Rewards can drive powerful changes in human behavior. When someone experiences something rewarding, the brain releases a feel-good hormone called dopamine. The brain remembers the feeling and motivates the body to experience it again.
By taking advantage of how the human brain works, it's possible to design an effective employee recognition program that drives motivation, productivity, and retention.
Showing employees appreciation by setting up a rewards system can help you retain top talent and boost operation efficiency. Let's take a closer look at effective, tangible rewards that increase employee retention.
When you reward an employee, you demonstrate appreciation for their investment in your company's success. This drives engagement, leading to higher productivity and better retention rates.
Here are a few statistics to consider:
Without a solid reward system, employees can't see the full effect of their work. While a salary increase is a straightforward token of appreciation, not all companies have sufficient resources to use this type of reward frequently.
Meanwhile, employees are more likely to react positively to rewards that don't have to do anything with money. In fact, McKinsey found that non-monetary recognition drives more than 55% of employee engagement.
Employers must build a sense of belonging, diversify appreciation, and improve the employee experience. This is all possible by designing a comprehensive employee reward system. Implementing it can keep employees satisfied and prevent high turnover.
To ensure the success of your employee recognition program, you need to implement the right rewards. When choosing which rewards to use, it's important to study your team's needs and preferences to adjust the program accordingly.
That's exactly what Peter Piper Pizza did for its employees. It took advantage of Bucketlist's software to customize its reward system according to the workforce's needs, special dates, and age range.
Here are a few reward ideas you can give to your team:
A gift card can be an excellent reward for any employee. You can either choose a gift card from an online store that sells specific items (if you know what an employee wants) or get a card from a store that sells various products.
An online gift card is easy to buy and redeem. Meanwhile, you are free to choose an amount according to your budget. These cards usually have a long validity period so you can purchase them in advance.
A restaurant gift card isn't just a tangible reward. It's an experience. Instead of depositing a check or redeeming a gift card, a person can dress up and go out.
Experiential rewards are often more effective than monetary rewards since they create memories. Accordingly, the effect of such rewards can last for a long time.
A well-chosen local restaurant gift card shows that a company takes the time to arrange positive experiences for its employees. As a bonus, it allows you to build better relationships with local businesses.
Brewery and winery tours are also experiential rewards. They don't just serve as a token of appreciation but can become a team-building event. That's why companies tend to use such tours as team recognition tools.
Keep in mind that alcohol-related events are highly specific. Not all employees may appreciate them. Consider your team's preferences before arranging such a reward.
A flexible workday is one of the most appreciated rewards. Even before the pandemic, 80% of the U.S. workforce talked about turning down a job if it didn't offer flexible working hours. After the pandemic, flexibility became even more important.
If your type of business doesn't leave much room for continuous flexibility, you can use flexible workdays as rewards. For example, you could allow an employee to work from home for a week or arrange a monthly hybrid schedule.
Google's famous 20% rule inspired companies to follow suit. Giving employees time to work on side projects that benefit the company can be highly productive. Making a reward out of it is even more beneficial.
You can also benefit by allowing employees personal (side) project time. These projects don't have to focus on the company's needs. Instead, they could be a way to improve an employee's skills and add something to their portfolio.
Eventually, personal projects can benefit both the employee and the company. But only as long as you work out clear guidelines.
Investing in employee wellness is a direct contribution to your company's success. Developing a wellness program for your workforce is a way to show appreciation for their work and care for their health.
According to studies, recognition-led wellness programs result in 90% less burnout in the workplace.
If you can't afford an all-encompassing wellness program, you can offer wellness perks as benefits. They can include gym memberships, spa days, personal trainer sessions, fitness trackers, massages, and the like.
Flowers are a simple yet highly effective token of appreciation for all employees. It also carries a dash of spontaneity and surprise. Spontaneous rewards can be more effective than regular expected rewards.
In fact, 40% of employees want to get spontaneous rewards. Besides flowers, you can give employees free lunches, arrange morning coffee from the boss, or let them go home an hour or two early.
Giving your team members an extra day or week of rest can benefit the entire company. Since employees often don't have more than two weeks of paid vacation annually, extra days can make a big difference.
Paid vacation is a chance to rest, regroup, and return to work highly motivated. Vacations days are an excellent incentive that's likely to work for the majority of your workforce.
A food tour is an experiential reward that can allow employees to relax and enjoy multiple free meals. Coupled with a day off, this can be a highly efficient incentive.
Knowing food preferences and allergies is the key to arranging a successful food tour for your team members. You don't want to give a food tour to someone on a strict weight loss plan or if their diet is restrictive.
If your employees want to study something new outside the workplace, you can encourage them by providing tuition reimbursement. This type of reward demonstrates your appreciation for employees' personal needs.
While side training may not benefit your company directly, it works to improve employee satisfaction and motivation. As a result, it boosts retention rates.
You can reward your team by arranging offsite entertainment, such as movie days, bowling, barbecue, cooking classes, and the like. You can arrange this during work hours, so employees get an extra day off while participating in team-building activities.
Today, around 80% of organizations implement employee recognition programs. However, not all of them work as expected.
Common reasons for the lack of effect include:
One of the main reasons why many reward programs have a low ROI is the lack of high-quality recognition tools. If an organization doesn't invest in employee reward software, the entire program can become too time-consuming, prone to errors, expensive, and inconsistent.
Employee rewards are an integral part of a successful employee recognition program. They demonstrate appreciation, boost motivation, increase engagement, and improve retention.
The key to building a robust reward system is taking advantage of efficient employee recognition software. Bucketlist provides a comprehensive employee retention solution that can streamline your recognition program and drive your company's success.
To learn more, a free demo today!