Inside the Amelioration at Award & Sign


“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” (Vincent Van Gogh)



Recognition…we’ve sold the products…awards…to thousands of customers that ultimately ended up in tens of thousands of grateful recipient’s hands. Did I truly understand the power of recognition and the ultimate benefits of a successful recognition program? No, I didn’t. But I can now, many years later, justifiably express the magic that occurs through recognition.

The benefits are immense not only for the recipient, but the giver, too. With a well-planned recognition program the sky is the limit. Bringing people together for a common cause can be done through recognition.

After 30 years in the business of selling awards and other forms of recognition, we created our very own wall of recognition for our employees. We named our wall Amelia, short for amelioration – the act of making something better; improvement. Amelia is a living visual of the daily progress made through employee contributions that are above and beyond either in tasks or behavior….and then they are recognized for their contribution.

Amelia is a cut vinyl tree on a 11′ by 8′ wall. It is decorated with various icons on and around it that represent these contributions. This dynamic tree is gradually flourishing with accomplishments and accolades. Varying sized leaves symbolize tasks or behaviors. In addition, there are bonus icons including squirrels that represent happiness, positivity and joy brought to the work place, owls are for excellence in learning, butterflies represent individual growth, apples indicate a plan that has been brought to fruition and blossoms symbolize peer to peer recognition. Acorns will be awarded my management to those who bring healthy fun to the workplace (nuts).

Birds are swarming around the tree in all shapes and forms. 12 SPARROWS, one for each month, represent the person whom has made the greatest contributions. 4 FALCONS symbolize the greatest quarterly achievements. And, of course, the EAGLE…the eagle is the greatest of all, recognizing one individual annually for excellence in behavior, positive influence, and process improvement.

Daily the contributions are logged on a Amelia’s Google shared spreadsheet by owners, supervisors, the employee and their peers. Weekly, in our all-staff meetings employees are rewarded for their efforts through both recognition and  gift cards/gifts. Color-coded leaves (each in the employees requested color) and blossoms are distributed at this meeting. The employee hand-writes their accomplishment on the leaves and will place them on Amelia along with any blossoms awarded.

Award & Sign provides a monthly lunch to honor the employee who most significantly contributed throughout the previous month. They will receive a monetary reward as well as kudos from their peers. Each employee expresses their thoughts on how this person impacted them, their workplace and the company. They will also receive a star-burst vinyl sticker (in their color) that they place on one of the SPARROWS dated with the month that they received the award.

Quarterly, the quarterly award winner will be recognized along with all the bonus contributions made throughout the past three months. The FALCON starburst sticker, gift cards, gifts and money and lots of kudos are their rewards.

The culmination of everyone’s hard work and efforts is year-end. The EAGLE…the most prestigious award of the year will be awarded to our most outstanding contributor. Once again, money and a starburst sticker will be placed on the Eagle, tagged by date and color. In addition they will receive a sculptured eagle with an inscription.

It will be a celebration at this year-end event (party). We will be celebrating the growth of the employees, the leadership, and the business of Award & Sign, for surely it all will have changed significantly.

***Amelia is fun. It is motivating and it is an accumulative source of good, positive change in the workplace. If you would like to learn more, please email me at


Make a Difference with Recognition Today!