Employee Rewards that Work

Two weeks ago, I traveled the state of Florida from the Panhandle down to North Captiva Island, training owners, managers, and employees in the hospitality industry. As usual, familiar questions were asked.

  1. “Should I reward my employees publicly or privately?”
  2. “Is it better to give everyone the same reward, or should I make some different?”
  3. “Do any rewards really work?”

In my experience as a Certified Personality Trainer, General and Human Resource Manager, as well as a Training Facilitator, I’ve tried many reward programs, but only one formula works. Invest the time and energy in learning who your employees are, and reward them accordingly. Based on years of research and practice, I’ll share the answers I gave in Florida.

  1. It depends on the employee’s natural personality, whether you should offer a public or private reward. Some are embarrassed when called out in front of the crowd, while others flourish under the attention. How do you know what the individual wants? Simply ask if they are uncomfortable with public acknowledgement. You’ll probably get your answer before they speak. Shy types will shade beet before opening their mouths to stutter through an answer.
  2. I definitely don’t think cookie-cutter reward systems work. At least they haven’t for me. Again, ask the individual about their hobbies, what they like to do in their free time, what’s meaningful to them.
  3. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is one of those books that changed my life. You might find it odd to know I not only use the information in my personal life, but also customized it for rewards that work with employees. I’ve actually integrated it with gender knowledge and the four basic personality types to create a unique motivational program.

Tomorrow, I’ll lay out my reward formula. Infusing personality, love languages, and gender, I’ll let you in on a secret system that can help any manager who needs help with motivation.

Remember, employees need money, but though it’s appreciated, rarely is it remembered after the money is spent. This program speaks to intrinsic motivators embedded deep within the human soul. There is no magic solution, quick-fix, or perfect outcome, but you can greatly improve attitudes with longer lasting results.

What reward systems do you use? What works? What doesn’t in your organization?

1 Corinthians 3:8 (NIV)
The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.


Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Expert, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri with her family. Contact her via http://www.freshstartfreshfaith.org or anita.freshfaith@gmail.com


2 responses to this post.

  1. […] Employee rewards that work […]


  2. Cinco Squared has an employee incentive program that allows you to configure a pool of prizes (anything you can dream up such as cash, gift cards, boss’s parking spot, etc…). You print out branded cards (or email them) direct from the website and give them out at your discretion. Your employee will type in the unique code on their card and go to your branded prize bin where one is randomly selected by the application. Email notification is sent to your employee and you have an admin dashboard that tracks everything. The unknown prize creates a lot of incentive and the interface is getting rave reviews by users. You can even create tiered events with different sets of available prizes and have a separate set of cards associated with a particular prize pool. If you want more information, I can send you a brochure if you direct message me. Our team can even create a demo and send you cards so you can give it a test drive. Cinco Squared is getting awesome unbiased independent reviews.


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