4 Employee Reward and Recognition Strategies That Work

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Employee Reward and Recognition Strategies

In a constantly changing and competitive world, financial employee reward systems such as bonuses based on good performance may not be enough to motivate employees. Therefore, as an employer or Human Resource professional, you must look for better techniques beyond the carrot and stick concept to improve motivation, and increase employee productivity.

Insightful HR professionals are fast learning that retaining the best talent requires a persuasive employee value proposition. As years go by, the concept of total reward programs is fast gaining ground as the best alternative to the carrot and stick concept.

A total reward program seeks to provide employees with incentives upon the attainment of certain business goals. The main aim of this strategy is to improve employee motivation while offering personal growth opportunities along with benefits.

Helpful Tips for Planning Your Employee Reward Programs

  1. Assessment
  2. Design
  3. Execution
  4. Evaluation


Assessment involves reviewing existing reward programs and determining their effectiveness in meeting the organization’s objectives. During the assessment phase, always engage your employees in the discussions. Programs that engage and apply the input of employees tend to be more successful. When you engage your employees, you are able to detect various attitudes and opinions towards various reward schemes.


The design phase involves an analysis of the various reward strategies and the identification of suitable programs for your company. The project team determines the type of reward program, which employees to benefit from the program and funding for the program. When designing the reward program, always begin with the end in mind. Such as — What would be the next step after the achievement of the main objectives? Will the reward program have an end date?


The execution phase is the actual implementation of the total rewards program. During this phase, the HR team communicates the program to the employees and establishes a training program. Training is important in enabling employees to understand what they need to achieve.


Evaluation is the last phase of the employee reward program. At this stage, you are required to evaluate the results, the duration of the program and the delivery rewards accordingly. You can also make modifications to the program if the current system is not giving desirable results. The objectives of the program should clearly define the scope of the reward scheme.


A good employee reward system should be on the foundation of how your employees feel about their jobs, are they happy and motivated to wake up each morning and perform their work? The system should also seek to implement measures that make employees feel appreciated and that they “belong” (they are an integral part of the company). A good salary, suitable working conditions and job security are also factors that when emphasized can do a lot to motivate employees, well beyond the carrot and stick approach.

HR Expertise On Demand

If you are looking to develop an employee reward and recognition program for your organization, Mercer PeoplePro is here to help. We’ll even give you a free consultation, plus 2 free hours towards your first project. To set up your free consultation, visit Mercer PeoplePro — help is only a click away.


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