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Rewards and Recognition

"Rewards" typically refers to the "total rewards" an employee receives at work. This includes compensation, benefits, bonus, incentives, and other financial gains.

"Recognition" refers to expressed appreciation by one person to another for that individual's behavior, activities, or impact.  Recognition may or may not be accompanied by a physical or financial reward.

Our research shows that the two are very different. "Total Rewards" contributes to a person's sense of "safety" and "well being" at work. In most roles compensation is what we call a "hygeine" factor - not enough compensation has negative effects, but more and more compensation often has no impact on performance.

Recognition, on the other hand, operates differently. Recognition (or "thanks") satisfies people's higher level need to feel valued, appreciated, and part of a team. Recognition done well is frequent, specific, and peer-based. Our research shows that companies with high recognition cultures have as much as 30% lower voluntary attrition rates.