When you find that your trusted OTC cold medicine isn’t stuffing up any of your sniffles, you may make a visit to your doctor. Though your elementary school nurse may have tried, you just can’t mend a broken bone by covering it with a bandaid. I could write 3-5 more examples on minor malpractices, but you get the point and I think you know where I’m headed. If you find that your employee recognition program just ain’t working as good as it once was, you may need to adjust the dosage and reexamine the way you distribute rewards. There may be a disconnect between how employees would like to be rewarded and how your current systems operate.
You won’t hear many complaints from your (smart) employees about receiving a bonus check due to a profitable quarter. However, extrinsic rewards, like pay raises and airpods, can’t and won’t fill the deep, dark void of an unhappy, unfulfilled employee. Extrinsic rewards have their purpose, but they’re the bandaid on the broken bone. Once the endorphins from seeing something new and shiny wear off, their motivation and engagement return back to their futile state.
Employees are (re)negotiating benefits in ways that support more of their emotional well-being. Employees want to work for a company with similar values as their own. This plays a huge part in how workplace culture motivates and recognizes its employees: Intrinsic, meaningful rewards motivate intrinsic, meaningful work. Though it may take time to adjust to these new health trends, it’s important to offer and implement relevant rewards within your employee recognition programs.
So now you’re only one Google search away from finding that list of the top 20 trendiest, intrinsic-iest rewards and motivators. However, you may find that some suggestions don’t align with your company culture, values or purpose. Implementing foreign systems can create a new list of symptoms- some even more severe.
Similar to how employees are individualizing their wants and needs, your organization will find some reward systems more compatible than others. Remote working and upskilling are two great examples of intrinsic incentives that can be individualized based on company logistics. Keep in mind, intrinsic rewards are usually more conceptual than tangible, extrinsic ones.
Remote work: I trust that my employees work best from wherever they prefer. A flexible, remote work schedule acknowledges that employees are individual people with individual schedules.
When this won’t work: Working from home is not an option for companies that require on-site technology, materials, or machine operating systems. Instead, trust can be incentivized by handing off special projects to employees looking to grow within the company.
Upskilling: How can I invest my time? One-on-one professional training and development appreciates employees as individuals with their own goals and ambitions.
When this won’t work: Companies with hundreds, or even thousands, of employees may find difficulty creating meaningful, tailored experiences to each of their workers. Investing can be incentivized differently by offering scholarships or grants for employees wanting to pursue higher education.
While it’s important to stay up to date with workplace trends, make sure to identify the specific concerns and needs unique to your brand, and more importantly, your employees. Be creative when ideating ways to reward and celebrate your valued employees.