Best and Worst Ways to Reward Employees

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Managers and supervisors often face the dilemma of how to best reward employees. There are a number of different ways to do this, but some methods are more effective than others. 

According to a Deloitte study, recognition plays a major role in increasing employee engagement and job performance. Organizations who have implemented these appreciation programs have reported an astounding 14% higher level of employee engagement, productivity, and performance than those without such systems in place.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the best and worst ways to reward employees, so you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your team.

Best Way #1: Provide Public Recognition. 

Everyone loves to be recognized for a job well done, and providing recognition is an easy and effective way to reward employees. It could be a simple “thank you” or something more formal like public recognition at a company event. 

This kind of reward serves as both an incentive and a reminder that your team’s hard work is appreciated. It shows that you truly value their work and the contributions they make.

Worst Way #1: Assuming What Motivates Your Team (like Pizza Parties).

Yes, we all love pizza and other treats. But when it comes to rewards for employees, generic rewards like pizza parties can actually serve as a disincentive. It sends the message that you don’t really care enough to make it a personal reward.

Rather than relying on generic rewards, try to find something unique and personalized for each individual. A gift card, movie tickets or an extra day off can show an employee that you truly value them and recognize their hard work. 

Best Way #2: Create a Wholistic Recognition Program. 

Rather than randomly rewarding employees, you can create a wholistic recognition program that rewards employees for specific behaviors or achievements. 

Imagine an integrated system like Lucky Carrot that enables businesses to acknowledge the achievements and hard work of their employees. The system makes it easy for employees to recognize each other for their contributions and hard work. 

Multi-Level Recognition

With Lucky Carrot, the recognition isn’t just limited to the employee level. You can also recognize individuals or teams at a higher level. This helps you show your appreciation for their work and encourages even more engagement from other team members.

Integrated Into Existing Systems

Lucky Carrot is also integrated with other systems, such as Slack and Zoom. This means that you can easily track employee progress and recognize their efforts in real-time without needing to add addition platforms to your existing workflows.

Track Employee Networks

Lucky Carrot allows you to visually see which employees are giving and receiving recognition. This helps you understand which employees are connected and how they’re working together. 

Customized Rewards 

Lucky Carrot’s rewards system allows employees to cash in on rewards that they receive like gift cards, experiences, etc. By giving custom options, you can make sure that the rewards they receive are genuinely meaningful and something they care about. 

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Worst Way #2: Top-Down Recognition. 

If you’ve seen that recognition in your organization only comes from the manager, that’s a problem. A true culture of recognition should be built from the ground up, with recognition coming from those at all levels of the organization. 

Recognition that comes only from higher-ups makes individual contributors feel like they need to “wait” for recognition instead of publicly participating in the recognition process. 

Any good reward program should encourage employees to recognize each other, as well as provide opportunities for managers and supervisors to give recognition. This creates a culture of appreciation that benefits everyone. 

Best Way #3: Encourage Limitless Recognition. 

To truly create a positive culture of employee recognition, you should allow for limitless recognition. This means that employees don’t have to wait for a special occasion or milestone, but can recognize each other on a regular basis. 

It also encourages employees to recognize small successes and accomplishments instead of waiting for the big ones. 

Worst Way #3: Tie Recognition to Performance Reviews. 

Although performance reviews are necessary, tying recognition to them can be a huge mistake. When employees receive recognition only during their review, it makes the recognition seem artificial and less sincere. 

Instead, try to separate the two. Give ongoing recognition for specific accomplishments or behaviors instead of relying on your annual performance review as the only time to do so. 

By following these best practices for rewarding employees, you can ensure that your team feels appreciated and motivated to continue doing great work. With an effective reward program in place, you can create a positive work environment where everyone is recognized for their hard work and dedication. 


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