When rewarding employees it is important to be as effective as possible. Here are some tips from the Washington Post on making rewards work for you AND your employees.
Find out what rewards are attractive to your employees- giving employees a reward they actually want and can use will be more effective than a reward that the company wants to give (tools like surveymonkey.com allow employees to answer anonymously)
Explain to people how rewards are determined- making the rewards process clear to employees is key in making rewards an effective tool (placing guidelines and performance structure in the employee handbook puts the criteria in writing)
Distribute rewards in a fair way- if the distribution system is not fair it can ruin the employees opinion of the rewards program, and the company (making the earning criteria for rewards clear will always make the system seem fair)
Provide rewards in a timely manner- providing rewards as quickly as possible makes employees appreciate them more, spot rewards (small, instant rewards such as a small denomination gift card) can be very effective
Use rewards to reinforce constructive behaviors- rewards should both reinforce desired behavior and motivate employees to repeat it
Consider flexibility- employee backgrounds can differ significantly, so it is important that rewards vary accordingly. Having a variety of gift card brands provides convenience for the employer and choice to the employee
Vary the awards- vary external rewards such as gifts and bonuses, with internal rewards such as autonomy and varied projects (indicating these options in the reward criteria will make employees aware of their options)
Periodically check employees’ perceptions- this ensures your rewards program remains effective (surveymonkey.com, and other similar tools can be helpful for this as well)
Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional . She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.