February 21, 2020 0 Comment

5 Trends in Employee Rewards, Recognition and Benefits in 2020

As a new year unfolds, the trends in employee rewards and recognitions that are going to rule the year have become the talk of the HR world. With the changes in the profile, preferences, and priorities of the workforce, organizations are required to adopt their reward and recognition strategies for appreciating the quality work done by the employees.

As per statistics, in the year 2002, 84% of the organizations made use of the employee rewards and recognition strategy to motivate the employees which grew to 87% in the recently concluded year.

Let’s take a peek at the most likely trends in employee rewards and recognition in 2020:

What are the key trends in Employee Rewards, Recognition and Benefits in 2020?

1. Experiential rewards will become more popular

Research has shown that employees prefer experience over material gifts when being rewarded at work. The employees, thus, do not wish to receive any kind of merchandise or cash from their organization; rather they wish for opportunities for exploring new activities that are memorable and drive enjoyment.

For instance, many organizations are considering the option of offering a foreign trip as a way to reward the employees, in place of other rewards. Experiential rewards are likely to offer greater employee satisfaction and employee motivation.

2. Building the foundations of a strong people-first culture

2020 is going to give rise to the employee-first decade, with more and more organizations adopting it as their business goal. This will be necessary to elevate the organization’s culture and retain top talent.

For instance, organizations like American Express are considering re-defining their existing strategies in order to reinvent their organization culture. The best way to build a great culture is to reward, respect and care employees at every level.

3. Benefits related to wellness will be on the rise

Wellness programs such as meditation classes, yoga classes, fitness classes, gym memberships, martial arts classes, massage therapy sessions, and Pilates sessions are now considered to be one of the best benefits for employees. Given the work-related stress, taking care of both physical and mental health has become essential.

The wellness programs bring twin benefits. The positively impact the employees and at the same time cater to the interest of the employer. As the wellness levels of the employees improve, they will be more focused, productive and innovative at work. Also, there will be a considerable reduction in the sick leaves taken.

4. Instant/ Timely recognition will become more critical

Employees being digitally savvy are accustomed to instant results in each and every sphere of their lives. What matters a lot of employees is that they want to be recognized at the right time and in the right way. Hence, organizations are required to make the reward and recognition programs technologically advanced and mobile.

Thus, if the organization realized that something is worthy of being recognized, it should be done instantaneously instead of waiting for a particular time to bring the efforts of an employee to the forefront.

5. Personal development will emerge as an important way to reward

As per statistics, as much as 65% of the employees consider personal development to be of great significance in their jobs. Thus, one standout global trends in employee rewards and recognition that one can presently see are career progression and skill development.

Employees wish to be very clear on what their role is and how their work is going to give them opportunities for career growth as well as personal growth. When it comes to self-development, meaningful things such as more responsibilities, leadership opportunities, presentations and talks for senior leaders may be considered.

Even workshops and courses can be considered, which aim to broaden the knowledge levels of the employees. The organization may also provide training sessions to employees to enable them to learn new skills and refine existing skills. This will be beneficial to the organization as well.

Read Key Trends in HR for 2021 and Beyond

Also read Key Employee Rewards and Recognition Trends in 2021 and Beyond


Indeed, thoughtful rewards given to employees in the right way at the right time can truly help in bolstering employee motivation and empowerment in the organization, directly impacting the well-being, productivity, and loyalty of the employees.

2020 as a year should see an increasing focus on meaningful employee rewards, recognition, and benefits across organizations.

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HiFives (https://www.hifives.in) is an employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. The platform enables supervisors and co-workers to nominate, recognize and reward employees using a points-based system. Budget management, jury-based evaluation and multi-level approval workflows are built into the platform. HiFives has social features such as a wall of fame and gamification features such as leaderboards, e-certificates and digital badges. It also has a global redemption system with country-specific e-gift card options. HiFives integrates with all leading HRMS systems, Office 365, Google Workspace, MS Teams, Slack and other popular tools used at the workplace. HiFives is used by many large enterprises, small businesses and startups across 25+ countries in the world, in many industries including manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media.