Acknowledging and rewarding an employee’s good behavior is a great way to increase motivation, improve performance, and retain top talent. Recognition comes in many forms, but when looking at ideas for rewarding your team, why not give extrinsic and intrinsic motivators a try?

Extrinsic rewards are tangible motivators, like offering pay raises, bonuses, and benefits. Monetary benefits can instantly motivate some employees to work towards the reward, especially since money directly impacts one’s quality of life. As nice as they seem, these kinds of rewards tend to have short-term effects, and can be costly if expected to be continuously given.  This may also be difficult for some smaller companies to put a budget aside for. This is why it may be worth pairing extrinsic rewards with intrinsic ones.

Intrinsic rewards are intangible rewards received from doing meaningful actions. This can be shown through praising colleagues, assigning additional responsibility, and offering opportunities for personal growth. Intrinsic rewards may be more appropriate as they are not as costly. It is also relatively easy to pass on praise during informal and formal settings, whether it’s in person or via an email chain. Simple acts of kindness can also portray how appreciative others are of one’s work.

If you are unsure where to start, a good first step would be to review the company budget, especially when considering offering extrinsic rewards. Collaborate with colleagues to identify the kinds of benefits your employees would find value in as these may be different from the regular benefits they already and/or regularly receive. Job recognition in general helps employees realize that their efforts are being noticed and appreciated. This sense of accomplishment can lead to higher job satisfaction and drive employees to perform at their best.