How to Properly Reward Employees & Boost Business Productivity

In the dog-eat-dog business world, few things can match the satisfaction and engagement that stems from feeling appreciated and recognized for what you do. Workers who receive such a treatment are more likely to go above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, companies that live by these values are few and far in between. 

Those who want to step up the business game need a solid strategy on how to say “thank you for everything”. There is a way to do it without breaking the bank: a reward system does not have to cost you a great deal of time and money. It does call for thoughtfulness and planning, though. So, here is how to make the most of rewarding employees, enhance productivity across the board, and bolster sales in 2018 and beyond. 


Develop a strategy 

First of all, note that employees should not be rewarded on a whim. There must be clear standards and expectations. In other words, companies require a strategic reward system, which includes four key elements: recognition, benefits, compensation, and appreciation. This document works best when it encompasses all these aspects and is aligned with other corporate strategies and policies. 

Typically, a reward system recognizes two types of employee activity—performance and behavior. The first category links set, periodic company goals with outcomes that occur as a result of the employee’s efforts. Behavior is a less tangible thing to measure and reward, but usually involves activities like coming in early, staying late, bouncing ideas of others, etc. 


More than money 

Compensation is traditionally the main driving force behind generating motivation. But, there are many incentives and long-term rewards (such as equity ownership) that go beyond the stimulation that is the paycheck at the end of the month. Newer generations, including the millennial population, seek meaningful work experience that brings them more than dollar signs. Cash is a short-term reward that can only go so far when it comes to inspiring loyalty. 

Exceeding the benefit levels of the competition can have a big positive impact on the ability of the company to hire and retain workers. Likewise, perks are the key to raising the level of satisfaction and engagement. For instance, one of the most prominent trends of today is implementing flexible work hours. Employees adore the chance to build schedules around other obligations and priorities and strike a better work-life balance. 


Merit-based reward palette 

It is quite surprising how recognition and appreciation, two integral parts of a reward system, get overlooked. Used right, they are low-cost and high-return tactics. Employees like being acknowledged for their hard work and commitment, especially when it happens in front of their peers. They also want to be appreciated for their contributions, which fosters a stronger sense of belonging to the company. Simple expressions and statements go a long way towards cultivating this. 

A thank-you note for something specific is sometimes all it takes to show appreciation. A Wall of Fame displaying pictures of high performers also does the trick. You can also give corporate awards to high-performing employees in the form of trophies and other custom-designed cool items. Alternatively, treat them with small gifts, such as books and flowers.

To reward the whole group, take people to lunch, send a company-wide email, or organize an office party. These things break the stale business routine and also enable people to connect on a deeper, personal level. A Casual Friday is also a nice break from formality. As an added benefit, these reward mechanisms also garner a positive corporate culture and workplace. 

Finally, there are many ways to gamify the work experience and award points for various actions and accomplishments. Namely, to instill a sense of healthy competition, business owners and managers can introduce point and leaderboard systems. At the end of the month, top scorers receive special awards and privileges. This is an efficient method to encourage employees to pull their weight and give it their best.


Full steam ahead 

Workers who feel valued and recognized tend to work for a company over a longer period of time and go the extra mile when required. To make it happen, set clear expectations and be fair. Make sure to drive the right kind of behavior and send the right message. 

Identify the right rewards to spur peak productivity and alleviate stress and anxiety that most often accompany the daily grind. You will increase retention rates and attract new top talent to your organization. Moreover, you will be able to make strides towards your goals and harness the full power of people who hold your company together.