Top Trends in Rewards & Recognition for 2017

Not long ago, an engraved pen or a watch for 20-30 years of service in the company was considered a status symbol. Companies still give out certificates and plaques to employees but the acceptance of such rewards has changed over time. Companies today have a workforce with employees from different generations. Keeping this multi-generational workforce motivated and engaged become a concern to most HR managers. The new workforce looks for something very different and substantially more than these rewards & recognition programs. Here are the major trends to reflect it:

Top-Down Recognition To Value-Based Recognition

Earlier, the rewards & recognition programs used to be such that any appreciation or rewards came directly from any senior that the employee interacted with. Times have changed today. Employees now seek appreciation not only from the seniors but also from their team, as they know do day to day and their appreciation is much more genuine and meaningful. Top-Down recognition is also known to increase transparency in the company and motivate employees to engage with the management more often. 78% employees say that being recognised by their management helps keep them motivated in their jobs. 

Peer-to-peer recognition

While managers may reward their employees during annual appraisal/ monthly/quarterly appraisals, peer-to-peer rewards and appreciation is something new. According to a study by JetBlue, peer-to-peer recognition can up employee engagement by 2% and increase employee retention by 3% in an organization. The main purpose of peer-to-peer recognition is to make appraisal less like a performance review and more like an expression of gratitude.

Experience Rewards: The Feel Good Factor

Rewarding a high performer with cash or merchandise is so yesterday. The effect of such extrinsic rewards does not remain for long. While giving gifts is a good idea, you need a gift that continues to give. Experiences like flying a plane, horseback riding, dining on a yacht, cocktail mixing session or simply unwinding at a resort among other unique experiences makes for an incredible gift. A Gallup research found that recognition motivates 82% of employees to improve their job performance.

Giving Some Off-Time

Work-life balance is a trending topic for discussion as more and more employees have the option to work from home these days. There was a time when companies used to frown upon employees taking more than a week’s leave. Now, the companies not only give employees paid vacations but also help employees with childcare, flexible working arrangements, work from home options and even helping employees plan their executive education.

Social Recognition: A New Currency

Rewards are finite in nature, not all performers can be honored with it. Hence, to motivate employees, we need to recognize them socially. Social recognition allows day-to-day achievements to be seen, commented on and even shared on outside networks. Give them good parking space, put them in their company newsletter, call out their achievements during team meetings and make them feel included.

Long Term Service Recognition:

These awards are designed specifically for employees who have served a tenure of 5, 10 or 15 years at the organization. With a multigenerational workforce constantly job hopping, celebrating a long term tenure becomes a good occasion to show gratitude for their service. Also, this becomes a motivating factor for the employee to stay on at the organization.

Onboarding/Induction Gifts:

Gifts/Rewards given to new employees help improve the employee experience at the organization from their first day. An engaging onboarding activity sets high standards of culture at the company along with boosting the employee’s confidence in the company. Organizations are also giving away local experiences to employees who have moved cities to join the company motivating them to explore the local surroundings and get to know the city a little better.

There has been a drastic shift in the way that rewards and recognition has evolved this year, while monetary benefits have always been a go-to choice, the tangent has now moved towards a more engaging, personalised gifting experience. Companies are now starting to realise that monetary benefits can only go so far when it comes to engaging and motivating employees.

You can always visit our Employee Rewards & Recognition platform XOXO Enterprise to give your employee a token of appreciation for their work.

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