Music ideas for an employee recognition ceremony

Updated February 21, 2017

Public recognition is a way to reward and motivate your employees and thank them for their hard work. As you plan an employee-recognition ceremony, choose music that fits the theme and atmosphere of the event, whether it is formal or informal. Look for options that suit your budget and that will enhance the feeling of the evening.

Barbershop Quartet

If you want to add an element of fun and comedy to your ceremony, consider hiring a barbershop quartet. Look for a quartet that can modify the lyrics of songs to fit the events of the ceremony. They may swap words to fit the type of business you run, speak to the employees who are receiving awards, or poke fun at high-level managers. Ask the quartet to choose songs that will be bright and fun. A quartet that is loose, flexible, and can interact with the crowd will be the most effective in setting the tone of the event.

Recorded Music

When your company cannot afford to hire an ensemble for an employee-recognition ceremony, use recorded music. To set a grand feeling with a hint of comedy, use the type of sweeping instrumental pieces that are played at popular awards ceremonies like the Academy Awards. You can also choose songs for each award recipient that speaks to their personalities, job responsibilities, or the award itself, to get a laugh out of the audience. If you are giving an award for the employee with the best record of attendance or the employee who consistently gives 110 per cent to her projects, you can use Donna Summer's "She Works Hard for the Money." Look for songs that are easily recognisable by the largest number of people for the maximum impact.

String Ensemble

For a formal recognition ceremony that takes place during a dinner or gala event, consider a string ensemble. Strings provide a soft, subtle background music during quieter parts of the evening, and can be used for fanfares and introductions of employees. A string ensemble is most appropriate for a more formal event that is held during the evening. Choose musical selections for the ensemble that have a medium tempo; songs that are too slow can take away some of the energy, while songs that are too fast can set guests on edge. Because the volume of stringed instruments does not always carry, set them up near the stage or podium area.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.