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Extrinsic Rewards and Messages of Thanks: Why a Simple Award Ceremony Can Transform the Entire Office for the Better

Public recognition of employees is a valuable and worthwhile way for companies to maintain office morale, encourage efficiency and foster contentment among personnel. When employees work diligently throughout the year for companies that may or may not offer bonuses, some sort of recognition of hard or successful work is critical in professional environments. Effective recognition of work meets two very vital psychological needs of employees. It provides extrinsic rewards as well as messages of gratitude. As studies have shown, extrinsic rewards as well as messages of gratitude have deep, emotional impacts on the human psyche. When employees are publicly acknowledged for favorable work, others in an office environment see that valuable service does not go unrewarded. It teaches all employees that there are extrinsic rewards offered in an office environment. According to modern psychological theories, extrinsic rewards are a major factor in what motivates individuals to behave in certain ways or engage in particular activities. Surprisingly, studies like the one performed by Edward Deci and published in 1971 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology have shown that to motivate human beings at their core, money bonuses are actually less effective than positively reinforcing rewards and affirmative verbal feedback.

An award ceremony where corporate

awards are given to recognize beneficial work by employees is an effective way of providing extrinsic rewards as well as fostering a healthy and competitive office environment. Perhaps even more important than the psychology of extrinsic rewards is the psychological effect of gratitude on employees. According to a study by Adam M. Grant and Francesco Gino published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2010, the psychological effect of gratitude is extremely important in motivating individuals to continue providing helpful work or services. An experiment was performed in which two groups of participants had successfully provided helpful services to an unknown benefactor. After their services were submitted, half of the participants received gratitude for their work as well as a request for further assistance. The other group received no gratitude and was asked simply for further assistance. Twice as many individuals from the group who received gratitude were willing to provide further assistance as compared to the group who received no gratitude at all. The experimenters found through

further research that the group who had received gratitude was more willing to provide further assistance because they enjoyed feeling socially valued and needed when they were thanked. To bestow recognition through trophies, plaques and awards serves an essential demand present in any working environment. Many employees are hard- working and deserve a display of gratitude. Giving thanks also motivates them to continue working at such high quality levels. Those who fall below an acceptable line of productivity can be motivated to perform even better when extrinsic rewards like a beautiful crystal award are given at the annual Christmas party or office dinner. For more information visit us at

Extrinsic Rewards and Messages of Thanks: tips to motivate employees  

Bestowing awards on employees is a highly effective way for companies to motivate and show appreciation to their hard working employees. Psy...

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