Managers have the important duty of giving out recognition and rewards. While these concepts are related, they’re often confused. A reward is tangible, but recognition is often more valued by employees. They need both to excel – which means your business needs them, as well.

Rules for Rewards

In many ways, rewards are simpler to manage and distribute than recognition. However, the term “reward” is over applied. These are tangible, consumable benefits that have definable prerequisites. Monetary bonuses or gift certificates are two examples.

For instance, if an employee performs at a specified standard or a defined activity, he or she will receive the reward. Anyone who doesn’t perform at that level won’t receive it. There’s no room for negotiation. There may be many ways to earn a particular reward, though. Consider a system with defined monetary values and a tiered structure. A salesperson, for example, can be incentivized with a reward for hitting a monthly goal. If he or she exceeds that target, though, a more valuable prize can be given. Keep in mind that these programs should be simple. Complex systems may make awards feel random or unattainable – and thus not worth pursuing.

With the ease of scheduling and developing rewards, they can be introduced into any business. From bonuses to vacation days and prizes, there are a number of valued commodities any employee would love to work toward.

Revitalize Through Recognition

Recognition is individualized and experienced rather than shared. Whenever a positive behavior is noticed, approval can be given – either verbal or written. This increases the chances that desired behavior will be repeated. Know the kind of recognition each of your employees enjoys, and give it. They’ll appreciate the thought and time you took to acknowledge their achievements.

Recognition may not be scheduled, but it should be given regularly. Letting people know they’re doing a good job will help boost the quality of their work. Although behaviors and qualities can be recognized, acknowledging actions is the best way to handle this incentive. It’s personal, but it can be given during public occasions. This allows other people to contribute, as well.

Public Rewards: The Best of Both Worlds

Public reward ceremonies are an effective way to mix these concepts. The awards are tangible, and they’re bestowed with a hefty dose of recognition. This allows the employee to take pride in his or her accomplishments, rather than just receiving an impersonal bonus.

Decide whether a reward or recognition is the best match for the situation. Giving a reward when recognition is warranted may make your employees feel like cogs; their work may be appreciated, but there’s no acknowledgement of the person who performed it. On the other hand, receiving recognition in place of a reward may make the task seem worthless. Valuing the person above their work begs the question: “How important is my job?”

Above all, give recognition and rewards when they’re deserved. Personnel will appreciate the respect shown by your recognition, and rewards can keep the workforce focused on meeting important goals. Reach out to us for more tips on stimulating your employees and tracking their progress, or get started with a few review phrases to help you write effective evaluations.