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Don’t waste your money.

By February 16, 2021 No Comments

Companies looking to attract and retain top talent or improve customer or guest service and experience can no longer rely on simply increasing employee compensation and offering cash bonuses.

This is not sustainable. This is especially true today more than ever before, as many businesses are still highly impacted by the Covid issues, so how do you retain staff, improve productivity and increase engagement in the most economical way?

The most successful employers have developed strategies to overcome these challenges by implementing a range of ideas including an effective recognition and reward strategy, which if implemented correctly will be paid for out of improvements to the business.

A proven way to attract and retain top talent, improve efficiency, and increase customer service is to implement a recognition program that rewards discretionary effort or staff going “above and beyond”.

If behaviours are clearly defined and tied into company values they can have a great impact. Recognising staff for recruitment referrals or innovation and cost saving ideas can add real value to the business through cost saving and efficiencies and these positively impact the bottom line.

A recognition program should not reward staff for doing their job or meeting their KPIs. This is what they get paid for.

However, it is not easy. How do you decide which elements of a staff recognition program will have the greatest impact on employee engagement, loyalty and motivation?

The best way to start is to ask your staff this question. “What would make you feel most appreciated, valued and respected?” instead of “What do you want?”

When asked “What do you want?” the most common answer is money but it has been widely reported that money is not a key motivator, assuming that your staff are remunerated adequately for their service to your organisation.

When you ask the question “what makes you feel most appreciated” the answer changes dramatically.
The majority of staff are likely to respond that a rewards based recognition program would have a far greater and long lasting positive impact than the cash equivalent. Rewards do not have to be expensive. Often, a certificate of recognition or a pair of cinema tickets will be sufficient if given in the right spirit, with the relevant amount of recognition and a degree of publicity incorporated into this.

When encouraged to focus on the appreciation experience employees often accept the limitations of cash as a satisfactory recognition item.

There are two main reasons why employees prefer rewards based recognition programs.
1. They physically see the reward or remember the experience over a greater length of time and some rewards (including certificates) can be displayed or shown to colleagues or relatives and it will remind the employee why they were rewarded.

2. Cash is spent quickly, often on household bills or to pay the credit card and is equally quickly forgotten. More importantly, it is not related to a specific piece of recognition or activity, so there is no direct correlation between the action and the reward.

In a recent global staff survey by Mercer Consulting, 67% of staff responded that an ideal recognition program would offer a range of rewards to choose from when asked what would motivate and engage them. They stated that rewards that were of particular interest to them (based on gender and age) would be far more likely to encourage them to perform at a higher level.

So, despite there being a strong consumer preference for cash it is unlikely to make an employee feel as appreciated and valued as when they receive a reward.

Of course, understanding your staff and what they would appreciate from a rewards based program is important. However, it should NEVER replace the personal touch. A quiet word to thank someone, an email of appreciation or a card with your sincere gratitude for a job well done is priceless. It should be the fundamental piece in the recognition jigsaw.

At Brownie Points we believe recognising performance and giving positive feedback really works… and we can make it work for you.

Brownie Points is working with thought leading organisations around the world to tailor employee feedback and recognition programs that have a positive impact on the bottom line.

With our growing network of alliance partners, we offer cost effective solutions for any business.
To learn how Brownie Points could make a difference in your business, call the team today on + 61 (3) 9909 7411 and book a free demonstration, or for more information email us at

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