The key to retaining employees is to ensure they're appreciated enough and rewarded well for their achievements.

But there's more to it than just retention.

According to Gallup's State of the Workplace report, the top factors in what people want in their next job is

  • Increased pay
  • Improved well-being, and
  • Opportunities to grow and develop.

This is a clear indicator that regardless of their location or role, employees seek well-being and job satisfaction as essential outcomes.

So in this blog, we'll uncover the power of rewards and recognition for employees at the workplace.

Understanding Employee Rewards and Recognition

Employee rewards are tokens of gratitude and appreciation that organizations offer to their teams. It's like a high-five for a job well done, but with a twist.

These perks can take various forms, from bonuses to gift cards for that favorite coffee spot, or even an extra day off to recharge.

Employee recognition is about the acknowledgement of skills, efforts, and achievements – akin to an employer saying, "You're doing an incredible job, and we value you!"

Benefits of Rewarding and Recognizing Employees

Peer-to-peer recognition offers numerous advantages. Given the multitude of benefits, let's delve into some of them.

1. Employees Are Super Motivated

When employees are rewarded and recognized for their efforts and successes, it ignites a fire within them. It acts as an additional motivational fuel, inspiring individuals to work harder and pursue even greater accomplishments.

2. Engagement Soars

A sense of involvement and engagement follows when your employees' contributions and efforts are acknowledged. When appreciated, they put more effort into their jobs, get more involved in projects, and develop a strong sense of dedication.

3. Everyone Is Happy With Their Jobs

Rewarding and acknowledging positive workplace behavior is something that employees truly appreciate. It conveys to them that their efforts are valued and their contributions are meaningful. Such recognition serves as a comforting source of contentment that keeps employees motivated and joyful.

4. Employees Tend to Stick Around for Longer

When employees consistently receive awards and recognition, they develop a sense of loyalty and attachment to their company. This just doesn't reduce turnover rates and contribute to retention, but fosters stability and continuity within the organization.

5. The Company Culture Becomes Positive

Rewards and recognition foster a welcoming workplace where gratitude is accepted as the standard. It fosters a climate of cooperation, support, and celebration, transforming the workplace into a happy and contented environment for everybody.

Which Behaviors of Employees should be Recognized and Rewarded?

Exemplary performance in the workplace deserves recognition and rewards. Let's identify those behaviors that deserve acknowledgment and celebration.

1. Sports an Exceptional Performance

It's a cause for celebration when an employee constantly goes above and beyond the call of duty, delivering excellent outcomes and exceeding expectations. Honor people who continuously exhibit great performance and make a major contribution to the team's or organization's success.

2. Innovation and Creativity

Employees who contribute to innovation by coming up with original ideas, thinking outside the box, and working creatively deserve praise. Rewarding their innovative spirit promotes a culture of continual progress, whether it's a game-changing innovation, a creative endeavor, or an original process improvement.

3. A Great Team Player Who Collaborates Well

Collaboration within a team is what holds a group of people together. Employees who actively assist and work together with their coworkers to accomplish common goals are deserving of praise. These people help to create a pleasant and effective workplace.

4. One Who Takes Leadership-Like Initiatives

Employees who exhibit these traits, exercise initiative, and step forward to mentor and motivate others should be commended. Their leadership is deserving of praise, whether it is overseeing an effective project, coaching subordinates, or exhibiting remarkable decision-making abilities.

5. Customer Service Excellence

Employees who continuously go above and beyond to satisfy customers and deliver great customer service deserve to be appreciated. Recognize individuals who push themselves to give customers the best of experiences.

6. Continuous Learning and Development

Employees who actively pursue professional and personal improvement and seize opportunities to learn and advance their abilities should be commended. Their dedication to development merits recognition, whether it's through extra training, learning new information, or taking on difficult tasks.

7. Positive Attitude and Motivation

Employees who improve their coworkers' spirits by being positive and enthusiastic at work should be commended. Their upbeat approach, tenacity, and capacity for inspiring others produce a great work environment that boosts output and morale.

8. Going Above and Beyond

To support their team or company, employees sometimes go the extra mile, displaying dedication, adaptability, and a willingness to take on additional tasks or responsibilities. Acknowledge those who consistently go above and beyond.

With ThriveSparrow's employee Recognition Platform, Kudos, you can enable peer-to-peer recognition and empower your team to celebrate and acknowledge each other's performance and hard work.

Whether it's a speedy task completion, burning the midnight oil to meet a project deadline, or lending a helping hand to a colleague, Kudos is the tool your team can use to recognize and appreciate each other. It helps set the tone for an amazing and happy workplace.

ThriveSparrow's Recognition Module
ThriveSparrow's Recognition Module helps you map recognition to your organization's values

Enable your team to celebrate star performers in your organization with 'High Fives. Sign up for free and foster a thriving culture of motivated, engaged, and happy individuals!

Types of Employee Rewards and Recognition

Recognition as a whole could be both tangible and in-tangible. Let's look at the many kinds of awards to appreciate, engage, and reward your employees.

1. Financial Benefits

Money is a proven incentive!

Bonuses, salary increases, profit-sharing, or commission-based incentives are examples of monetary incentives. These incentives give employees a concrete and frequently highly valued way to be recognized for their efforts and successes.

2. Non-Monetary rewards

Not every incentive has to be monetary!

Rewards that aren't monetary might nonetheless have a big impact. They consist of things like gift cards, coupons, products, or anything with the company's logo on them. These expressions of gratitude provide a personal touch and demonstrate the company's concern for the employees' preferences and interests.

Also read: 10 best fun award ideas to boost employee recognition at the workplace.

3. Emails or Notes of Gratitude

From time to time, a sincere word might go a long way!

Sending handwritten notes or personalized emails to convey gratitude and appreciation for a job well done may make a big difference. These heartfelt comments highlight the employee's efforts while recognizing specific accomplishments.

4. Public Gratitude

A little appreciation goes a long way!

Employee pride and morale may be raised by publicly praising their achievements during team meetings, company-wide announcements, or newsletters. It highlights their accomplishments in front of their coworkers, bosses, and the whole corporation.

5. Opportunities for Professional Development

Invest in Their Development!

Giving staff chances for professional growth, such going to conferences, workshops, or training programs, is a beneficial form of appreciation. It demonstrates that the company is dedicated to their professional development and has faith in their ability.

6. Extra Time Off

It's time for some much-needed relaxation and recuperation!

A priceless incentive is giving staff more paid time off, whether it's a day, a long weekend, or a flexible schedule. It enables staff members to unwind, spend time with loved ones, or engage in personal hobbies.

7. Employee of the Month/Quarter/Year

The title of the crème de la crème!

Employee of the Month, Quarter, or Year awards encourage healthy competition and offer a significant honor by recognizing exceptional employees. Additional benefits, such as specific office space, private parking, or planned celebratory events, are frequently included.

Build the Best Employee Recognition Program

A great recognition program should boost engagement and cultivate a positive workplace culture. Here are some steps to help you develop a fantastic employee appreciation program that will make your employees feel like real superheroes:

1. Set Clear Objectives

To begin, spell out the goals of your rewards scheme. What do you hope to accomplish? Is it better teamwork, greater drive, or greater job satisfaction? Having specific goals will help with program design and execution.

Research by Deloitte Insights suggests the same thing. Only 60% of organisations tie recognition to business goals. People will alter their behaviours to desired behaviours in order to be recognised. If these desired behaviours are aligned with the organisation’s goals, these goals can be achieved quickly.

In a nutshell, any idea that you have in mind, should be driven by a clear objective.

2. Fairness and Inclusivity

Make sure your program offers all employees an equal chance to be acknowledged. Establish clear qualifying standards and criteria to ensure a fair and uniform application process. To promote a collaborative workplace, think about praising both individual and team accomplishments.

3. Align With Company Principles

Your recognition program should be based on the basic principles of your company. Link the award to conduct and deeds that support these principles. This makes sure that rewards promote and reinforce the desired organizational culture.

4. Timely Recognition

Don't let your acknowledgment go unused! Create a system that enables prompt recognition. Recognize and celebrate exceptional contributions and accomplishments without delay. This makes sure that the acknowledgment is meaningful and pertinent, making an impression on the recipients that will last.

5. Enable Peer-To-Peer Recognition

Promote an appreciation-based culture by facilitating peer-to-peer recognition. Encourage employees to acknowledge the accomplishments and efforts of their coworkers. This promotes a friendly and collaborative work atmosphere in addition to spreading optimism.

6. Personalize Rewards

Whenever feasible, personalize prizes to reflect each recipient's tastes and interests. Surveys or casual conversations can help you learn what rewards your staff finds most appealing. To provide a variety of possibilities, think about combining monetary and non-monetary prizes.

7. Facilitate Continuous Feedback

Criticism and feedback are essential! Obtain input from staff members regularly on the success of the recognition program. Surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one interviews can be used to do this. Utilize this input to constantly enhance and improve the software.

Also read: How to measure your employees engagement with tools and metrics

8. Engagement of the Leadership

Leadership support and recognition are among the top three most effective non-financial factors for retention. [Talent 2020 survey]

Ensure that the leadership supports and actively participates in the recognition program. Leaders set a compelling example and emphasize the value of the program when they show their appreciation and recognition of staff accomplishments.

The importance of acknowledgment may be increased by having leaders participate in the selection and presentation of awards.

9. Celebrate Wins and Show Gratitude

Don't forget to celebrate! Plan recurring gatherings or celebrations to acknowledge and appreciate your valued staff. It might be as straightforward as a team lunch, an awards presentation, or a special day of gratitude.

Make these events distinctive and exceptional to genuinely honor the accomplishments of your staff.

Prepare to Sweep your Employees off their Feet!

Creating a robust employee rewards and recognition program can help you tap into your employees' potential. It fosters a workplace culture that inspires, motivates, and empowers individuals to achieve greatness through hard work and dedication.

By designing a program that aligns with your company's values, promotes inclusivity, and offers timely recognition, you'll be on your way to creating a workplace where every employee feels valued and motivated to excel. ThriveSparrow can assist you in curating the perfect program that unleashes the full potential of your workforce.

A strong employee rewards and recognition program not only benefits your employees but also enhances your organization's culture. We wish you the best of luck in your journey to fostering a culture of excellence and appreciation!


1. What are Examples of Employee Rewards?

Employee rewards can vary widely but typically include bonuses, gift cards, extra days off, and public recognition. Some companies might also offer unique rewards like gym memberships, tickets to events, or even the opportunity to work on special projects as a form of reward for hard work and dedication.

2. What are Some Low-Cost Ways to Reward Hard-Working Employees?

Recognizing employees doesn't have to break the bank. Some low-cost ideas include handwritten thank you notes, a shout-out in a team meeting, flexible work hours, casual dress days, or a feature in the company newsletter. Small gestures like these can make employees feel valued without costing much.

3. 5 Ways to show recognition to your employees

  1. Public Acknowledgment: Celebrate achievements during team meetings or via company-wide emails.
  2. Personal Thank You Notes: A simple, personalized note can make a big impact.
  3. Professional Development Opportunities: Offer training or development sessions that can help advance their careers.
  4. Peer-to-Peer Recognition Programs: Enable colleagues to recognize each other, which can enhance team morale.
  5. Celebratory Events: Host lunches or small parties to celebrate milestones and successes, making it a shared and memorable experience.