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Workers appreciate the small things when it comes to year-end rewards

Employee rewards do not have to be large, grandiose items, such as trips or raises.

Employee rewards do not have to be large, grandiose items, such as trips or raises. Instead, boosting the morale of staff members can be just as easily accomplished through smaller gifts.

A recent survey from Parago found that 69 percent of workers do not expect their employers to give them end-of-the-year gifts. However, this doesn't mean they don't appreciate some recognition for their hard work.

In fact, 83 percent of respondents said that a reward makes them feel appreciated, motivated to work harder or be more loyal to their company. This is a 2 percent increase over last year.

"If they don't expect anything, then there's a great opportunity for surprise," explained Theresa Wabler, director of marketing for Parago. "And one of the core tenets of the incentive industry is surprise and delight. Clearly, a little bit does go a long way."

However, the website Workforce warns firms to be careful of choosing rewards. If a company has had to do away with some benefits in the past year, a small showing of gratitude may in fact backfire in light of recent cuts.

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