Difference Between Award and Reward

Award and Reward are very confusing terminologies that cannot be used interchangeably as both verbs have different characteristics. Though they seem very identical in pronunciation and meaning but have massive differences.


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They both give a sense of satisfaction to the person who receives them. They are the symbol of some positive action completed but the demarcation line between them is very blurred to separate them. 

Award vs Reward

The difference between Award and Reward is that Award is given through a systematic process to a person or an organization and Reward is not provided by selecting a person through a systematic approach. An award is more impressive as it is given publicly like Oskar whereas Reward is less impressive as it is provided in private. 

Award vs Reward

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The term Award refers to the trophy, Medal, or certificate given publicly to a person or an organization for doing something best. Word Award in English grammar is a noun as well as a verb.

It is usually given to the person selected out of a group of people if comparatively, that person accomplishes something in the best way. 

The term Reward refers to a contingent advantage for an action performed by an Individual. It is also a noun and a verb in English grammar.

The reward has nothing to do with any achievement, it is more about a task done or exchange of good gesture in financial or non-financial terms.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAwardReward
Meaning When a person achieves something rare or not easily possible, In those cases Award is given. When a person puts his efforts to complete or achieve something, In those cases Reward is given as an acknowledgment.
FormsAwards are given in the form of Prizes, medals, certificates, ribbons, etc.Rewards are given in the Monetary or Non- Monetary Form.
PurposeGranted for Achievements, Incredible work, Best performance, etc,Granted for Loyalty, Honesty, Merit, Help, etc.
JudgmentJudgment for Award is usually decided by Expert Panel.Judgment for Reward is usually decided by an Individual.
NominationFor Awards there are Nominations.For Rewards, there are no nominations only a single person is decided in advance.

What is Award?

The Award is a token of recognition given to a person or organization when they have accomplished something great by doing an extraordinary performance. It could be in the form of Cash, Car, Medal, Certificate, etc.

When a person breaks a record in a specified area like dance, singing, sports, acting, studies, and more, in those cases Award is given to the awardee.

They are generally given in front of many people. The award ceremony is organized in some instances to deliver the Award.

For Better understanding, When a student scores the highest marks in the class, he receives an award certificate or medal for outstanding performance in a class by studying well.

This award is given to motivate other students as well in the school for doing great. In the same manner dance competition, sports competition activities held and the best one chosen as per performance to give Award. 

The awardee is selected through the decision of the expert panel. Before the decision-making process in Award, the nominations are there who will receive the Award and who’s performance was best in the action completed.

Filmfare, Grammy, Oscar are a few examples of Award Ceremony. An Award is a very grandiose thing. 

What is Reward?

The term Reward is recognition for non-stop efforts made by an individual in their work, service, loyalty, honesty, and hard work. It could be given just by simple word of praise or in monetary terms in exchange for something great.

The procedure to select a person for receiving a reward is not formal. Even no selection process is held to choose an Individual for Reward. It is usually given privately not conferred on a public platform. 

The Reward giving process is less impressive since it can be exchanged between two people only without putting any impact on others.

For a better understanding of the term, If a person planted 500 plants in a month to support nature then a Reward can be announced for him to praise his efforts for the environment.

The most common Reward is given in case of a Missing person finding. Everyone must have seen those posters announcing rewards. 

A reward is a token of gratitude when employees in big companies are recognized for their efforts. It is in the form of incentives some cases or maybe food coupons etc.

This is done for employee motivation. The reward is also given in the case of meeting sales targets.

Main Differences Between Award and Reward

  1. Demonstration: In Awards, the demonstration is done Publically whereas in the case of Reward the demonstration is done privately to hand over the Reward.
  2. Reason: Award is mainly associated with some good reason on the contrary the Reward may or may not be for the good reason.
  3. Example: For Award-The CM awarded the child for excellent dance performance and For Reward- Mary gives cookies to John for helping her in their studies. 
  4. Output: Award is the output of some accomplishment conversely Reward is the output of some recognition.
  5. Process: The Award is a formal process to praise a person or an organization whereas Reward is an informal process of recognition to an individual. 
Difference Between Award and Reward
  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013161X97033004004
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14703290600974016
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