Just like you need both hands to clap, companies need both rewards and recognition working in tandem to engage and motivate employees. Jerene Ang showcases case studies from organisations that have mastered this two-pronged approach.
When asked about rewards versus recognition for employee engagement and motivation, most HR leaders will be hard pressed to make a choice.
Based on his personal experience, Eric Wong, CHRO of Intel Wise, says: “This is a tough question to answer because you can never get your intended outcome with just rewards or recognition independently. The two components need to work hand in hand to achieve the right level of motivation and engagement.”
Agreeing with this sentiment was Darien Mah, Chief Executive Officer of FOREFRONT International (Malaysia), who helms the rewards and recognition initiatives in the organisation. He says: “Keeping employees motivated is a fine balancing act that all companies strive to excel. In the shorter term, rewards give a quick boost to productivity. In the longer term, recognition has proven to be an important component of our retention strategy.”
Similarly, on her personal experience, Leah Donovan, an Australia-based senior HR executive with 18 years of experience, says: “Rewards and recognition are so interlinked. For example, money (salary) is a reward in the sense that you are giving your employee something of value for doing a job. At the same time, you are also recognising them by paying them what the job is worth in the market.” Having established that both rewards and recognition are needed to successfully drive employee engagement and motivation, we speak to organisations that have mastered this two-pronged approach.