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Employee Reward Systems: 2022 Guide to Recognizing Success At Work 🎖️

By July 27, 2022 November 15th, 2022 No Comments

Employee Reward Systems Guide to Recognizing Success At Work

Employee reward systems help companies recognize their employees’ hard work and results by encouraging them with gifts, praise, and both money and non-monetary incentives.

This type of employee recognition structure allows employers and managers to reward their team in whatever way best motivates each individual.

“Business productivity increases by 31% when employees are happy.” — Harvard Business Review

An employee reward system is designed to increase workplace engagement, improve employee retention and satisfaction, boost collaboration, and reduce absenteeism.

In a hurry? These are some of our favorite employee reward systems & platforms:

Guusto 🏆 Rewarding your team’s priorities, culture, and performance with premium incentives Visit Guusto
Bonusly 💯 Sending redeemable points with social recognition Visit Bonusly
Motivosity 🎁 Giving them a digital gift card Visit Motivosity
Awardco ✈️ Gifting them an experience of a lifetime Visit Awardco
Mo Work 📢 Recognizing them via a company-wide shoutout Visit Mo Work

To remain competitive, organizations are having to implement strategies and systems that maximize employee happiness, wellbeing, and productivity. That’s why employee reward systems are in extremely high demand.

But setting the right one up the right way is easier said than done. To help you get it done, check out our comprehensive guide to employee reward systems in 2022!

Who Would You Like To Give Gifts To?

Clients & Customers Employees

What is an Employee Reward System?

An employee reward system is a platform or recognition program for helping employees master their work habits and set themselves up for success. Many employee reward systems enable peer-to-peer recognition so that the organization isn’t merely incentivizing from the top down.

In addition to increased well-being and satisfaction, these platforms also help with cross-department collaboration and self-management.

How to Implement an Employee Reward System

Step ①

Identify the goals and objectives you want the reward system to cater to.

Step ②

Figure out which employee behaviors you want to reinforce.

Step ③

Establish key performance indicators on an individual and group level.

Step ④

Pick out the rewards you think will best fit and nurture your company culture.

Step ⑤

Properly introduce, explain, and rollout the employee reward program to employees.


What Makes Up an Employee Reward System?

1. Peer To Peer Recognition

peer to peer recognitionPeer-to-peer recognition is as important as manager-employee recognition. When employees feel appreciated by their coworkers, their performance is positively affected and productivity increases. This also improves company culture and aligns employee behavior with that of the organization they work for.

Companies promote peer-to-peer recognition as it has proven to increase employee retention and decrease staff turnover. Peer-to-peer recognition fosters an atmosphere of gratitude and acknowledgment and a sense of belonging and initiative which build strong teams and ensure smooth workflow.

Pro-Tip: If you like using digital tools, we recommend exploring the following employee reward system platforms for your team:

  • Mo Work – An easy-to-use peer recognition and rewards platform to keep teams connected.
  • Nectar – Send and receive recognition straight from Slack or Teams. No need to login to yet another software.
  • Bonusly – Create real meaning for every employee and every celebration with personalized employee rewards that wow.

P.S. Each of these tools offer a free trial which will allow you to test out each type of employee reward system 🙂


2. Performance Management

performance management

Performance management is an approach used to assess employee performance. A performance-based reward system is linked to how much individuals contribute to the company, add value to it, and meet the assigned objectives. Platforms like Kazoo make it easy to create and visualize performance goals to drive connection, innovation, and employee growth with a continuous performance management system.

Courtesy of: Kazoo

This boosts productivity as employees feel more motivated and thrive in an environment that focuses on rewarding them for their performance.


3. Rewards Points

A point-based reward system like Bonusly is used to compensate employees for their hard work. Staff members earn points for completing tasks and meeting objectives which can be exchanged for a gift, a day off, or another benefit.

For many companies, the point-based reward system is important and successful since it allows them to monitor the performance of their employees; thus addressing any potential issues or hindrances that may notice. Reward points are a useful employee engagement practice that positively impacts the workflow and the environment of an organization.


4. Social Recognition


Social recognition is a non-monetary employee recognition and reward system. From a simple “Thank you” to a shout-out during staff meetings, social recognition allows employees to feel valued for their work.

It’s important since it increases employee retention, boosts employee morale and engagement, and has an overall positive effect on the company as a whole. You can try out a reward system for employees like this to kickstart your social recognition program.


5. Online Collaboration / Remote Work Communication

online collaboration

Online collaboration and remote work communication are critical components for keeping teams well-coordinated and connected no matter how far apart they might be.

Staying in touch with each other is imperative in order to complete their best work. Many companies are now integrating their employee reward system into the collaboration tools they use on a daily basis. It shouldn’t matter if your colleague is down the hall or on the other side of the world, they deserve to be rewarded for their continued effort.

Not to mention with your reward system baked right into the communication tool that your employees use every day, you can feel confident that your staff will be able and willing to use it on a daily basis. You can also test out a “freemium” workplace tool to try this employee reward system example with a smaller team before expanding it to your entire organization.


6. Soliciting Feedback

employee feedback

Feedback is vital to improve, adjust, or maintain work standards. The best way to ensure positive work habits remain and various challenges can be overcome is through feedback.

Soliciting feedback allows employees and coworkers to take control of their professional development. If you are having trouble picking the right questions for your next survey, you can always take a pre-existing employee engagement survey and use it to build out the perfect feedback form for your team.

👉 Get Your Free Employee Engagement Survey


Employee Reward System Platforms + Real-Life Examples

1. Nectar

Nectar is the HR platform for rewards, social recognition, swag management, employee discounts, and cross-department synchronization.

“This is a very quick, user-friendly way to recognize members of your organization without it being a burdensome process. I like the hashtag options to associate the recognition with one of our company’s core values as well.” — Amy Martin, Sales Executive at Interum

This employee reward system has been used by:

  • Diversified Insurance
  • XANT
  • SSUI
  • Heineken

Why we love this workplace reward system: Nectar fosters appreciation and deeper connection throughout your company. Coworkers can earn and redeem rewards based on company culture and values.

👉 Learn more about Nectar👈


2. Bonusly

Bonusly is the ultra-convenient, gamified employee engagement platform designed to increase employee productivity, retention, and collaboration.

“Bonusly has been a game-changer. It’s quickly become an essential part of our success in working remote and creating more visibility around small wins!” — Lindsey Kampmeier, VP of People & Culture at Ordermark

This employee reward system has been used by:

  • Ordermark
  • Chobani
  • Baremetrics
  • Invision
  • ZipRecruiter

Why we love this workplace reward system: With peer-to-peer recognition built around company values, instant messaging, and an international reward catalog that features swag options, gift cards, cashouts, and donations, your employees will know they are appreciated. Additionally, Bonusly helps automate celebrations for work anniversaries, birthdays, and new hires. One of the most telling signs of effectiveness is Bonusly’s extremely high participation rates over extended periods of time. Once employees and managers start using this recognition tool, they don’t stop using this fluid reward system.

👉 Learn more about Bonusly👈


3. Caroo

Caroo is the premier employee care platform for rewarding the superstars of your organization!

“We thought Caroo was a fun way to connect our team while giving back. For each curation sent to our Alkamists, a meal was donated to Feeding America, totaling 614 meals!” — Adrianne Court, Chief HR Officer at Alkami Tech

This employee reward system has been used by:

  • Amazon
  • Alkami Tech
  • Network of Executive Women
  • Boot Camp Digital

Why we love this workplace reward system: Caroo’s Concierge service allows you to customize the best possible employee experience, with better-for-you snack options, productivity tools, swag, and much more. Additionally, Caroo has donated almost 18,000,000 meals to Feeding America!

👉 Learn more about Caroo👈


4. Assembly

Assembly is a pay-per-use workplace engagement and management tool for culture-building and peer-to-peer encouragement. Positive company cultures will elevate your organization and boost happiness, satisfaction, productivity, and instill values!

“We’ve been honestly surprised at the positive impact Assembly made in team camaraderie. The unique insight into who is positively impacting their colleagues and ultimately the company has been invaluable!”— Farbod Shoraka CEO at Promenade Group, Inc.

This employee reward system has been used by:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Apploi
  • HelloTech
  • Quest Nutrition
  • Perforce

Why we love this workplace reward system: Assembly helps peers easily and conveniently celebrate each others’ birthdays, work anniversaries, and promotions with badges and customizable rewards to support company culture. This employee rewards system also allows for seamless integrations with other platforms designed to facilitate communication and engagement.

👉 Learn more about Assembly👈


5. Blueboard

Blueboard is an experiential recognition and rewards platform for the modern workplace. You can show appreciation to the big talents and the hard workers at your organization by giving them experiences like skydiving, pottery classes, and cooking classes.

“All the other platforms we looked at were outdated and old school – focused on “points” and monetary rewards to cash in for a blender. We wanted the ability to provide our employees with a memorable experience that they’ll never forget, and that they get to share with loved ones. Very easy decision, the competition in this space doesn’t compare.”  — Courtney S, Senior Director, Talent Management at Accolade

This employee reward system has been used by:

  • Accolade
  • Glassdoor
  • GoPro
  • Salesforce

Why we love this workplace reward system: Blueboard is the perfect VIP experience gift for those special employees or coworkers who make your organization thrive. Now, you can easily give them the time of their lives and a memory that they’ll connect back to you forever. Plus, Blueboard has a 5-star Concierge experience to help you customize every detail!

👉 Learn more about Blueboard👈


6. Fond

Fond is an all-in-one workplace rewards and recognition platform for managers and employees to incentivize and celebrate each other’s best efforts.

“Fond’s customer service has really raised the bar and met every single expectation. Everyone at Fond has been amazing. They truly collaborate with us to develop new solutions and tailor the platform to our needs.” — Lareese Pike, Manager of Administrative Services, Exeter

This employee reward system has been used by:

  • Members 1st
  • Lyft
  • Marqeta
  • Delta Dental
  • Exeter Finance

Why we love this workplace reward system: With the ability to access exclusive corporate discounts, redeem rewards, and provide social recognition, teams will be more tight-knit than ever. Plus, this employee reward system is uber-flexible, given that employees and coworkers can exchange points for experiences, gift cards, swag, donations, and other point-based rewards.

👉Learn more about Fond👈


Benefits Of Implementing an Employee Reward System

Benefits Of Implementing an Employee Reward System

1. Increased productivity

Productivity is what earns employees their paychecks. An employee reward system provides the infrastructure to incentivize and motivate team members.

2. Better company culture

The right employee reward system can reinforce your company values and give a framework for your culture to flourish. If kindness and encouragement are important to you, then an employee reward system helps facilitate those values.

3. More collaboration

Between built-in communication tools and positive reinforcement, peers will find themselves wanting to collaborate more frequently — and they’ll have every reason to.

4. Better retention

Better collaboration and communication means a tighter network. The more your employees strengthen their bond with one another, the more enjoyable work will be and the more they’ll want to hang around!

5. Fewer work silos

Work silos often occur when there isn’t the proper infrastructure to help one department communicate with another. Employee reward systems help eliminate silos by allowing employees from one department to easily communicate with their coworkers which ultimately can impact employee satisfaction.

6. Happier employees

Employee reward systems give employees the boost they need to get through the occasionally dreary workday. Everyone wants to feel special, noticed, and cared about. An employee reward system ensures nobody slips through the cracks in the workplace.

7. Improved relationship with coworkers

Employee reward systems remind teammates to encourage and uplift each other. These culture-building platforms improve relationships between coworkers by giving extra opportunities for them to recognize one another.

8. Follow the values of your business

Following the values of your business is made easier with employee reward systems. Once you have defined the values you want to promote, you can even optimize your employee experience within the platform based on them.



Employee reward systems are deliberate approaches for recognizing and rewarding employees for helping companies meet their goals. These workplace reward systems boost employee morale, increase worker retention, reinforce company culture, and majorly increase productivity. To resolve any unanswered questions about employee reward systems, check out our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on this topic.

People Also Ask These Questions About Employee Reward Systems

Q: What is the first thing to do when setting up an employee reward system?

  • The first thing to do when setting up an employee reward system is to define your values so you can customize the employee experience around them and foster those values. If you need more information, check out our guide to employee reward systems in 2022.

Q: What are the types of employee reward systems?

  • Some types of employee reward systems include monetary reward systems, employee recognition programs, employee assistance programs, and non-monetary reward systems.

Q: How much does it cost to set up an employee reward system?

  • Setting up an employee reward system can cost quite a bit or very little, depending on the platform. Some employee reward systems charge a flat fee, while others charge for usage.

Q: How do you create an employee reward system?

  • To create an employee reward system, it’s best to leverage an existing platform that easily integrates with many of the tools you currently use in the workplace.

Q: What are some examples of effective employee reward systems?

  • There are many different ways to build out the perfect reward system for your employees. Some people will respond differently to face-to-face recognition while others like to receive gifts, public praise, or incentives. One common approach is to use a point system. Under this system, employees earn points for meeting specific goals or completing certain tasks. These points can then be redeemed for rewards, such as gift cards, days off, or other prizes.

Q: How can you use an employee reward system to motivate your staff?

  • By providing incentives for employees to reach certain goals, you can encourage them to work harder and be more productive. However, it is important to design your employee reward system carefully. If the rewards are too small, they will not be effective. On the other hand, if the rewards are too large, you may end up spending more money than you can afford. You should also make sure that the goals you set are realistic and achievable. Employees that feel like they can never reach the targets you set, will quickly become discouraged. With a little planning, an employee reward system can be a powerful tool for motivating your staff.

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