Why Recognition Appeals to Employees More than Financial Reward

Monetary bonuses are the most obvious driver, but employees often become better engaged through non-monetary factors, such as reward and recognition. 

There is always debate around the most effective methods in improving employee engagement. Pay rises, gift cards and commissions are reliable methods of boosting employee motivation so it’s important that employers factor them into strategies, but they shouldn’t be the only consideration. Essentially, employees in many industries already expect certain monetary rewards, such as annual pay rises and commission. These types of employees should be key targets for non-monetary benefits, to sustain the feeling of appreciation. 

Effective reward programmes are also less costly to smaller businesses than monetary bonuses, despite often being worth more financially to the employee. While bonuses can get lost within a Christmas pay cheque, alternative benefits can offer more memorable year-round motivation. When used most effectively, perks should be personalised to individual employees, creating an emotional connection and feeling of personal achievement. This ensures employees feel genuinely appreciated, which will lead to greater levels of engagement.  

Make sure your employee recognition scheme is effective by: 

  • Identifying positive behaviour that you want to reinforce 
  • Setting attainable goals for all employees 
  • Genuinely thanking employees for their work regularly 
  • Tailoring the programme to your workplace 
  • Include monetary bonuses where possible 

As long as monetary bonuses are fair to all employees, they are useful in motivating employees to go the extra mile. Yet, given the advantages of reward and recognition, employers should remember to motivate employees on a personal, meaningful level too. A motivated and engaged workforce leads to a more productive and enjoyable working environment, ensuring you meet your duty of care as an employer to protect employee wellbeing. If implemented effectively, it should also boost your profits and reduce your HR costs.