Creative Rewards for Employees: A Guide

Ian Edwards
November 22, 2020

It’s how people feel that drives the motivation deep within them. Studies show a company culture that values promoting positive emotions is more likely to result in higher employee engagement, motivation, and retention.

Ultimately, a leader’s role is to inspire and motivate employees to do their best. To achieve this goal, they must create a learning and development environment that encourages trust and growth. One way to do this is through creative rewards and incentives that show appreciation and value.

As a leading provider in gamification services, employee engagement and retention is our strong suit. Check out our employee engagement programs here. Otherwise, let’s get cracking with the top 13 reasons to reward employees. 

Reasons for Rewarding Employees

As incentives go, rewarding employees is one of the most effective ways to increase employee satisfaction. The fact you take time to recognize your employees’ achievements is in itself a powerful motivator, helping to foster engagement and increase productivity. 

Benefits of rewarding employees 

A happier workplace

51 % of workers say they aren’t happy at work. Rewards, even small ones like thank you notes, give people a sense of pride, not only in themselves but in working for their organization. To help employees feel good about what they do, leaders should be sure to recognize and reward effort, not just success.

Personal connection

Rewarding employee efforts creates an essential bond between leadership and staff. This bond is crucial to building a healthy and positive work environment where employees feel empowered to freely communicate their feelings and needs.

Increased collaboration

Peer recognition goes a long way in boosting personal and company-wide pride. It also establishes camaraderie between colleagues and increases teamwork.

Greater loyalty

Employee recognition has been shown to increase loyalty and boost retention rates. When employees are engaged with your business, they’re more likely to promote and sell your brand. Rewarding hard work and effort generates loyalty and helps employees feel an emotional bond with your organization.

Top Tip: Download our handy infographic on how to make employees feel valued 

Higher engagement

We talk a lot about how important it is to focus on employee engagement and there’s a reason for that. Engaged employees are more productive, have higher job satisfaction, and inspire others to also be engaged. They also transfer their joy in what they do to your customers which results in better customer experiences and loyalty. Predefined workplace incentives inspire employees to achieve goals to get the rewards. So simple, yet so effective.

Workplace bliss

We’ve come a long way from the days when workplaces followed strict rules and time schedules. But there’s still lots that can be done. Spending just a little bit of time a day-even 10 minutes-recognizing employees makes for a more relaxed, calm environment where people feel free to let down their guard. Taking steps to vanquish workplace tension is a great way to inspire and motivate employees to achieve their goals.

How Do You Reward and Recognize Employees?  

Now that we understand why finding opportunities to have fun can have a positive impact on the employee experience, it’s time to talk about the how. There are as many types of employee rewards as there are employees. It’s important to tailor your rewards program to your company culture and employee needs. From cash to gifts and experiences, here are just some of our favorite employee reward ideas.

Vouchers

There are dozens of vouchers employees would be thrilled to receive. Personal training, spa sessions, weekend getaways, salon services, and more are all ways to show you value not just what an employee brings to their work but who they are as a person.

Gift cards

Gift card employee rewards are still one of the most impactful types of employee recognition. Gift cards from retailers that employees are aware of and shop from have been shown to engage and motivate employees and make them feel appreciated.

Plants

Who knew? British and Dutch researchers discovered that having office plants created a better work environment. How does greenery make people feel good about themselves? One theory is plants increase engagement and make people more emotionally involved in their work. Just be sure to choose a species that doesn’t require a lot of light or effort to keep alive!

Books

There are a lot of bookworms out there. For them, physical or digital books are always a welcome recognition. For larger rewards you can give a year’s subscription to a book of the month service.

Tech Accessories

Headphones, speakers, and smart watches are some of the hottest rewards out there and can instill seriously fun competition in your teams.

Volunteer Day

Most employees have a favorite charity or non-profit they support. A day off to volunteer or a contribution in their name recognizes a cause near and dear to an employee’s heart.

Camp Out in the Corner Office

Ceding your office for a day to an employee is a sign of respect and accomplishment. Not only does it show you recognize their achievement, it also says you see them as leadership material.

Dine with the Boss

Breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, access to leadership on a one-to-one basis can increase loyalty and make an employee feel their ideas and opinions are valued. For managers, it’s a great way to connect with employees they might not normally be able to.

Virtual Recognition

With many employees still working remotely, rewards like home delivery, eCards, and virtual recognition events help to keep employees feel like they’re connected.

Free Lunch

Whether it’s to reward an individual or a team effort, everyone loves free food! Of course, winners get to choose the cuisine.

Time Off

More than just a little R&R, giving an employee a day off indicates you care about an employee's work-life balance. In many ways, rewarding employees with time off has far more worth than the monetary value of a paid day.

Press Coverage

Write a website or newsletter feature about an employee’s or team’s accomplishments. Promote it on social media and if it’s noteworthy to the community, have it covered in the local press.

Cash

Yes, there are still times when cold hard cash is a much welcome reward for a job well done. A way to make cash rewards more collaborative is to establish a “piggy bank” that’s filled over time. When it’s full, the winning team gets to split it.

Gamification and Employee Rewards

The bottom line here is that while employee of the month awards can still be nice to receive, they’re not immediate and don’t reward the daily or weekly accomplishments employees achieve. Effective recognition is all about timing. When you reward employees often you guarantee the behaviors that earned the reward will be repeated.

Done right, employee recognition programs can have a huge impact on your organization’s success. 

About BeeLiked

BeeLiked believes gamification is a great way to boost employee engagement and that employee recognition through gamification goes a long way in making sure employees are getting the rewards that best inspire and motivate them.

Employee engagement and gamification can be the key to a happier workforce you’ve been looking for. BeeLiked’s fully customizable gamification solutions are a terrific way for your organization to creatively recognize employees for their efforts in helping your company reach its goals. We’d love to help you inspire and motivate your employees with our unique platform and various gamification services. Get in touch with us today to set up a no-obligation discovery call and to learn more.

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