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Creating an inclusive reward and recognition programme

Monday June 03, 2019

Engagement | Benefits

Posted on: Monday June 03, 2019

How to ensure your staff are being rewarded as they deserve.

For an employee to feel truly valued it is important they feel their personal contribution to a business is recognised. Often this takes the form of an end of year appraisal, perhaps even with a bonus added to their paycheque, but unfortunately, this can mean that an employee’s successes can be forgotten by the time appraisal season comes around. This is one of the reasons it is so important to implement an instant reward and recognition programme, allowing employees to receive in the moment praise for their hard work. Not only does this ensure extra effort does not go unrecognised, in the age of instant gratification, it can help keep employees more engaged all year round.

However, there is such variety in today’s workforce that it is near impossible to find a single reward type that works universally for all staff. That’s where new tech comes in, with online or app-based reward and recognition platforms it is possible for employers to craft a scheme that allows for each of our individualities.  

App based reward and recognition platforms allow for the use of push notifications, which are perfect for a quick ‘thank you for a job well done’. Push notifications can be sent to specific people, groups or locations, providing a simple and easy way to ensure no good deed goes un-rewarded. In an age where more and more employees are working remotely or are field-based, employee apps allow employees to feel more connected to the organisation. These platforms can also be used for a dedicated reward a recognition service, ranging from simple e-cards to physical or monetary rewards. Not only does it demonstrate that employers appreciate and acknowledge their staff, it enables organisations to give a truly worthwhile reward, maximising impact.

If financial awards are the reward of choice for a programme, then an alternative to cash can make it more memorable and valued is to deliver it via a prepaid card. This means giving the recipient a personalised message with an eVoucher, which can either be spent or ‘banked’ with other rewards added to it until such point that they choose to redeem them. This allows employees to save any smaller rewards to spend on something extra special. The reward will then be remembered for longer and has less chance of just being incorporated into a day to day spend or used to pay every-day bills.

When it comes to peer-to-peer rewards, it’s possible to use a point-based system that acts as a currency, allowing employees to save their points for the exact item that they desire. That solves a plethora of issues that can arise when attempting to choose universal rewards suitable for all staff members. This system can also drive usage of the employee benefits platform, encouraging employees to visit the platform or app to give recognition to colleagues, check the wall of fame or check in on their points total. 

Many recognition programmes rely on managers distributing gift cards or physical vouchers as a thank you to staff who go the extra mile. However, gift cards can be problematic for employers, as they often go unredeemed by employees, either because they don’t frequent the shop where the reward is offered or have simply forgotten to spend the voucher before the expiry date. Its estimated that £250 million in breakage (where funds go unspent on unredeemed or expired gift cards) benefits the retail industry each year. Even with e-Voucher rewards, it’s important to check whether these unredeemed funds are returned to your cash float as the employer, or if they are ‘gifted’ to the retailer or platform provider. 

Increasing the engagement levels of employees is always good for business. But it’s also important ensure that whichever scheme you run is a good fit for your wider business objectives and presents a tangible return on investment. 

It is important to remember that the true ROI of a reward and recognition programme isn’t always a direct monetary value. Other savings are seen in an increase in retention rates, staff motivation, staff happiness and employee satisfaction. 

For more information on how to measure the ROI of a reward and recognition programme, check out this handy infographic.

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