Why rewards are better employee incentives than money

Posted by David Gould

Businesses managers have often used money as a way to keep employees motivated and engaged at work. They offer an annual bonus, for example, as an employee incentive to encourage staff to consistently perform.

Such a financial bonus is usually the key part of an employee incentive programme. It’s given to the employee at the end of the calendar year, as a thank you and reward for twelve months of hard work, hoping it will encourage them to work harder. But is money really the best way to motivate employees?

There are many reasons why financial rewards as employee incentives are becoming less affective:

Loss of value – An annual bonus just comes with the job for some employees – it’s expected and often included in a company’s benefits

Demotivating – Employees usually have to wait until the end of the year to receive a bonus, meaning any impressive work they’ve done mid-year can’t be rewarded in the same way and at the appropriate time

Low impact – A financial bonus is often just transferred into the employee’s monthly pay packet, rather than presented to them, and is quickly swallowed up in daily outgoings. The feel-good factor a bonus gives can be short-lived or lost, as a result

Not personal – A financial bonus is generic and unimaginative. Staff often receive the same amount of money at the same time, so might not feel individually appreciated

Businesses should get a bit more creative if they want their employee incentives to make staff feel valued and appreciated – and get the most out of them in return.

Tangible rewards as employee incentives

Offering employees a range of tangible rewards like tablets and smart phones, sports equipment like golf clubs, or shopping and jewellery vouchers can have a greater impact on employees.

Holidays can even be offered as incentive travel, featuring anything from a UK-based weekend away to a long haul destination.

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Rewards like these can act as employee incentives that make staff feel highly valued and appreciated for longer – each time they use their smart phone they’ve been rewarded they have positive thoughts about work.

Creating a rewards catalogue

A business can also create its own rewards catalogue to offer something for everyone on its company team. Employees can browse the catalogue and choose the product that appeals to them most – the more desirable the reward, the harder an employee is likely to work to earn it, and the more they’re likely to appreciate receiving it.

Taking the time to select rewards for your staff suggests that, as a business, you have a strong interest in your workforce and want to engage with them individually.

Rewarding points and personalised prizes

Personalising awards or offering bespoke gifts can also make employees feel individually recognised and valued, which helps to build staff and manager relationships.

Employee incentive programmes like point-based schemes, which involve an employee receiving a particular gift if they collect a set number of points over time, can also be used to encourage staff to hit targets.

With reward schemes like these the employee can feel connected to your company on an emotional level, rather than perhaps just a small part of a large corporation. The sports lover feels highly appreciated after being rewarded with a set of personalised golf clubs, while the technology fanatic feels valued and motivated to work harder after collecting enough points to receive their iPad.

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Presenting staff with their rewards

Unlike a financial bonus that’s just transferred into a staff member’s bank account, the employee can be presented with their reward like at work and in front of their team. This highlights their achievements to other employees, while demonstrating what can be achieved if they work hard too.

When it comes to engaging and motivating staff, businesses should consider investing in targeted rewards rather than giving out money to drive staff performance and reap long-term gains.

Helping you to recognise and reward your staff

Choosing rewards over money to recognise your staff’s achievements can help them to feel valued as individuals and, in turn, improve morale, their performance and development. Employee recognition programmes allow you to recognise and thank your teams in a number of ways using rewards.

At CR Worldwide, we provide effective employee recognition programmes that can improve morale, strengthen performance and increase staff development across your company. They are:

Easy to implement – Our recognition schemes can be set up quickly, and tailored to suit your staff’s needs and your business’s goals easily.

Easy to use – Our programmes provide simple ways to reward your staff’s hard work and achievements in a way that makes them feel valued and appreciated. This can improve their performance, enhance their loyalty, and can instantly create an emotional bond with your brand.

Easy to manage – Our schemes offer real-time reporting, which allows managers to easily keep track of their staff’s goals and instantly reward their achievements. A range of exciting rewards can also be selected from our catalogue.

We’d love to excite, engage and inspire your staff with our effective employee recognition schemes. To speak to a member of our award-winning team:

Or visit the contact us page to make a quick online enquiry to find out how to drive your business performance today.

David joined CR Worldwide as CEO in 2014. Leading a team of performance improvement experts, building and managing engagement programs, he is responsible for developing and growing the business to support new and existing clients.