The Employee Engagement Blog

The Employee Engagement Blog

Don’t Just Give Any Old Reward, Give Employee Rewards with Meaning

Posted by Stephen Spiegel on Nov 20, 2019 9:50:00 AM

employee-rewards

Once more with feeling

Employee rewards aren’t something new. Employers have been giving gifts and rewards to great employees for ages, but what do they give? Company swag, a plaque, a time of service award. Most rewards are branded and seem more like a promotional stunt than an actual reward as if employees were walking billboards branded for your company.

While rewards are nice, and even encouraged for employee retention and engagement, they mean nothing if they don’t resonate with your employee. You’re rewarding your employees for a job well done, and if you do it wrong, it will feel more like a slight to their character than a reward. If you do it right, that creates amazing company culture.

Key takeaways:

  • Rewards boost your company culture
  • Rewards encourage other employees to do better
  • Rewards mean more when employees have input on them
  • Rewards that scale with the task encourage better work for better rewards

Why the right incentive matters

Think back to a time when you were recognized for something. How did it make you feel? Were you expecting the accolades or a reward? We all love to be recognized, even if we say we don’t. It makes us feel special, and it makes us feel validated for what we’ve accomplished. It shows us that we matter and that we’ve made a good choice and had a positive impact on something.

That’s how it makes your employees feel. Their hard work doesn’t go by without recognition or as if going above and beyond is expected of them. It also shows other employees that if they do great work as well, then they can get incentives. It’s called positive reinforcement. We can talk until we’re blue in the face about how recognition matters whether the words of encouragement are coming from the boss or co-workers, but when it comes down to it, incentives make employees feel appreciated and lights a fire under company culture.

How do you give the right incentives?

You may think you know what your employees want, but you’re probably wrong. Unless you have a really close relationship with all of them, you’re going to fall short of the mark. Why don’t you ask your employees themselves? Don’t let cash be an option because there are so many ways money can be lost or misplaced. Once they’ve all answered, make sure to keep every response, so you have a reference when any given employee performs tremendously well.

  • Give them options: Even if you’ve surveyed all your employees and you think you know which gift is just right for the specific employee, give them choices from a couple options. This makes them part of the process and makes the reward even more special.
  • Make the gift equal to the task: Not every job well done is going to merit a lavish award, and sometimes a really great job deserves more than a book. Gauge the importance of the task completed, and choose a gift that you feel has as much emotional impact as the task had on the company.
  • Make the presentation part of the reward: Don’t simply set the gift on their desk for them to find when they come into work. Make sure you present the reward at a meeting or even have a special meeting. Say a few words about why the reward is being given and take time to celebrate the accomplishment and what it means to the company.
  • Mean it when you thank them: Thank you is often an empty sentiment because we say it so often. Make sure when you thank your employees, you mean it. Look them in the eyes, don’t be distracted, and make sure you reiterate why you’re thanking them and what they did means to the company as a whole.

At CrewHu, we believe in making rewards achievable, scaled to task, and just what employees want. By working with a point system, employees can complete tasks and receive points toward a reward of their choosing. This way they’re always working at their best and working toward something that truly holds meaning to them! See how our rewards system can take your company culture to the next level!

Topics: employee recognition, employee engagement, recognition award, employee retention, employee satisfaction, employee appreciation, employee loyalty, employee reinforcement, performance