From Employee Rewards to a Thriving Culture

As company culture becomes increasingly important as part of the Employee Experience in the modern workplace, we’ve analyzed the link between Employee Rewards and the positive effects they have on the Company Culture.

March 1, 2022 By Dime Galapchev Share on Twitter! Share on Facebook! Share on LinkedIn!
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The ability to effectively use time and money to support the prosperity of employees to increase the success of the company, as a concept is being adopted by more and more businesses.

This especially has taken a boom during the Covid-19 pandemic, which triggered what is now being known as “ the great resignation”, where employees are leaving their positions in the search for meaning and recognition for the job they do, the job that defines their life. 

This resulted in increasing demand for personal, professional, and balanced relationships between workers, and their job, so a thriving environment is created.

To combat this, one of the best tools business can use is a good employee reward system, which can take your business to the next level, encouraging your employees to work harder, smarter, and more efficiently while also motivating them to stay with your company long-term.

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So, what are Employee Reward Systems?

Rewards systems refer to programs set up by a company to reward performance and motivate employees. Normally considered separate from salary, may be based on monetary or non-monetary incentives,  however, they still have a cost to the company.

Non-monetary rewards systems tend to focus on recognition, while monetary rewards are usually based on a fixed unit system.

Both of these types of rewards systems have been found to improve employee performance, increase productivity, innovation, and general wellbeing of everyone.

Why are we using them?

Rewards in the workplace can be a great way to keep employees motivated and engaged. 

In the past, business culture didn’t accept the importance of employee wellbeing, however, that is not the case anymore as more and more companies can see the positive outcome. 

Their effect on improving motivation, performance, and productivity is the result of the neuroscience behind our brain circuitry, which over the eons has evolved to seek reward on regular intervals, and small, incremental accomplishments. 

When you have a solid foundation of happy, motivated employees, that are in high well-being state, you’ll be surprised at how much more productive your business can become. 

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you’re running a massive corporation or just a small business: employee rewards keep people working hard to achieve goals and keep customers coming back for more.

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Taking Reward Systems To a New Level With Tech

Оver the years’ reward systems have improved and become the core of any healthy company. 

This led to the development of software solutions like SemosCloud’s JobPts, which allow employers to provide extraordinary employee experience by driving motivation up through incentivizing employee moments such as years of service or by rewarding achievements such as sales quotas and job referrals. 

This kind of employee reward software enables managers to recognize accomplishments on-the-spot and continuously improve their performance.

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Building a Thriving Culture with Employee Reward Systems 

 Since the point of employee reward systems is to increase employee wellbeing, and allow a culture where thriving is just a normal daily task, the rewards need to be synchronized with the employee’s most important needs.

Research done by Gallup found that there are five domains of wellbeing that distinguish a “meaningful life & job” from one that is just “existing”.

  • Number one is Career well-being, as loving what the employees do every day, and that to be aligned with their personal goals, is of the utmost importance.
  • The second place taken by Social Wellbeing means that having a supportive relationship between, friends, family, colleagues, and bosses, is directly connected with the feeling of belonging.
  • The third-place turned out to be Community Wellbeing, which means that both the place where you live and where you work, are communities where you feel safe and proud to be part of.
  • The fourth-place without a doubt goes to Economical Well-being, as having your finances managed successfully is essential in reducing stress and increasing security.

And last the Personal and Physical Wellbeing, which can be done by keeping the body and mind healthy and strong enough to function with focus and creativity.

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Importance of Rewards to Reflect on Employee Wellbeing

These five domains make the difference between a successful life, where the employee loves his/her job and is thriving, to a life that means simply “existing”, a state where the employee’s interest and focus to do the job dramatically decreases.

So having an environment where employees are prioritized, is the first step in creating a thriving culture, that through rewards, and recognition, can be used to increase the wellbeing of the five main domains.

Keep in mind it is very difficult to succeed in any field, and on top of that when one area of wellbeing is not good, it can affect other areas.

For example, people struggling with financial problems often experience stress, which affects their mood and overall health, which is directly reflected in their ability to perform effectively in the workplace.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, “resilience is a key strategy that helps employees tackle stress, a competitive job market, workplace conflicts, and address challenges on the job”.

The same research found that workers who have higher wellbeing factors are more likely to be stronger and more productive both during personal hardships, and general tough times, like the covid-19 pandemic. 

For example, staff members who are in a fairly good well-being state are 36% more likely to report full recovery after illness, injury, or depression, returning to work with the same productivity and effort as before.

Creating a reward system for a thriving culture

When starting to design your reward system, you need first to start with determining which corporate or group goals the incentive program will support together with the desired employee performance or behaviors that reinforce the company’s desires. 

How your employees feel while they are at work is not dependent only on the employer, but also on personal experiences outside the workplace.

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So if you want to create an employee reward system that promotes a culture where employees can continuously thrive, here are five steps that employers can take to help transform their company into an organization that employees with pride will help nourish, and grow.

  • Finding the best way to communicate with each employee demographic, as each generation has different expectations. 
  • Giving employees what they value, not what the managers think they want, especially since everyone is annoyed of companies that for years are providing only the basics without asking employees what they need.
  • Educate your leaders on how to best recognize an employee that is going through hard times. Don’t forget that asking for help isn’t easy; and building your company around a culture where all employees, including managers and executives, have a healthy environment to talk openly. 
  • Building personal connections with each employee allows managers to provide a safe place where difficult conversations can take place, and help move things forward. On top of this, knowing your employee personally, helps you make better decisions in choosing the right rewards.
  • Don’t just put effort into what is communicated, focus more on how the leaders in your company are interacting with employees, as this is a crucial factor that contributes to how the workers feel and think about your organization.

Types of Rewards

As humans are very complicated, there are also millions of things that can be given as rewards,  but all of them can be put in one of the four categories below:

Compensation

Wages and salaries are monetary benefits that meet an employee’s basic needs. So even the wage structure you utilize should be considered as part of your employee reward scheme, where well-defined accomplishments and goals are awarded monetary bonuses

Benefits

Benefits are another sort of extrinsic compensation you can provide to your employee. Salary, overtime, commissions, merit pay, profit-sharing, and bonuses are all forms of remuneration, but perks are sometimes more indirect. They include things like: Health insurance, retirement plans, the use of a business car, a corporate phone, meal and travel cost accounts, and an entertainment allowance. 

Recognition

By recognizing an employee’s successes in front of his peers, recognition serves as a psychological, or intrinsic, reward. Maintaining a “Wall of Fame” for employees who accomplish and exceed stated targets can be a simple way to do this. A physical reward, such as a restaurant gift certificate, or an intangible incentive, such as a day of paid leave, can be given. Any form of acknowledgment is acceptable as long as it is consistent and applied equally to all employees.

Appreciation

Another intrinsic reward you may provide your staff is appreciation. It’s better to express gratitude in person, such as through a handwritten thank-you note. Another technique to express gratitude is to pay a visit to the employee’s desk and express gratitude for a job well done. Showing that you value the job that an employee does for the firm is a powerful motivator for them to keep doing it.

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Choosing the right rewards

Although it may appear obvious, companies regularly make the mistake of honoring actions or outcomes that do not advance or actively harm business goals.

If your company’s goal is to create cooperation, it makes no sense to reward employees for enhancing performance at the expense of themselves or others. 

Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a “proper” or “wrong” employee compensation system when creating one for your company

Requesting input from your employees and allowing them to assist you in developing a system that works best for you is a form of recognition as well. Just keep your messages simple, yet consistent, to keep your workforce informed about reward system updates.

Since we’ve covered the basics of using rewards systems to increase your company’s wellbeing, here are five examples that can be easily customized for your specific needs.

Stand out Performer

Contact your HR department and find out which employees are the standouts on your team. These are people who consistently perform above expectations and go above and beyond for the company. 

Find out what makes these people so great, and what other employees can learn from them.

Then, let everyone know about them. Hold special meetings to recognize their success, post their names on a bulletin board, or let them give presentations at staff meetings.

Most Improved Performer

Identify employees who have made a significant improvement in their performance. 

This could be someone who has mastered a new skill, increased sales, or just get better at getting along with others.

 Give them public recognition for their efforts and let other employees know that you appreciate their hard work.

The Growth Driver

Identify employees who have had a significant impact on your business growth.

This could be someone who has increased sales, reduced costs, or improved the productivity of your team. 

Give them public recognition for their efforts and let other employees know that you appreciate their hard work.

They could be a vital part of the marketing team, or they might be an employee who is doing excellent work with customers.

Sometimes it’s just “the person in the next cubicle” who can help your business succeed. Let other employees know about these hardworking and valued employees.

Best Team Player

The presence of this employee on your team has been invaluable, and it’s a vital asset to your company. The employee always takes the initiative to step up when others have fallen short. Together with the positive attitude and optimism has made all of your coworkers strive for greatness. Whenever there is a crisis, the employee is always the first to volunteer and lend a helping hand. 

As such, it deserves to be presented with the award.

Upon receiving an award, the recipient is recommended also to give a short speech, as part of the outreach to motivate other colleagues and to create heroes.

The Community Builder Award

In today’s world, we all appreciate a little recognition. It can make the difference between a good experience and a great one. 

If you are looking to give your brand some momentum, take the time to recognize your employees for their achievements outside of work. 

The positive reinforcement will help them continue to be productive and successful.

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