Recognizing Excellence in the Workplace with Teamwork Awards

Learn about the impact of Teamwork Awards, how they can shape your organization’s culture, and how to use awards effectively.

May 14, 2024
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Individual recognition programs like "Employee of the Month" are great, but what about celebrating the incredible achievements of your entire team? 

What about Teamwork awards?

Teamwork awards go beyond individual accolades. They acknowledge and reward the power of teamwork in the workplace and help you build a cohesive workforce. Implemented properly, they can boost productivity, even more than individual awards. Here’s how.

What Is Teamwork Recognition?

Teamwork recognition or teamwork kudos involves acknowledging and appreciating the collaborative efforts of a group working towards a common goal. It shifts the focus from a “yay me!” perspective to the collective contributions of a team—yay US! 

It's an important way to show that teamwork makes the dream work. This could be exceeding a sales target, launching a successful project, or consistently delivering outstanding customer service.

What Is an Example of Teamwork Kudos?

Now, you might wonder, How do you express appreciation for teamwork? Expressing appreciation can take many forms, from simple thank-you notes to formal Teamwork Awards. The key is to acknowledge both the collective effort of the team and the unique contributions of individual members. 

For example, your marketing team successfully launches an innovative campaign ahead of schedule. A teamwork kudos, in this case, might be a message shared company-wide, acknowledging each team member's role in the project and how their joint effort led to their success.

“Shout-out to the marketing team for the successful launch of the 'Spring Fling' campaign! Sarah's creative designs, combined with Mike's analytical skills and Jenna's project management helped us get our campaign out there in record time. Well done rock stars!”

Or you could celebrate their achievement with a catered lunch or group outing. This informal setting allows for team bonding and strengthens their collaborative spirit.

Impact on Employee Morale and Engagement

Teamwork awards are a strategic tool for driving employee morale and engagement. When employees see their collaborative efforts celebrated, it sparks a chain reaction of positive effects across the organization. 

Here's a closer look at five key ways teamwork awards can supercharge your workforce:

1. Enhanced Morale and Trust

Teamwork awards directly translate into a more positive work environment. When a team's collaborative efforts are recognized, it creates a sense of accomplishment and belonging. This translates into higher morale, meaning employees feel valued and motivated to contribute.

But the impact goes deeper. Studies show a clear link between teamwork recognition and trust. When a team is praised as a whole, it discourages harmful behaviors like information hoarding and encourages respect in the workplace. 

Employees trust their colleagues more (66% on recognized teams vs. 26% on unrecognized teams) because they understand everyone is working towards a common goal.

2. Deeper Team Cohesion

Teamwork awards highlight the importance of collaboration. Giving employee recognition to an entire team effectively strengthens team bonds and encourages continued collaboration.

Let's say the marketing and sales team consistently crushes their goals by working seamlessly. Recognizing their teamwork as a whole fosters a sense of shared responsibility and a "we're in this together" mentality. 

Stronger teams communicate more effectively, share knowledge openly, and ultimately achieve greater success.

3. Increased Motivation

Recognition is a powerful work motivation. When employees are acknowledged for their teamwork efforts, it fuels their desire to go the extra mile. They'll be more likely to take initiative, contribute their best ideas, and work collaboratively to achieve even greater success. This creates a positive cycle of increased motivation and improved team performance.

4. Reinforced Sense of Purpose

Gallup research shows that 74% of employees who say their team receives praise also strongly agree that their work feels "valuable and useful." Teamwork awards demonstrate to employees that their collective efforts contribute to the organization's success. 

This reinforces a sense of purpose and shows them the bigger picture of how their work impacts the company's goals.

5. Improved Problem-solving

Effective teamwork often leads to better problem-solving. When employees are used to working together and feel valued for their contributions, they're more likely to share ideas openly and communicate effectively. 

This collaborative approach leads to more creative solutions and better overall decision-making. Teams accustomed to receiving teamwork awards know their diverse perspectives are valued. They won’t be scared or shy to share their disagreement or suggestions.

Criteria for Selection: Identifying Teams for Teamwork Awards

To ensure your program recognizes truly outstanding collaboration, establish clear selection criteria. Here are six key factors to consider and how you can measure each criterion for effective evaluation:

1. Measurable Achievements

Did the team achieve their goals?

Action: Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) for your teams at the beginning of a project or period. Track progress regularly.


Compare the team's actual results to their initial SMART goals. Did they exceed expectations? Here's an example: A marketing team's SMART goal might be to increase website traffic by 10% in Q3. If they achieve a 15% increase, this quantifiable accomplishment demonstrates their teamwork's effectiveness.

However, if they only reach 8%, analyze why they fell short. Were there unforeseen market changes or resource limitations? Consider these factors within the context of the overall nomination.

2. Effective Communication

Did the team communicate clearly and consistently throughout the project?

Action: Encourage regular team meetings, both formal weekly check-ins and informal brainstorming sessions. Use communication tools like Assembly for real-time updates, task assignments, and collaborative document editing.


  • Track meeting attendance and participation levels within your project management platform. 
  • Analyze the use of communication tools to see how frequently team members are updating each other and collaborating on documents. 
  • Consider conducting surveys or anonymous interviews with team members to gauge their perception of which department/team is always easy to reach. Were updates clear and timely? Did everyone feel comfortable voicing their ideas?

3. Problem-solving

Did the team overcome challenges and adapt to unforeseen obstacles?

Action: Show teams how to make decisions and take calculated risks within established parameters. Create a safe space for open communication and brainstorming when encountering setbacks.


  • Review project documentation to identify instances where the team encountered and addressed challenges. 
  • Consider the complexity of the obstacles they’ve overcome. 
  • For instance, a sales team facing a sudden competitor launch might need to develop a creative new marketing campaign. Analyze the solutions implemented - were they well-researched and did they demonstrate the team's ability to think outside the box?

4. Mutual Support

Did team members readily assist each other when needed? Was there a sense of shared responsibility for success?

Action: Encourage a culture of helpfulness and knowledge sharing within teams. Recognize and reward instances of team members going the extra mile to support one another, through public shout-outs or bonus points within your nomination process.


  • Get feedback from team members about their experience receiving and providing support. 
  • Track instances of knowledge sharing and collaboration documented within project management tools. 
  • For example, how many times did team members use the "mention" feature to tag colleagues for their expertise on specific tasks? Do they show up for others? Even messages on a colleague’s work anniversary can count as support.

5. Innovation and Creativity

Did the team approach challenges with fresh perspectives and find innovative solutions?

Action: Create a culture of creative problem-solving through brainstorming sessions and by rewarding innovative ideas. Encourage teams to "think outside the box" and develop new ideas to achieve their goals together.


  • Evaluate the team's solutions to challenges for their originality and effectiveness. 
  • Consider the impact of their innovative approach on the project outcome. Did their creativity lead to a significant improvement in results? 
  • For example, a customer service team might develop a new self-service knowledge base to address common customer questions, reducing call volume and improving overall satisfaction.

6. Alignment with Company Values

Did the team's actions embody your company's core values?

According to "It's the Manager”, only about 27% of workers feel connected to their company's values. Gallup's studies also show that less than half of the employees in the U.S., around 41%, fully understand what their organization represents and how it stands out from its competitors.

You need to know if these stats affect you too.

Action: Clearly define and communicate your company's values to all employees. Encourage teams to consider how their work reflects these values throughout the project. 


  • Review project documentation and presentations to see if the team explicitly mentions how their approach aligns with company values.
  • Conduct surveys or interviews with team members and stakeholders to gather insights on how the team's work exemplified your company's values. 
  • For example, if "customer focus" is a core value, did the team go the extra mile to ensure a positive customer experience?

With Assembly, you can easily tie your core values to team recognition. When nominating a team, use the core value tag feature to highlight which core value the team exemplified.

Remember: Don't limit yourself to just these criteria. You can add to and adapt them to your specific company culture and goals.

Nomination and Evaluation Process

A well-defined and transparent nomination and evaluation process is important to ensure that your Teamwork Award program recognizes the most deserving teams. 

We’ll break down the key steps and the roles everyone plays during the process.

Who Can Nominate?

  • Open nominations: Encourage broad participation by allowing anyone (employees and managers alike) in the organization to nominate a team for your categories. You can even go a step further to call for category ideas.
  • Team self-nominations: Allow teams to nominate themselves. They can even add an optional short video clip showcasing the team's collaborative spirit.

Nomination Process:

  • Online nomination form: Develop a user-friendly online form that streamlines the nomination process. Assembly, for instance, allows for easy online nominations with clear prompts and the ability to upload supporting documents.
  • Required information: The form should capture essential details about the nominated team, including:some text
    • Team members and their roles
    • The specific project or achievement
    • Reasons for the nomination
    • Examples that demonstrate teamwork and collaboration
  • Best team player: You can extend your nominations to individuals and team players. What is the best team player award? This award spotlights individuals who exemplify outstanding collaboration, support, and contribution within their teams. It’s a middle-ground between individual recognition and the emphasis on teamwork."

Encourage Nominations:

  • Launch a communication campaign across company newsletters, intranet announcements, and internal social media platforms to raise awareness about the Teamwork Award program. You can also decide to call it a staff appreciation week.
  • Explain the nomination process, highlight past winners, and encourage employee engagement by showing how easy it is to nominate colleagues who exemplify teamwork. 
  • Consider integrating nominations with your existing peer recognition platform for a seamless experience. Assembly comes pre-configured with this.
  • Offer small incentives if you can. Gifts for employees may include vouchers or extra break time can encourage participation.

Evaluation Process:

  • Selection committee: Establish a diverse selection committee comprised of individuals from various departments and leadership levels. This ensures a well-rounded perspective during the evaluation process.
  • Review criteria: Implement a standardized rating system for evaluators to score nominations based on the set criteria. Assembly can streamline this process by allowing you to pre-configure the evaluation criteria within the platform.
  • Evaluation guide: Develop a scoring guide for each criterion. Outline specific point values for different levels of achievement.

Shortlisting and Finalists:

  • The selection committee should shortlist some high-scoring nominations based on the evaluation criteria. 
  • They can then further evaluate these finalists, potentially conducting interviews with team members or requesting additional information.
  • Assembly allows anonymous peer feedback to be submitted during this stage. This provides valuable insights into team dynamics, collaboration styles, and overall effectiveness.
  • Managers can also provide their perspective at this stage. This should offer valuable context about project goals, challenges faced, and the overall impact of the team's achievements.

Selection and Recognition:

  1. Final selection and announcement: The committee convenes to discuss the shortlisted teams and select the winners. Winners are then announced publicly and rewarded.
  2. Recognition ceremony (Optional): Consider hosting a recognition ceremony to honor the winning teams.

Transparency and Communication:

  • Communicate clearly throughout the program: This includes nomination deadlines, selection criteria, evaluation process, shortlist announcement, and the eventual winner.
  • Recognize all nominees: Consider publicly acknowledging all nominated teams. Highlighting their achievements creates a sense of inclusion and reinforces the importance of teamwork across the organization.

This well-structured process ensures you get the strongest nominations and a fair evaluation.

Celebrating Diversity in Teams

Teamwork awards are a fantastic way to recognize outstanding collaboration, but the true impact comes from celebrating the power of diversity within those teams. Here's how to ensure your program goes beyond the win and spotlights the strength of a well-rounded team:

  • Walk the talk on criteria: Don't just reward results – recognize how teams leverage each member's strengths. Keep an eye out for nominees that demonstrate effective communication across differences and successfully overcome challenges presented by diverse backgrounds.
  • Mirror your workforce: The committee evaluating nominations should reflect the overall diversity of your organization. This ensures a well-rounded perspective and minimizes unconscious bias in the selection process.
  • Actively promote diverse nominations: Encourage submissions that showcase a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and working styles. Publicly recognizing diverse teams, even if they aren't the final winner, sends a strong message about your commitment to inclusion.

Note that your Teamwork Award program can be a springboard for promoting inclusivity beyond the trophy. So, make sure you share success stories and best practices from diverse teams. This can inspire and motivate others to leverage the power of diversity within their teams.

Boost Your Team Spirit with Assembly

Throughout this article, we've seen how crucial Teamwork Awards are for morale and collaboration at work. Recognizing teams, especially those diverse in skills and backgrounds, not only uplifts morale but also strengthens cooperation in the workplace.

Assembly can help every step of the way! With our user-friendly platform, you can effortlessly set up and manage Teamwork Awards, simplify nominations, gather valuable peer feedback, and ensure a fair and inclusive selection process.

Explore how Assembly can help you celebrate teamwork in your organization!

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

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