Reward & Recognition / 4 minute read

The benefits of rewarding and recognising your staff

Written by Claire Woodbridge

8 April 2021

Appreciation is a fundamental human need. Employees value being recognised because it instils within them a sense of pride and value, which in turn goes towards fulfilling company goals such as increased productivity and staff retention. It is no wonder that employee reward and recognition programmes are growing in popularity; they motivate employees to adapt their work habits and everyday behaviours to benefit the business. Dr Ashley Whillans, from the Harvard Business School puts it well, by saying: “What really matters in the workplace is helping employees feel appreciated”. This is particularly true in the current climate. To fully understand the benefits of rewarding and recognising your staff, we have listed four of the key benefits:

Boost team morale

The top three reasons employees feel unmotivated are: feeling undervalued (43%), having a bad manager (43%) and a lack of recognition (40%). If an employee is appreciated for the work they do, they are more likely to be happier in their role and therefore work harder for the business. Rewarding and recognising staff can be achieved by simply saying ‘thank you’, or by going above and beyond and providing a weekend away! It is an exercise in trial and error, getting to know your employees and finding out what motivates them.

Increase productivity

Reward and recognition, and productivity are intrinsically linked. Employees who feel valued are going to work harder for your organisation; research shows that employee happiness increases productivity by 31%. However, it is vital that you reward and recognise both the big and the small wins appropriately, for example if your sales team surpasses their yearly target reward them with an all-expenses paid meal at a fancy restaurant. But if you see someone being particularly helpful one week, recognise it with a free breakfast and a note to say you have noticed their behaviour. There are different scales of reward and recognition that should be considered, but the main thing is if you hope to keep staff working at maximum productivity, acknowledge the hard work they’re already putting in.

Retain top talent

MicrosoftTeams-image (48)7291% of HR workers agree recognition and reward has a positive effect on employee retention. It is important isn’t given a reason to stray elsewhere. Ensuring you reward and recognise the hard work of your employees will increase satisfaction and loyalty. Almost 50% of employee agreed that they would leave a company that didn’t praise or thank them enough for the work they do.

Increase employee engagement

There’s a strong correlation between engaged employees and recognition at work. 83% of employees who worked for a company with a recognition program stated that they were content with their jobs. Disengaged employees will become unenthusiastic, disconnected from the company culture and unproductive – a far cry from an employee who is sufficiently rewarded and recognised. Too many employers let employee engagement fall by the wayside, without realising the cultural and monetary effects it can have on their organisation. Implementing a simple reward scheme that demonstrates to employees their value, can have a huge impact on employee engagement, in turn, creating brand advocates who are passionate about their work and the company they work for.

Over 7 in 10 employees want their employers to do more to motivate them... so why are we ignoring them? Introducing a reward and recognition scheme in your organisation can have vast benefits on your employee’s motivation and experience. Ensuring your employees feel valued doesn’t have to cost the world and the rewards reaped far outweigh the financial and time costs incurred. Given the benefits of reward and recognition in the workplace, and the impact on a company’s bottom-line and wellbeing, it’s crucial to build the habit of valuing your employees.


Not convinced? Take a look at our collection of blogs on reward and recognition in the workplace both here and on our R&R experts' blog at Penguins, or reach out today to get started on improving your strategies. Our Reward & Recognition team know what works, and what doesn’t, and are experts when it comes to customising incentives to you and your business. Want to find out more about reward and recognition and the impact COVID-19 has had? Check out our report on The changing face of reward.