Every business leader has their own idea for how to reward employees for great work. However, most rewards programs are lacking in one way or another. When it comes to rewarding employees for great work, most people immediately think about money. But, that’s only half the answer.

After working with hundreds of businesses over the years, we’ve seen that the best employee rewards programs address four key areas: compensation, benefits, recognition, and appreciation. The problem for many businesses is that they’re either missing one or more of these elements, or the elements that are addressed aren’t properly aligned with the company’s other corporate strategies.

Here are some best practices your business can put in place to make sure you’re properly addressing each area in the ways you reward employees for great work.

Two Effective Ways to Reward Employees for Great Work

There are two effective and primary ways you can recognize employees for doing great work:

1. Formal reward programs built around compensation and benefits.

Employees’ attitudes toward their salary and benefits directly correlate with their level of commitment and engagement. This is why having some sort of formal rewards and benefits program for your employees is vital for your business. For some businesses, this means developing an intentional program for increasing employee compensation as they meet individual goals or corporate objectives. For other businesses, this means looking for alternative benefit packages, such as deferred compensation to solve for specific needs. While the nuances of your formal rewards program might look different than other businesses, the key is to eliminate as much of the ambiguity and confusion around how employees are formally rewarded for good work.

2. Informal reward programs built around recognition and appreciation.

Rewarding employees isn’t always about salary and bonuses. There are literally hundreds of ways you can recognize and show appreciation for your employees—most of which don’t cost a lot of money. Whether it’s surprising an employee with a handwritten note or recognizing a team member’s hard work among their peers, the most difficult part of implementing an informal rewards program is remembering to do it. It needs to be ingrained in your culture. It requires taking time to learn the unique characteristics of your employees or team members. What makes them tick? What makes them feel valuable? Is it a word of encouragement or a gift of appreciation? The more personal you can make the recognition and appreciation, the more the employee will truly feel valued.

Need Help Developing an Employee Rewards Program?

Whether you have five employees or 500, every company needs a strategic reward system. It’s one of the most important things you can do to boost morale and improve company culture.

Wondering if you’re paying employees enough? Looking to create a formal rewards program? Realize your current program has lacked the important informal elements?

Our team at LBMC Employment Partners can help you create a program employees brag about to their friends. Connect with one of our team members today to learn how we can help you build a comprehensive employee rewards program that fits your overall business objectives.