15 Employee Recognition & Rewards Ideas for Your Business

Employee Recognition & Rewards : Who doesn’t like to be recognized for the efforts they put into something? Think about the times when you got recognized or got appreciated for your good work. It surely meant a lot to you and made you feel happy about your work, didn’t it?

In the same way, you need to recognize the hard work your employees put in for your business, and reward them from time to time. It’s not only for making your employees feel good, it will also have a significant impact on your business regarding some key metrics like retention, engagement, and productivity.

Employee recognition and rewards have now become a crucial and impactful part of a successful business. It adds value to your employees’ hard work and achievements in a unique way. This is why the recognition and rewards system has become really popular in businesses and organizations. This concept of making someone feel good to get the best out of them is not something new. When a person gets recognized and applauded for their good job, they feel elated and inspired to keep doing better in their job. They also try to have bigger goals and ambitions.

Why Recognition and Rewards are Important for Your Business

Many studies have shown that recognition and rewards have numerous positive effects. Happiness Study conducted a survey on a number of respondents, and 58% of them agreed that even a simple “Great Job” or “Thank You” from their higher-ups impacted their morale positively. Shawn Anchor has carried out positive psychology research, and according to it, a truly happy and engaged workforce is the sole and supreme advantage of the modern economy. According to that research, task accuracy increases by 19%, sales increase by 37%, and overall productivity increases by 31% due to employee happiness.

Businesses and organizations these days are looking to adopt strategies for retaining their top performers and enhancing the growth of the business, as well as employee productivity. Nothing helps more than employee recognition in doing all that. According to data, the third most common reason for employees leaving their jobs is “lack of recognition”. Also, according to 26% of employees, the highest barrier to engagement is being underappreciated and undervalued.

So, businesses really need to make their employees feel appreciated to make the business grow and create a better workplace. There are some differences between recognition and rewards. Rewards have economic or cost-conscious values attached to them, and they are tangible. On the other hand, recognition is priceless and intangible, as it has emotional value instead of economical value.

However, these two have a strong connection, as offering your employees the best of the rewards, and implementing those rewards through good recognition can bring out the best of both, and will help you to build an integrative engagement program for the employees of your business.

Employee Recognition & Rewards: These days employees prefer a positive and comfortable workplace. They want their voices to be heard and have some freedom in the workplace. It is important for an employer to ensure these things, along with proper employee engagement. If you have an uninspiring and unhappy work environment, and your employees are unhappy due to lack of engagement and recognition, they can walk out from your business any moment, leaving your workplace in total disarray. That’s why you need the best of employee recognition and reward ideas for your business. Here are 15 ideas that you can implement-

Using a Points-Based Rewards System

You can show your employees that you value them as unique individuals by letting them select their own rewards through a point system. The employees will be allowed to accumulate an impactful balance by consolidating their points in one single system. As the points arise, there will be a spike in the excitement of the employees.

Employees will be able to redeem the points they get for rewards they like or want, rather than getting some generic gift item like a mug or a pen or a small award. This way employees will be able to connect the meaningful rewards they get to their contributions and values to the company.

Workplace Recognition

If you have a positive workplace culture, it will have a great impact on your business results, and also will be pivotal in attracting top talents from the grind. Great company culture is built on the foundation of recognition. Recognition culture is really important for maintaining positivity in the workplace.

According to the recent reports of the Barndom Hall Group, employee retention is likely to increase 2 times with the implementation of a recognition culture. At the same time, employee engagement is likely to increase 5 times, and 79 percent of employees are more likely to give the company or their employer a high rating.

You can make peer-to-peer, manager, team, and leadership recognition a regular thing in your workplace for the proper implementation of recognition culture in your business. Based on those same reports, companies that properly recognize their employees multiple times per month are 34 percent more likely to experience increased engagement and 41 percent more likely to experience increased retention of their employees.

Employee Recognition & Rewards: Clearly tying recognition to behaviors that properly reflect the values of the company will make the employees abide by those values appropriately. This will be of huge help in shaping your culture, as people are more likely to take actions they get recognized for.

Social Recognition

Giving verbal or written appreciation to employees can be a key part of implementing a recognition culture. When any of your employees achieve any milestone or reach a target, make no delay in appreciating them, and calling it out. Providing specific and transparent recognition encourages employees to repeat their good deeds. You can also appreciate your employees on the social media platforms through your company’s pages to get them even more recognized. It is highly effective in getting them more engaged with your company, and getting the best out of them by making them happy.

Taking Advantage of Employee Recognition Platforms

You can implement employee recognition platforms to make it easier for all the team members to properly practice recognition. If you get a good employee recognition platform, it will help you in-

  • Making giving recognitions easy and fun with a great user experience
  • Facilitating public recognition by helping to display recognitions on a company-wide newsfeed where everyone can view them and comment on them effortlessly.
  • Incorporating both social and monetary recognition so others can value someone and show positive gestures when they succeed
  • Boosting results by allowing team members to add points to the recognition of their colleagues in real-time

Employee Recognition & Rewards: You can also make your launched recognition program as effective as possible with the help of a good and proper employee recognition platform. You will be able to make adjustments easily to ensure alignment as budgets, goals, etc. get changed over time.

Appreciating Employees Publicly

We have already talked about social recognition, and social media recognition too. Social media recognition through the company-wide newsfeed in real-time helps everyone know about the contribution of an employee, and the employee gets a significant and unique spotlight. Everyone can actively engage there.

Apart from that, highlighting an employee’s achievements in meetings, sending out announcements through emails, giving a place in the wall of fame, and announcing on the company website can also do the trick. This can create a collective spirit of success and optimism among your employees.

Recognizing Personal Achievements

You can encourage frequent recognition and appreciation for the personal achievements of the employees, doesn’t matter if it’s on or off the job. These can include completing a task, reaching a new goal, hitting a new quota, learning a new skill, etc. Think about the things that your employees strive for, and incorporate appreciation based on that for exceptional achievements, and also everyday tasks that bring in results.

Celebrating Important Milestones

Celebrating important milestones of your employees is a meaningful and effective way of demonstrating appreciation for the loyalty of your employees. Work anniversaries are one of the important milestones that can be celebrated to give an employee the proper recognition they deserve. Celebrating work anniversaries also means celebrating years of experiences, memories, and relationships of an employee. You can provide them with a personal and intriguing gift on the occasion. Also, including a personalized note of recognition with the gift can make the occasion more memorable.

Incentivizing Professional Growth

It is important to let your employees know that the company acknowledges and appreciates the professional excellence they have. You can provide them with new career opportunities for doing that. You can also provide them with new responsibilities to reward them, or provide them with autonomy. This encourages employees to learn continuously, and grow over time with the company. It will also mean you are invested in the success of your team.

Rewarding Employees with Quality Swag

Swag or corporate gifts holding the company logo are a great way of providing recognition. This will also promote your brand. You need to be modern and updated in providing company swag, as outdated swag can show that you are disconnected from your employees. You can easily provide water bottles, fitness gear, or tech accessories with your company logo to your employees. These things have really high value among the people these days. Make sure that the product is of good quality before rewarding your employees with that.

Providing Treats and Gifts to Show Gratitude

You can surprise your employees with simple gifts occasionally to show your gratitude towards them for their good work. You can also treat them with lunch or evening snacks to make them feel recognized and appreciated for their hard work. This can also work as a nice and fun time for both, and can be a good way to share personal knowledge and experiences with your employees.

Passing Around A Moving Trophy

It can seem a bit old school, but passing around moving recognition trophies can still be a great way to enhance the spirit of your employees and encourage the right kind of behavior. From peer nominations to business metrics, the trophy can be anything. Select a trophy that goes best with your workplace culture, and based on that, make sure to determine how often you will award teams or individuals with this trophy.

Empowering Employees

You can empower your employees by giving them a much bigger role for a day, or even make them the ‘boss’ for the day. You won’t only demonstrate your trust in them with this, it will also work as an investment in long-term career opportunities for them. It will also help them get a different perspective of the business. They will also gain appreciation and respect for the critical role the leadership has to play on a daily basis. Make sure to ensure others that it is temporary to avoid any type of confusion.

Sending Notes of Thanks

One of the most valued and popular employee rewards are simple “thank you” notes, no matter if it’s handwritten or digital. About 85 percent of professional employees want to be thanked and validated on a regular basis. It can be for anything, like doing the job well, staying late, going the extra mile, volunteering for something, or being a good team player. A simple thank you note can be really meaningful and valuable for demonstrating personal relations with the employees. Recognize their efforts in those notes, and express your gratitude and how you feel clearly in them.

Peer to Peer Recognition

It holds a unique value if someone gets appreciated by their peers. Sometimes peers know more about the efforts of certain employees than the managers or higher-ups. They often get to acknowledge the qualities that the higher-ups might overlook. They also form a stronger bond.

To make your workplace radiate positive vibes, healthy and proper peer-to-peer recognition is necessary. This can be easily done by conducting different surveys among employees and recognizing the employees that get the most votes.

Sending Them Gift Cards

Employee Recognition & Rewards: Gift cards can work as really surprising and warm gifts for anyone, and you can surely give them to your employees to show your gratitude and appreciation. If they show good performance at the office, you can simply send them gift cards of various products or services. It can be way better if you know about their favorite clothing brand or restaurant, or something else, and send gift cards of that to them. It’s better than cash at times, as it will help them get their favorite things without being guilty about spending money. A thoughtful and relevant gift card can create a lasting warmth and good feeling in someone’s mind.

Final Words

Employee Recognition & Rewards: To keep your workplace running, and keep your business booming, it is paramount that you build a good relationship with your employees. Also, it is really important to keep them happy. You need to keep the hunger to do even better than what they are doing alive in them. Nothing helps more to do these things than providing your employees with the recognition and rewards they deserve. So, make sure to implement a proper recognition and rewarding system in your office for the sake of your own business.

Chris Samson: