How to reward employee effort?

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Rewarding employees for their work and achievements is one of the very important components of an incentive system that will make your team work more effectively and efficiently. So how to skillfully reward employees for their efforts?

How to reward? General rules

Surprise incentive. A sudden bonus or gratitude will have a much greater effect than a planned reward. The surprise effect in the distribution of remuneration will motivate the employee to work at full capacity all the time, not just at the end of the year or reporting period.

Combine different types of rewards. For example: by giving a bonus, you can express gratitude to the employee. The reward will improve his material situation, and gratitude will raise his status among colleagues. A combination of tangible and intangible factors is the best option for proper motivation.

Appropriate frequency of rewards. It is important to encourage employees according to their performance. If an employee is making an effort, doing his work efficiently and ahead of schedule, it is better to reward him more often. This will give him the motivation to continue working efficiently and will greatly increase his productivity.

Timely rewards. An employee must be rewarded shortly after he has achieved exceptional results or contributed to the success of a project. The smaller the time gap between achievement and reward, the better, and a long wait for recognition cools enthusiasm.

Public reward. Rewarding an employee in a ceremonial atmosphere, in the presence of colleagues and superiors, will have a much greater effect than rewarding him or her alone. For many people, public recognition of success is even more important than financial incentives.

Fair and equitable rewards. A disproportionately high bonus or reward for a department head or team leader who hasn’t done much, and a smaller one for deserving employees will discourage the latter from doing any work and may spoil the company atmosphere.

Creative approach to rewards. Giving an out-of-the-ordinary gift, encouragement in an unconventional setting and other creative ideas for motivation will be positively received by employees.

What to reward with? Some examples

Reward for effort does not always have to be financial or even material – recent studies clearly show that psychological and social factors are equally important, i.e. public praise, expressions of appreciation or compliments. On the other hand, high compensation for work is not equivalent to rewarding effort or exceptional performance. This means that if the employer does not express gratitude and appreciation to the team in any way, even high salaries may cease to be sufficient motivation over time.

Here are some ideas on how to reward an employee’s efforts:

  • monetary rewards, i.e. a bonus in the form of extra cash;
  • More expensive gifts or company gadgets;
  • gift cards;
  • subsidizing a course or training;
  • a formal letter of thanks from management;
  • an “employee of the month” type award;
  • praise at a group meeting;
  • recognition in company social media and newsletters;
  • extra time off, such as a vacation day or an early exit from work;
  • secondment to an industry conference as a speaker.

A good way to reward the team is also to organize time together. This will have a positive effect on teamwork and the internal microclimate.

This is not a finite list, as there is no universal way to reward anyone. It all depends on the specifics of the job, the capabilities of the company and the needs of its employees.

main photo: Herrmann

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