Trends in Total Rewards and Recognition


As HR professionals, we often hear employees leaving organizations because they feel undervalued and ignored. One of the biggest impacts an organization can have on retaining talent is rewarding and recognizing employees for their hard work. Rewards and recognition are closely intertwined. To further define each term: rewards are tangible things like compensation and benefits, while recognition is intangible like the acknowledgment of a job well done.


We list below new trends and definitions in the area of total rewards and recognition:


Digital recognition – With the rise of hybrid and remote work environments, we have started to rely on online tools and resources to keep teams connected. One of the biggest trends in recognition is the use of online social recognition programs to drive rewarding employees. Some examples include using an intranet to visibly show recognition to your staff or utilizing the “praise” options within your team’s chat functions.


Culture AlignmentThe Great Reshuffle has shown that people want to work in organizations with values that align with theirs. Employees also want to feel recognized regularly for their contributions. Recognize the value of good work often, rather than waiting until the end of a project or during performance reviews. Make it a part of the ongoing conversation with staff.


Gamification – This is a growing trend that impacts how employees view success and validation. Organizations use badges, score bars, and reward points to enhance productivity. For example, if someone completes a set number of hours in a training program, they receive rewards points which could unlock additional training skills or tangible rewards or gifts.


Coworker feedback – A great form of recognition is often the words one says to another coworker, like complimenting someone on a job well done. This feedback has a positive effect on the outcome of work, but it also assists with team building.


Gifts – Lastly, an increasingly growing trend is tangible gifts given to employees, whether it be a gift card or a bottle of wine a manager sends as a thank you gift to each team member. In particular, connecting information employees share about their needs or tastes and sending thoughtful gifts is a great way to show further appreciation and provides something meaningful to the employee.


If you would like some assistance in improving your rewards and recognition programs, please reach out to the Kiwi Partner’s HR Services Team.

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