Top Employee Recognition Programs
Sarah Brodsky / JUNE 14 2021

Hospitality employees work hard, and their efforts are what make hotels and restaurants run smoothly. But in some cases, people are working behind the scenes or out of the spotlight. They probably won’t be showered with accolades on an ordinary workday.

The top employers realize it’s important to express appreciation for employees, and they’ve established recognition programs to say thanks to their team members. These initiatives help ensure that strong performance is noticed and rewarded.

Each program works a little differently, but they all identify employees who are doing a great job and find ways to honor them.

Marriott’s Awards of Excellence

Marriott International presents its Awards of Excellence annually for qualities like character and perseverance. Awardees are profiled on the company’s website, featured in videos, and celebrated at a ceremony. Marriott recognizes employees at all levels of its organization, including directors, entry-level employees, and many roles in between. There are also some awards for specific values such as culture and diversity that can be awarded to teams, departments, and properties.

Something special about the Awards of Excellence is that they frequently recognize line-level employees, making it clear that any team member can make a difference. Employees can earn acclaim in whatever job they’re performing right now; it’s not necessary to climb the ranks to an executive position first.

Find open opportunities with Marriott here

Accor’s Bernaches Awards

Accor‘s Bernaches Awards ceremony is the culmination of a months-long process of nominating candidates, selecting those who will advance, and choosing the winners through a jury. Individuals and teams are eligible to be recognized for their commitment to Accor’s values, such as respect, trust, and innovation. Each winner receives a trophy, a pin, and a travel pass. 

The fact that these awards are given out based on the results of a juried competition makes them particularly prestigious. Winning one is a significant honor that awardees will likely be proud to highlight on their resumes.

Hilton’s Team Member Appreciation Week

Hilton celebrates Team Member Appreciation Week every year to express its gratitude to all employees. The week is marked by visits from executives, special events, and celebratory lunches. Employees can participate in a rewards program and get credits they can turn in for prizes. Hilton designates hashtags to be used for the program and encourages properties to commemorate the week with posts on Twitter and Instagram. 

This program stands out for its strong social media presence, which signals to employees that the company is proud of its work and eager to tell the world about its accomplishments. 

Find open opportunities with Hilton here

Best Western’s Reward It Forward

Every month, Best Western Hotels & Resorts gives guests who are members of its loyalty program a certificate they can print out. When they stay at a Best Western property, they can give the certificate to an employee in recognition of great service. The employee can then redeem the certificate for 250 Best Western Rewards points, which can be exchanged for travel, products, or gift cards, or donated to a charity.

This program allows employees who are especially helpful to be recognized right away. And it makes it easy for guests to show their appreciation since they don’t have to fill out a feedback card or speak to a manager–they can just hand a team member their certificate.

Find open opportunities with Best Western here

IHG’s Bravo! Awards and Thanks! eCards

Intercontinental Hotels Group gives stellar employees Bravo! Awards, which are certificates with different monetary values ranging from $10 to $500. Employees can redeem them for retail gift cards or for travel, entertainment, or restaurant spending. IHG also allows team members to send each other Thanks! eCards to show support.

An advantage of the Bravo! program is that managers can recognize different levels of achievement. For example, it might make sense to reward thoughtful gestures with a $15 Kudos Award, while a truly exceptional accomplishment might warrant a $250 Standing Ovation Award. This allows for flexibility in tailoring a reward amount to match an employee’s effort and may feel more meaningful than a one-size-fits-all approach. And giving employees a way to thank each other can foster a sense of community and show people that their work is valued by their colleagues.

Find open opportunities with IHG here