Which types of rewards and recognition are most effective at engaging employees?


Why employee engagement matters

How do engaged employees benefit your business?

3 reward and recognition strategies that ensure employee engagement

Ready to engage your employees?


Which types of rewards and recognition are most effective at engaging employees?

Are your employees engaged?

If you’re not sure then it means you haven’t thought about it—and that probably means you’ve got an engagement problem.

There are multiple ways organisations can engage their employees, but one of the most effective is rewarding and recognising hard work and consistent performance.

There are many different types of rewards and recognition in the workplace for you to consider—but why is employee engagement important in the first place?

Why employee engagement matters

As an organisation you probably have clear objectives; a distinct roadmap of what success looks like and what you need to do to get there.

But who’s going to get you there?

Your employees.

Signing the right people is only half the battle though. You need to make sure they’re engaged and bought into the vision of the business—but they also want to know their hard work is going to be recognised and rewarded.

How do engaged employees benefit your business?

1. Engaged employees are more loyal

All of your employees will probably move on at some point, whether it’s for more money, personal reasons or a fantastic opportunity that’s too good to turn down, but one thing’s for certain: a disengaged employee is more likely to leave than an engaged employee.

On average, a dissatisfied employee will waste over £2,700nearly £3,000 per person in recruitment costs when compared to their engaged colleagues.

What’s more, 63% of employees who are ‘always’ or ‘usually’ recognised are ‘very unlikely’ to job hunt in the next 3-6 months.

2. Engaged employees are more productive…

Productivity is one of the metrics ambitious, successful organisations prize the most, and engagement has a huge impact on it.

In fact, it’s estimated that the UK economy loses £52-70billion every year in productivity due to employee disengagement.

…and more profitable

As you’d expect, that additional productivity means engaged employees are also more profitable.

A survey conducted by Gallup found that engaged workforces deliver approximately 150% more earnings per share than their competitors.

4. Engaged employees are less likely to be absent

Prioritising improvements to employee engagement will also deliver significant reductions in absenteeism.

According to a Gallup Workplace Report, ‘highly engaged business units realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism’.

5. Engaged employees mean happy customers

Engaged and happy staff don’t just make a difference internally—your customers can see the difference too.

3 reward and recognition strategies that ensure employee engagement

Rewards and recognition platforms have a big impact on engagement.

In fact, one survey of employees found that recognition was the number one driver of great work. 

Let’s take a look at three types of rewards and recognition in the workplace that ensure employee engagement.

1. Offering flexible rewards

As we’ve seen, employees love being rewarded.

It makes it more likely they’ll stay with an organisation, work harder and be happier in their job.

However, not all rewards are created equally, and what’s great for one employee might not work for another.

That’s why you should ensure your rewards strategy is flexible.

A great way of offering this flexibility is through prepaid reward cards. They offer complete freedom, with your employees being able to spend their rewards anywhere online or in-store that accepts Visa. 

There’s a benefit for employers too.

Because they’re reloadable you don’t have to keep buying new stacks every month—simply top up the employee's existing card when they’ve earned the reward.

2. Recognition for simply being an employee

Rewarding success is important, but the modern employee also wants an incentive to choose you as an employer in the first place.

An employee benefits platform is a great way of doing so.

They show your workforce that you’re grateful for them every day—not just when they’ve gone above and beyond—and encourage greater loyalty.

3. Support their wellbeing

Approximately two thirds (62%) of employees identified employee wellbeing as a key factor when deciding on a new job. With this in mind, your rewards and recognition strategy should also include elements that support physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

These rewards could include:

  • Discounted gym memberships — physical health is directly linked to mental health, so doing all you can as an organisation to support employees in living a healthier lifestyle will offer significant benefits for them and the company.
  • Offer free or heavily discounted healthy snacks and drinks — by providing free fruit and other healthy snacks onsite you’ll reduce the temptation to snack on sugary foods. Not only do unhealthy foods impact physical health, sugar also leads to energy crashes and fatigue that can impact productivity. Remember, this isn’t about lecturing employees or banning them from certain behaviours, but making it as easy as possible for them to choose healthier choices.
  • Salary sacrifice schemes — worrying about money is one of the biggest drivers of stress in UK adults, but a salary sacrifice scheme can help their money go further on things like tech products, energy-efficient cars and travel season tickets. These employee benefits can have a big impact on financial wellbeing.
  • Choose which brands and retailers you offer rewards for carefully — if you’re rewarding employees with eVouchers of gift cards, think about which brands you want to be included. Do any of them support wellbeing?

Ready to engage your employees?

Failing to engage your employees will lead to a workforce that is less productive and more likely to find a new job, so isn’t it time you started prioritising employee engagement with your reward and recognition strategy?

To do so effectively, it’s important that you work with a provider that has years of experience in delivering tried and tested solutions that work. Specifically, a provider that has years of experience working with organisations just like yours.

Here at Sodexo Engage we’ve worked with organisations across a huge range of industries, of all shapes and sizes, increasing employee engagement through a combination of rewards, recognition and employee benefits.

We offer an award-winning range of solutions that includes everything from eVouchers and gift cards, through to dedicated recognition platforms that keep everything you need to reward your employees in one place.

Want to find out more?

Get in touch with one of our dedicated recognition specialists and discover how we can help your business be more profitable and achieve your goals faster.