Retaining a Hybrid Workforce: 10 Employee Rewards and Recognition Ideas

10 Employee Rewards

Hybrid work has created opportunities and challenges for workers and employees. On one hand, it can represent the best of both worlds – a combination of the flexibility of working from home, with essential time for collaboration in the office.


Although hybrid structures can attract and retain more of the best talent, employers still face challenges in keeping hybrid workers engaged and happy. If it is time for your organisation to update its strategies for improving hybrid employee retention, rewards and recognition are a wonderful place to start from. Australian employees say that feeling valued for their contributions at work is the top reason for thriving in a role, according to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2022 survey.


It’s no wonder that HR professionals in Australia cite ‘improving total rewards packages’ as their third highest priority, behind employee retention and wellbeing strategies, as Mercer’s study shows.


Looking for great ideas for employee rewards and recognition ideas to retain your team? This blog can help you brainstorm suitable approaches for your organisation.


Salary Increases and Performance Bonuses

It is difficult to imagine a monetary reward not being appreciated by employees. Pay raises and bonuses are the most tangible signs an employer is recognising superior performance.


For fairness and consistency, ensure the criteria and rationale for salary increases and bonuses are as transparent as possible. Remember to keep these competitive and be aware of what the market is paying for and aim to match it.


A recruitment agency can give you the most current market data to inform your remuneration strategies, and you can contact our team here to find out more.


Keep Connected

Commit to regular, informal check-ins by screen and in-person. These moments are the perfect time to give thanks and say ‘well done’ to an employee who has gone the extra mile.


In hybrid workplaces, most workers (91%) say they want more office time each week, according to research by Swinburne University, which suggests Managers could find more ways to increase face-to-face time with their employees.


Most importantly, be available for your team so can reach you when they need you, not only when it is convenient for you.


Celebrate Success Across All Channels

Recognition won’t mean much unless there is an audience for it. When your people reach a milestone or make a notable accomplishment, spread the word and give them a shout-out.


Team meetings, company Town Halls (or All Hands), lunch gatherings, company email newsletters and online chat rooms (e.g. Slack or Microsoft Teams channels) are some spaces where employees’ achievements can be celebrated. Social media channels are also excellent avenues for publicising employees’ feats, allowing you to highlight a positive workplace culture in the process.


Giving awards is another way to recognise and reward exceptional performance. Employee of the Month programs can give an organisation scope to make recognition fun and light-hearted or a formal affair.


Small Gestures and Gifts

When looking for ways to say thanks, don’t forget the little things that can brighten an employee’s day. Small, ad-hoc and personal efforts cost little and can mean a lot over time.


Think free lunches or dinners with the team, or home-delivered food to team members for a lunch gathering over video.


Vouchers for shopping, travel or other experiences also make great gifts. The more personalised the gift is to an employee’s taste, the better – ask your team what type of gift they prefer.


Offer More Free Time

Bonus time off, much like monetary rewards, is usually appreciated by employees. Give industrious team players the afternoon off to mark the end of a project to show gratitude for a job well done.


Other time-based rewards include bonus leave for volunteering, a free day off per month, or additional holiday leave.


Free time is always welcomed no matter the level of the employee and you are essentially ‘giving back’ in a direct way.


Invest in Employee Development

Access to personal or professional development opportunities can help employees feel supported to become the best they can be.


If you notice that your team members are exceeding their goals, then investing further in their careers benefits you as much as it does them. With proper investment, your employees are going to feel valued and ‘seen’ in their role.


This support can range from giving employees time away from work to study or participate in a developmental activity, covering their training expenses, and giving them access to mentorships, secondments, or stretch assignments.


Open Career Pathways

Making pathways to promotion available is an essential reward and recognition strategy. Promoting people from within can strengthen company culture and reinforces the message that hard work is recognised and rewarded appropriately.


Structured performance reviews and development plans can help managers reward those who demonstrate good leadership ability. Ensure that employees are made aware of new positions within the company when they become available.


Give Access to Leadership

While some organisations have an open-door communications policy, in hybrid workplaces it isn’t always practical for employees to approach a Senior Manager. Hybrid work settings can reduce the opportunities for informal interactions in the office.


A proactive approach can make senior leaders more visible to employees and get them more involved in employee recognition efforts.


Introduce your team to leaders and executives in person, invite them to make presentations about projects to the leadership team, or organise informal social outings with senior managers.


Ask Employees What They Want

Structured rewards and recognition programs are useful for a range of reasons. But what do employees want?


What motivates and delights your employees? Personalising rewards can be one of the most effective ways to show you value them as individuals.


Give them an array of options to choose from or allow them to choose anything within a certain budget.


Be On the Lookout for New Ideas

For more employee rewards and recognition ideas, seek inspiration from outside of your organisation. Keep an eye on business news and social media to discover what other employers are doing in this area. What are the best ideas you could repurpose for your business?


Expert advice on hybrid employee retention is even better. If you’re working with a specialist recruitment agency to build your teams, ask them for strategic advice on what currently motivates top talent and how competitors are rewarding their staff.


Final Thoughts

In hybrid work environments, it’s wise not to overlook potential issues that can affect retention. Tangible and intangible rewards show employees you’ve got their back, whether they are in the office or working off site.


Rewarding and recognising employees will keep them happy and motivated at work – and more likely to stay for the long term.


As a Queensland recruitment agency, YourResourcing advises its national network of clients on people strategies, including hybrid employee retention. To find out how we can help, get in touch with our friendly and expert team.

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