employee engagement
Dec 21'

5 Employee Recognition Strategy Ideas to Increase Employee Engagement

Work itself has changed since 2020. Hybrid work environments are the topic of conversation going into 2022 as many companies want to continue to provide their employees with flexibility, while also bringing everyone back together in person again. With the new normal of hybrid work, companies are looking for ways to increase employee engagement and happiness regardless of where they are working, and having the right employee recognition strategy is more important than ever. Some companies are looking to adopt an employee rewards platform, whereas other companies want to provide enhanced wellness programs and benefits. 

With that said, here are 5 employee recognition strategies that companies can adopt to keep their employees better engaged in 2022: 

1. Gift-based Rewards

Offering non-cash gift rewards for employee recognition is one of the most important trends picking up steam for 2022. It has been proven that non-cash rewards show better results compared to cash rewards. One example of this is Google, where they offered cash incentives, but eventually came to find out that non-cash rewards, in this particular example a trip to Hawaii, increased employee engagement and demonstrated less negative results. To add, another study by Quality Incentive Company proved that people find experiential awards more motivating than cash awards.

With these findings in mind, you can also provide the option to your employees to cater to the individual. An employee rewards platform that incorporates both cash and non-cash rewards can help improve retention and boost morale at any company. A gift-based rewards program can help workers feel appreciated and respected. It allows them to be recognized for the hard work and dedication they put in while also ensuring that their contributions are properly recognized. A program like this builds goodwill within the organization.

employee engagement

2. Holistic Wellness Platforms

Employers will be looking at ways to help improve their employees’ health moving into 2022. This can be done by providing employees with the tools and resources to take care of themselves.

For instance, many companies have begun offering discounts for gym memberships or free massages. It's perhaps more needed now than ever, with the pandemic causing stress on so many people. In addition, many employees are simply not getting enough exercise or outdoor time now that they're working from home.

The benefits of such programs are clear; according to the American Heart Association, the majority of working adults spend too much time sitting. Most Americans don’t meet any of the recommendations for physical activity. Over time that level of inactivity increases their risk of heart disease and other conditions. If you want to learn more about how to adopt a holistic wellness program, read our article where we go into detail on 3 ways to prioritize health and wellness in the workplace.

A healthier workforce benefits the entire company, making it a no-brainer for 2022. 

employee engagement

3. Considering and Providing Mental Health Resources

Employers in 2022 should also be thinking more about supporting the mental health of their employees, and it should form an important part of their employee recognition strategy. Many workers feel stress and anxiety because of their jobs and the current social climate. If you’re an employer, start by talking about mental health and well-being with your team. Then create a plan for what you’ll do to support their mental health during and after the pandemic. A great option is providing wellness days that act as both sick days and mental health days. Wellness days should be a guilt free day that employees can take when needed. 

You need to provide tangible solutions to help them feel safe, supported, and cared for. Consider incentivizing mindfulness practices and other activities that can lower stress and anxiety. This is an ideal moment to emphasize that the employer-employee relationship is more than just a contract, but has real consequences for how they interact with each other. Moreover, CDC research shows that employees are more productive when their mental health needs are attended to. 

4. Options for Remote Work & Flexibility 

Offering remote working flexibility to all of your employees is another important trend that will continue through 2022. You can provide employees with the option to remain working from home. Some companies are choosing to transition to a remote first company. Some remote first companies still keep an office space for those employees that do want to work from the office whenever they please.

Other employers are fully redesigning their office spaces to accommodate the new hybrid office. With employees working a mix of at home and in the office, companies are creating their office environments to be an open space design, where employees can work from anywhere in the office. New redesigned office floor plans are rolling out to both create more space and emphasize productivity. 

employee engagement

5. More Team-Building Activities 

Team building activities are a great way to create a stronger culture of connection amongst employees. There are many ways to accomplish this: 

  • • Set aside a time and place to meet regularly and build relationships. A great example of this is having daily team huddles that bring the whole team together. 
  • • Offer different opportunities to learn and grow through education and training. 
  • • Providing people with meaningful tasks to complete together, even if it’s just small things. 

You need to look for ways to bring your people together and feel invested in their jobs. If some of them are staying home several days a week or more, look for ways to ensure that they’re still included. 

employee engagement

These are only 5 strategies you can adopt into your company in the new year. Not all of them may be right for you, but finding ways to better engage your employees is the main goal. If you are interested in learning more about implementing a successful rewards and recognition program, contact us.

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