You may think that a simple patent award, be it a plaque or desk award of some sort, certainly can’t have that much of an impact on someone. There have been many studies done to support the impact a tangible award (like a plaque) has versus awarding money or gift cards. Add to that the feedback we hear from inventors themselves and you will agree that recognizing IP achievements with some type of patent award can have significant impact on your culture of innovation.
Tangible vs. Cash
Studies have shown that the impact of cash recognition is three to ten days. Often, employees see cash or gift cards received as recognition as just an extension of their salary, it mixes right into the cash they use to pay bills and buy groceries. Why they received the money it is soon forgotten about.
If you have ever run a marathon, you know that your goal was not only to complete and survive, but you want that medal at the finish line. If they were just standing there handing out $10.00 to everyone who finished, it wouldn’t be the same. You would spend that money at Starbucks and have nothing to show for it but the empty coffee cup. However, with the medal, each time you look at it you remember the journey it took to achieve it. There is pride in the work you accomplished. It inspires and motivates you for the next race.
We talk to a lot of inventors every year. One question we ask sometimes is: “What meaning does your award hold for you? What does it remind you of?” Here are a few recent responses.
“It reminds me of my valuable contributions to help my company be on the cutting edge of the industry.”
“This is a constant reminder that my hard work is appreciated.”
“The highest personal award I’ve received. It reminds me to never give up on your vision or dream.”
We don’t think a $100 bill would get quite the same feedback.
At the end of the day, we want to feel valued and valuable; we want to know that we, our work, and our ideas are important. Recognition and rewards need to be more than just money. Tangible awards create the symbolic connection to appreciation of one’s efforts that makes it an award rather than a gift. An actual award creates “trophy value,” something that provides a continual reminder to your employees that the company values them and the work they are doing.
Trophy value also provides a social aspect that motivates and drives performance. Tangible awards offer encouragement to other employees when they see and hear their peers showing off and talking about the awards they have received. The most powerful awards don’t just motivate individuals, they also reinforce a culture of innovation.
Stand out as an employer of choice with an IP Recognition Program that enhances your culture of innovation.