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15 Oct 2021

Tailor reward and recognition as you adapt to future ways of working

As businesses continue to adjust to flexible working, it’s no longer as easy to stop by at a colleague’s desk to say thank you, or collectively celebrate a win at a get together. Reward and recognition schemes are key to instilling business values and driving motivation among employees. However, with more teams working across various locations and even time zones, it can be difficult for managers to navigate their reward strategy and ensure their team members continue to feel engaged and connected to the business and their colleagues.


The working landscape is constantly evolving. In fact, according to Upwork’s third annual Future Workforce Report, the success that many companies have already seen from hybrid work will affect the structure of their teams both next year and into the future, with the report predicting that by 2028, 73% of teams will have remote workers. A further survey by McKinsey in August 2020 found that on average, executives plan to reduce office space by 30%. These findings demonstrate just how important it is for leaders to rethink how they reward their people in a way that’s optimised for future ways of working.

Here are three ways businesses can enhance their reward strategy to ensure it supports their team and boosts engagement.

1. Use technology to make recognition easy and visible

If your business’s online communication platform or intranet hub doesn’t already have a social recognition wall, then now is an ideal time to consider implementing a location online where individuals can send a thank you and nominate each other for demonstrating business values. This in-the-moment, peer-to-peer approach to recognition will help to build relationships, regardless of location, and ensure that recognition is truly embedded into your culture. Using technology to encourage frequent recognition is ideal for remote workforces, as it allows for better business-wide visibility and gives all employees the same opportunity to be rewarded. It will also teach employees to champion the little wins, as well as the big ones, which is key to ensuring your people feel valued and motivated day-to-day.

Another way to make recognition visible and engage employees wherever they’re based, is to organise frequent virtual get-togethers. Depending on the size of your organisation, this could be once every few weeks, every month or even at the end of each day. Bringing everyone together as often as possible to publicly recognise and congratulate achievements is really important for building bridges and encouraging collaboration, especially when individuals may not see colleagues that they don’t directly work with for weeks at a time. 

2. Offer choice to boost reward significance

Often businesses take a prescriptive approach to their rewards strategy, whereby every employee receives the same thank you. But it’s likely that this won’t reflect their individual needs and lifestyle, ultimately diminishing the value and impact of the reward. Each time you reward and recognise your remote employees you’re reconnecting them to your business, so it’s important that they associate positively with your rewards strategy. With fewer teams physically present, it’s even harder to make recognition personal and meaningful to the recipient.

One approach that’s proven to have a number of benefits is delivering a flexible reward scheme that gives individuals a choice over their rewards. Using a points-based system, employees and managers from across a business can nominate and reward their colleagues’ hard work and achievements using reward points which can be exchanged for a product or experience of their choice. This way, they have the freedom to choose a reward that has meaning and purpose and will have much more of an impact long-term. The reward they choose will be a reminder of the thank you received which will drive engagement and motivate them to contribute again and again, regardless of where they’re working.

3. Use your reward strategy to promote your business’ goals and values

A business’ mission and values are what give employees clearly defined goals to work towards and day-to-day direction. When an individual is aware of where their company is planning to go, the goals it wants to achieve and how their day-to-day actions play a part in reaching those ambitions, they will be more engaged, motivated and inspired to work to the best of their capability. But creating a strong sense of collective purpose and ensuring your team is connected to your business’s mission and values are harder when employees aren’t physically present and together. 

Utilise your reward strategy to reinforce your business’ mission, motivate your employees to work towards goals and demonstrate your culture and principles in everything they do. Ensure the criteria for recognition aligns with the purpose, brand and culture of your company and encourage public peer-to-peer recognition using your business’s unique values. When an individual’s achievements and contributions are recognised and celebrated in a public way such as through an internal platform, they become more engaged and motivated to work harder to receive further praise. On top of that, when employees see their colleagues getting recognised, it reinforces the types of actions and behaviour your business champions, which provides further clarity on your business’ values and what your employees should be aiming for. 

This article is provided by peoplevalue.

In partnership with peoplevalue – The Employee Engagement Company

We are a leading provider of employee reward&recognition, benefits delivery&wellbeing solutions.

Contact us today

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