building and forging bonds with employees to symbolize that they’re part of a team working together on a shared goal.
8) Whenever Personally ImpressedSometimes an employer doesn’t need a specific, special moment to award an employee or team with a challenge coin. Awarding a challenge coin spontaneously the moment an employee has personally impressed an employer provides instant gratification and demonstrates immediate recognition for that employee’s contribution. It’s worth a lot more than a simple “good job,” and it serves as a physical reminder of their direct value.
Custom challenge coins are always an interesting and appreciated gift, but awarding a coin with purpose and timing greatly enhances the impact they can have in expressing an employer’s respect and regard for their workforce. While good timing might seem simple, it can make all the difference to your workforce.