When it comes to recognition, many people are unaware of the difference between award and reward. An award is something that is earned or won in some form of competition. It can involve either physical activities or mental tasks such as writing contests, math competitions, sports, etc. A reward, however, does not necessarily have to be something that is earned. It could simply be something given out of appreciation or to incentivize a certain behavior.
It is common for people to get confused between two words that have the same sound. The English language is full of such words. There are two such words “Award – Reward” which are usually confused by people in their usage.
Although these two words sound the same and even their usage is also very close. But these can’t be used interchangeably.
An award is conferred to a person in front of the mass public when he achieves something or performs something extraordinary, and on the other hand, a reward is compensation given to a person for the excellent work or hard work he has done.
The reward is not necessarily conferred to the person in public. In this article, you will learn about both awards and rewards with the help of examples and key differences between both of them.
Table of Contents
What is an Award?
An award compared to a reward is given to a person or an organization when they have achieved something great given an outstanding performance when a record is broken or when someone makes an immense contribution to a specific field. The awards are usually given in an award ceremony in front of the mass public.
A conferring award is a formal way of recognizing the achievements made by an individual or an organization. The award is usually conferred in the form of cash, certificate, medal, trophy, prize, gifts, accolades, etc.
The person to whom the award should be conferred is selected through a formal process where an expert committee takes the decision. The nomination is done, and only people who have fulfilled the specific criteria are selected, and a person who is best among all the nominated people is awarded.
Let us understand the concept of the award with the help of a simple example of school. In school, approximately 30-40 students are studying in a class.
All students are given similar lessons and are treated equally in the classroom. By the end of the academic year, all students sit for final exams and the rank of the students is decided based on the marks scored by them.
The student who has scored the highest marks will be awarded the first position and is given a trophy as an award for his achievement.
Similarly, awards are given in various fields such as Oscar and Filmfare awards in the field of films, Grammy awards in the field of music, Miss World and Miss Universe award in the field of beauty, People Choice award in the field of entertainment, etc.
People who give outstanding performance are given an award in a specific field. Therefore, an award is more grandiose than a reward.
Examples of some popular awards
- The Nobel Prize in various disciplines like Physics, Chemistry, and Literature.
- The Pulitzer Prize in areas such as Journalism, Fiction, and Poetry.
- The Academy Awards (Oscars) in different categories like Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director.
- The Grammy Awards in disciplines like Pop, Classical, and Rock.
- The Man Booker Prize for works of fiction.
- The Golden Globe Awards across various categories in Film and Television.
- The FIFA World Player of the Year in football.
- The Ballon d’Or for the world’s best footballer.
- The Michelin Stars are awarded to top-notch restaurants worldwide.
- Performer of the Year award.
What is the Reward?
A reward is given to a person for his service, continuous work, loyalty, and honesty toward his work. The reward can be in the form of monetary rewards, or it could simply be words of praise.
There is no committee of experts to evaluate the work of the person, and the person is not selected through any formal process. A person doesn’t need to be rewarded for fulfilling a specific criterion.
The reward is given to a person to motivate him to continue the work and also to others to take motivation. Rewards are usually conferred in private and sometimes in public. Rewards conferred in public help in promoting the work done by the person rewarded.
- Intrinsic Rewards: These are internal, personal satisfactions that an individual derives from performing a job or task. Scholarship, incentive, etc. are intrinsic rewards.
- Extrinsic Rewards: These are tangible rewards that are externally administered, usually by a manager or the organization. They include monetary benefits like bonuses or pay raises, contingent benefits, and non-monetary rewards such as public recognition, promotions, or awards for a person’s service.
Examples of Rewards
In an organization, salespersons are given targets monthly as well as annually. Achieving sales targets is part of their jobs. Usually, the targets are hard to achieve, and it takes a lot of hard work and motivation to achieve the target.
Let us take one more example from school. In schools, students were given work to be done in class and from home, and most students usually shirk homework. To encourage and motivate other students, rewards were given to students who did their work regularly and neatly.
One another example of a reward is the advertisements for missing persons. You must have seen an advertisement in public places about the missing person. Those advertisements are mentioned with reward money for the person who will give the information about the missing person.
Differences between Award and Reward: Comparison Table
|Definition||An award is a formal recognition given based on merit, often decided by a committee.||A reward is an acknowledgment for a specific behavior or achievement, often used as a motivational tool.|
|Independence||An award is usually given independently of other factors and is based solely on merit.||A reward can be contingent on specific behaviors or achievements and can be realized independently or as part of a larger framework.|
|Monetary Aspect||While awards can be monetary, they are often presented in the form of a trophy, certificate, or other symbolic recognition.||Rewards are usually in the form of money or other tangible benefits.|
|Purpose||Awards recognize excellence and set a standard for others to strive for.||Rewards encourage specific behaviors or achievements and motivate continued effort.|
|Timing||Awards are often given annually or at set times throughout the year.||Rewards can be given at any time, including an "extra five minutes" of break time or similar immediate benefits.|
|Public Recognition||Awards are usually given in a public forum to highlight the achievement.||Rewards can be given privately or publicly.|
How to create an award or reward program for your company?
Creating an award or reward program can be a strategic way to motivate and retain employees. It can foster a culture of recognition and respect within the workforce, emphasizing the value the organization places on every individual’s contributions. However, to be effective, such a program should follow a structured approach, typically comprising the four stages: Assessment, Design, Execution, and Evaluation.
- Assessment: This initial phase requires a thorough understanding of the company’s goals, employee needs, and the existing reward culture. It may involve employee surveys or consultations to gather valuable input.
- Design: Based on the insights gained from the assessment, the program is designed. It should align with the company’s values, support its strategic objectives, and be able to meaningfully recognize employees’ efforts.
- Execution: This stage involves the actual implementation of the program. It requires clear communication about the program to all employees, training for managers on how to use it effectively, and a transparent process for awarding rewards.
- Evaluation: The final stage is a critical review of the program. It involves measuring the program’s effectiveness against the set goals, considering employee feedback, and making necessary adjustments for continuous improvement.
To conclude, it can be said that both awards and rewards are given when something positive or good is done. Both awards and rewards have the purpose of encouraging and motivating others by their actions.
In addition to this, a person who receives an award or a reward sets an example of extraordinary work, and it requires consistency, devotion, and continuous efforts to achieve something extraordinary.
1) What are the key differences between award and reward?
In our daily conversations, the terms ‘award’ and ‘reward’ are often used interchangeably, but there’s a key difference to take into account – the contingent benefit associated with each term. Some of the differences on different grounds are:
- Definition: An award is a formal recognition given based on merit, often decided by a committee, while a reward is an acknowledgment for a specific behavior or achievement, often used as a motivational tool.
- Independence: An award is usually given independently of other factors and is based solely on merit. A reward can be contingent on specific behaviors or achievements and can be realized independently or as part of a larger framework.
- Monetary Aspect: While awards can be monetary, they are often presented in the form of a trophy, certificate, or other symbolic recognition. Rewards are usually in the form of money or other tangible benefits.
- Purpose: Awards recognize excellence and set a standard for others to strive for. Rewards encourage specific behaviors or achievements and motivate continued effort.
- Timing: Awards are often given annually or at set times throughout the year. Rewards can be given at any time, including an “extra five minutes” of break time or similar immediate benefits.
- Public Recognition: Awards are usually given in a public forum to highlight the achievement. Rewards can be given privately or publicly.
2) When to use an award vs. a reward?
Awards are best used to recognize excellence and set standards of work, while rewards can be used to motivate people such as employees or students to continue their efforts or achieve certain goals.
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