Employee rewards: Real recognition strategies that your employees want
Employee rewards are a key method for your organisation to acknowledge and reinforce the great work your staff do.
Not only does recognition create happier employees, but it also boosts productivity, efficiency and engagement, while also increasing retention and helping you attract talent.
Why are employee reward and recognition programs important?
The reality is that the majority of Australian workers - 79%, to be exact - believe their employer could do more to improve their experience at work. After a positive culture, employees are most focused on financial and other rewards as a way for organisations to improve their workplace. However, the two are closely related as increased employee benefits are also the number one way that workers think workplace culture can be improved, alongside a better work-life balance. In fact, according to 2019 research, 8 out of 10 Australians would prefer work perks to a salary increase.
When it comes down to it, employees want specific recognition for their hard work and not just a salary raise occasionally. Reward and recognition programs are the way to achieve this.
What are the benefits of employee rewards programs?
The benefits of employee reward and recognition programs far outweigh their costs. If done well, they create happy and satisfied employees, who feel appreciated for the work they do. And happy, recognised employees have numerous business benefits, including:
- Increased productivity by as much as 13%
- Higher levels of trust in their boss and company
- Increased loyalty, leading to higher retention
- Improved workplace culture
- Increased employee engagement
- Improved employee wellbeing at work and home
- Reinforce company values
- Boost morale
With benefits like these, no wonder the best workplaces prioritise employee rewards and recognition as a critical aspect of employee experience. But how do you effectively reward and recognise your staff at work?
How to successfully reward and recognise employees
1. Praise and rewards for good work
The most obvious and simple way to reward good work is to praise your employees, whether in an email or face-to-face. A simple ‘great job’ can go a long way to boosting morale and encouraging staff to keep up the good work. However, if you really want to give the best compliment you can (and reap the benefits), follow these four steps:
- Be authentic
- Be specific
- Focus on the process, as well as the result
- Share the impact it’s had on you
2. Simple courtesy
Recognising employees isn’t just about the work they do. It’s also about acknowledging them as people you value. Greeting people when you see them, calling them by their name, apologising for your mistakes, and thanking them for small actions like holding the door open all demonstrate that you see, respect and value them as a fellow human being and not just a worker. This builds trust and is a simple way to forge a culture of recognition in your workplace.
3. Encourage peer recognition
While it’s great to have your boss recognise your hard work, employees also value recognition from their peers (sometimes more so). Encouraging peer-to-peer recognition allows employees to shine the spotlight on achievements that managers may not see. Praise is also less likely to feel like a performance review and more like an organic expression of gratitude when coming from a peer. As an added bonus, if you have a formal recognition and rewards program that peers can contribute to, this allows everyone to hear and celebrate stories of good work in the company, creating a positive workplace culture.
4. Celebrate out-of-work achievements
Acknowledging and praising employees for personal achievements is another great way to demonstrate that you’re focused on more than just their KPIs or profit margins. If you hear that someone has donated blood, run a marathon, moved house or adopted a new pet cat, check in with them to offer your congratulations and ask how it’s all going. This will build trust and show that you care about them as a whole person.
5. One-to-one recognition
While unexpected meetings with the manager may be a cause of stress for most employees, that doesn’t have to be the case. Taking the time to personally praise staff can not only boost their happiness but also disprove the myth that managers only interact with employees when there’s a problem.
6. Start a reward and recognition program
A reward and recognition program can create a formal and tangible way for managers and staff to recognise hard work. By providing a platform for public recognition and workplace benefits, you’ll find it easier to create a workplace culture that genuinely celebrates achievement and effort.
Perkbox Recognition allows companies to customise how they reward and recognise their employees with the awards available. It also adds an element of friendly competition to boost productivity and team morale. From champagne to skydiving, there’s a reward for every company’s budget.
Employee rewards and recognition contribute to your workplace’s overall employee experience. Want to learn more about how a positive employee experience can benefit your workplace? Read Your Ultimate Guide to a Killer Employee Experience!