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While psychology is a complex field, it doesn’t mean you need a PhD to take advantage of it when using employee rewards. Continue reading to find out how to use 10 principles of psychology to improve your employee rewards.

1. Achievement based rewards

Receiving rewards is tied to something deep inside of us which seeks rewards for our accomplishments. Therefore, if you tie your employee rewards to successfully fulfilling achievements, you can tap into that undiscovered potential inside of each employee. 

Achievement based rewards can also increase your employees’ loyalty, as those rewards are perceived as perks. In addition, achievement based rewards will ultimately increase the productivity of your staff.

2. Gestalt Theory psychology

In the 1920s, a group of German psychologists discovered that the human brain will assume that two unrelated elements are related if they happen close to one another. Therefore, make sure that you don’t wait too long to reward your employees once they have achieved a task so that they can relate the positive reward with the hard work they have put in.

3. Rewards as a form of recognition

Being recognized at work is often something employees deeply crave and miss at work. This is where you can use rewards as a way to provide this recognition. Use rewards to show that you value your employees and appreciate their efforts.

4. Encourage healthy competition

Healthy competition can be extremely beneficial in the context of work. However, always remember that it is not about pinning your employees against each other, but motivating them to do better. This will not only improve job performance but also increase team spirit.

5. Gamification

Did you know that our brains are wired to respond better to games because they provide constant motivation? Therefore, gamify your employee reward system by optimizing dashboards and score keeping, as well as awarding rewards based on achievements or positive customer feedback and organizing contests.

6. Provide opportunities to learn

Psychology teaches us that every person has an innate desire to learn. Learning is what engages our minds and drives us away from boredom. This is why you should always provide your team with opportunities to learn. Offer them courses and trainings and ask them what other skills they would like to learn. This will motivate them and also bring them closer with their teammates. 

7. Connect with colleagues

One of the most common human instincts is to connect with others in order to increase survival chances. This has lead to an affinity to building connections. Therefore, you as a boss should encourage your employees to connect with each other. This will increase their feeling of wellbeing and job satisfaction. A good way to do this is to give your staff the opportunity to give reward points to each other. 

8. Create purpose behind their work

When an employee feels like their work has a purpose, then they are more likely to be satisfied with their job. This is why you should tie your rewards to customer feedback so that you can show your employees how their work directly affects the end customer. Thus, even mundane boring work gains meaning.

9. Create milestones

Humans find it easier to work towards milestones. By using employee rewards you can easily set those milestones and outline what rewards they will receive once they reach them.

10. Use rewards to increase engagement

Psychology teaches us that the more engaged a person is with the task they are doing, the more likely they are to remain dedicated and to finish it. 

By using these 10 simple principles of psychology you can easily improve your employee rewards system!

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