Do Rewards and Recognition Really Improve Workplace Productivity?

Posted in Workplace Incentives, company culture, Gift Vouchers, Rewards and Incentives, Retain Talent, Vouchers, Gift Cards, Change behaviour, Positive workplace environment, Pre-paid credit cards, Staff Performance Incentives, Retaining Employees, Incentives and Rewards, Staff Incentive Programs, Improving Performance, Engagement Specialists, Engaging Employees, Employee Gift Cards, Vouchers and E-codes, Incentivising Performance

by Iain Thomson on Feb 6, 2019 4:14:27 PM

Despite workplace rewards and recognition now being a common part of workplace culture, they’re still viewed with scepticism by some.

After all, why should businesses be encouraging their employees to be productive? Employees should just be grateful for having a job in the first place, right? Workers are paid to do a job. If they don’t work hard enough or hit their targets, there are more than enough ready & willing replacements out there.

Or at least, that's the theory...

COFFEE IS JUST FOR CLOSERS?

If you love your films, you might have seen the iconic Glengarry GlenRoss.

It features a standout scene where Alec Baldwin’s character Blake is laying down the law to his new team of salesmen. He wants them to pick up the phone and sell, sell, sell – and if they want a coffee? Well, that’s just for closers, isn’t it?

It might be a legendary bit of cinema, but as a means to motivating employees to sell and increase workplace productivity, it simply wouldn’t fly today. And there’s good reasons as to why…

"Employee productivity can jump as much as 30% when team members receive just one piece of praise a day."

1. UK WORKERS ARE CONFIDENT IN THEIR EMPLOYABILITY

A recent study by British Social Attitudes surveyed the UK’s population’s attitudes toward the world of work. They found that nearly 60% of young people (aged 18-25) feel confident they can find work relatively easily; despite economic uncertainties and the rise of automation.

And this statistic is important because…

2. THE MILLENNIALS ARE COMING

Yup, and in greater numbers!

That most enigmatic of generations is making their mark on the workplace; in fact, the millennial generation currently makes up around 40% of the current workforce and this number is expected rise.

Their expectations of what a job should be and what they want from a career are significantly different to older generations of workers. But the older generations still have a huge role to play.

3. PEOPLE ARE WORKING FOR LONGER

Whilst the number of younger people who are making their way into work is on the rise, thanks to advancements in healthcare and medicine, we live in an ageing population. As a result, it’s believed that within the next 10-15 years, over a third of the UK’s total workforce will be aged 50 or over.

However, the fact that people are and will be working for longer isn’t just down to increased life expectancy. For some workers, it’s because of financial necessity.

SO, WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN FOR PRODUCTIVITY?

For employers, these three factors can play a huge part in their productivity and performances in the workplace. The workforce is working harder than ever and for longer, but this comes with a mightily large caveat.

The confidence that younger workers have in finding work means they won’t hang around doing a job they dislike, doesn’t meet their expectations or match up with their own vision and values.

Job-hopping may have been viewed as a negative less than a decade ago, but it’s now commonplace amongst the newer generations of employees. Constantly having to attract new talent can be costly whilst failing to retain brilliant staff members can be a huge barrier to productivity and growth.

On the other side of the coin, older workers bring not just experience, but also wealth of potentially hard-to-find skills to the workplace. As a result, they’re becoming a valuable commodity for businesses looking to grow and expand.

Like the job-hopping younger generations, productivity and output can be severely affected if key older workers within an organisation decide to either retire or move jobs – taking their valuable skills and experience with them. So, it’s in every organisation’s best interests to ensure they remain happy and settled in their roles should they want to carry on working.

Click here to get your free Employee Motivation Cheat Sheet

WHERE REWARDS AND RECOGNITION COME IN

When an organisation chooses to reward and recognise its workforce, it starts to build a positive company culture. A positive company culture strengthens employee loyalty, encourages positive behaviours and, perhaps most importantly, increases company productivity.

But how?

"A cash bonus that’s received in monthly wage packets can be easily lost to regular outgoings; like household expenses or monthly bills. Where’s the fun in that?"

THEY’RE SOCIAL AND ENCOURAGE WORKFORCE INTERACTION

Would you feel comfortable discussing your wages or a cash bonus with your colleagues? Conversations about personal finances and bonuses in the workplace isn’t really the done thing; with many people finding these types of conversations crass and intrusive.

Maximising rewards and recognition by offering cashless rewards completely avoid these issues. When a workforce knows that an employer will regularly reward hard work through a rewards and incentives programme, they’ll be more inclined to give more in return.

The same goes for recognition, too. Employees will be more motivated to share their experiences of their own rewards or recognition with colleagues – spreading positivity and encouraging better performances from all.

REWARDS HAVE A FAR DEEPER VALUE THAN CASH

A thoughtful non-cash reward or incentive can really resonate with employees in a way that cash bonuses can’t compete with. Whilst an extra cash bonus is of course nothing to be sniffed at, it’s a very impersonal form of reward.

Also, a cash bonus that’s received in monthly wage packets can be easily lost to regular outgoings; like household expenses or monthly bills. Where’s the fun in that?

A physical or experiential reward – such as a gift voucher or a couple of cinema tickets - can make a much more effective motivator and create a longer-lasting impact with the recipient.

THEY POSITIVELY INFLUENCE BEHAVIOUR

Regardless of the age of your employees, experiential rewards are more effective than cash because they give people the chance to create positive memories.

These positive memories will then go onto influence positive behaviour; and positive behaviour in the workplace is essential to driving productivity and engagement with employees.

IT CAN ALL START WITH JUST A SIMPLE THANK YOU

The art of just saying ‘thank you’ is great for business. It’s a simple act of recognition that sits at the very core of employee rewards and recognition – a simple act that carries a hell of a lot of weight when it comes to improving workplace productivity.

Showing appreciation to employees for their efforts is something that many employees value over the prospect of a bonus. It can be as easy as just saying ‘thanks’, or perhaps just chipping in for a round of decent coffees for your team. In fact, employee productivity can jump as much as 30% when team members receive just one piece of praise a day.

Still think coffee is just for closers? You just might want to think again…

MOTIVATED STAFF  ARE JUST THE BEGINNING OF A BRILLIANT COMPANY CULTURE...

Keeping staff motivated is just a small part of positive company culture. And a positive company culture is essential to success, retention and productivity.

Get the full lowdown on how you can nurture a positive company culture by checking out our online guide - just hit the link below to find out more!

Free ebook: Square Pegs and Round Holes  A successful company culture nurtures different personalities, rather than  forcing everyone into the same box. Learn all about personality types and how  to work with them in our ebook.

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