Recognition VS Rewards: The Difference & Why You Need Both

Recognition & Motivation Ideas

Most companies are well aware of how important it is to recognize and reward outstanding employees regularly. Saying “thank you” in a public way improves morale, decreases turnover and increases productivity.

However, the perceived cost of a formal recognition program can keep some businesses from implementing one.

The good news is that recognition and reward programs can be tailored to fit almost any budget. The key is to balance the two in such a way that works for both the employees and the bottom line.

Keep daily, weekly or monthly recognition efforts inexpensive yet meaningful; then reward your top performers with more expensive items on a quarterly or yearly basis.

Still need convincing that this is doable? Here are 10 low- or no-cost recognition ideas that your employees will love!

Award certificates

Anyone will tell you that there’s just something special about receiving an award that you can display proudly in your workspace. PaperDirect has a variety to choose from, including foil-embossed Specialty Certificates that start at just $31.99 for a box of 50.

Encourage peer-to-peer recognition

Giving employees the ability to recognize each others’ efforts, both big and small, is a terrific motivator. This can be as simple as setting up a template online with the heading of “You’re a star because…” Employees fill out the rest, print it and present it.

Include a “Rock Star” column in your company newsletter

Ask employees to submit names of coworkers who have gone above and beyond. Make sure they include what the employee did that deserves praise.

Keep a kudos calendar

Hang a large format, dry erase calendar on your office wall. Then when someone does something great, write their name on the calendar, along with their accomplishment.

Post the name of the employee of the month/week/day in a public place

Is there an area to hang or display a sign in your business’s entrance? If so, this is the perfect opportunity to showcase outstanding staff members.

Write a thank you note

There really is nothing like receiving a handwritten, heartfelt note of thanks from one’s boss for a job well done.

Offer a long lunch

When things get hectic around the office, let hard-working employees have a little extra paid time in the middle of the day to run errands or just relax.

Hand out candy jar awards

With just a few inexpensive mason jars, a couple of bags of candy and some bright ribbon, you can create one sweet award!

Bring in donuts

This is an oldie but a goodie. Who doesn’t love to walk in the door in the morning and see fresh, free donuts waiting for them?

Give a traveling award

This can be a trophy or something more fun like a rubber chicken. Each week, pass the baton on to a different employee for something they’ve accomplished.