How Recognizing and Rewarding Employees Can Improve Your Employer Branding Strategy

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by viperk's , last updated on

employer_branding_strategy.jpgMore and more each day, organizations around the world are becoming in tune with the need for a strong employer branding strategy.

An employer brand is a vital asset --- it's what draws candidates to your business and differentiates you from the competition.

But while the "why" of an employer branding strategy is readily apparent, the "how" to accomplish it is a little less clear.

Utilizing career pages, videos, and social media are great ways to showcase what you're all about and what it would be like to work for you, but an employer branding strategy also has to include solid benefits --- perks that will make a candidate choose you over another company.

One of the best ways to enhance an employer branding strategy is by rewarding and recognizing employees.

Rewards and recognition make employees feel appreciated. Employees that feel appreciated are loyal and productive. Loyal and productive employees are awesome employees.

When designing and implementing your employer branding strategy, try these strategies for rewarding and recognizing. They're sure to help you retain your current people AND attract new ones.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due (and Do It Publicly)

When a person does a particularly good job, a hand-written note, personal phone call, or visit from a higher-up can make the employee feel good. But you can take that recognition a step further by highlighting accomplishments in a public forum.

This can be easily accomplished by setting aside time in your regular staff or department meetings to call out wins and jobs well done. You can also broadcast employees' efforts in company emails, newsletters, intranets, and social media sites. Officevibe uses Slack to praise employees, and PwC's "Our People" page showcases employees' achievements and development.

Feel free to extend the recognition outside of your own walls, as well. When employees do something that specifically helps a client or customer, call them out to the client or customer. It will make your people feel great, while strengthening your relationships with your clients.

Celebrate Anniversaries and Milestones

Sometimes, having cakes and mini-parties for every single person's birthday can get tedious and time consuming (just ask Elaine from Seinfeld), but celebrating employees' work anniversaries and milestones should be a part of your employer branding strategy.

And it can be accomplished without cake or making everyone drop what they're doing to celebrate. For example, a manager could take an employee out to a nice dinner to celebrate --- the employee feels recognized and no work time is compromised. Or you could offer a customized reward to the employee: if he's a big baseball fan, give him box seats to see his favorite team play; if she loves Broadway, get her tickets to the hottest show in town. Or keep it simple and just give the employee the day off (with pay, of course).

At Groupon, every employee's first-year work anniversary (or "Grouponiversary") is celebrated by giving that employee a green Adidas track jacket. The employee can personalize the jacket with their name or nicknames, and they get patches for it for every subsequent anniversary following.

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

While getting recognized and rewarded by managers and senior leadership is a cornerstone of a good employer branding strategy, sometimes employees want more --- specifically acknowledgment from their fellow employees.

It's always nice to please the boss, but people often get a strong sense of satisfaction from knowing that the people in their shoes appreciate the work that they do. Peer-to-peer recognition is also great for boosting employee morale and enhancing team building.

At Zappos, peer-to-peer recognition is taken very seriously. With four separate employee rewards programs, "Zapponians" are encouraged and incentivized to acknowledge each other for a job well done. Employees can give each other "Zollars" (Zappos dollars) that can be cashed in for company swag or donated to charity, and each employee can nominate another employee to receive preferred parking for a week. They also have a coworker bonus program that allows employees to reward each other with a $50 cash bonus, and the "HERO Award" that celebrates the best of the best of those coworker bonus winners (the winner of the HERO Award gets the $50 bonus, plus a $150 Zappos gift card and their own Zappos HERO cape).

As you can see, a little recognition goes a long way. When you implement an employee recognition and rewarding program into your employer branding strategy, you'll have happier and more motivated employees and a great tool to attract the next batch of company recruits.

At viperks, maximizing employee happiness is at the heart of everything we do. Our employee discount and appreciation program optimizes employee engagement, putting smiles on your staff members' faces and boosting your company's bottom line.

Want to learn more about how you can help your employees be happier and more productive? We're here to talk.

Topics: employer brand

blog author

Eric Golubitsky

Eric brings 18+ years of entrepreneurial experience. Eric founded S.M.I.L.E. Inc. in 1998, which was a Consumer Electronic Pro Top 100 home automation provider and was recognized as the #1 fastest growing company in NE Ohio by CWRU Weatherhead School of Management in 2003. As an Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" finalist in 2005, Eric's accomplishments have been recognized multiple times including the Consumer Electronics Association's national "Mark of Excellence Award." Eric is also a 5 year member of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization).