Reward and Recognition Go Together Most Of The Time. But What Are The Differences?

“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.” – Ronald Reagan

Employees want to be recognized for their hard work and rewarded for it. In some ways it seems elementary to need a medal, but the truth is, we never outgrow wanting and needing to be recognized and rewarded for the work we have done. And when employees feel valued, they are happier in their jobs and they are more productive, which motivates them to keep going and improve upon their good work. When we focus on rewards the result is: improved performance, motivation, employees feel more invested when they’re valued and employees feel more responsible. Focusing on rewards keeps things positive and builds morale and it reinforces your brand, values and your company culture.

So what’s the difference between the reward and recognition?

Very often both go together. For example, when an employee hits a huge goal he wins an award for it, others will know about it and offer their congratulations for a job well done. But there are times when you should focus on using either one or the other.

Rewards are monetary (bonuses, gift cards, etc), while recognition isn’t. Recognition usually has psychology behind it and is based on people feeling valued. It could be as simple as a heartfelt thanks or recognizing someone in public.

Why focus on employee recognition? Believe me when I say: It helps guide employees in the right direction as people like feelingthat they’re making a difference so they can earn more recognition than the first time.

Actually it’s the 1st motivator. When your employees motivated, they’re engaged. They’re also more engaged when they’re hearing from you.

  • 43 percent of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week compared to only 18 percent of employees with low engagement (Office Vibe).

People want to do even better the next time so they can earn even more recognition.

  • 69% of employees would work harder if they were better recognized (Salesforce).

Not only do they work harder, they also love their jobs more.

  • 76 percent of employees that have been recognized say they love their jobs, while only 37 percent of those who aren’t being recognized say they do (Salesforce).

If you’re interested in retaining your people, employee recognition should play a role. If your employees aren’t receiving the right recognition they deserve, it will show in your company success. Besides, their behavior will reflect your company’s values.

A study by Officevibe shows companies with highly engaged employees achieve twice the annual net income. No matter the reason, recognizing your people is a way to increase productivity and motivation.

In order to recognize employees well, identify how each individual likes to be recognized. Some will not like public recognition and may prefer a simple thank-you note. The trick is how do you know and recognize them in the right way? It’s always important to recognize good work without having to spend a lot of money, but if you don’t have a budget for reward and recognition what you will do?

Fortunately, there are many of ways to recognize employees without costing you anything at all!

Here are 11 employee recognition ideas:

  1. A personal note specifies exactly what the employee achieved.
  2. Saying a sincere “thank you”.
  3. Recognize a job well done in a meeting.
  4. Use your company’s private social site.
  5. Mention their success story in a speech or presentation or newsletter or using your social media.
  6. Reward with a long lunch, extra break or get-out-of-work free day.
  7. Ask a higher manager to stop by and say thanks.
  8. Offer to swap a task with them.
  9. Assign a team leader role or a promotional title.
  10. You can allow them work-from-home options or flexi working time.
  11. Acknowledge them on a whiteboard.

It’s nice to have an impact on your employees without having to beg for the budget to do it!

Consider the little wins within your association, perhaps you had a record number of deals successfully closed last week. Maybe you at last found that immaculate bit of programming you have been expecting to augment productivity. Is it accurate to say that you are going to remunerate these sorts of achievements? On the other hand do you hold up for something greater to compensate? Whatever you choose, commit to doing it consistently and reliably.

Sherif Elgendy is an innovative and talented Senior Management Consultant certified as an EFQM assessor, TISSE2012 auditor & ISO 14001-18001-19011 with excellent project management, business development and service quality experience. He is a knowledgeable and hardworking individual with a wide array of business related skills attained through experience with training consultancies. He pays keen attention to customer needs and details, gained from exposure in working on a wide range of projects in both the private and public sectors. Sherif has received several awards and recognition for his excellent work and achievements.


Amazing and very helpful article. I’m a team leader and this article is of a great help. I will start using the tips of this article with my team members.
Thank you training magazine

Good article, It hit the nail on the head…If the organisation lack rewards & recognition they lack the capability of achieving their objectives, that’s what I believe. ..

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