Employee Reward & Recognition Ideas, Tips and Tricks to motivate your Employees in 2023 (Updated)

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Employee Reward & Recognition

If you are an employer, you need to pull your chair a little bit closer. This article is a must-read for you.

Do you know that up to 79% of employees leave because of lack of recognition? Yes, a simple remark like a good job or well done, can make a big difference.

82% of employees feel that their superiors do not recognize what they do. 60% would rather settle for recognition as a motivational factor than money.

You see, human beings are not as complicated as many people would like to believe. Think about how warm you feel when someone says a simple thank you. Two words that mean so much, and, yet so simple to say.

But, do you know why many companies struggle with recognizing hard-working employees? Well, there is the mentality that they are paying you to do the job. So, you are doing your part to fulfill the terms of the agreement. 

Others feel that it could lead to performance-based on recognition. Think about it much as you would with over-praising a child. They will only do well as long as you are around to appreciate them. 

But, successful companies have rewards and recognition programs worth emulating. We will share some you can put in place in 2022 and beyond.

1. It’s the Small Things That Matter

In implementing rewards and recognition programs, get the small things right. You’re dealing with two aspects here. 

A reward is tangible and could include things like financial gifts. Recognition is intangible. But, it leaves a lasting impression that will stay for years.

Take note of some things around you. How is the work environment? Does your company have an open-door policy that allows for open communication? 

Do you have special provisions for new mothers or people with disabilities? Does the hiring process ensure inclusivity and diversity? 

Have you equipped your employees with everything they need to do the job well? When they go out there, do they exude professionalism?

Imagine presenting a company employee with an award or recognition certificate. Presentation is key and there are a number of ways to go about ensuring that your packaging complements it. 

The simplest way is to print a standard certificate folder because they can be used for other business purposes aside from employee recognition. But, if you want to go the extra mile, you can purchase a nice-looking frame so that your receiver can display it on the wall or shelf.

2. Understand the Importance of Rewards and Recognition Programs

Building a company is an investment that takes time, money, and patience. Finding the right talent is a difficult and resource-heavy process. So, once you have them on board, you must do everything to keep them.

According to a Deloitte study, a company achieves 14% higher performance, productivity, and engagement with recognition programs.

But, the challenge is most companies focus on financial recognition. Yet, what employees want are support, leadership, and recognition.

Employers must see rewards and recognition programs in a holistic manner. That means aligning such with company culture, goals, and management processes.

3. Include Employees in Designing Rewards and Recognition Programs

A major reason why rewards and recognition programs may not work is quite simple. The management decides what they think the employees will appreciate.

Getting employee input can drive up engagement and impact. They may, for example, want less formal work settings. Introducing a gaming or relaxation room could be all they need. 

Nursing mothers will appreciate a hygienic space to express and store breast milk. A creche will remove the worry and expense of daycare.

How about peer-to-peer recognition programs? It gives employees a little more control or say in the process. Appreciation or praise from those you work with day to day may be more impactful. 

4. Avoid Run of the Mill Programs With Personalization Techniques

2022 will be a year to expand thinking with regards to recognition and rewards programs. Management will have to be more creative in what they offer employees.

Understanding the demographics within the organization, for instance, is critical. The way you speak with millennials is different from how you would with older people.

Young people are impatient, need more positive feedback, and are digital-savvy. For them, things like gamification platforms, mobile apps, and video content work. Such will increase engagement and interest. 

Gen Z is also less likely to do well in rigid settings with too many controls. Greater emphasis must go into designing programs that fit the different demographics.

The one-fits-all, run-of-the-mill programs are a thing of the past. There are tons of fantastic options to include. 

An employee may, for instance, appreciate a training and development program. It will have more impact than a cash incentive.

5. Recognition and Rewards Should Not Have a Timeline

The more traditional companies will schedule recognitions and rewards ceremonies to specific times. For many, the best time to recognize employees is at an end-of-year event in December.

Yes, the team must wait a whole year before receiving a thank you from the bosses. But, 2022 should be a year to break this tradition. Recognition must be an ongoing, informal process.

Technology provides a fantastic way to implement this. A word of praise for good performance on the office intranet is a good example. Sharing testimonials or reviews from happy customers is another.

HR must also be more cognizant of who gets rewards.Take the example of a strong performance by the sales team. In many organizations, the sales manager takes home the reward. Yet, the truth is he had a whole team behind him. 

A team that makes the achievement possible, equipping the sales head with away to recognize and reward the specific members, is key. 

Final Thoughts 

As we go into 2022, companies must reinvent their rewards and recognition programs. It is no longer about financial incentives only. There is a need for greater innovation, creativity, and care when designing programs.

Start with a better understanding of your team members. Focus on factors that create a good work environment. 

Recognition programs should be ongoing. They must address everyone who contributes to the success of the company. 

Indeed, it is time to do away with outdated recognition and reward programs.