10 reasons why every business should be leveraging employee rewards today

posted on January 25th 2018 in Best Practices & Employee rewards with 0 Comments


There’s no question about it: employee rewards are important for all businesses.

Though, it’s easy to get lost in all the potentially intangible value that might come from issuing employee rewards. As a manager, you may feel a little cautious about committing a budget to incentivising staff when there really isn’t any guarantee that things will change.

The value of employee rewards

In this blog post, we’ll help plug the knowledge gaps you might have about staff incentives. We’ll share 10 reasons why you should be rewarding your staff and will show how employee rewards can positively affect your business at different levels.

employee rewards

1. Increase productivity

Properly constructed incentive programs can increase employee performance by as much as 44%.

Incentive Research Foundation

Productivity is a challenge for businesses across the globe, but it is possible to get around it. Incentive programs have been proven to drive up productivity levels, helping businesses achieve more growth than could otherwise have been anticipated.

The key to making your incentive program work is in knowing how to plan and execute it.

2. Hold on to top talent

88 percent of employees feel that reward programs are effective ways of motivating them to stay at a company.

WorldatWork, Retention of Key Talent and the Role of Reward

Top talent is on the lookout for more than just a paycheck; they want to be rewarded for what makes them special. This can be anything from the ability to do more in less time, or finding solutions to problems that nobody else can solve.

Rewards act as an extra thank you for contributing in a way that only they can.

3. Motivate positive behaviour

Recognising employee behaviour motivates more positive behaviour.

Oxford Academic, Using High-Technology to Enforce Low-Technology Safety Measures: The Use of Third-party Remote Video Auditing and Real-time Feedback in Healthcare

In a study conducted on decreasing the amount of infections caused by poor hand hygiene of medical staff within intensive care units, researchers found that installing an electronic board which displayed positive messages (such as “Good Job”) for staff who sanitised their hands increased compliance by as much as 90% within four weeks.

Recognising the right behaviour helps influence staff to repeat the same actions that are rewarded, which is important in high-performing businesses.

4. Increase customer satisfaction

86 percent of customers will pay more for better customer experience.

American Express

Most businesses struggle to be and remain competitive, especially in markets where products are highly commoditised. The answer to developing your unique competitive advantage is by creating superior customer experiences.

Training and incentivising staff creates a more confident, competent and positive workforce that is able to create the best customer experiences.

5. Grow relationships

50 percent of employees believe being thanked by managers not only improved their relationship but also built trust with their higher-ups.

Cicero, The Effect of Performance Recognition on Employee Engagement

In the hustle and bustle of busy workdays, it’s easy to lose track of how integral employee performance is, and to take for granted the unique influence staff have on your business and customers. Having an employee rewards program makes it easier to spot top performers and reward them for their effort.

6. Develop loyalty

59 percent of employees say that health and wellness benefits are important for increasing loyalty to their employer.

MetLife, Study of Employee Benefits Trends

Developing a sense of loyalty isn’t always the easiest thing to do, as people are inherently cautious about potential hidden agendas. However, when you provide a program which shows staff that you care, you also create the need to reciprocate within them, and this usually manifests in the form of hard work and increased loyalty to the company.

8. Enhance engagement

Career opportunities, recognition, and organisation reputation are consistently top engagement drivers.

Aon Hewitt, Trends in Global Employee Engagement

Lack of engagement is often one of the reasons why employees become poor performers, lose interest in their jobs or leave companies. Instituting a recognition program that rewards staff for their contributions increases their desire to contribute more on the job and feel more engaged.

9. Focus on objectives

Being able to track the effectiveness of engagement and recognition efforts can help organizations better align engagement with business objectives and improve performance.

Aberdeen Group, The Power of Employee Recognition

Projects often have a low success rate, especially when teams are not motivated to complete them. Time delays, poor documentation and execution can end up costing your business money.

By tying incentives to projects, it’s possible to influence staff to give their very best performance.

10. Save more money

Absenteeism costs South African employers as much as R16 billion annually.

FSP Business, How much does absenteeism cost YOUR company?

If absenteeism is a serious challenge in your business, introducing an employee rewards program could turn the tide. A well-structured incentive program will provide the right level of engagement for staff, making them feel more interested in meeting the daily challenge of work.


Employee incentive programs are often viewed as ineffective because results can be hard to determine. However, if reward programs are planned and executed correctly, they can assist businesses to create high-performance environments where staff excel in their roles.


Reward and recognition program value proposition