My company has annual work performance awards with typical names like "Excellent Employee/Team" (3~5 recipients) and "All-star Employee/Team" (1 recipient).

We're looking to create a smaller award program designed to be given on an as-needed basis for spotlighting individual acts of excellence, as opposed to the consistent excellence necessary to receive an annual award.

An example situation would be an employee who is pretty good all the time, but during a moment of crisis goes well above and beyond what is expected of him to get the job done. These sorts of singular events tend to get forgotten by late December, or are overruled by predominantly mediocre performance, but when viewed in isolation are clearly meritorious.

So we have this new program, but we're having a hell of a time naming the damn thing.

Complicating matters is that there's no fixed period for award allocation. There might be 2 in one month, then none of 5 months. It all depends on the work at hand.

Help? :-)

6 Answers 6


A similar program at a former employer was called a 'spot award'. The idea was that it would be awarded 'on the spot' rather than waiting for end of year honors. A similar option might be a 'spotlight award' since you're looking to spotlight a current feat.

  • well-received by all involved. Thank you.
    – Drew
    Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 9:10
  • @Andrew Heath - glad I could help.
    – Dusty
    Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 13:32

Hmm.. You need some qualifier so people can easily distinguish it from 'unconditionally' excellent employee, so... how about

Sporadically excellent employee

  • 2
    This sounds like an utterly entertaining euphemism, worthy of Jack Vance, for insiders. +1 For the chuckle. Commented Apr 21, 2011 at 4:12

I think that the answer lies in the way you phrased the question. The award isn't merely about excellent service. Its about, in your words, and employee who goes "goes well above and beyond what is expected of him to get the job done."

I'd recommend calling it Above and Beyond with a subtitle along the lines of "Awarded to an employee who goes above and beyond the usual job expectations to deliver unparalleled service/work/customer satisfaction/etc." (I can't give exact wording for the last part since I don't know your industry.)


“Outstanding achievement in the field of excellence.”


The go-to blah-blah employee excellence award term is "employee of the month." That might be better than awarding the occasional "excellent employee award."

I realize that "there's no fixed period for award allocation," but that might not matter. One employee could be awarded this 2, 3, 4 months in a row; it doesn't matter unless you have a reason to change it.


Sporadic Award - Outstanding Performance

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