When it comes to reward and recognition, employees are looking for meaning, not things. The meaning behind the reward and not the reward itself is what matters. A genuine, personalized recognition will go much further then generic praise.
Different people like to be rewarded differently. Understanding those differences can be the difference between a meaningful recognition and a mediocre one. Take the time to understand what people like, by asking them how they like to be recognized.
Some questions to consider:
How do you like to be recognized? Individually or as part of a group? Formally ( i.e... At a ceremony or event or informally ( a less formal pat on the back)?
From whom? A senior leader? Direct manager? Direct report? A coworker?
In private or public? Verbally or in print?
Finally, What type of reward would be most meaningful?
Words of praise
Continuing education opportunity
Opportunity for advancement
More challenging work
Odds are that most people are not being over recognized! Instead of mindlessly praising everyone, clarify the kind of behaviours that get rewarded.
Celebrate results and not just activity, make a fuss over meaningful things like achieving larger goals.
More motivational speaker recognition ideas.