Reward and Recognition – Where to Start

Getting to know your employees, what makes them tick and how they like to be acknowledged for good work is fundamental to establishing any positive employer/employee workplace relationship. 


Research performed by several sources reflects the increasing success of non-monetary rewards as a form of compensation for good work. Cash is no longer perceived as the sole staff motivator to perform better; offering more responsibility can in fact be a better solution which is usually cost free to the employer as well.

The SHL Workers and Good Management research found 22% of workers want more responsibility and 9% want to be given the lead role of a special project when next promoted. The research also revealed 36% of managers consider their involvement in the strategic direction of the business to be an unavoidable part of being promoted.

Nowadays, salaries are relatively high and for some industries in particular such as IT and the mining sector, salaries are the highest in the workforce, so high that companies need to use different strategies to differentiate themselves as the best employer to attract and retain top talent in the competitive marketplace.

Ultimately, this means that salary is just a small, short-term incentive in the grand scale of things and company culture and reward and recognition are crucial to engage their staff members in the long run.

The primary motivation for each employee to complete their tasks varies according to the individual. It usually depends on their long-term goals, ambitions and career aspirations. Employees will also differ in the way they like to be encouraged, rewarded and recognised by managers and colleagues.

Some employees are better motivated to perform at a high level by being trained up through professional development courses and learning leadership skills which they will use in the future.

In general, everyone is motivated not necessarily by different things but by different things in different proportions. Money is still considered a deciding factor of taking on a new role or staying with the same company with 67% of workers expecting a pay rise with their promotion.

SHL’s research also found that “a quarter of employees turn to their colleagues for motivation and 17% need the company to acknowledge their hard work to spur them on”. Each employee has a certain level of ‘discretionary effort’ in how they approach their work, and motivated employees with perseverance are more likely to go the extra mile.

Mark is the General Manager of Power2Motivate APAC, delivering world class employee recognition and B2B loyalty programs to a wide range of clients.

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Comment by Laura Lee on October 31, 2012 at 9:24

Great blog Mark. I hope this message is getting through to employers - you have to get to know your employees and find out what really motivates them in the long term, this is how you get the best out of them!

Comment by Mark Robinson on October 31, 2012 at 10:46

Thanks Laura and I agree!

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