Rewards and Recognition

Part of effective staff development is remembering to recognize a job well done. Reward and recognition need not always be monetary (compensation is discussed in a separate section). Studies show that the benefits of recognition are numerous. A study by the National Association for Employee Recognition showed the benefits of developing and maintaining a rewards and recognition program can serve to:

  • create a positive work environment;
  • create a culture of recognition;
  • motivate high performance;
  • reinforce desired behaviors;
  • increase employee morale;
  • support organization's mission;
  • increase retention;
  • encourage loyalty; and
  • support culture change.

Best practices in employee reward and recognition programs include:

  • Ensuring the recognition is tangible and related to the employee’s position.
  • Going beyond a general thank you and making sure the recognition includes why the performance made a difference to the organization, to a client, to the mission, etc.
  • Practicing consistent recognition among employees to ensure that multiple staff members are recognized.
  • Publicly recognizing strong performance, such as at a staff meeting or in an internal newsletter.
  • Thinking creatively to recognize employees. The State of Michigan has a fun list of 50 No-Low Cost Recognition Ideas.
  • Encouraging employees to recognize their colleagues
  • Creating recognition programs based on employees’ values.
  • Considering educational opportunities as a form of employee recognition.
19 out of 21 users found this page helpful.

Was this page helpful?


Only current members of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits may post comments to this page.

Login To Comment

Individual Login

You are signed in as:

View My Account divider Logout

Search nonprofit Resources library


Stay Updated

Subscribe to Email Alerts »




Upcoming HR Trainings