Reward and Recognition (R&R)

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Reward And Recognition

Meaning & Definition- What is Reward and Recognition (R&R)?

Reward and Recognition, abbreviated as R&R, is an integral part of compensation & benefits and also an effective employee engagement strategy. Devised with the sole aim of acknowledging outperforming employees and motivating others, it can either be in monetary or non-monetary forms.

Based on the performance and extraordinary efforts or contributions of employees, there are a number of ways in which rewards and recognition can be presented such as:

  • Verbal and Written Appreciations
  • Regular Announcements and Shout-Outs
  • Occasional Bonuses and Appraisals
  • Championships and Winning Titles
  • Gift Vouchers and Goodies
  • Tours, Trips and Travel Packages
  • Monthly and Yearly Performance Awards

Let’s look at them successively, one at a time.

1. What are the different types of rewards and recognition?

There are many different types of rewards and recognition like

Reward Recognition
Incentive Verbal appreciation like in a meeting
Stock option Written appreciation like e-mail
Variable pay Monthly and yearly performance awards
Bonus or travel package Winning titles and championships
Gift vouchers and goodies Announcements
Redeemable Reward points Shoutouts

Some other ways to recognise an employee could be giving him/ her more authority and responsibility, letting them choose the next project they like, gifting them a learning program, certificate, celebrating their achievements with a team lunch, highlighting their work to the seniors and more. In short, rewards are monetary and recognition is non-monetary. 

2. Why is reward and recognition important?

Workforce, i.e the employees of the company are the most valuable resource of an organisation. Thus, to keep employees happy, engaged and satisfied rewards and recognition stands important. When all these tree employee needs are met, it is only then that the employees are able to deliver to the best of their potential and support company’s goals and growth.

Besides, rewards and recognition also maintain healthy competition in the teams and company.

It’s a cycle that creates a ripple effect-

↑Recognition- ↑work quality- Rewarded- ↑productivity due to ↑ engagement- ↑business outcomes

Some other viable points that makes reward and recognition so important are-

Surges Morale- Employees need a push to perform better and rewards and recognition is the most positive and effective way to do so. It fulfills their basic need to be heard and seen.

Increases Productivity- When employees ae rewarded for outstanding performance and appreciated for good work, they strive to deliver more and better, everytime so as to live up to the faith you have out in them. This ultimately impacts the company goals positively. Learn how to boost  employee engagement and productivity with goal setting here.

Better employer brand- Your employees , just like the candidates are your brand ambassadors. If they are being treated well; and kept happy, they speak good about you in their circle and the circle spreads the word further.

3. What are some examples of recognition based awards?

It depends on your creativity,the company can launch as many recognition based awards as it wants. They can be broadly categorised into the following three categories-

  • Performance based award– Star Performer Of The Year, Employee Of The Month/ Year, The Mountain Mover, The Growth Driver, Out Of The Box Thinker, Going Above And Beyond, Making An Impact, Great Job, Superwoman, Skyrocket Growth and more..
  • Tenure based award- A Mile Down, Golden Collar, Iron Pillar, Most Determined Employee, and more..
  • Behavior + Values  based award- Making Work Fun, Thankyou, Team Player, Amazing Mentor, Most Punctual, The Pure Soul, The Motivator, The Big Heart, The enchanter, The Idea Machine, The Game Changer and more..

These were a few suggestions as we truly believe in leaving no effort go unnoticed. Every small to big win must be recognised and rewarded. Employees, in return, continue to outperform their last best.

4. What are the two types of rewards?

Tangible and intangible- these are the two types of rewards. Below we share what they exactly mean-

Tangible rewards- Reward in money or kind like vacation, material, vouchers or money. Giving a bonus is the most common way to give tangible reward.

Intangible rewards- Rewards that are used to solely recognise the employee like prizes, titles, awards, plaques. For instance, the awards given in HRMS software or at annual company celebration.

5. What are the benefits of recognition?

The crystal clear benefit of recognition is to motivate employees so that they continue to put efforts in their work and chose your company over others again and again. Recognition is a simple and quick way to thank employee(s), here are some more benefits of recognition in regards to the employer. Take a look!

1. Increase Employee Productivity
Appreciating employees for everything that impacts your business positively in sone way or the other, keep them happy. As a result, the employee is more willing to walk an extra mile to keep getting recognised, sustain the faith company has put in him/her and work more. 

2. Increase Profitability
When the employees feel valued and seen, they become more productive. For the company this means getting best output in terms of quality and quantity thereby leading to increase in the sales and thus profits. 

3. Retain Top Talent
It is true that people leave company because of bad managers (read poor rewards and recognition system). They leave because the company (manager) fails to show them how must they value. When this changes and rewards and recognition is done actively using an HR software, the top talent becomes easier to retain. 

4. Build a Positive and Collaborative Workplace Culture
Getting the rewards and recognition system right also involves making it a part of the culture. When people start using R&R actively, the overall culture and environment of the workplace becomes more positive, appreciative and healthy to work in. Instead of trying to bring ach other down or point out the mistakes, people start finding reasons to appreciate efforts and identify strengths.

Spot signs of a bad company culture.

6. How do you promote recognition in the workplace?

Whenever a new practice is launched, it takes time for everyone to adopt it fully. Same goes for recognition. When you introduce reward and recognition policy to promote its usage, it will take time to pick up. Here are some ways to promote recognition in the workplace. Take a look.

  • Let the CEO/ director introduce the concept to everyone
  • Tell them how it would benefit them
  • Ensure that managers adopt it first, the leader must lead the way for others and show them how it is done
  • The HRs should act as an active catalyst in the process. They must encourage everyone to exchange rewards and recognise each others efforts.

To do the same, they must begin to guide them with tips, share examples and highlight the employees who are doing it will.
Note: If you are using an HR software for this, you can drive the communication and ensure R&R is in place via the application itself. However, if you are not using an HR software, you can use emails and whatsapp groups to increase the gusto. 

Here are 21 Simple/ Best Rewards and Recognition Programs For Your Employees

7. What is the difference between Rewards and Recognition?

While there are a lot of commonalities between rewards and recognition, both hold some difference between them to. Understanding the difference between both of them will help you in using both effectively i.e know when to reward an employee and when to recognise them.

1. Rewards are redeemable while recognition is relational
Rewards mostly include an amount or gift voucher given to employees , it is tangible. While recognition is intangible and often includes an appreciation mail or title being given to the employees.

2. Rewards are linked to goals and impact performance reviews more
Mostly rewards are defined in advance while recognition is never planned for the quarter. For instance, for sales team a reward linked to goals could be xxx potentials converted into clients. Whoever, in the team hits the mark gets the reward, i.e cash prize of xxxx or gift voucher of xxxx amount, etc.

3. Recognition is in the moment and rewards are less frequent
Recognition is more like an instant pat on the back for every small to big win. For getting rewarded the employee might have to wait a bit longer. Mostly recognition can be peer to peer and peer to manager, intra department, inter department and vice versa while rewards can be given by manager to their team members.

4. Recognition is inexpensive and rewards hold monetary value
Recognition is intangible and used to express gratitude to employees by highlighting the effort put in. On the other hand, rewards involve transactional, that is why, it is important to ensure that rewards are given for a really worthwhile achievement as they hold monetary value.

8. What is the difference between incentive, benefit, reward, and recognition?

The four terms hold a lot of ambiguity and are often interchanged. Read on to know the difference between these four, specifically in terms of what it means for your payslip.

It includes profit sharing, bonus, stock options, etc and mentioned in the payslip. One of the ways to value your contribution of employees.

Benefit- Also known as non wage compensation, they are a part of your CTC and include health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance and more.

Rewards- Rewards are transactional in nature like a gift voucher, paid vacation, cash prize or bonus. Depending on the reward type, they can or cannot be included in the payslip but they are never a part of CTC.

Recognition- Recognition is intangible and done to honor the employees efforts and qualities so as to ensure continued behavior for the betterment of the organisation.

9. What are some best reward and recognition ideas?

To hel you kickstart your rewards and recognition program, here are a bunch of ideas you can utilise. For your convenience we have divided the rewards and recognition ideas into two segments-

  • Reward and recognition ideas for teams-
    • Team lunches
    • Gift cards from a major credit card provider
    • Team shopping
    • Food trucks
    • Cheers for Peers
    • Team Outing on a workday
  • Reward and recognition ideas for a employee-
    • Bonus
    • Extra vacation days
    • Gift consumer products
    • Manage for a week
    • Trophy
    • Certificate
    • Title
    • Learning opportunity
    • Share your knowledge
    • Special project 

Likewise, the ideas are endless. We suggest you make sure you ask the employee or team which reward and recognition idea works the best for them. For instance an employee as to which consumer product he prefers or the place options where he can get a free vacation to. For the team, ask if they would like to treat themselves to a buffet or a food truck loaded with all things junk.

10. What are the best Reward and Recognition quotes?

Reward and recognition quotes are quite useful to broaden your horizon of understanding pertaining to it or use it to motivate managers and employees. Here are a few quotes we love-

  • “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” –Aristotle, Greek Philosopher
  • “If you don’t create a great rewarding place for people to work, they won’t do great work”- Ari Weinzweig
  • “An employee’s motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager.”–Dr. Bob Nelson, Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker

You can also read 27 best reward and recognition quotes to supercharge your workforce.

11. How to make a rewards and recognition policy?

To make a rewards and recognition policy, it is imperative to define following things-

  • Aim/ Purpose
  • Reward and recognition types
  • Eligibility for each
  • Tenure upto which rewards would be reedemable
  • The preferred medium(s) to reward and recognise

You can download editable version of rewards and recognition policy template in pdf and PPT format.

12. How to create a rewards and recognition program?

Having a robust reward and recognition plan in place is the key to make it a hit at the workplace. But, it is not easy to get it right when you don’t have a clear agenda in mind. Here are a few things that can help you structure the program-

  • The intent of running the program
  • The cultural and behavioural problems you are trying to solve
  • The value you are trying to promote and incentivise
  • Who will give rewards and who will give recognition?
  • Budget allocation per team/ employee
  • Frequency of rewards and badges
  • Keep it remote and gig workers inclusive
  • Keep it transparent, fair and creative

After deciding on the above mentioned points you can take cues from Google and Accenture.

13. How to start and apply a reward system?

To Implement a reward system successfully, here are several steps that you must follow-

  • Have a clear vision in mind regarding the goal, benefit, cost and make it clear to your people as well the importance of this program and their participation
  • You must appoint a person or make team managers responsible for the successful implementation of the program
  • Make sure the flow as to how the rewards and recognition going to work is clear in your mind. For instance, let employees know that recognising the efforts instantly is a requisite. Delayed appreciation is appreciation denied. Tell them that it should be done actively for everyone. 
  • It is also important to clear the parameters/ eligibility to get the rewards you announced and the methods you are using to recognise the employees. Answering these might help-
    • Which traits professional or personal would be rewarded?
    • How would the best performance or behavior be appreciated? Through rewards or with a recognition?
    • How often should the rewards be given? Is there a limit?
  • Once all this is verbally mentioned in a meeting and a policy document is released, you are done with the first phase. Now you just need to keep encouraging everyone an see what is working the most and why.

14. What is the best method to  measure the effectiveness of a Rewards & Recognition (R&R) program in an organisation? 

The three simple ways to measure the success of Rewards and recognition program in your organisation are as follows-

  • The best way to measure the success is to check the insights sections in the HR software and understand it through the numbers. See how many rewards have been given and how many people have been given titles and appreciated.
  • Apart from this, the best way is to pay close attention to what employees are talking about it and even take their feedback for it directly or anonymously. You can also conduct a survey in the s oftware itself.
  • You can also analyse the retention rate, satisfaction rate and other key metric that show how engaged your employees to measure how successful your reward and  recognition program has been.

You can read 10 tips for your next employee engagement activity here.

15. What are the common mistakes companies should avoid while creating a R&R program?

The most common mistakes that companies commit while creating R&R program are as follows-

  • Unclear communication
  • No encouragement or promotion
  • Delaying the recognition
  • The titles are not meaningful
  • Rewards are not as worthful
  • Not using a user friendly application
  • Not linking reward accomplishments with goals

If you think you are doing any  of the aforementioned mistakes in creating your R&R. 

Here’s more on why your engagement efforts are going vain.

16. What kind of technology can help in rewards & recognition?

R& R program is a great way to increase job satisfaction and gain loyalty of the employees. But, depending solely on the social tools used by the company internally or not using any at all can make it a ‘lost plot’ in no time. In order to not make it a one time wonder, something that started off well but ended way too soon as people lose the gusto, it is important to introduce an HR software with a great engagement module to bring structure to the reward and recognition program and help you keep a track of how well it is going. You can also se performance module to create KPIs and link them to rewards.

Here is how you can establish robust R&R with HR software.

17. How do you appreciate someone for good work professionally?

The whole reward and recognition program is made with the intent to appreciate people for their good work. You can use recognition related features in the HR software you use at your workplace to appreciate the a person or you can send an email, give a hand written gratitude note, talk to them one-on-one , in a meeting and more!

Giving emotional salary to your employees is also a great way to appreciate them. Not yet giving emotional salary to your employees? Here’s how you can.

Make your Employee Engagement fun and easy!

Learn how HROne Employee Engagement software can help you automate Employee Engagement & stay 100% compliant!

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Sonia Mahajan

Sonia Mahajan is a passionate Sr. People Officer at HROne. She has 11+ years of expertise in building Human Capital with focus on strengthening business, establishing alignment and championing smooth execution. She believes in creating memorable employee experiences and leaving sustainable impact. Her Personal Motto: "In the end success comes only through hard work".

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