Plaque vs Trophy – Which is the Best for Your Employees?


As part of the annual performance review, managers give their employees recognition awards. When most employees receive recognition from higher management, they feel honored and appreciated. They are also motivated to do a good job for the following year. But which type of award is more effective in motivating your employees? 

It is where the debate begins. Plaques and trophies are celebrating the same achievements; you may be wondering why some companies give out trophies while others give out plaques? Read on through this post to understand the differences and soon you’ll be deciding to order here for your employees.

Differences Between a Plaque and a Trophy

1. Recognition

Plaques are meant to be displayed on a person’s office wall or another prominent place at work, while trophies are often more personal items that recipients take home after their special day.

2. Size and Design

Both trophies and plaques come in many sizes and styles. Some are small enough to fit on a desk, others are big enough for an entire wall. Understanding where these awards will be placed is key to deciding which one is right for your employees. If your employee has a lot of wall space in their office, then a plaque with its flat surface will suit them best. 

Meanwhile trophies often have a three-dimensional design, and are more suited to a desk or trophy stand. If deskspace isn’t at a premium in your office it might not be right for your employees. 

3. Usage

A trophy is used to recognize excellent performance in sports or games such as golf, poker, cricket, horse racing, etc. A plaque can be used to recognize various achievements such as excellent service, commendable work done by an employee, etc. It is also used as a symbol of appreciation for people who have worked hard for the company for many years.

4. Cost

A trophy tends to cost more than a plaque. If you are ordering awards in bulk a plaque might be the most cost effective option for your company. 

5. Customization

Plaques are typically made out of wood, metal, or acrylic, and trophies are more often made of gold, silver, or acrylic. The main difference between these two types is the way they are presented. A figure often holds trophies or an animal mounted on a base, whereas a plaque hangs on walls or stands alone.

Bottom Line

It’s always nice to achieve recognition for your work, and a smart employer acknowledges his or her employee’s effort. Either form of recognition can help build morale and motivation across a broad spectrum of workers. However, A good employer always considers cost effectiveness and practical use when making business decisions. So whether choosing a trophy or plaque takes these factors into consideration. 

The most important thing is to ensure that whatever recognition tool you choose, whether plaque or trophy, is awarded on an ongoing basis (i.e., not only at year-end) and that everyone who receives such a reward perceives it as meaningful.

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