Team working together at table

Why Equity is Key to Rewards and Recognition

Rewards and recognition programs are an effective driver of employee engagement. However, there’s an important factor that will make or break the success of such initiatives at your organization and that is equity. Let’s look at why it’s important to incorporate it into your culture.

Equitable rewards and recognition create a sense of fairness, motivating employees to work harder – as they know they will get the same recognition as their peers. It’s the opposite of favoritism and corporate politics, which are notorious for creating toxic cultures.

Equity vs. Equality

Equity is different from equality. Equality is all about giving everyone the exact same resources, the same recognition, etc. – whether it’s going to be effective or not. Everyone gets the same stuff.

Equity recognizes individuality, providing employees with fair access to opportunities, resources, and recognition for their work. Studies have shown that this fairness aspect is extremely powerful.

Equity Theory

The equity theory developed by J. Stacey Adams states that motivation often comes from our perception of how we’re rewarded for our contributions. Employees evaluate their inputs into their work (skills, time, effort, loyalty, etc.) against the outcomes (compensation, benefits, recognition, etc.) – comparing them to those of relevant peer groups.

Equity is key to effective rewards and recognition programs
Photo by Shridhar Gupta on Unsplash

The theory shows that we all want a fair relationship between our inputs and outputs. Furthermore, employees are constantly benchmarking this ratio to others’ ratios. They are motivated by equity and get discouraged when they sense unfairness or favoritism.

Research shows that if employees perceive any signs of unjust treatment, it can have devastating effects on the company culture: eroding trust in the organization and employee morale, reducing productivity, loyalty and leading to higher turnover rates.

Effective Rewards and Recognition Programs

At the same time, you don’t want your recognition programs to follow the one-size-fits all principle either. Countless studies demonstrate that modern day employees are searching for meaning in their work. Therefore, in order for rewards and recognition to be effective, they need to be an outlet for that – which requires an element of personalization.

So how do you make sure that your rewards and recognition programs are both: equitable and individualized? If you were to do that manually, you’d probably need a giant spreadsheet with a complicated system of frameworks – trying to track everything.

Luckily Wishlist can take that administrative burden off your plate (you have enough on there already!) as we specialize in delivering meaningful rewards and moments – individualizing the gifting process and applying principles of effective gifts in your personal life to the corporate environment. 

We provide employers with personalized gift and reward options for every employee, helping build stronger bonds between managers and their teams. Our comprehensive solution simplifies the implementation of experiential rewards, relieving the administrative burden of such programs and empowering you to effortlessly create memorable experiences for your employees.

Ready to take your employee engagement programs to the next level? Fill out the form below and we will show you what Wishlist can do for your organization: