Article: Roles of rewards & recognition in performance management

Benefits & Rewards

Roles of rewards & recognition in performance management

Extrinsic and intrinsic motivations are the cornerstones for high performance, and this comes from creating a strong sense of purpose and alignment, establishing an effective rewards and recognition practice.
Roles of rewards & recognition in performance management

Today, workplace dissatisfaction is growing rampant, and attrition rates are shooting up every minute. It’s time we pause to ask ourselves why. Even though organisations globally aim to understand what drives their employees’ performance through multiple performance management tools, it has unfortunately help them to only  map out  ‘what’ leaders and team members aim to achieve, and does not lay emphasis on the ‘how’ and the intangible factors that influence  motivation and well-being of employees within the organization.

Extrinsic and intrinsic motivations are the cornerstones for high performance, and this comes from creating a strong sense of purpose and alignment, establishing an effective rewards and recognition practice. The key to this is by understanding that high performance is not born out of systems that offer recognition as a reward, instead, it comes from internal systems of an organisation. Ultimately, when you expect great performance on a daily basis, you must also recognize your employee’s efforts with equal frequency. Therefore, implementing a realistic and effective recognition program across all levels of employees will bring you significantly positive results.

Devising a human centric Recognition framework

Recognition is one of the fundamental elements that impact a person’s sense of self-worth, manner of interaction with the workplace, and performance. With organisations measuring engagement by noting the intensity of performance and intensity of commitment, and by reinforcing such behaviours through a recognition program, organisations can see a steady increase in both. 

The intensity of performance comes from a range of external factors that leaders can tap into for amazing results. Making your employees fearless by allowing them to voice their opinions and ideas, magnifying their success when they do something that works, and offering a supportive work environment that allows people to feel as though they are a part of a team, rather than just cogs in the machine, can help leaders transform their employees into driven and passionate individuals. 

So, how do you devise an engagement strategy for intrinsic motivation?

Brad Shuck, our Academic Partner, states that, employees at a particular workplace has nothing to do with the organization itself. Instead, it has everything to do with the way managers treat employees. Additionally, employees must also connect with the larger purpose of their work, and understand why they are doing, what they are doing. When employees feel that the work environment is a safe place to offer ideas and try innovative approaches to solving problems, they are more likely to be engaged and organically offer better results. Establishing this connection with individual employees begins right from recruitment, eventually resulting in lower attrition rate. 

Making Every Moment Count

In order to build a more human centric work environment that focuses on offering stability, support, and on fostering high performance, our global researchers devised a strategy that aims to not only attract the talent you need, but also retain them for longer periods. This strategy relies on offering recognition on a few crucial days that mark an employee’s journey with the organization – the Decision Day, First Day, Every Day, Achievement Day, and Referral Day. 

A candidate’s Decision Day helps determine whether they can see themselves at the organization. For this, one must engage in a few activities that revolve around building the right perception to attract great talent. This means, every organisation needs a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that includes talent acquisition campaigns, and new talent welcome experience (that occurs before the first day of joining). Similarly, The First Day marks a crucial one in the employee’s journey – this day sets the tone for their employment with you. 

Next, managers must strive to offer recognition on a daily basis. Whether this recognition is offered for soft-behavior based achievements like arriving at the workplace on time or offering support to other team members, or is offered for professional traits like adherence to deadlines or great work, is a factor that depends largely on the traits that your organization values. 

This is because, at the end of the day, each organization must build its culture based on the qualities it values. Promoting behaviors that match your culture goes a long way in establishing the same. This defines the Every Day of your EVP philosophy. 

The purpose of the Achievement Day is often confused with recognition itself. This day is meant for formal rewards in the forms of raises, bonuses, and awards, and is not a substitute for the daily recognition that can help employees feel more motivated. However, having said that, the Achievement Day does function as a form of public recognition in front of one’s peers, and leaders should not discount the same from the EVP strategy. 

Finally, you’ll see the cumulative effects of continual recognition and high performance on the Referral Day. 

Offering rewards that resonate with different generations of employees

With the millennial workforce increasingly valuing experiences over monetary benefits, it is crucial for organizations to understand that a simple cash bonus is not enough to reward and boost employee morale and performance. Offering non-cash rewards, such as the opportunity to travel, a special dinner experience, or even a movie ticket resonates far more with younger employees. 

Our studies have shown that due to the fact that over 69% Millennials experience, to use a colloquial term, FOMO (the Fear of Missing Out), 3 out of 4 Millennials state that they would rather be rewarded with experiences over cash benefits.  Additionally, international organisations are now looking to tap into FOMO culture to boost their employees’ motivation and performance levels. A study conducted by PWC showed that 65% of corporates are now researching non-cash rewards to offer recognition. 

What to expect after establishing an effective recognitions program?

Recognition leads to employees that are more motivated to work hard, and work smart. When employees sense that they are part of a larger picture, they are far more likely to offer creative solutions, and act on improving their overall performance in the workplace. As this improvement is largely born from intrinsic motivation, an employees’ heightened performance develops at a pace that is organic to that individual’s pace of work, which ultimately results in performance that does not come at the cost of decreasing one’s work-life balance or sense of personal time. As a result, the scope for dissatisfaction levels with the job also decreases phenomenally, which in turn lowers the organisation’s attrition rate.

Additionally, with studies showing that intrinsically happier employees being 33% more prone to helping out other team members, organizations can stand to benefit from a culture of teamwork and motivation, rather than only mindless competition. Engaged employees that notice their personal and professional goals aligning are less likely to leave organizations.


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Topics: Benefits & Rewards, Performance Management, #GuestArticle

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