Recognition and Rewards: How to Honor Your Hard-Working Employees

There are many factors to the success of any organization, but one of the most important factors in your business’s performance is employee morale. It’s a simple fact that employees work better and more productively when they’re happy at work, but many elements go into that building that happiness. One of the most overlooked aspects of employee happiness is recognition for their hard work and excellence. When addressing this, one solution might work for some organizations, but identifying the wants and needs of your employee base can truly help identify a meaningful reward system.

Promote Positive Self-Esteem

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, employees have a strong desire to meet and exceed expectations through self- actualization. One way to promote positive reinforcement by establishing awards for employees. These can be in the form of a certificate, trophy, special parking space, or a photo placed in a prominent area. These recognitions can be on an as-seen basis or monthly, quarterly, or annually. Awards also are a form of motivation to other employees that wish to receive the same level of recognition. This can lead to higher productivity as employees work harder towards this goal.

Fill a Need

Not all employees put in the same level of effort at work, even when they receiving the same pay. Individuals that put in extra work deserve to be rewarded in some substantial way, so you may consider rewarding them with something more tangible than office-wide recognition. Give them something that will fulfill a basic need or comfort, such as a gift card, certificate, free lunch, or cash bonus. If they’ve gone out of their way and made your life easier, do something that will make their life a little easier too.

Creating a Sense of Belonging

Many work environments place their employees in a team environment, so encouraging your employees only toward an individual goal may not produce the results you want—in fact, it may even be counterproductive. Team, unit, and department recognition likely requires larger incentives, but these can lead to larger gains for your company as well. Once a production, attendance, efficiency, or growth goal has been achieved you can reward them with a party, catered lunch, half-day off work, or gifts. Teams will take the cooperation and solidarity they used to achieve the goal and will push it further as they reach for their next goal.

Sagging productivity and decreased morale at work are signs that employees aren’t fully engaged. Make sure your employees feel appreciated for the work they do by creating and implementing a recognition and reward system. Recognizing their efforts show your employees that you notice and appreciate their hard work. Just remember that once a goal is met, you should set a new goal and incentive to keep your employees engaged.

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing.”