Why does reward and recognition matter?

Sophie Heatley, Content Writer · 07 Nov

You may be the big boss of the business, but if your employees walk out… so does your business. All good companies know that positive staff reap positive results. The question is: how do you keep your staff happy? Answer: recognise their hard work, and reward them. Simple.

Employee recognition – why is it important?

It’s not about giving accolades every other hour. It’s simply acknowledging an individual or team’s behaviour, effort and achievements in the workplace that support your organisation’s goals and values.

The word ‘reward’ doesn’t really have any negative connotations, does it? That’s because anything that is rewarding is generally a pretty great thing!

Employee recognition is important because it lets employees know that they’re doing their job right, it improves their morale, enhances their loyalty and contributes to improving a supportive work environment.

Happy Worker

The three Rs: Recognise, Reward and Retain

Staff positivity, turnover, and good business results are heavily influenced by employee recognition. By having an employee incentive programme, you can clarify what is worthy of appraisal as well as give your staff something to work towards.

Your employee incentive programme needs to follow a three-step principal. This holy trinity should be an intrinsic part of your management system.

Your three steps to workplace appraisal are: Recognise, Reward, and Retain.

These three trusty Rs are essential to an outstanding workplace. You may have noticed that more and more companies seem to be taking this whole R business seriously. That’s because there are some very compelling reasons to focus your attention on employee recognition.

Why should you give your employees recognition and rewards?

  1. Investing in employee incentives will boost and maintain staff retention

This will save on recruitment costs. Lots of money, time and energy go into the recruitment process. Employee recognition and reward schemes are therefore a financial investment. Money spent on recruitment fees and processes can instead be invested into your business and into supporting your current employees. 

Employees who feel they have a positive personal rapport with their management are less likely to suffer from disengagement and leave their post. Employee recognition is therefore constructive, adding value to employees and their work.

What’s more, employee reward schemes are also constructive because it means you are not just retaining more employees, but more experienced employees. The longer your employees remain in your business, the more experienced they will be in their sector and thus able to promote your brand. Getting your three Rs right increases the number of experts you have on hand.

Following on from that, keeping your staff around contributes to your companies loyalty standards. It goes without saying that longstanding members of staff are more loyal than newbies, proven by the fact they’re longstanding! It’s also reassuring for new members of staff to see that people actually want to stick around too.

  1. Workplace culture

Recognising and rewarding the work of your staff boosts workforce morale. Workplace cultures that see major staff turnovers can reduce morale and motivation.

Job Award

Rewarding your staff gives them a sense of importance. You don’t want to give the impression that staff are just replaceable resources. Employees need to feel significant, not just like tools you can trade when needs be – pun intended.

Aside from that, don’t forget about the impact of rewards and recognition on customers too. Your clients can sense positive vibes: workplace/workforce happiness will infiltrate customer relationships too, leading to happy, loyal customers who want to keep doing business with you.

  1. More of the good stuff

Finally, when employees and their contributions to the company are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises. Employees will be motivated to keep putting in effort.  

This obviously comes back to the final R of the reward tripartite: Retain. This isn’t just retaining in a loyalty sense but in a critical sense. You’ll maintain higher standards by rewarding your employees. Rewards will help them maintain momentum and encourage them to strive to keep up the good work.

perkbox recognition - get a demo

How to set up a rewards and recognition platform

So, there aren’t really any cons to not saluting your staff heroes. The most difficult part for managers setting up a recognition platform – but we’ve got you covered. There are plenty of easy-to-use reward and recognition platforms to help you identify and celebrate your outstanding employees.

Perkbox Recognition allows you to recognise the staff are producing quality work, find the right reward for the occasion - including a number of perks, discounts, freebies and other rewards from top brands and companies – and set challenges in real time.

With the recognition, one way you can set challenges and send rewards is by creating polls. Polls are a fab way to promote a bit of friendly competition, while also drawing attention to the effort your employees are putting in.

You can organise polls to endorse specific contributions. These could be based on teamwork, for instance, encouraging more collaborative work in the office.  With your polls, you can put staff members into groups and give them a deadline to hit their target.

Likewise, your rewards platform can be used to shine a spotlight on the winning teams, or individuals, who go that extra mile to achieve exceptional results.


This can all be organised through an app! On your phone, laptop or any other portable device. With the app, you can name the names of outstanding individuals, or even whole departments, and post them each day, week or month for all the company to see.

Derek, for example, might pop up for having gone beyond his ‘Call of Duty’, or the Tech Department might be rewarded for solving the Wi-fi crisis – God save the Tech Department.

So, having a recognition platform like the one provided by Perkbox really does make maintaining employee happiness easy.

With your platform sorted, the only thinking you need to do is figuring out what you actually want to reward your staff for! Here are a few things to think about when rewarding your staff and recognising their hard work.

9 things to think about when giving your employees rewards and recognition

1. Establish criteria for what constitutes rewardable behaviour or actions

Recognition is not a one-size-fits-all agenda. You need to consider what is worth appreciating.

This should be a common and consistent practice. Recognising and rewarding the hard work of staff should be an integrated, daily aspect of the workplace. 

Use good examples. Give real-life examples of where members of staff from your company have done something extra, and don’t be afraid to name names!

Keep it varied, and make sure you’re familiar with all your staff – you don’t want to be accused of favouritism because you can only remember Martha’s name, especially when Martha doesn’t even work for you anymore.

2. Don’t be gratuitous

If you compliment your staff on every single thing they do, your praise will deplete in meaning and become slightly redundant.  

It’s fine to let Sandra know she makes a fine cup of tea, but this isn’t worthy of a promotion. Make sure that you praise your staff enough that it’s doing their work justice, but not so much that your compliments seem hollow.

3. Have something to work for

Of course, it’s terribly satisfying to tick every box on your task sheet, and yes, it looks so pretty when your excel doc is finally all colourfully highlighted. But, it’s not really enough to keep you going for years on end, is it?

Give your staff something to work for. Depending on what kind of goals you have in place, as well as the scale of your company, rewards will differ in scope. It might be a bonus in their pay package or a promotion! But it could also be something more humble, like a bottle of bubbly, a spa treatment or maybe some meal vouchers.

Any kind of gift, be that a professional step-up or an indulgent day out will help to incentivise your workforce to work hard. Rewards will affect your employees’ work ethic and behaviour for the better, helping you to achieve your organisation’s goals.

A good idea is to actually ask your staff what they want. Be realistic – you can’t give everyone a five digit pay rise at the end of the month. But, you might be able to organise a staff activity or party for them!


4. Set challenges

Added heat can motivate employees and up their workplace stamina a little bit. While getting through your general job spec is primordial, there’s nothing like a little healthy competition to get the blood pumping in the workplace.

Set little challenges that will have your staff go above and beyond their usual day-to-day routine. This is a great way to encourage your staff to get out of their comfort zone and experiment with more innovative approaches to their job.

Think outside the box. Your challenge might be client orientated, for instance, it could be: Who can beat their personal best for how many clients they sign up this month? The winner gets a bonus.

Alternatively, your challenge could be review based. Which consultant can get the most positive reviews? The winner will be wined and dined next Friday at a restaurant of their choice.

5. Communication is key

It’s practically an age old adage. Think about the best way to communicate your appreciation. Your praise can be translated or broadcasted in many and myriad ways. Here are a few examples:

6. Letters and ‘Thank You’ Notes

Letters are great because they’re used so infrequently now. Emails, the overload of office communication, are efficient and time-saving. But letter writing, especially if handwritten, show that you’ve taken the time to actually sit down and verbalise the fact that you value you staff.

It may be a small gesture, but it’s certainly a valuable one. There’s also something really satisfying about having something tangible to show for your hard work. 

Managers can easily keep a pack of thank you notes or cards in their drawer for convenience.

Stack of Papers

7. Posters and Bulletin Boards

Posters and bulletin boards are also effective because they act as a visual stimulus. Everyone will come in and out the staffroom at least once a day, so everyone will get a chance to see that Humphrey has smashed his goals for the month. Even Larry the cleaner will get a glimpse of Humphrey’s almighty achievement.

You can create a recognition bulletin board to post 'thanks' from clients, or have a spot where you hang a picture of your employee of the month.

8. 1-to-1 Chats

1-on-1s are personal and feel good catch-ups where you can express your gratitude. This doesn’t have to take long, five minutes will suffice.

Similar to writing letters – it means a lot to show you, the busy boss of the business, have put aside time specifically to praise a member of staff.

Call them into your office or organise a little coffee break in the canteen. As we just said, communication is key, so tell them exactly what you’re proud of, and encourage them to keep up the good work. Be specific. For example, “Well done, you did really well in the meeting on Thursday. I liked how you handled the client’s responses,” rather than just “Well done, you’re doing well,”.

‘Well done’ alone is pretty meaningless if the employee doesn’t know what it is they’ve supposedly ‘done well’.

Person hold someone

9. Public Displays

Acknowledging individuals or teams at a staff meeting, management meeting, board meeting, or special event can be a great opportunity to spread some positivity in the workplace.

Open displays of gratitude are meaningful for the recipient and present a source of inspiration for others too.

It's a win-win situation! 

However you choose to reward your staff, the point is, you shouldn’t overlook their hard work. Employees who feel appreciated are more likely to hang around rather than taking a hike to another corporation. They’re also far more productive and motivated, and will make more of an effort to go above and beyond their typical job expectations.


Give your employees the best experience 

Get started with Perkbox Recognition today. Learn more about the Perkbox platform and see it in action. 



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