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Effective Ways to Reward Your Employees and Create a Culture of Recognition

Effective Ways to Reward Your Employees and Create a Culture of Recognition


When building a successful business, few things are as important as having a motivated and engaged workforce. However, developing a great team that loves what they do doesn’t just happen automatically – it takes a conscientious approach to ensuring they feel valued and appreciated daily.

Fortunately, businesses can reward and incentivize their employees in several ways while creating a positive company culture that attracts and retains top talent. 

The Importance of Employee Recognition

Employee recognition is something that all businesses should strive to improve on. However, while regularly showing appreciation for your staff is often self-rewarding, many benefits come with it.

Psychological Impact on Employees

When someone feels acknowledged for their work, it creates a powerful psychological trigger that can impact their emotional state. For employees, regular recognition helps to validate the efforts they’re putting in and makes them more likely to enjoy what they do. 

Much of this reaction has to do with dopamine released when someone feels excited about something they see or hear. Employers can directly contribute to this chemical reaction by creating and following through with employee recognition programs.

Performance Improvements

Building a workforce that strives to improve its performance takes time and patience. However, when employers prioritize recognition programs for their employees, they often see a much more significant return on their investments in increased productivity and efficiency.

When employees feel appreciated for their efforts, they are much more likely to continue their contributions, and even increase them. This may include going beyond their job description, giving them more joy in assisting an organization that doesn’t just view them as another number.

Better Staff Acquisition and Retention

Finding quality talent today is much more difficult for businesses than it used to be. With \ competition in the job market and more companies offering flexible working arrangements, it can be challenging to make a brand stand out for potential job candidates. 

When an organization makes it known how it appreciates its staff through rewards or incentives, it can quickly create highly effective word-of-mouth referrals for new job candidates brought in by current staff members. This can be highly advantageous for businesses as it budgets considerable costs incurred during lengthy hiring processes and employees likely to be with the company for the long haul.

Effective Options for Recognizing Your Employees Regularly

The great thing about creating a rewards program for your employees is that they don’t need to be lavish or a significant business expense. The important thing is that an organization remains consistent and authentic in its approach.

Below are some effective options you can choose to show your appreciation for your employees regularly:

Themed Gift Cards

Offering gift cards to employees for several reasons can be a great way to show your appreciation while allowing them to be rewarded in ways that matter most to them. 

The great thing about gift cards is that there are nearly limitless ways to personalize a reward with themes ranging from dinner night outs to shopping sprees and gas cards.

Experience Auctions

Arranging an employee auction is another fun way to show appreciation for employees. Rather than giving a gift directly to an individual, organizations can hold many experience auctions throughout the year during company events or special functions that give employees the chance to win a great experience for significant savings. 

These could include everything from cooking classes to vacation rentals. This is a great way to bring everyone together and can even be used to help support fundraising initiatives. 

Office Concierge Services

Another trend that many more companies are starting to take advantage of is offering office concierge services to employees for special milestones or when offering rewards for their performance. With the growth of gig economy services, there are many different office concierge options for companies and their employees.

When offering a concierge option for employees, you could gift them dry cleaning pickup or deliveries, grocery services, or even car wash vouchers. There are many options to choose from when gifting these types of services, and they can be a valuable reward that employees appreciate.

Incentive Pay

Of course, one of the most effective ways to show your employees you appreciate their efforts is to offer incentive pay. There are many different ways incentive pay can be formatted into an employee’s compensation package, including potential bonuses associated with their performance.

Organizations can also consider creating profit-sharing programs that reward all employees when the business hits certain milestones, ensuring everyone receives equal level of appreciation throughout the year. Personalized Care Packages

While any type of reward you offer employees can be a great way to show appreciation for their hard work throughout the year, personalized rewards can often have the greatest impact. You can show your employees how much you care by sending them a highly personalized care package that includes a variety of goodies.

Adding a personalized note to the gift is another way to add a special touch to your reward that shows the employee you truly appreciate them and have taken the time to think about their interests. 

Additional Time Off (PTO)

Rewarding your employees doesn’t necessarily need to have a dollar value associated with it. Sometimes, just giving your staff some additional paid time off can be a great way to reward them for a job well done.

Giving your employees additional time off does much more than just allow them to sleep in a couple extra days a year. It proves to your staff that their physical and mental well-being is something that the business prioritizes. 

Showing that you value everyone to have additional time off when they need it helps to create a better work-life balance in the workplace and leads to a more positive company culture.

Flexible Working Arrangements

Whether offered as a temporary reward or a long-term shift to your organizational structure, offering flexible working arrangements to employees can be considered a highly valuable reward for both current and new employees.

Having the flexibility to work from home all or part of the time can be a great benefit for employees. Not only does it show that you trust your employees to stay professional when management is not around, but it can also save them hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars a year in gas and car insurance costs.

Private Lunches

Another great way to let your employees know how much you appreciate them is by telling them directly. Taking an employee on a private lunch to a nice restaurant allows you to have one-on-one time with them to let them know how well they’ve been performing and that you value their business contributions. 

Show Your Employees How Important They Are

Your employees are the lifeblood of your organization, and you must treat them as such. By looking for ways to show you appreciation and providing rewards that resonate with them, you’ll show them how important they really are and contribute to a great company culture. 

Author Name: Cindy Mielke

Author bio: Cindy is passionate about the incentive industry. In addition to her role as Vice President of Strategic Partners here at Tango, she is a Certified Professional of Incentive Management who proudly serves on two industry boards. When she’s not working, Cindy enjoys spending time with her family—including three cats, two dogs, and a horse—and sharing her love of nature as a Nebraska Master Naturalist.

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