How vital are rewarding and engaging employees?
Employees who are engaged at work perform better, stay longer, and invest more of themselves in their job. However, a Gallup survey found the following:
- Only 34 percent of the US workforce is engaged in their jobs.
- 53 percent is not engaged.
- 13 percent is actively disengaged.
The numbers imply that less than half of US workers strive for high performance while the majority of them only give the minimum to reach expectations. Still, the most alarming of all is the small percentage of disengaged employees.
Despite their tiny number, they can deal considerable loss to an organization. Disengaged employees can passively or actively sabotage the progress of your company. Most won’t do anything to harm their work directly, but they also won’t care enough to help.
For example, disengaged employees may not report quality issues they notice, participate actively in meetings, help new hires, and go the extra mile for clients and customers.
The good thing is that employers can help those who are not engaged and actively disengaged and maintain high levels of involvement in all groups. One tried-and-tested way to raise employee engagement is using reward and recognition.
Reward and recognition make employees feel acknowledged, valued, and satisfied with their work. All good employers know how important employee satisfaction is in the company’s overall success. If you’re looking for ideas to reward and engage your employees, here are ten that work.
Company culture plays a critical role in defining the workplace environment, mission, vision, values, and goals of the organization. It also affects employee engagement and, ultimately, the success of the whole team. Employees who identify with the company culture find more pleasure in working for the organization and being associated with it.
Limited-edition company merchandise can be a good reward for passionate employees, as well as reinforcement for stronger company culture. T-shirts, coffee mugs, water bottles, and notebooks are popular choices for company merchandise.
Often, employees can share the same niche interests, like outdoor activities, sports, and creative hobbies. Consider getting merchandise that is related to the team’s hobbies and interests, like Your text heresports gear and accessories or craft supplies, to make the reward more personal and practical. Better yet, ask your employees what they want, and start a poll.
There’s no harm in a little competition in the office. It’s a great way to make things interesting, encourage employee involvement and innovation, and recognize and reward great work and ideas.
Some popular office competitions involve photography, creating a slogan, and designing the company T-shirt or logo. Employees who win the contest will be rewarded in cash, gifts, or perks, and their work will be featured on the company website and merchandise.
It’s not all the time that you’ll need new designs or ideas. In which case, you can organize monthly trivia games and office raffles to engage and reward employees. Monthly competitions break the monotonous routine and inject fun in the workplace.
Pets in the Office
With the pet-ownership population on the rise, you shouldn’t be surprised if most of your employees, especially the younger ones, have a pet or two at home. Many of these employees are likely to be anxious about leaving their animal companions at home.
As a form of reward and motivation, why not allow pets in the office once or twice a week? Some studies have found that pet-owning employees who take their dogs or cats to work are less stressed and more productive than those who leave theirs at home.
Of course, having pets in the office can also be stressful for employees who aren’t fond of animals or have fur allergies, so you may want to do a survey before everything else.
Gift Certificates and Gift Boxes
Who doesn’t love receiving gifts? Giving gifts is an act of showing appreciation, so aside from the pleasurable feeling of receiving something, you also get the fulfillment of knowing that you’re valued.
It’s always awesome to get presents from your employer, whether in the form of gift certificates or gift boxes. Employees who’ve done a lot for the company and stayed with you for another year deserve to know that they are valued and appreciated. Giving gifts is one way you can tell them that.
However, gifts won’t have much meaning if they’re not useful to your employees. So make sure to ask first what your people want to create the perfect company gift boxes or gift certificate to give as rewards.
You can also take this opportunity to strengthen company culture and build your brand by customizing company gift boxes with a winning design from one of your office contests.
Uber or Lyft Ride Credits
Employee engagement isn’t just about improving productivity, but it’s also about genuinely looking after your people. That’s why rewards that help employees work better and resonate more with them.
In line with that, consider giving out Uber or Lyft ride credits as rewards to deserving employees instead of fancy yet unnecessary items. Employees who take a train or bus to work are likely to appreciate this useful and practical reward more.
Team Lunch (on the Company)
Many people bond over their love for good food. Team lunches, paid for by the company, create opportunities for employees to get to know one another and work better together. The informal setting will help put everyone at ease, encourage an unfettered exchange of ideas, and may even result in several innovations from the team. Moreover, team lunches allow leaders to check how the group and the employees are doing without formally asking them or setting up a meeting.
That’s not all though. Employees who get free food at work also feel happier with their jobs because it makes them feel more valued and lessens their daily worries. Many employees also think a lot about the cost of things and worry about getting their basic needs. Free meals may be a nice perk for some, but for others, they’re a great help.
Monetary and material rewards may be useful, but sometimes, time off can be the best gift you can give to your employee. No matter how passionate an employee is in their job, they also need to rest and recover to stay in top form. After completing a challenging project or client, consider giving your employee or team time off to restore their energy so they perform their best the next day.
Some companies also offer additional vacation leaves for every year an employee has stayed in the company. Time is a precious resource, more valuable than money. Employees who already earn a lot may find time off a better reward than more money.
Many modern employees want autonomy and flexibility in their jobs. If the nature of your business allows for it, consider giving your employees work-from-home days to get away from the office from time to time. You’re not just giving your workers some much-needed routine break, but you’re also giving them a refuge from traffic congestion and the city’s noise and distractions.
Work-from-home days also helps employees save time and energy since they don’t have to wake up early to prepare and commute to and from work. Staying at home also lessens the opportunities to spend money on food and other things.
Personalized Thank-You Note
A reward doesn’t always need to be big or expensive to make an employee feel appreciated. It can be a simple as a handmade thank-you note from the boss, manager, or supervisor.
Sometimes, a little reminder can do wonders to acknowledge and appreciate an employee’s hard work. A thank-you note works better when it’s genuine and personalized, so avoid using a template and giving out notes indiscriminately.
Many leaders who get caught up in the big matters often forget the little things employees have done to help the team, and this can make them feel unappreciated. Don’t take small favors for granted because they do a lot to enhance the working environment and team morale. Send a little thank-you note to recognize everyone’s effort, no matter how small these are.
Career Growth and Development
Professional growth is one of the best rewards you can give employees to engage them in their work. About 87 percent of the millennial workforce considers career growth and development opportunities as one of the requirements of their job.
Modern employees want to stay relevant and achieve continued success, and they know that they can only get that if they don’t stop growing their knowledge and skills. That’s why opportunities for learning and development are just as important, if not more, for them as a competitive remuneration package.
If employers want to retain talented workers, they should provide all employees with useful training, workshops, learning experiences, and chances to climb the corporate ladder.
The Impact of Reward and Engagement
Reward and engagement are not only good for employees, but they’re also beneficial to the entire organization. Engaged employees report higher satisfaction and fulfillment from their jobs. This makes them less likely to jump ship and more likely to perform better and stay motivated.
For the company, this means lower turnover and higher retention rates. Also, high levels of engagement are followed by better scores in productivity, customer satisfaction and retention, and revenue.
Rewards and recognition play a big part in keeping employees engaged and motivated. Never miss out on opportunities to reward and recognize employees, whether in the form of monetary incentives, gifts, office perks, or experiences. It’s one of the most effective ways to empower them and show their value in the organization.