Motivating and Rewarding Employees Going Into 2021

How best to manage to motivation and engagement of employees to drive business innovation and increase companies' productivity.

There are many economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for business managers and leaders to consider. One of the more pressing ones is the challenge of how best to manage the motivation and engagement of employees to drive business innovation and increase the company’s productivity and profitability. In the new pandemic world of social distancing in the workplace and greater home working, businesses have to reassess how they innovate the way of working and how they better manage the use of the digital technology revolution.


Returning to the workplace

Managing an orderly and sensible return to work spaces, requires businesses to assess which roles are location and time dependent and then look at new ways of organising the business operations that better align with employee preferences. This requires companies to be progressive in their thinking (1). Sadly, however I come across too many business managers that believe that in order for employees to keep their job in a time of the pandemic, they need to be seen regularly in the flesh, with the suggestion that employees need to even volunteer to go into the office, because redundancies are coming. This approach is based on the premise that a business can easily find a replacement worker, perhaps not quite as good, but they will do. This approach runs the risk of businesses taking on staff without a deep-rooted commitment to the company that will risk the business becoming more unstable, less efficient and creative.

Progressive employers are seeing this as an opportunity to rethink how their businesses move forward. They are seizing this opportunity to look at how they can change the working life by helping employees reduce the need for long commutes or slavish compliance with nine-to-five office occupancy. The aim of making changes is to reap the benefits of enhanced loyalty, flexibility, collaboration, productivity, improve company culture and staff retention.


Power of being a progressive business

Building and creating and then supporting a strong and healthy workplace culture is not easy. The ambition for any business leader is to establish a culture that enhances an employee’s experience with the business and encourages them to go that extra mile every single day. But it’s not just about increasing a company’s productivity or profitability. It is about creativity and having the right environment for employees to participate and thrive in. If employees are happy in their work and engaged with the business, they will be more likely to perform at a high level, remain loyal to the organisation and support it in difficult times.

There is a whole range of recognition and reward tools that can be used to recognise employee performance. These tools are an important alternative to a cash bonus which often gets included with regular wages to be swallowed up by regular outgoings. Non-cash alternatives not only have a more personal appeal, but also gives staff the chance to be additional rewarded and recognised throughout the year.


  • Single-use vouchers and reloadable gift cards: are a fantastic, cost-effective reward tool. These can be used with dozens of retailers, large and small, and have a wide choice to ensure that there will be something that everyone whatever their position in the business will benefit from. At Bravo Benefits, we provide an integrated solution for businesses, including eGift cards, real-time reporting, 24/7 live agent support and even an interactive GPS map to help employees search for local deals.
  • Discount cards: employees are given a card onto which they can load funds at a discount to be spent in-store at over 90 retailers. Through using the cards to make their everyday purchases employees can make savings of over £960 a year through the exclusive online discount schemes.
  • Gym Discounts: is an employee benefit that allows employees access to a wide variety of gyms across the UK for a discounted price. The service is an employee self-paid gym membership scheme, with the employee paying the club directly and getting the savings off the membership fee.
  • Employee Recognition: the aim of an employee recognition scheme is to make staff feel appreciated and motivated. Leadership-led recognition is a powerful tool, however, recognition from peers can have a much larger positive impact on employee productivity and morale. The Bravo Benefits peer to peer employee recognition scheme is a platform where employees can give each other recognition based on various organisation goals and values. It provides:
  • Immediate reward delivery
  • Customised e-cards
  • Peer-to-peer nominations


The recognition platform is designed to enable employees to highlight achievements and standout work of their colleagues. Values and goals are set for the entire company or for individual teams, from which, employees can give kudos, thanks and congratulations as and when it is deserved to those employees who achieve the values. Recognition is monitored by administrators via the Engagement Dashboard, from which managers can assess who their most active champions are. Budgets can be set to incentivise outstanding efforts, as well as running employee of the month nominations.


  • Reward Experiences: you can create an exciting and motivating rewards programme by giving your employees the opportunity to enjoy fun and memorable experiences as a reward for their hard work and achievements. Reward Experiences has something for each and every one of your employees. You can choose experiences from over 2,000 suppliers, whether it’s relaxing spa days, fun days out at top theme parks or a well-earned short break, there are experiences to suit the diverse interests of your entire workforce.


The aim of all these tools is to inspire a successful workplace culture by rewarding and incentivising performance. Managing employees to drive outstanding performance is always difficult and requires the use of a broad range of reward and recognition tools. Their aim is quite simply to transform the way in which employees behave and perform at a time when they are facing significant workplace and personal life challenges due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.



  1. Joseph E Stiglitz People, Power and Profits. Penguin Books UK (2020).


Wojciech Dochan

Managing Director, Bravo Benefits

Provider of the SmartHive Platform

Smart Hive is an integrated, cost effective employee benefits platform that provides your employees with access to all their health and wellbeing benefits in one place. Talk to a member of our team today or book your very own demonstration.