Rewards and recognition are often used interchangeably, but there are some apparent differences. Rewards are usually tied to employee performance and are treated separately from the salary.
More and more companies are finding ways to build rewards systems into their budgets. Recognition, on the other hand, can be monetary or not and is used to show appreciation for the work employees are doing.
Recognition is often used to boost morale and highlight departments of specific people doing a great job. It is usually tied to a particular time rather than an overall performance and doesn't include a monetary reward.
Recognition and rewards can vary from company to company depending on their values, size, location distribution, and budget. Some of the most common ways employees get recognized through bonuses and praise.
Typically there is a structure in place for an annual review tied for a potential bonus or raise. Another way to go is using All Hands meetings to bring the spotlight on specific employees.
In both scenarios, the recognition is often top-down (manager initiated) and somewhat sporadic. Are employees only doing a great job once a month or a year? Most likely not, and they should get recognized more often as well.
The types of recognition that employees are most familiar with are bonuses and praise. Bonuses are a small (or large) financial reward for overall performance or contribution.
Bonuses are typically given by a manager and are rarely public knowledge. Written or verbal praise is another way companies show appreciation for their employees. Those can be public (think: a company meeting, a kick-off event) or private (as one would during a one-on-one with a manager or during an annual review).
Those are the most common rewards types, and while appreciated, they rarely happen often and even more rarely publicly. It's essential to find ways beyond the basics to show the value employees bring and create a culture where appreciation is not just a word in the website's Core Values section.
Recognition could take on many different shapes and sizes. Giving employees an ability to recognize each other with rewards that will add up helps create a work culture that fosters hard work, creativity, and humanity. Small written notes, shoutouts, and public acknowledgment can go a long way in preventing churn. Let's examine a few that are proven to improve company culture and morale.
Here are some examples of rewards that can be implemented in your employee recognition program: