2024 Employee Rewards Trends eBook
Posted by Cathleen Urdi on Wed, Mar 20, 2024 @ 12:15 PM


Do you know the differences between Recognition, Reward and Award?

Recognition is an intangible acknowledgment of people’s behaviors, personal efforts or contributions. Reward is something tangible given in return for service or effort, and an Award is a symbol of recognition for an achievement or milestone.

When we talk about “intangible,” we mean congratulating people for their efforts. Recognition can have a powerful psychological impact. It makes people feel confident in their abilities and, if done publicly, communicates the behaviors an organization values to others. So, recognition helps us feel a part of something larger than ourselves. We all know that when regularly recognized, employees feel more confident and indispensable in their roles. And people who feel like they are a valued part of the team will want to stay. So, recognition offers some powerful benefits.

That’s where our 2024 Employee Rewards Trends eBook comes in, and dives into the world of rewards. Rewards tangibly acknowledge your achievements and offer more solid evidence of your value to the organization, and this report provides insight into why. This post covers the eBooks highlights, but you can get the full content at the bottom to gain insights and stats that support the importance of focusing on the rewards offered as part of your recognition strategy.

Rewards Overview
As children, we started earning awards and rewards, such as a gold star on a school paper or a special treat for getting an “A.” As you enter the workforce, some companies offer trips to reward people for succeeding, a non-cash reward you won’t forget. Alternative rewards can also include advancing people’s talents and competencies through training.

Gift cards can also be viewed as non-cash rewards. Granted, these rewards are denominated in cash equivalents. Still, giving someone a restaurant gift card or a card for cash or coffee also demonstrates their value.

Business Case for Non-Cash Rewards
Companies often use a combination of recognition and rewards to show appreciation for their employees. There are distinct benefits to non-cash rewards. When an employee gets cash in their paycheck, it’s thought of as something to be used for necessities, such as groceries, the mortgage, bills, etc. But mentally, when rewarded for something specific, like a great work idea, that reward is used for something different. And the further we can remove that from cash, the stronger the difference.

Budgeting Trends
A new Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) study on 2024 budgeting trends reveals significant increases in planned spending for 2024 over last year, with a projected 31% increase in total merchandise spending and 42% growth in gift card spending.

Curating Meaningful Reward Product Offerings
Now, let’s talk about what we call “Curating a meaningful product offering.” Or making sure your reward portfolio appeals to a wide range of employees.

First, your program must be simple to use.

The second is purposeful choice.

Third, the item must be valuable to the recipient. 

Finally, a meaningful reward product offering must have a selection that is appealing to everyone.

The Importance of Redemption
We can’t overstate enough just how important it is for employees to redeem that reward they’ve earned. Some organizations view non-redeemed points as savings. However, non-redemptions can be seen as a missed opportunity to engage employees, show them their organization cares for them, and increase their loyalty to the company.

What strategies are there to increase redemptions? Consistent communication through emails or signage, reinforcing the experience with wish lists on the site to keep reminding users and using progress reports regularly to highlight their standings and rewards they could get.

To read more from our 2024 Employee Rewards Trends eBook, download it below!


Topics: Employee Rewards

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