Traditionally employee recognition has been achieved with an annual financial bonus, usually at Christmas time. Would it surprise you to know that this approach is often perceived as out-dated?

Of course, your employees will happy to receive an annual bonus! But more businesses are choosing to reward their staff through planned recognition schemes that are active throughout the year. The idea behind it, which is making it very popular, is that by offering staff rewards they really want, and keeping these rewards top of mind throughout the year, they will strive towards these rewards with consistency.   

Planned recognition schemes, unlike annual bonuses, also allow you to present varied awards in unique ways. Ultimately different awards will appeal to different team members, so by offering a scheme that covers multiple options, you are far more likely to keep all of your staff motivated and happy.


Employee recognition scheme


The most effective recognition programme that maximise staff motivation have these five elements in common:


1. Peer-to-peer recognition

This has become a highly valued aspect of recognition, as it reflects the respect and appreciation of your colleagues at work rather than just management. Often it’s team members who can see the day today effort and hard work that individuals put in and this is their opportunity to acknowledge it. Recognition programmes incorporating peer-to-peer rewards empower employees to make good decisions about who deserves a thank you, which has a twofold benefit: not only does the recipient feel good, but so does the person nominating them.


2. Instant recognition

On-going rewards programmes allow for instant recognition when a staff member behaves in a way that deserves acknowledgement. Whether it’s a financial reward or an internal announcement, having these processes already in place makes it quick and easy for businesses to sign off on an award, avoiding complicated red tape. This means that particular achievements can be immediately celebrated rather than staff having to wait until Christmas or, even worse, the deed gets forgotten in the long wait for bonus season to roll around. Not very motivating at all!


3. Long service awards

Staff retention saves money, so smart businesses will try and ensure that good staff stay put. By celebrating long service or milestones in an established, formalised manner, employees will know that these rewards are forthcoming if they stay; they can act as an incentive for staff to remain in your business. The rewards need to be desirable, so many companies offer a varied selection of awards to choose from. This case study about Virgin Atlantic’s long service reward scheme might interest you.


4. The power of a simple ‘thank you’

A bit more special than an email, e-thank yous are a quick and easy way to demonstrate appreciation and they give the impression that someone has taken time out to recognise hard work. They are also really easy to share, so they can be sent to a team as joint recognition, or shared to make a wider audience aware of someone’s achievement, all of which are extremely motivational – and all at the click of a mouse!


5. Rewards

And finally, if you want your staff to be proactively motivated to work towards something, it’s all about what they get out of it, beyond the satisfaction of just doing a good job! When your recognition programme is set up you can create a range of awards, perhaps staggered for different levels of achievement and varied so there is an element of personalisation, all of which makes participation even more desirable.


Wait, there’s a #6 …

Technology has made recognition programmes even easier to use and many are now run online, making it quick and simple for both staff and management to access the systems. An intuitive and user-friendly rewards platform allows for some automation, which can make it even easier, however busy you are, to issue a reward or acknowledgement whenever required.

The support of good technology means that as we move towards a more inventive, personalised and effective age for employee recognition schemes, it isn’t difficult or expensive to make sure they are used well – a constant reminder to management to reward their staff, and as constant encouragement to staff.


We’d love to help you engage, motivate and inspire your team with our innovative Employee Recognition services. To speak to a member of our award-winning team, call us on 0370 405 2020, email, or make a quick enquiry to find out how to drive your business performance today.   

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