Employee Rewards And Recognitions

Employee rewards and recognitions come in many forms and are employed to various degrees of success.

When implemented well, employee rewards can increase productivity, foster a culture of appreciation and inclusivity, and improve employee retention.

When implemented badly, employee rewards and recognition can be a waste of money or a breeding ground for contempt and jealousy.

In this blog, we will look at how rewards can help your business, some drawbacks, and how to implement them properly. We are not going to look at benefits, which would be the non-monetary things you offer to all employees, such as free glasses or Flexi-working.

What Are Employee Rewards?

Employee rewards are perks that reward an individual or team for a certain set of behaviours. It could be achieving targets, completing a project or even having a good attitude.

image of neon signs saying thank you for blog by Metis HR on employee rewards

They are separate to the salary (base pay) and other benefits, like extra holiday days or free parking. 

They are typically total rewards and help to improve the overall enjoyment of the employee whilst at work. Strategic rewards can also be used to help the business (and its staff) achieve objectives.

Examples of employee rewards include:

  • Vouchers
  • Certificates or a special mention
  • A gift, such as alcohol, a book, or chocolates
  • A trip or holiday, either together or for an individual
  • Themed lunch
  • Discounted services or vouchers
  • Boxes of goodies, treat food or drink for the office to share

What Are The Benefits Of Employee Rewards?

Showing appreciation boosts productivity. According to Social Cast, 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were more appreciated.

Recognition for a job well done isn’t the only way to improve productivity. The right employee rewards, such as gym membership and bonus time off, can help employee wellbeing, making staff more alert, happier at work, and less prone to sickness.

Employee rewards can also help you recruit the best talent. According to this report, 49% of surveyed people said they would reconsider applying for a job based on the benefits package.

66% of people said they feel the benefits and rewards on offer are just as important as the salary.

How Much Should I Spend On Employee Rewards?

You don’t have to spend anything! As this article points out, inviting your team to a one on one meeting to thank them for a job well done.  

image of a gift being wrapped for blog by Metis HR on employee rewards

Or, if you want to give something physical, a small token gesture (it used to be a chocolate bar) will usually be appreciated. What matters isn’t how much you spend, but how genuine and heartfelt the sentiment is.

However, there is the potential to go big if you want to.  Some employee reward schemes allow you to buy a holistic rewards package that offer health and fitness incentives, as well as discounts.

Some business that are focused on sales activity, for example, offer very large incentives, like holidays. These obviously pay off, as employees sell more in order to win. Whether these can be considered prizes or rewards is probably debatable.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Staff Rewards?

Effective employee rewards are all about strategy and planning, as with most things in business.

Planning when someone will receive a reward and for what behaviour or accomplishment is important. Rewarding people haphazardly can have negative consequences.

It can breed a sense of entitlement amongst the staff if they start to feel the rewards have become part of their benefits packages. Not knowing why they have been rewarded could lead some into thinking that.

Seeing colleagues who have no obvious reason to be rewarded, or always rewarding one team over another, can lead to contempt and jealousy amongst the staff. This can often be the case where the sales teams have incentives to hit targets to earn rewards but no other team has the opportunity.

Rewards can quickly become expensive and not a very good return on your investment. Using rewards to help your business grow, retain or recruit great staff, or increase productivity offers a good return on the cost of the rewards. But without proper planning and strategy you could be rewarding staff with no outcome in mind and racking up expenses.

Choosing the wrong reward can be damaging too. A bottle of wine for someone who does not drink could be insulting if they abstain for spiritual or moral reasons. A gym membership for someone who is very overweight could cause offence. Be sure the rewards are tailored to the receiver.

image of trophy on a yellow background for blog by Metis HR on employee rewards

How To Do Employee Rewards Right

Follow this simple process to ensure your rewards system is effective.

  • Use your internal or outsourced HR function to help you draw up targets for staff to work towards
  • Align the targets with the business objectives
  • Make sure the targets are wholly within the control of the person, rather than dependent on another person’s actions (or lack thereof!)
  • Tailor the reward to the staff member and your sector norms
  • Set out clear expectations, timeframes, and goals and make them SMART
  • Review progress at interim or annual appraisals
  • Provide ad hoc rewards for unexpected or unplanned success

The Takeaway

Employees get paid and some people think that is reward enough for doing their job but all the statistics point to employee rewards benefiting the business.

If you would like to offer employee rewards but want to make them effective, efficient, and strategic, get in touch with us.

Call us on 01706 565 332 or email info@metishr.co.uk . We help businesses achieve their goals by effective management of its people.

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If you want to learn more about the content covered in this post, please get in touch.

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