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Want To Give Your Employees An Extra Treat For All That They Have Done Through 2021? Here's How To Make It Count Now more than ever, companies need to prioritize rewarding their people, those essential individuals who kept these companies afloat thanks to their loyalty, dedication, patience, and trust.

By Sirine Fadoul Edited by Aby Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Do you impatiently wait for the weekend to unapologetically enjoy your cheat meal when you're on a strict diet? Do you work out extra hard to deserve a sweet treat?

Have you ever, on an impulse, decided to get a new hairstyle when you were feeling low and in need for a change? Are you a serial snoozer allowing yourself an extra five minutes of sleep, five times through, just because you left the office late the night before?

I am sure that you have just answered yes to at least one of the above questions, or maybe all of them, which isn't surprising at all. Reward is inherently human- we are constantly incentivizing ourselves or promising our future selves a special reward if we go the extra mile, or often half that.

Reward drives our daily decisions and the choices we end up making. And the way we reward ourselves and others stems from a good understanding of what motivates us, and what is fair. It's a formula that tends to work well when it's ourselves we're rewarding, or people in our close circles such as a partner, a child, or a friend.

But this formula doesn't necessarily work in a corporate environment for various reasons, including either an unfounded understanding or a misinterpretation of what truly motivates employees, and what the latter consider as a fair reward. And this gap between management policies and employee expectations is at risk of widening in challenging times like the one we are in right now, thanks to a global pandemic.

Now more than ever, companies need to prioritize rewarding their people, those essential individuals who kept these companies afloat thanks to their loyalty, dedication, patience, and trust.

Related: How To Build An A-Star Team For Your Startup

But how do you show appreciation in an increasingly digital and hybrid workplace? How can we ensure genuine engagement and a fair recognition via a mobile phone in an efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective manner? Here's what I suggest.

Be generous Most of us feel like the world owes us a big reward after what we have been through, surviving the COVID-19 crisis and its devastating impact on our jobs, families, economies, and futures. If your Chief Financial Officer can scrape together a budget, allocate it to rewarding your employees. Unfortunately, even a generously loaded gift card will not do- your beneficiaries will surely appreciate a reward that keeps on rewarding, aka a reward platform that caters to their interests, likes, and aspirations, easily accessible on their mobile phones, and offering a wide range of curated offers redeemable in real time anytime, anywhere.

Make it last Who doesn't love a bonus? Bonuses are irreplaceable! This performance-based recognition brings a well-earned injection of cash that is often used to cover essential or major purchases, or simply pay off debts. Complement bonuses with perks and rewards that your employees can enjoy all year long with no restrictions and no limitations. They'll remember you every time they avail an offer they genuinely like, or when they earn points or cash-back on future purchases and accumulate significant savings.

Be relevant I strongly believe that the buy-one-get-one-free model is best suited for our current circumstances, as it encourages sharing and it brings people together around a nice meal or a relaxing spa experience. Today more than ever, while adhering to social distancing, people have a strong desire to reconnect with loved ones outside of their four walls after a long, very long, period of lockdowns and social isolation. Give your people the opportunity to enjoy their rewards with their families and friends doing activities they truly love.

Make it worth their buck This point can perhaps be best illustrated with a simple but compelling data point. Users of The ENTERTAINER app in the UAE alone saved around US$78 million in 2020, and globally, an estimated $110 million. Keeping that in mind, seek out the reward program that yields the most value in terms of a return on investment, but also for your employees' pockets- help them save money doing the things they enjoy.

Related: Happy Employees Create Happy Customers

Sirine Fadoul

Regional Fintech Lead - EEMEA, Mastercard

Sirine Fadoul is the Regional Fintech Lead for the EEMEA at Mastercard.

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