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Although similar in nature, both reward and recognition have key roles to play in the workplace and are an important method of making staff feel recognised and appreciated.

Reward and recognition are closely related to productivity and employee retention; without them, your business can face increased turnover and unhappy employees. By implementing the right reward program you can inspire staff to work harder and develop their professional skills to bring more to the business.

Reward vs Recognition

Although closely related, they are distinctly different and we’ve put together this guide to help you understand the important differences and why they matter.

Rewards are Physical, Recognition is Immaterial

Rewards are usually something tangible, something that can be felt, held or experienced - whether that’s a monetary contribution, vouchers, funding experiences or providing a physical object - it often has a discernable value attached. Recognition isn’t physical - it is often communicated either verbally or via written-word and, although doesn’t have a real-world value, is often priceless to the individual receiving it.

Recognition can be given alone; a Reward should always be recognised

There is no limit on the amount of recognition that can be given and it should be given regularly where deserved. Recognition helps motivate staff to keep working to the best of their ability. On the other hand, rewards should never be given alone and should only be given in line with reaching goals and accomplishments such as hitting sales targets. You want to avoid creating a working culture in which staff feel entitled to rewards without putting in the effort.

Rewards are transferable, Recognition is personal

Rewards as a physical item can be exchanged and transferred between individuals and will be spent/consumed/experienced in some way. Whereas recognition is personal as it is something given to a person and cannot be taken away or exchanged. Rewards may be temporary, but recognition builds long-term positive memories.

Recognition can be in the moment, Rewards should be planned

Recognition should be offered regularly, especially as praise doesn’t require a budget and employees respond well to having their efforts recognised. There is no need to arrange meetings for recognition and it can be offered in the moment when staff are actively working and can see what the praise is for. Reward often carries a cost and will need to be budgeted for and potentially signed off by executives or management.

Rewards are for going above and beyond, Recognition is for meeting company values

Staff react well to rewards, but rewards that are given at every opportunity often start to lose their impact and become an expectation. Recognition should be an expectation, especially when staff are working within the companies values and regularly upholding the business vision and meeting goals.

Why should you consider rewards and recognition for your business?

Reward and recognition are about more than just a pat on the back, but should be a core part of ensuring staff feel appreciated and noticed within the company. Especially large companies with hundreds of employees, where it can feel easy to get lost in the crowd. The wants and needs of staff have progressed beyond simply expecting a fair paycheck for their efforts and if managers fail to recognise and meet these expectations, they will soon be dealing with a demotivated workforce or increased staff turnover.

Staff can’t be expected to know what is worthy of a reward so when implementing reward systems, ensure that expectations are clear, concise and adaptable, allowing your rewards program to grow with the company. By planning and reporting on the positive behaviours you want, staff have a better understanding of how they can gain reward and with regular recognition of efforts, feel motivated to be productive and efficient.

Reward Strategy and Design with Paydata

Running a business can be a challenge and that’s without factoring in the additional challenges of retaining staff and attracting quality talent to your business. Take the hassle out of rewards and recognition by contacting Paydata for services to support your Reward Strategy and Design.

We work closely with HR departments to design and build reward systems that are budgeted and adaptable to the future of the business including Bonus and Commission Scheme Design, Job Evaluation Solutions, Reward Strategy Consulting and our Paydata Retainer Service. Our years of experience facilitates our team to ensure your new or existing reward schemes fall in-line with industry standards and remain competitive.

Learn more about implementing Reward Schemes and Strategy for your business from our blog; reach out to our team on 01733 391377 or request a callback via our Contact Us form.

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