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To reward, or not to reward? This is a question that many employers will face at one time or another. Deciding whether staff should be praised for their recent work and then deciding how to go about this can be a minefield, particularly if you have a large workforce. But put simply the answer is yes, you should definitely be rewarding your staff.

Employee recognition plays an important role in a company’s culture and rewarding staff for their hard work has a number of benefits for both parties. Showing your staff you appreciate them can increase productivity, encourage team work and even help you to attract talented new recruits to your business. So can you really afford not to be showing your gratitude? Below we outline in more detail just why it’s so important to reward your staff.

Boosting morale

No one wants to feel underappreciated at work and rewarding staff is important for keeping up morale. When employees feel like they’re being recognised for their efforts, they’ll likely be happier in their role – and as a result, your business. There are a number of ways you can reward your staff, but introducing fun or interesting incentives can really help to create a great working environment.

Nowadays, more emphasis is being placed on workplace perks and reward schemes, with many businesses investing in schemes or platforms for employee recognition. For example, team building cooking classes from Seasoned Cookery School are a unique and effective way to treat staff and give them a chance to enjoy activities as a team. And there are a whole range of ideas like this for employers to choose from, many of which can be found online or on dedicated sites such as Perkbox.

Increasing productivity

Ultimately, staff that enjoy their job and feel appreciated by their employer will be more productive. This goes for big and small victories. Rewarding staff doesn’t always have to mean a costly gesture; a simple thank you email will also go a long way. It’s a no-brainer really! If you hope to keep staff operating at maximum productivity, be sure to acknowledge the hard work they’re already putting in.

You can also use rewards to ensure staff are working in line with the overall aims of the business. This is where setting targets can be very useful. By setting individual or team targets, you can ensure that employees are operating at maximum productivity to reach a shared goal.

What’s more, rewarding the best performing teams is a great way to promote friendly competition across the business. Shared targets can drive the team to work closer together and promote teamwork – something which is beneficial to the workforce. This also means that together they can achieve better results, once again increasing productivity for the business.

Attracting new recruits

Leading on from this, happy staff are also more likely to recommend you as an employer. Finding and hiring new employees can be tricky, therefore it’s vital you do all you can to make that process easier. Employer branding is becoming increasingly important to today’s workforce, and with anonymous review sites like Glassdoor, making it easy for professionals to share their honest opinion about a business online, any negative reviews can be extremely damaging.

Professionals value peer-to-peer recommendations, and an important part of this is word of mouth. By rewarding your existing staff, they’ll be more inclined to shout about why your company is so great online, or to their friends. What’s more, these reward schemes can be a great selling point throughout the recruitment process when it comes to hiring new staff.

Retaining existing staff

As well as attracting new recruits, rewarding staff is important if you hope to retain your existing employees. With the current skills gaps making it even more important to keep hold of talented workers, employee engagement is crucial. Staff that are recognised and praised for their hard work are going to be more satisfied in their role and as a result, more loyal to the business. Stop rewarding your staff and you could risk them looking elsewhere for an employer who makes them feel valued.

Offering feedback

Feedback is also important to today’s professionals. It helps them to understand what they’re doing right (and potentially where they’re going wrong). Reward schemes can be a fun way to offer feedback to your staff. While this should not replace regular catch-ups or annual reviews, monthly award schemes or bonuses can be the boost that staff need to know they’re working isn’t going unnoticed, that they’re obviously doing something right and that they should continue the hard work.

Final thoughts

It’s clear that rewarding staff isn’t about boosting their ego, it has a number of important benefits for employers too. No one wants to feel undervalued at work and as such, it’s important that all employees receive recognition for the work they do. From cooking classes to the humble thank you note, there are so many ways to show your workforce you care.

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