How to Make Your Employee Rewards Program Effective

2 August 2021

There are endless advantages when it comes to rewarding your team, from boosting confidence and morale, to improving productivity. Find out how to build a successful rewards program and incentivise your employees to perform their best! Who wouldn’t want that in their workplace? 

SurveyMonkey partnered with Bonusly to find out how recognition and retention are related. They found that 82% of employees are happier when they are recognised at work and 63% of employees who are recognised are “very unlikely” to look for a new job. 

For companies not yet making the most of a structured rewards program, it can feel like a daunting prospect but we're here to help every step of the way. Whatever your budget or business needs, there is always ways to make the most of employee rewards and recognition. Keep reading for our top tips and advice...

How Can I Be Inclusive?

The best thing about rewards is that they can be flexible. Now especially, we know that we can use virtual calls to connect with some of our team that might be working from home. Employees can join in wherever they are, so they don’t miss out on a single thing.

There are so many ways to shake up your rewards so that everyone is included, an example of this is if you wanted to send your employees their own branded gift box, like our MemMail service, we can completely personalise each box exactly to each person’s likings. 

Can I still Have an Effective Rewards Program if I Don’t Want to Spend Too Much?  

There are simple solutions to rewards on a budget. If employees are putting in extra hours or weekend time to finish a project, consider offering an extra day off, or letting them take off a couple of hours early on a Friday.  

Alternatively, have some fun with your team, plan an all-company activity. You can recognise the great work they’re doing by giving them a few hours from work, say with an office BBQ, or a glass of prosecco and a Friday afternoon quiz like we do in the Inconnection office.

The Best Time for a Treat 

Recognition is most effective when given in a timely manner. The association between contribution and recognition weakens over time,  So it’s important not to leave it too long before letting them know their hard work is appreciated.

On the one hand, you want to treat your employees often, so they know that you constantly appreciate what they do, however there needs to be a strong correlation between meeting goals and recognition.  

Perhaps one month everyone has hit their targets and your team is performing their best – let them relax at the end of every week by offering them an earlier finish on a Friday, for example or something small at the end of the month would do the trick.

Another way is to reward after big projects, once the final ‘T’ has been crossed and ‘I’ has been dotted, let your employees relax. Make them feel like all their hard work was worth it with something like a themed night out. Knowing hard work is going to be recognised and rewarded in just a few weeks is also considerably more motivating for employees, benefiting both the employer and employee from both angles. 

Small Gestures Can Have a Huge Impact

Remember, your employees are still working hard! Something as much as a public recognition, tell your staff how well they’re doing and how much you value their hard work. Visible recognition provides examples of commendable behaviour, actions, and contributions that others can repeat no matter how big or small. Recognising their efforts helps foster a sense of equity, belonging, and psychological safety for all employees. 

How Rewards Programs Work

Rewards programs can work in a range of ways. Some companies use point-based systems where employees can decide what they are rewarded with based on the number of points they gain. 

Other companies offer rewards on a regular basis, say something small at the end of the week, or a bigger event once or twice a year. This way, employees have something to look forward to, to incentivise them and encourage them to do their best work. 

Whichever approach suits you, we can help you use rewards to reach your business objectives. Our MyRewards platform can be entirely customised to your brand and business objectives, with tailored prizes and optional extras.

For us, the key to creating an effective rewards program is uniqueness. It is harder to retain and recruit employees if other companies can offer the same as you. We can help you Understand what your employees want and use that to make your program stand out in comparison to others. 

If you want to find out about our rewards and incentives and what we can do for you with our personalised MemMail service, take a look at our Incentives page here or give us a quick email at