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Rewarding employees for hard work or excellent performance is not only good for company morale or productivity: it can also improve staff retention and increase employee satisfaction.
Rewards and recognition are often used interchangeably when discussing rewarding employees but they are two entirely different concepts. Rewards are usually physical items such as gifts or money, which are given in addition to an employee’s salary and come at a cost to the business. Recognition is more of a psychological reward than a physical one, by acknowledging and showing appreciation for an employee’s efforts.

Often businesses forget all about recognition, however it can be greatly beneficial to both employees and the business. There are many reasons why:

• Recognition comes at a low cost to the business, but creates a high reward value for employees.
• Recognition can be acknowledged as often as a business likes and some go as far as to recognise employees daily.
• Acknowledging employees encourages consistently good performance, as it’s clear to employees what’s expected of them.
• It creates a positive working environment for all and boosts employee morale.
• It holds employees more accountable for their work and makes them feel valued by the business.

When implementing employee recognition programmes, it’s important that the business has guidelines as to what behaviour they are looking to acknowledge. This will ensure all employees are treated fairly and equally.

Rewards can be both formal and informal. Formal recognition involves acknowledging an employee’s success in front of their colleagues, perhaps with a ceremony or certificate, while informal recognition involves a small personal communication such as an email or thank you note. It’s as simple as saying thank you for a job well done: you’d be amazed as a business owner how far these small efforts can go, and how far the positive impact can spread.

However, it would be naive to believe that employees do not value compensatory rewards. Monetary or physical rewards can help a business to remain competitive and can motivate employees to go the extra mile. Some ideas for ways to reward employees:

• Get massage therapists into the office once a month, offering each employee a back or foot massage. This will help relieve stress and tension and is also convenient as employees remain in the office.
• Buy lunch or cake for staff as a treat and enjoy it together to celebrate specific milestones or achievements.
• Find out what item is particularly relevant or status-worthy among your specific employees and offer that as the prize for performance. This could be the latest headphones, tickets to a show or an item of clothing.
• You could also share in a certain % of the company’s profits with the whole team, meaning that staff members would become highly motivated to perform better.  
• Depending on their roles, parts of their salary could be performance-based, encouraging them to work harder and smarter.
• Holidays and trips are always brilliant incentives as they are a direct way of saying: “you’ve worked hard: now you deserve a holiday”.

Growing businesses should therefore aim to strike that perfect balance between compensation and recognition, when establishing the perfect reward plan for your company and its employees.

If you’re an SMME looking for a medical aid plan that protects the health of your employees, Fedhealth offers various options developed specially for growing businesses. Contact us to find out more.

Provided by Fedhealth.
Strategy / Sustainability

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