It’s common to lump employee rewards and recognition into the same category. After all, both help companies reduce turnover, boost productivity, and motivate performance, right?
But to ensure your employee rewards and recognition program is working as effectively as possible, there are a few key differences between the two parts that you must consider.
For starters, rewards are always transactional, while recognition is almost entirely relational. When one of your employees meets a goal or hits a milestone, for example, you give them a reward — a tangible gift such as a digital gift card, cash, or travel. Managers typically give employee rewards for things like finishing a big project, exceeding a sales quota, or completing five years of service with the company.
With employee recognition, on the other hand, you’re giving something more abstract — written or verbal praise. Employee recognition doesn’t necessarily need to correspond with meeting a certain goal. Instead, it’s more about letting an employee know you appreciate what they bring to the table: a can-do attitude, diligent work ethic, or positive attitude.
There are a few other key differences between employee rewards and recognition. Rewards tend to be expected, especially when internal campaigns to meet a big deadline are in play. Employees know the reward is coming and are incentivized to take action to make sure that it does. Recognition, however, is usually a surprise — a positive shout-out for a job well done. It’s also an emotional event that stays with an employee long after they’ve spent the reward.
Here’s the key distinction to remember. While you can give kudos without giving a reward, giving a reward without recognition is far less memorable. If you want your employees to feel truly appreciated, you must combine employee rewards and recognition. Recognition with a reward is much more meaningful than either on its own.
Both rewards and recognition play a part in keeping employees engaged at work, according to BHN Rewards’ 2022 Employee Incentives Report by NAPCO Research.
Consider these stats from the report:
That last stat in particular shows the importance of creating a culture of recognition at all levels. Considering the impact workplace culture has on retention efforts, organizations that support peer-to-peer recognition are likely to see the corporate value pay off.
To make it seamless for your managers and team leaders to show appreciation regularly — and give others a chance to pile on recognition for their peers — ensure that you have the right tools.
For example, BHN Rewards offers an integration with Microsoft Teams that allows for employee rewards and recognition to be delivered instantly and publicly, even to remote and hybrid workers, during live virtual meetings. The rewards and recognition can also be sent via chat and then shared to a public channel.
Either way, the recipient’s colleagues get the opportunity to recognize their peer by chiming in with their own words of appreciation and congratulations.
Learn more about how the BHN Rewards integration with Microsoft Teams can help you combine employee rewards and recognition!