Employee Rewards: One Size Doesn't Fit All

March 15, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - More than half (55%) of employees say that recognition for their work affects their performance, but a recent poll by Maritz, Inc., suggests that one type of employee recognition will not fit all.

The St. Louis-based consultant categorized workers into six categories, along the lines of what types of recognition awards they respond to:

  • Award Seekers (22%): respond to awards with some type of value, such as gift cards and travel awards. This group tends to be younger and 58% are female.
  • Nesters (20%): respond best to rewards that allow them to spend more time at home, such as flexible scheduling and dinners out with their family. This group tends to be older and 54% are male.
  • Bottom Liners (19%): only concerned with the monetary value of rewards and place very little emphasis on receiving verbal or written praise. For instance, they respond best to cash bonuses or cumulative award points programs. This group typically has high job dissatisfaction and 59% are female.
  • Freedom Yearners (17%): Most interested in rewards that give them flexibility, such as the freedom to choose how to achieve their goals, ability to choose interesting and challenging projects and opportunities to attend conferences. This group had the highest proportion of people making over $100,000 (22%). Fifty-five percent were at least 45 years old and 55% were male.
  • Praise Cravers (16%): They have a greater desire to have their work acknowledged and would prefer a verbal, written or formal praise from managers or informal praise by peers. This group tends to be 54% male.
  • Upward Movers (8%): Tend to be the most satisfied and committed among all of the employee segments and are the least interested in cash bonuses, days off and flexible scheduling. Their preferred awards are status awards, meaning meals with company management or opportunities to mentor other employees and work with people outside their own areas. Sixty-eight percent of this group is male while 42% are 34 years old or younger.

For the full press release go here .