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Employee Rewards: Workplace Incentives and Recognition

Employee rewards and recognition, why company culture is imperative, the benefits of reward-based programs and the best way to reward employees.

Employee Rewards: Workplace Incentives, Recognition and Culture

What works, what doesn’t and what are the benefits?

The top 20 % of companies recognised for having a rich company culture recorded they had 30 % less voluntary turnovers.   Company Culture is currently something that many CEOs are struggling to deliver on, which is partly because of the increased demand to work from home. But what’s that doing for company culture? How can employees receive recognition in an impactful way (if at all) when there is no physical connection between colleagues?   Well, rewards are an obvious one, but an element of recognition that should be approached with caution. You don’t want to conjure up any unhealthy competition or entitlement.  So let’s discuss the benefits of rewarding employees, effective recognition, and practical staff gifts that will contribute to increasing employee culture, retention, and productivity.    

What is employee recognition?

Employee recognition speaks to identifying a staff member’s efforts with means to encourage productivity and good work ethic.  

The advantages and disadvantages of employee recognition

Advantages of Employee Recognition

  • Employees feel appreciated and valuable
  • Employee recognition stimulates motivation
  • Motivation stimulates productivity and tenure
  • Happy employees generally make for a more enjoyable work environment
  • Recognition programs cultivate collaborative environments which can improve employee relationships and in effect, teamwork and communication.
Disadvantages of Employee Recognition
  • Recognition, if approached incorrectly, could be the catalyst of unhealthy competition, creating tension and division.
  • If a stand-out employee receives frequent recognition, there may be a perception of favouritism.
  • Recognition that translates into employee rewards and incentives could become an expectation.
  • Employee rewards and incentives can become expensive if expectations aren’t managed.

Does recognition translate through employee rewards?

Rewards and incentives are a great way to facilitate recognition, but you have to be cautious of setting expectations too high or creating unhealthy competition. To successfully utilise a reward-based system, the playing field must be fair. If one team member or a department feels that another team member or department is at an advantage to receive the reward, they often feel left out or hard done by, which can have the opposite effect.  

The best way to reward employees

There are two ways to approach staff rewards. Addressing the reward with a target in mind or announcing the reward due to past efforts. If this reward-based program is a reoccurring strategy addressing the award an incentive to reach a specific target is great gameplay; if it's a one-off, it’s best to announce it as an earned reward due to their commendable efforts. Rewards may come in many forms, but often they involve something physical that staff can experience. Rewards really depend on how much budget you have to incentivise staff to work harder or congratulate them on how hard they have worked.

Staff Reward examples;

  • Commission for bringing in new business
  • A Christmas or EOFY bonus
  • A staff party
  • Staff outings, paint and wine sessions, clay shooting, fashion shows, sports games, dinners
  • Gifts such as collectables, gift cards, and engraved stationery

The Benefits of Employee Rewards

There are many benefits of rewarding employees;

Staff retention

One of the highest costs for companies is hiring and training. If you have a high staff turnover and you constantly have to hire for the same position, you will never achieve the full value and potential of an employee. New employees don’t reach full productivity until 1-2 years. Still, if you’re finding that most aren’t lasting that long or have lost their passion for the company by the time they get there, then employee rewards may be one attribute of employee retention.

Reduced costs on staff turnover

Having resolved a large portion of company expenses poured into training and recruiting year after year, investing in company culture will ultimately pay for itself. According to The Society of Human Resource Management, “for mid-level staff, it costs about 20 % of a departing employee’s wage to replace them. For executives, that number can reach 213 % of the average salary.” That’s not taking into account that, as mentioned previously, new employees won’t reach full productivity and capacity until 1-2 years on the job.

Quality Work Culture

Company culture is something many CEOs are focusing on currently. With the transition of many industries moving to a home/office set-up, HR, management, and employers are finding a disconnect between staff members. This is from a lack of physicality; most humans need social interaction to find motivation. Incentives and rewards are a great way to improve company culture if you have a hybrid work set-up. Every month you could hold a competition, games night or an online or in the office awards ceremony. The benefits of attaining a strong company culture are invaluable. Increased productivity and motivation, achieving an enjoyable and inspiring work environment, happy employees, and stronger professional relationships equal better communication and collaboration.

Increased Productivity and Motivation

Increased productivity and motivation is a flow-on effect of company culture. According to the Journal of International Scientific Publications, “organisational culture has become one of the key success factors for employee retention, satisfaction, and productivity.” Company or organisational culture gives employees direction and quantifiable reasons as to why they do what they do eight hours a day, day-in, day-out.  

Collaboration in the Workplace

Employee rewards and recognition stimulate collaboration in the workplace, from finding a sense of accomplishment and teamwork by working towards a common goal. Sometimes collaboration is improved simply by strengthening professional relationships, having something to talk about that isn’t work-related! So why is work collaboration important, and what are the benefits?
  • Staff work together and have the opportunity to pool resources
  • Communication and respect are enhanced, and previous roadblocks are streamlined
  • Increases education with team members more willing to listen and learn
  • Collaboration also allows team members to understand direction and strategy that will aid them in finding reason to what they are doing in their particular facet of the company.

Employee Rewards with

We receive frequent feedback from multiple CEOs and HR departments about how hard it is to find a gift that will appeal to all employees equally. That's why our Customised Cards are the perfect solution. You can tailor the card to your branding, and with the option to choose a Digital Master Card or Eftpos Card, recipients can spend their reward on just about anything.