27 April 2023

How to put reward and recognition centre-stage

Discover why reward and recognition (R&R) is an important part of today’s working environment and how to implement a programme that means something to your employees.

There’s a lot of talk about rewards and recognition (R&R). Over the years, we’ve seen the rise of Perkbox and companies like Cisco roll out its connected recognition scheme. It’s the very reason we take the time to reward our team every month through our Thirsty Thursday sessions and SynerStar award.

But how can you make it work for your brand? Let’s explore.

Why is rewards and recognition (R&R) important?

There has never been a better time to recognise your colleagues. Getting it right can play an important role in engaging employees and empowering them to work more effectively.

It’s also what people want. A recent study by the Workforce Institute said that employee-centred recognition is the number one thing that workers want in a post-Covid world.

This is backed by a report by Glassdoor, which revealed 70% of employees feel better about themselves if their boss thanks them regularly. Read that again. Not merely their work, but themselves.

With this in mind, here are five things you can do to lean into the power of ‘thank you’ and make reward and recognition an integral part of what you do day in and day out.

5 ways to create the right reward and recognition programme for your brand

  1. Look at the numbers

Reward and recognition is a strategic tool that attracts and retains the best talent out there. Let’s look at the maths. Companies with an established recognition culture have 31% lower employee turnover. Peer feedback can enhance performance by as much as 14%. And 63% of employees who feel recognised say they’re very unlikely to look for a new job.

Make it an intrinsic part of your business, re-evaluate and compare what you are doing with your competitors, and spot opportunities to make it an ongoing part of your organisational culture.

  1. Go more than skin-deep

Your reward offer shouldn’t be limited to perks or one-off treats, nice as they are. Of course, they can still – and should – happen, but that’s not WHY you’re rewarding your colleagues.

Instead, it should reflect and enable your company’s purpose, vision, and values, and speak to the type of employee you want to attract and retain. 

In short, it’s another way of saying what your business and culture are all about. It’s an important foundation of your Employer Value proposition and, as such, needs to be recognised – see what we did there – as the lifeblood of your identity.

  1. Do some matchmaking

Stay up to date with people’s needs and trends in the market. Ask people what they truly value and need, before basing your reward decision on that insight. Because there needs to be a compatibility between the intelligence and data that comes from your reward research, and the final offer on the table.

  1. Make it 3-D

Rewards and recognition are more powerful when they come from more than one place.  Think about rewards outside work – from an extra afternoon off during the school holidays, or just an early finish before a weekend away.

While recognition that comes from peers, managers, and the business, in ways that are clearly distinct and happen throughout the year, is way more powerful than one annual ceremony. And don’t forget to blend. Include rewards within work that come with feedback and recognition, from managers and teammates. 

  1. Put rewards in their hands

We’ve all become accustomed to the simplicity of being able to shop online, stream music and make plans for the weekend through an app.

Make it that easy for your colleagues to find, use, and tweak their benefits and rewards, and they’re more likely to engage, endorse, and promote them.


Need a hand developing a reward and recognition scheme?

To talk through your reward and recognition offer this year or create a brand new one, drop our Head of Growth, Blair Meyler, an email at blair.meyler@mccannsynergy.com.


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