How Rewards And Recognition Increase Employee Satisfaction

One of the toughest challenges businesses and managers face in a growing economy is keeping their employees satisfied.

A mix of older workers nearing retirement, middle-aged workers changing companies for big promotions, and an increasing population of a younger, mobile workforce makes it tough for businesses to keep up.

So how do successful businesses do it without necessarily giving employees a large raise, bonus, or promotion?


Answer: Rewards & Recognition.


These words are music to employees’ ears and the key to long-term employee satisfaction.

Here’s how rewards and recognition will increase overall employee satisfaction and how your company can effectively implement them today.


Recognition involves acknowledging an employee for specific accomplishments achieved, actions taken, or attitudes exemplified through their behaviour. Experiment with these two ideas to start:

A Simple Thank You

Believe it or not, a simple thank you from managers and business owners can go a long way with employee satisfaction.

According to HR Magazine, more than half (58%) of workers don’t believe they’ve been thanked enough in the workplace. On top of that, 54% of them said this left them feeling under-appreciated and 41% said they felt demotivated as a result.

Make it part of your schedule to periodically thank employees for no reason at all and it will pay dividends for your company.

Recognise the Individuals Within the Teams

Many times it takes a team to complete a big project at work. It is very important for businesses to realise and acknowledge that it took the efforts of the entire team and not just one person. Personally thank and reward each individual that was part of the successful project.

Also remember that individual recognition can come from both the company and the employee’s peers. This is far different from the traditional “top-down” approach to recognition.

More and more companies are realising that peer-to-peer feedback is a powerful tool in building team spirit and motivating employees to do great work. It helps to promote openness and transparency within teams and can increase employee satisfaction organically.


A winning reward system recognises and rewards two types of employee activity – performance and behaviour. Many successful companies have a strategic rewards system that address both compensation and benefits. Here are a few ideas:

Make Rewards More Than Just Money

While everybody loves getting raises or bonuses, studies show that monetary rewards are not the primary motivating factor for increasing employee satisfaction.

Consider giving employees who have done a great job at work emotional rewards such as extra time off or the option to work from home for a few days that month.

Other ideas include taking employees out to lunch to celebrate achievements or upgrading their office space to a room with a view.

Rewards Should Be Engaging

Don’t wait with rewards. Companies can engage and satisfy an employee with a reward by delivering it on the spot and on time. Making someone wait until the end of the year for a job well-done is outdated and impersonal.

Instead, offer on-the-go rewards – whether it’s a gift, equity, or a bonus – to surprise them and let them know that they are doing a great job.

Rewards Should Be Personal

Gifts that aren’t meaningful to employees are a waste of time and money for the company and the employee.

Find out exactly what your employees want by asking them directly or performing a survey. The answers will not be the same for everyone and so it’s important to customise the rewards accordingly.

For example, your new Millennial hire may want a bonus because he or she is paying off student loans, while a Baby Boomer may want additional equity in the company as they plan for their eventual retirement.

Today’s most successful organisations employ effective employee rewards and recognition programs and regularly review them to ensure that they are truly driving the employee satisfaction line.

With a well thought out and well-executed plan, your business has the opportunity to do the same – reaping the benefits of a higher retention rate, lower recruiting costs, and more satisfied employees.

How Rewards And Recognition Increase Employee Satisfaction