5+ Types of Rewards and Recognition for Employees [2023 Guide]

January 20, 2023
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One of the best ways to show appreciation for the hard work of your employees is by providing them with rewards and recognition. From gift cards to additional days off, there are plenty of types of rewards and recognition for employees in your company. The most popular types of rewards and recognition for employees include verbal praise, small treats and gifts, bonuses, extra vacation days, and professional development opportunities. Here are some ideas:

  • Verbal praise can go a long way in terms of letting an employee know they’re appreciated.
  • Treats or gifts such as a meal out or movie tickets are small but meaningful gestures that show you care.
  • Bonuses can be monetary or non-monetary depending on the type of employee recognition desired.
  • Extra vacation time gives an employee much-needed recuperation time and shows that they have earned it through their hard work.
  • Finally, professional development opportunities are a great employee reward

Employee recognition programs don’t have to be costly; instead, it is more important to be thoughtful about how the rewards will be most valued by the employee. In order to get the most bang for your buck, it's important to choose the right type of reward for each situation.

5 types of rewards and recognition for employees

  1. Financial rewards - bonuses, raises, etc.

A monetary reward is one of the most popular forms of formal employee recognition. They can be used to recognize outstanding performance, encourage team collaboration, or show appreciation for good work. Monetary rewards can take many different forms, including bonuses, salary increases, stock options, and more. Financial benefits provide a tangible reward to employees in terms of increased income or wealth-building opportunities. They also serve as formal recognition that their work is valued by the organization.

  1. Non-financial rewards - paid time off, company car, etc.

Non-financial rewards are an important part of any employee recognition program. These types of appreciation rewards provide a variety of employee benefits, such as paid time off, company cars, flexible schedules, and more. Non-financial rewards can be used to recognize employees accomplishments, show appreciation for great work, or simply for rewarding employees who have gone above and beyond their duties.

  1. Public recognition - awards, plaques, etc.

Social recognition helps to create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. Public recognition ideas can take many forms, such as awards, plaques, certificates, or even verbal praise in front of colleagues or superiors. Public recognition acknowledges the hard work and dedication of individual employees or teams. It also encourages them to continue striving for excellence in all areas of their job performance. In addition, it also serves as a way for employers to show their commitment to recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance from their staff members.

  1. Private recognition - handwritten notes, private conversations, etc.

Private recognition serves to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of individual employees or teams in a more intimate manner. This informal recognition helps to create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and appreciated for their contributions, without the pressure of public attention. Private recognition can take many forms, such as handwritten notes, private conversations with the human resource department, small tokens of appreciation, or even verbal praise in private settings.

  1. Experiential rewards - tickets to events, trips, etc.

Experiential rewards provide employees with opportunities to enjoy experiences that they may not otherwise have access to, such as tickets to events, trips, or other special activities. Experiential rewards serve a dual purpose: firstly, they give employees something extra to look forward to; secondly, they can be used as incentives for achieving certain goals or milestones. By providing experiential rewards for their staff members, employers demonstrate their commitment to recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance from their team and also reinforce company culture.

Tips for choosing the best types of rewards and recognition for employees

Choosing the right rewards program for employees can be a daunting task. There are lots of different options to consider. It's important to remember that one type of employee engagement strategy won't work for every staff member, so considering individual interests, motivating factors, job objectives, and community culture is essential.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting the best employee recognition idea:

  • Focus on team achievements as well as individual accomplishments
  • Use both tangible and intangible awards to show employee appreciation
  • Utilizing social media for structured recognition
  • Create peer recognition by allowing for nominations from fellow teammates
  • Relying on cost-effective solutions such as gift cards

By taking into account the wide range of options available and thinking through each decision strategically, you can make sure you create a positive employee experience and reward your staff in ways that are meaningful to them.

Once you've established your employee rewards program, you should track your metrics and make adjustments. Metrics provide employers with a way to measure the effectiveness of their recognition policy, track employee performance over time, and ensure that they are providing fair and equitable rewards for all employees. Metrics can also help identify areas where additional investment in rewards may be needed or where existing programs need to be improved. By using metrics as part of their overall strategy, employers can ensure that their reward systems are both effective and efficient in recognizing employee contributions.

Pros and cons of different types of rewards and recognition for employees

Rewards for employees can have a powerful impact on job satisfaction and productivity. Studies show that when employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and motivated to do their best. Rewards also serve as an effective way for employers to recognize outstanding performance from their staff members, which can help foster loyalty and commitment within the team. By providing rewards such as financial bonuses or experiential gifts, employers demonstrate their appreciation of employees while simultaneously motivating them to strive for excellence in all areas of their job duties.

Rewards and recognition are important tools for motivating employees in the workplace, but there are certain negative factors associated with them as well. For instance, some rewards may be seen as financially motivated rather than an acknowledgment of outstanding performance or behavior. In addition, rewards can create a competitive atmosphere between colleagues which can lead to feelings of resentment or jealousy if not managed properly. Furthermore, providing too many rewards could lead to employees expecting them all the time and becoming complacent in their work. Therefore it is important to consider both the positive and negative factors when implementing an employee motivation strategy in order to ensure that it is effective and beneficial for everyone involved.

Matter's peer-to-peer feedback system fosters an environment of collaboration and generosity between teammates, instead of creating a competition culture. Using small, frequent rewards that are directly tied to feedback from coworkers and managers creates a positive and productive rewards and recognition system for your company. If your organization uses Slack or Microsoft Teams, Matter can help you build a great reward and recognition program for employees!

Best types of rewards and recognition for employees of small businesses

Generally speaking, small businesses may have to be budget-conscious in regard to rewarding their employees for a job well done. However, that doesn't mean employers shouldn't think outside of the box when it comes to recognizing their staff's efforts. For starters, the power of public recognition from managers is invaluable and shouldn't ever be underestimated. Employees will respond positively when they are praised during team meetings or at other events.

Furthermore, bonuses of any kind are definitely appreciated and should never just be seen as financial incentives. Rewards such as gift cards or vouchers make a great gesture and highlight the business' commitment to employee satisfaction. Finally, providing extra benefits such as flexible hours or additional time off can create an attractive working environment for all parties involved!

Best types of rewards and recognition for employees of large businesses

Large businesses have an important imperative to ensure their employees are engaged, motivated, and productive. The best way for companies to achieve this is through the use of effective rewards and recognition programs. Corporate awards, flexible working hours, monetary bonuses, and public recognition are some of the most effective ways for employers to show appreciation to their staff members.

Additionally, large businesses can implement unique awards such as taking employees out for a day of team-building activities where different staff members can be recognized for outstanding contributions or achievements. Ultimately, using a judicious combination of stimulus and positive reinforcement will help create a workplace environment that is enjoyable and valuable both to the employer and employees.

There are a lot of different types of rewards you can give to employees for a job well done. It's important to mix it up and try different things to see what works best for your company and your employees. Financial rewards are always nice, but sometimes non-financial rewards or public recognition can be just as motivating - if not more so. Matter offers customizable rewards for your team, from gift cards they can choose from our rewards store to custom company perks.

Interested in employee rewards and recognition? Make team recognition, celebrations, and rewards fun with Matter — all inside Slack or Microsoft Teams. Get started for free by adding Matter to your workspace.

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