The brand of your business can easily be promoted by employees who are deeply engaged with the business rather than people who could care less about what happens to the company. By rewarding hard work, it no doubt would foster employee engagement and loyalty to the organization.
A very productive workforce is not only the result of having a good team leader but it also shows that the team is working in cooperation with each other. Therefore the need to also distinguish and recognize the people behind the effort is just as important. It is not about tenure, but the contribution that each one brings for the success of the team. So if mediocre workers are excluded, then the team is well placed. And if rewards for efforts are put in place, then they can work each day with that kind of determination. This is what team culture is all about.