19 Effective Reward Systems to Motivate Employees

Motivation plays a vital role in enriching employees to reach the top and execute their best. Organizational success relies on the performance of a team. When its members are not rewarded enough, they could lose the drive to work. This affects the overall productivity of the workforce. Thus, every company should be on the lookout for effective reward systems that can motivate every team member.

Rewards are the positive upshots earned as a result of a worker’s performance. This compensation always aligns with the company goals. When an employee has a positive impact on its goals, a reward is often given. 

The importance of rewards

Having a reward system for employees shows how a company sees its workforce. Without proper recognition and appreciation towards individual and team efforts, a company cannot boost their drive to do more.

Here are other reasons why having a reward system is beneficial to companies:

1. Rewards make employees happier

When employees reap the rewards, they become happier. This happiness correlates to the feeling of satisfaction. When companies reward the team’s efforts, it boosts members’ morale and minimizes the possibility of turnover.

2. It is conducive to productivity.

A reward is an ultimate platform to increase one’s productivity. Motivated employees can exceed expectations because they know at the end of the day, there will be a gift of appreciation waiting for them. And in return, this massively impacts the organization’s profitability.

3. It increases trust.

A company that regularly practices recognition is more likely to increase employee trust. Team members can see through every action that an organization takes. When it provides value to its employees, it builds up the trust for a stronger relationship.

4. It works better than a threat.

When an organization threatens its employees, it is counterproductive to motivating them. It creates a negative impact on its members because the last thing they want is a punishment that could lead to termination.

Instead of threatening employees for possible failures, why not use rewards to boost their morale and motivate them to do their best? Knowing that there is a reward waiting will trigger them to achieve maximum productivity.

The two kinds of rewards

Rewards fall into two categories, which both motivate team members.

Intrinsic Rewards

Intrinsic rewards lean towards the internal motivation that a person receives. It exists within the individual and doesn’t need other’s confirmation. It is what a person feels after accomplishing a challenging task—did it make him/her fulfilled? When there is a sense of fulfillment, there is intrinsic motivation. 

This kind of reward comes in the form of professional growth, personal achievement, sense of accomplishment, and happiness. It gives off the natural high you feel when all your efforts are paying off. 

Extrinsic Rewards

While intrinsic is intangible and comes within an individual, extrinsic rewards come in tangible form. These are the material rewards that an employee gets in return for their efforts. The most common examples include an appraisal, bonus incentives, paid time offs, and other compensations. However, these can be simple yet motivating gestures that include affirmations, public recognition, awards, and promotions. 

This kind of reward instantaneously boosts morale and induces productivity. If employees are underpaid, overworked, and unrecognized, they will become demotivated. When a company wants to avoid this scenario, it will provide what their employees need.

How to design the right reward system for your company

You might think that having a reward system is the best way to motivate employees, but unfortunately, reward systems work differently for every organization. A reward system should focus on the right things and factors that will genuinely drive employees to move forward.

Rewards can only be deemed effective when they address the needs of employees. An organization has to recognize both internal and external factors that affect motivation and see how these influence the effects of the reward systems.

Here’s a cheat sheet to designing a rewards system that works:

  • Start small.

Acknowledge efforts through affirmations and personal ‘thank you’ notes, then work your way up to bigger gestures of showing appreciation.

  • Get creative

Rewards do not have to come in monetary form. A lot of non-monetary rewards are equally motivating as its counterpart. You can try days off, telecommuting opportunities, one-on-one training, and more.

  • Know what your employees want.

Nothing’s better than receiving a reward that they actually want. When they know that something meaningful is within reach, you give them the perfect motivation to hit their goals.

  • Recognize via awards.

Awarding is one excellent way to boost employees’ morale. Affirmations drive people to work harder towards goals. When done regularly, an organization can expect a more engaging and productive environment all year round.

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Reward ideas you can try for your team

Here are some ideas you can try as a part of your company reward systems:

1. VIP parking spot

Dedicate a free parking space for a week or a month to an excellent team member 

2. Breakfast or lunch treat

Know what your employees like to eat and bring them as a surprise treat for everyone.

3. Work anniversary party

Throw a small party in between work to celebrate a worker’s milestone. You can host a team lunch or provide snacks to the team.

4. Coffee memberships

Most employees swear by caffeinated drinks in the morning to get a good head start of the day. Why don’t you gift exemplary employees a coffee membership or subscription as a treat? They will appreciate the kindness, for sure!

5. A shout out from the CEO

When someone at the top acknowledges a team member’s efforts, it instantaneously boosts morale. Recognition from the higher up is an excellent way to motivate team players in what they do.

6. Gift cards

Gift cards come in various forms—be it food, coffee, gym membership, spa treatment, shopping cards, movies, and hotel stays. These little treats will surely bring joy to whoever receives them.

7. Team building getaways

Schedule a yearly or bi-yearly retreat where everyone could spend time together for leisure. Great examples are long travels like a trip to the beach or a different state.

8. Work-from-home day

Implement a work from home arrangement every once in a while. This lets your employees minimize costs coming to and from the office while giving them more time to spend time at home.

9. Certificate of recognition

In honor of employees’ excellence, you can print out a certificate proving to show recognition. You can even send them a soft copy or present the certificate at a team meeting or session.

10. Hand-written notes

Personalized notes have a heartwarming touch that shows sincerity to the recipients. Although these are not in the form of money, these are well-appreciated as a recognition for good work.

11. Coffee shop or restaurant meetings

Every once in a while, spend meetings over a cup of coffee or lunch to discuss with your team. This creates a relaxed and casual take to planning things with the team.

12. Store gift cards for remote workers

Who says remote workers cannot benefit from reward systems? You can send your employees consumable gift cards for the likes of Starbucks, Amazon, Walmart, iTunes, Sephora, Chipotle, and more.

13. Educational investment

Investing in the education of employees shows how much you value and appreciate your members. You can send them over to a seminar or sponsor their academic pursuits to encourage personal development. 

You can sponsor them with online career development or niche courses that apply to your industry by choosing from a variety of courses from Skill Success. Whether for soft skills like effective communicationleadership mastery, or technical skills like programming languagescopywriting, or financial management, you can find one that’ll help your employee upskill themselves.

14. Office e-library

Another intellectual investment you can do is by having a cloud library for the company to use. You can buy personal development e-books and save it on cloud storage for everyone to access.

15. Team recognition board

Acknowledge each team’s efforts by dedicating the bulletin board for one department each month. This is your chance to highlight the contributions and achievements of each department across the whole organization.

16. Wall of fame

Make a designated board for team member’s shout outs and compliments for their work. You can also encourage peer-to-peer acknowledgments by letting everyone post their appreciation notes on your team board. 

17. Specialized care packages to valued employees

Packages are a simple yet fun take on showing appreciation to valued employees. You can curate snacks or trinkets in a box and have it sent to your employee’s doorstep. It’s like receiving letters in the form of snacks!

18. Volunteer for an employee-picked non-profit organization

This kind of activity is a great way to promote teamwork and bonding with one another. It also shows the company’s support for employees’ passion.

19. Commute compensation

Some companies provide compensation for travel costs incurred in coming to or from the office. This is a good way to minimize expenses, which causes stress to most employees.

There are plenty of other ideas you can materialize in designing your company reward systems. Just remember that you are doing this to promote productivity, teamwork, strong employee and employer relationship, and company retention. When the workforce feels valued and appreciated, they keep the burning passion for accomplishing more.

If you want to master what your employees find motivational, you can get some needed help with the following online courses from Skill Success:

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