The Difference Between Incentives And Rewards

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As employees look for ever more effective ways to motivate their workforces, the distinction between ‘incentive’ and ‘reward’ can sometimes become a little blurred.

Indeed, some observers may even believe the two terms to be one and the same.

However, this is not the case – far from it in fact.

Rewards and Incentives

First off, let’s reacquaint ourselves with the definitions of these often misused words:

The definition of an incentive is: a thing that motivates or encourages one to do something.

The definition of a reward is: a thing given in recognition of service, effort, or achievement, or; a fair return for good behaviour

Put in simple terms, a reward is something which is actually given to an employee, whereas an incentive is a motivating factor. For example, if you give one of your employees a gift for their hard work, that is a reward.

However, if that same employee works hard and exceeds your expectations because of the thought of receiving a reward, that is an incentive.

Rewards and Incentives for Employees

Rewards and incentives for employees can both be very effective motivators when used appropriately. Indeed, even though they are very separate components, effective staff incentives and rewards can help your business to maximize its performance and realise its full potential.

Therefore, if you want to motivate your employees more effectively, you may well find knowing the difference between incentives and rewards to be of great benefit.