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Rewarding Work In The Right Way

Scott Tremper

Creative Director at Traitify | Lover of Film, Games, Music, and Wiener Dogs | Inventor/Planner in Work

Employee retention is a complicated matter. There are many factors that contribute to the departure of a fantastic employee; we've discussed quite a few of them, such as conflict and company culture. The latter focused on hiring for fit to begin with while the former regarded keeping employees happy by preventing internal combustion.

But what can you do to keep employees happy once they're in the door and everything is seemingly fine? Is a salary enough to retain them? There is evidence to support employees expect some level of recognition or reward when they succeed.

As an employer, it's important to understand why this matters as well as why it's a necessity to match the appreciation to the person it's directed toward. And naturally, a lot of it has to do with personality.

 

Why Rewards Matters

It may seem like common sense to give employees positive feedback, but it's still a commonly missed ingredient in many organizations and misunderstood by an equal number. A simple Google search reveals such. For example, start typing, "Why E…" into Google and it will immediately autocomplete your sentence to, "Why Employee Recognition is Important."

But what are the ramifications for a business to do so? HR.com supplies three valuable reasons: Reduced turnover, improved team culture, and increased performance. Not a bad list of things you'd probably want to achieve in your organization.

A simple 18k Gold Medal can garner this kind of reaction.

Financially, all three of those factor into why employers should endorse great work. It's important to consider the costs associated with recognition. A "reward" for an employee could range from a written or verbal thank you, or elevate up to something more extravagant, such as a paid vacation to a tropical destination. Still, even the relative expenses related to the prize will be less than the typical cost of replacing an employee. Throw in the long-term increased performance/productivity and you'll see the benefits greatly outweigh the costs associated with establishing a plan of recognition for employees. This program can also be used in recruiting efforts as a way to attract talent.

 

Making Rewards Matter

So now that we know it's a no-brainer to recognize our stand-out employees, how can we go about doing that? As usual, it's extremely important to consider the recipient and their personality. As easy as it is to give some rewards, they can just as easily be received in a negative fashion.

A simple starting point is to look at different ways you might want to recognize introverts vs. extroverts. For example, extroverts relish public, verbal recognition. Thank them for their hard work in a company meeting or during a team event. Even if accompanied by a physical gift, some extroverts might find more value and encouragement from the public acknowledgement. Introverts on the other hand might react oppositely. As Dora Wang of Tiny Pulse describes it, "…the thought of having the company's eyes on them might make them break out in hives." Wang suggests alternatives, such as a handwritten note or one-on-one meeting, that will levy the "stage fright" but still give the same impact of appreciation. Another solution would be to highlight their work in a company newsletter or office chat channel. They'll receive mass recognition without having to actually be in front of a group.

Thanks for putting all this attention on me. Consider this my two weeks.

Depending on your budget dedicated to recognition, rewards themselves should also reflect those that will be on the receiving end.

Have a team member that is forward-thinking and confident? Look into books on leadership and vision, or entrust them to lead a team for the next project on deck.

Coffee addict? A new mug, unique bag of coffee, or even a gift card to the local coffee shop does wonders for people feeling appreciated and recognized.

Unsure what to present to the introvert we discussed earlier? Peek at their workspace for some clues to their personal interests, or even simply ask them if they have weekend plans and find something that might bolster their experience. It only takes a short amount of time and effort to find something creative that reflects their personality.

Often the reward itself will be the last thing the makes a long-term impression on an employee. Delivering the reward in a meaningful and appropriate manner and offering something that clearly relates to that person will show you took the time to recognize them in a way personalized to who they are.

In some cases, you might find it impossible to satisfy an employee and even the best example of recognition might still cause them to move on. But, if you smartly consider the reasons behind the importance of rewarding your team and find clever and meaningful ways to express this acknowledgement, you'll find a happy team. And as we've repeatedly mentioned, happy employees stick around and create better work.

Want to reward your employees in the right way? Start by understanding their personality. Begin with a personalized demo of Traitify today.

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