Eight innovative ways to recognize and reward employees

recognize and reward employees

As companies respond to the changing demands and desires of today’s workforce in an effort to retain their top talent, one of the key areas that they’re paying attention to is how to recognize and reward employees.

And understandably so. It’s a highly competitive market when it comes to employee retention, so companies want to do their best to prevent attrition.

Not too long ago, we had a look at whether job perks really attract and retain employees, and explored some of the perks that tend to pique today’s employees’ interest (think: personalized rewards that are appropriate to their circumstances, their age, and their quality of life).

Now, let’s take a closer look at some innovative ways to recognize and reward employees at your organization.

Three motivating ways to recognize your employees

1. Show gratitude when employees do something great

It’s so simple – and, what better way to show your employees that you acknowledge and value their efforts than by expressing gratitude? When someone does an excellent job, goes the extra mile, comes up with an innovative idea (you get the picture), express your thanks and gratitude. Be sincere (in other words, don’t overdo it for the sake of it) and be specific about the recognition that you give so that employees know what they’re doing well, and can continue on the right track, feeling motivated and engaged.

FOR MORE: Gratitude in the workplace impacts productivity and retention

2. Offer your employees real-time feedback

Let employees know that they’ve performed well in the moment. Don’t wait to tell them that you appreciate what they’ve done as delaying gratitude may make it seem insincere, or like an afterthought. By introducing a culture of real-time feedback at your company, you’ll be able to enhance channels of communication, improve relationships, keep motivation high, and support excellent performance (thanks to ongoing feedback, guidance and – where necessary – course correction).

FOR MORE: What is real-time feedback?

3. Host an awards event to celebrate employees’ contributions and successes

This is a fun and motivating way to keep employees engaged, and to give them something to work towards. Hosting an awards ceremony of sorts will display the value you place in your employees, and will definitely make them feel recognized and appreciated. It’s a way to highlight individuals’ strengths and accomplishments, and to celebrate the collective achievements made as a company.

Five innovative ways to reward your employees

1. Up the autonomy you allow employees

Rewards don’t need to cost your organization a fortune. Something as straightforward as allowing your high performers additional autonomy can be seen as a reward in and of itself. Today’s employees seek jobs where they’re able to enjoy a level of autonomy, but taking it up a notch for those who have earned it is a way to show your employees that you trust them and are happy with their performance. This might include giving them the opportunity to work on an internal gig that they’re keen to be involved with, or giving them additional flexibility as we’ll talk about next.

2. Let employees manage their own schedules with flextime

If your company doesn’t already offer employees the freedom to work flexible hours, this is one reward that will no doubt be appreciated. The flexibility to manage one’s own schedule, and to work from home every so often, is highly sought after by today’s employees. This is another cost-effective way of rewarding your workforce.

3. Reward high performers with additional vacation time

Another way to reward your top talent with more flexibility is by giving them additional paid vacation time. This may be a better option if you aren’t able to offer your employees flexible work hours. While this reward might be well received at first, it’s important for managers to ensure that employees actually take the time off to enjoy this benefit that they’ve earned.

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4. Make room for downtime

Acknowledging the need for work-life balance is an important aspect of showing your employees that you appreciate what they contribute towards your organization. This might mean introducing social events where you get employees out of the office for a change of scenery, or introducing a physical space in the office where employees can take a break, unwind, and enjoy a moment away from their desks.

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5. Look after your employees with wellness initiatives

Supporting your employees in their quest to live a healthy lifestyle not only boosts morale, but it also means that they’ll be better equipped, physically and emotionally, to continue performing well and adding value to your organization. You can ‘give back’ to your employees by helping them take care of their physical, mental, and financial health.

FOR MORE: How to enhance employee wellbeing to avoid attrition

Recognize and reward employees as part of the bigger HR picture

Remember, while it’s important to recognize and reward employees, these gestures need to be woven into a more comprehensive talent management and retention strategy to effectively keep employees engaged, motivated, and performing at their best.

Talk to us today to find out how our tools can help you manage your top talent and boost employee retention.

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