Every company wants its employees to stay motivated 24/7, and there is no better way to make sure of that than employee rewards. A simple word of appreciation can instigate a series of thought processes that could serve as a driving force for solid employee motivation.
While employee rewards are a fabulous instrument for improving workplace productivity, there are certain pitfalls that you need to watch out for during your decisions. Moreover, in this post, we will discuss five such pitfalls/mistakes that you may be making as a boss without even realizing it. Let us get on with them one by one.
1. Unnecessary Delays
Suppose that you want to appreciate an employee for their hard work on a specific project. You decided to reward them for this act in their bi-annual performance appraisal, which is a fantastic thing. However, the catch here is that you should have started with a simple verbal remark at their desk to show your appreciation.
That is so because a reward after six months or a quarter may ignite motivation for the future, but the time before that period would have become a wasted opportunity. Therefore, we would suggest that your verbal appreciation should go hand in hand with periodic reward cycles.
2. Same Rewards For Everyone
Another horrible mistake that companies make is related to informal recognition and rewarding techniques. A manager must try to understand that what kind of stimulus can set off motivation in which team member. Some employees like to have gift rewards, while some prefer cash bonuses.
An employee whom you just gave movie tickets for two might hate watching movies. On the other hand, the ones you reward with online discount coupons might not feel comfortable with online shopping. Therefore, a reward given in such a way is a waste of time, money, and emotions.
3. Setting The Bar Too Low
Recognition and rewards are something that must feel like an achievement for an employee. A sense of distinction is significant in this case. When a bar is too low for an achievement, almost everyone will pass it, which would not feel like a success anymore.
However, we are not saying that you should make it so hard that only a few could make it. We suggest that a sense of moderate competition must prevail among the teams so that a reward may feel like a real reward.
4. Team Appreciation Against Single Efforts
We understand that just like any good leader – you want to induce the spirit of teamwork in your employees. Yet, most of the time, you will see some of your employees single-handedly going the extra mile to deliver excellent results for your projects. In this case, that employee alone deserves an applaud and recognition. Because if you gratify the whole team collectively for the efforts (individual) of that person, his/her morale will be pretty deflated.
Moreover, congratulating a single member of your team for their exceptional job might actually prove to be a motivational factor for others. This act can instigate a sense of positive challenge for them, making your team productivity go off the charts.
5. Meaningless Rewards
It is one of the most horrible mistakes that employers make in their employee recognition and rewards strategies. A meaningless reward is something that apparently is a gift for an employee, but it holds no sentimental value for the employer. One good example for this case would be, giving out Women’s Day souvenirs to your female staff while being a patriarchal evangelist yourself. These gifts may hold monetary value and publicity benefits, but they do not signify sincere gratitude for your female workforce.
Therefore, as a manager, you need to avoid stooping into such practices. Because rewards associated with real emotions and appreciation bear solid results for your teams.
We understand that you are courteous enough as a manager to incorporate an active Employee Rewards strategy. However, sometimes just being kind is not enough – you have to be thoughtful about your actions as well. The mistakes mentioned above are something that most managers overlook during their employee rewards gigs.
Therefore, as a manager, you need to understand that your reward strategy must be prompt, merit-based, and meaningful for your employees. Otherwise, it will be all for nothing, and instead of improving engagement and productivity, you might reduce it further.