Fostering Excellence
Bringing out the best in each of us


Making award/recognition programs simple and easy to use is critical. Here is a baseline template for a team recognition program that can be tailored to meet most company’s needs. For this program I break up the elements of the program into the 5 W’s for simplicity’s sake.

WHY: We value the critical contributions teams make to our organization. Team work, more than individual contributions made in isolation, makes our organization successful.

WHAT: Our organization’s ‘Team Excellence Award’ is a recognition program established to reward those teams which best collaborate, enable and achieve collective results which further our organization’s vision. Teams so recognized receive a company-sponsored lunch, plaques for the team members and recognition in the company newsletter.

WHO: All teams in our organization may be submitted by the immediate supervisor of the team leader or any of their leadership. Ad hoc or cross-departmental teams may also be submitted for this distinction by the appropriate leadership. A committee of three to four department managers led by a division manager will review and grade the packets (or equivalent personnel).

WHERE: Nomination packets will be submitted to our organization’s administrative center, where they will be reviewed by the committee.

WHEN: The “Team Excellence Award” is conferred quarterly, nominations will be submitted by the 15th of April, July, September and January, for the preceding quarter. Nomination write-ups should include the activities and accomplishments made by the team within the previous quarter.

HOW: Nomination packets will consist of a formal memo including a total of five impact statements describing the team’s accomplishments and how their teamwork enabled the success. Each impact statement should be no longer than 300 characters. These limitations will encourage nominators to be concise and focus on the most important accomplishments. The limitations will also make the packages a reasonable size for grading. Each committee member will grade the nominations independently and the overall scores will be averaged. The highest scoring team wins the award.


The impact statements will be graded on four separate criteria, up to four points per criteria, per impact statement, for a total possible of score of 80 points per nomination.

Company Vision – On a scale of 0-4, with 4 being the highest, to what extent was the accomplishment in line with, and furthered, the organization’s vision? Example: The team’s product development was conducted in such a way as to ensure manufacturing emissions were 17% below federal requirements, keeping with the company commitment of environmentally responsible business practices.

Objective - On a scale of 0-4, with 4 being the highest, to what extent was the accomplishment supported by empirical data/objective numbers? Example: The team secured 12 new customers during the period.

Relative - On a scale of 0-4, with 4 being the highest, to what extent was the empirical supporting evidence relative to an industry standard or company average? Example: The team performed 20% better than industry averages.

Impact - On a scale of 0-4, with 4 being the highest, how impactful were the accomplishments on the operations or success of the department, branch or company at large? Example: The team’s superb customer service ratings were key to the branch receiving a Better Business Bureau A+ rating.  

Principles for Outstanding
Award Justifications 

Five Non-Traditional “Employee of the Month” Programs

Products and Services

Leverage Recognition Programs to Team-Build