Building Incentives and Recognition into a Workplace Culture

Making the extraordinary everyday

For recognition to really make a difference and to really become part of a successful company culture, it can’t just be restricted to performance reviews. Even a big annual celebration won’t cut it. No, to be truly effective, it has to happen every single day.

People will be going the extra mile and putting in an extraordinary effort every single day in your organisation – so recognise their efforts every time they do and make the extraordinary part of the everyday.

But how, we hear you cry, are we meant to reward people across the organisation every day? The reward budget will be huge, we’ll never be able to move for leftover party streamers. Constant celebratory cakes will play havoc with our health!

We get it. If incentives and recognition are going to be an everyday thing, then it needs to fit into the day-to-day workings of the office, or shop floor. Fortunately, there are plenty of slightly more subtle tactics that can help embed this culture of recognition and excellence into the very fabric of your day, and the very culture of your organisation. Let’s take a look at some of the best…

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

This is one of our favourite uses of an incentive platform, and one that truly makes recognition a part of the very culture of an organisation. Peer-to-peer recognition means colleagues recognising each other’s achievements – rather than recognition coming solely from the top of the organisation down.

It’s a simple premise – when someone thinks a colleague is doing something great, they let them know. And they let their line manager know too. Using an online platform, people can send a quick note of thanks or appreciation for a job well done, no matter whether it’s something little, or something big.

Recognition could be for just about anything – but it works best when it’s aligned with your own company values. That way it helps everyone work together for one purpose, driving a company culture that people believe and are invested in. Recognition can come from just about anyone too – whether colleagues on the same level, or to those above or below each other in the organisation – it helps show someone their hard work is being noticed.

Peer-to-peer recognition can be monitored by managers, with rewards given for each nomination, for receiving one for each company value, or for an accumulation of a few.

This is an essential part of making recognition part of the everyday– often it’s impossible for managers to see every great thing that their team does. Letting others speak up on their colleagues’ behalf means you can reward so much more effectively.

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Reward Points

Rather than handing out rewards every single day, many organisations prefer to use a reward points system. This usually works as part of an incentive platform – when employees hit a certain target, receive an accolade from one of their peers, get some great feedback from a customer, or whatever their employer or line manager decides is point-worthy, they earn some points that are stored in their own user area.

These points can be accumulated over the days, weeks, months and even years, and then can be spent to purchase rewards of the employee’s choice. This means their reward is completely perfect for them – no need to try and second-guess people’s tastes and interests!

The rewards available could be as simple as gift cards for use at their favourite retailer or restaurant, or a whole range of prizes – clothes, jewellery, technology, homewares and appliances – the options are endless.

Using reward points is an effective way to make the act of rewarding happen every day without disrupting activities too much, and it means the impact of the reward goes even further. People get a happy, warm buzz when they receive their points, another when they spend them, one when the reward comes in the post – and one more when they finally use it! It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Incentivising great performance

While peers are recognising each other for help, support and a job well done – and managers are sending rewards to those staff who have gone above and beyond, there’s still another string to the bow when it comes to making people feel great in the workplace.

Help staff know exactly what’s expected of them and keep them motivated with incentives – and more exactly, incentive platforms. In order to make recognition for extraordinary achievements part of the everyday, the incentives and recognition themselves need to make use of tools that people use every day. One of the most effective is, of course, the internet.

Even though not everyone uses the internet at work – ONS figures suggest between 53% and 65% of the UK’s employees are online for work, depending on the size of the organisation – internet usage is always on the rise, with Ofcom reports showing smartphone ownership in particular is growing across the majority of working-age demographics.

So, an online platform, particularly a mobile one, is a fantastic tool for bringing incentives and recognition into people’s everyday activities, whether they’re constantly flicking to it throughout the day, or checking it on their phone during a break.

Incentive platforms provide everything employees need to understand their targets, view training resources, and access rewards – as well as some other uses that we’ll go into below. Similar to an intranet, and able to serve many of the same functions, these platforms become valuable tools in day-to-day working life, but are always underpinned by that essential element of recognition and reward, going the extra mile, and achieving something extraordinary.

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