rewarding employees

Give Your Employees the Gold Star They Deserve

Laura T
Laura T

Ben thought he had landed his dream job. He was a talented marketer working at a well-established company, with a decent salary, in his favorite city. He got along with his co-workers, and he felt proud of his work. But Ben wasn’t satisfied— he had been generating great content that was driving a lot of traffic and sign ups, without even a whisper of recognition by management. Additionally, the company culture was weak—rewards and recognition were lacking everywhere. As someone who really thrived when his work was validated, he began to lose motivation. Ben began to wonder if he was doing anything worthy at all. Eventually, word came of another job where the team culture was more inviting, and Ben took it. The managers were left scratching their heads and without their best marketer.

Don’t want to lose your Ben? Consider re-evaluating your employee rewards system.

Quick Overview of Employee Rewards:

Your company likely has a variety of rewards— discretionary (awards based on a company’s discretion) and non-discretionary (awards based on a predetermined contract). You also probably have rewards sorted into categories such as compensation and benefits, appreciation, recognition, and work-life balance. 

Why Should My Company Care About Employee Rewards?

Well, for starters, you likely want to keep your employees—turnover is never fun, and it is very expensive. Employee engagement has been rising recently, and the main reasons are not only due to increased benefits and perks but also because employees enjoy the feeling of satisfaction they get when their employer recognizes their achievements and because boss-employee relationships are improving. Revamping your employee rewards and recognition systems is an excellent way to remind your employees that you care and value their work—and in turn, that may make them more productive and better workers, which is essential for company success.

Start Testing Some Ideas

The best way to get employee rewards up and running is to test ideas out. Have multiple brainstorming sessions with managers and supervisors to generate some ideas. Survey how the company responds to free lunch Fridays, personalized thank you notes, time off incentives, etc. This way, you can see what kinds of rewards your employees truly value, which could differ by the employee. This process will take time, but be patient and open to suggestions. 

Remember: Reward Outcomes, but Also Hard Work

For some teams (like the sales team), their goals are pretty clear cut. However, for others, there might not always be a target goal, but it’s clear when they are producing quality work. That’s why it’s essential to reward a hardworking employee. Sometimes an employee does everything right, and something falls apart on the other end—but they should still be rewarded for their excellent work, so they don’t feel discouraged and potentially slip into a rut. Additionally, rewarding an employee for something non-work related is always a great idea. For example—little rewards for being a good teammate, a detailed worker, etc. 

Individualize Rewards

Some employees may love having a shoutout in front of the company at the weekly meeting. Some employees may find that terrifying and prefer a note left on their desk, or a LinkedIn shoutout. Some teams may love a free-lunch Friday, while others prefer a little extra PTO. Be sure to individualize your rewards for each employee and team, which can be done by trial and error. 

When Money Isn’t In The Picture

One of the most significant rewards is a raise or a promotion. But if that isn’t in the short-term plans, be sure to supplement with verbal recommendations, written thank you notes, gift cards, time-off, more flexibility with work from home, etc. Just remember that those aren’t substitutes for a well-deserved bonus, raise, or promotion. 

Clarify and Promote Your Rewards Program

Now that you have tested some ideas and saw what your employees have responded best to, put your new employee rewards program to work. Have all managers and supervisors on board and ready to execute. Communicate clearly what new rewards have been put in place in an easy way (not in a 50-page guide sent out on Friday at 4:30 PM). Keep up with your rewards and be consistent. Some awards may be more constant, clear, and regulated, such as “If team X meets Y goal, they get an extra day of PTO.” Some rewards may be more sporadic, such as managers promising to start doing verbal shoutouts and individualized thank you notes when an employee’s impressive work calls for it. Have a way of measuring success to ensure that you are following your plan consistently.  

At some point, the economy is going to bounce back and the market will get competitive again. Unless you want to lose out on the Ben for your company, consider re-evaluating and revamping your rewards program. Your employees have proven to be resilient throughout this unprecedented pandemic- show them a little TLC with some new rewards. 

Peoplelogic can help let you know if your employees are engaged or if things are slipping through the cracks. The platform gives leaders actionable recommendations and insights that help spot and correct problems on their teams, and between the other teams they work with, before your company misses its goals. Get started for free.

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