When you are new to the world of reward and recognition, the jargon can sometimes be a bit of a pain. I know when I am writing these blogs I often get bogged down with words that all come to mean the same thing. It is, however, imperative that you don’t let this happen, and you always have a strong handle on what each phrase means, even if it is as simple as the word customer or employee. Rewards and incentives are two completely separate things, as are customers and employees – don’t fall into the trap of these phrases all blurring into one!

Customer Rewards – Customers can be rewarded for all sorts of reasons and with all sorts of products or services. A customer reward can be both monetary and non-monetary however it is tangible.

Staff Rewards – Rewards are different to incentives. Incentives are almost expected and are a goal to work towards. Rewards can be either spontaneous or structured. Spontaneously reward staff members to recognise hard work and extra time invested in the company. You could structure rewards to allow staff to recognise there is potential for rewards should they go the extra mile.

Recognition – Recognition is intangible, it is an experience rather than a physical reward. Recognition and rewarding usually go hand in hand however, recognition can often stand on it’s own. It does not have to be an item, recognition can be something as easy as a thank you from a manager. Recognition does not have to be supported by a reward, however, rewards are supported by recognition.

Customer Retention – This is the art of keeping hold of your customer base. New business is great but do not neglect those whose business you worked so hard to win. Remember, existing customers are usually more likely to spend more with you than new customers.

Employee Retention – This is the art of creating a platform of loyal staff to support and run your company. Recruitment costs are expensive, not to mention the extra time spent training new staff, whereas you can set your own benchmark on what you spend through incentives and they have a proven track record of increasing employee retention.

Staff Incentives – Incentives are the cornerstone of motivation, they offer your staff something to work towards achieving. Incentives are structured to reflect company goals and to align employee attitude and goals with the company mission statements.

Incentive Scheme – An incentive scheme is the actual structure of staff incentives. An incentive scheme outlines the goals to strive towards, how they are achievable, a time frame in which they are to be achieved, and any other relevant information. This scheme can then be rolled out within the company structure and your employees will know what they are striving towards.

Loyalty Scheme – A loyalty scheme is different to an incentive scheme, loyalty schemes are often run to reward customers as opposed to employees. Loyalty schemes reward a customer for sticking with your brand and making repeat purchases of services or products, incentive schemes encourage and reward staff loyalty.