What Rewards Do Your Employees Want in Your Recognition Program?

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Your employees work hard to keep your business up and running. Most individuals spend more time at their place of employment than at home with their families. With such a massive time and energy commitment, it’s vital for business owners to show their employees the appreciation they deserve. One way to do so is to implement a compelling recognition program that will keep your employees happy and working hard to support your business! 

What is a Recognition Program?

A recognition program allows employers to praise their employees and lift overall company ​​morale. Roughly 59% of employees report that they are not recognized at their preferred frequency on the job. Recognition programs allow managers and leaders to take an active, attentive role in helping employees feel seen and appreciated. 

Essentially, a recognition program identifies specific metrics and key performance indicators (KPI) that leaders feel should be recognized when met. This can look like hitting a certain sales number or perhaps maintaining a certain client retention rate. Whatever the case may be, it’s vital to tie these KIPs to your company values and mission. Recognition programs can grant rewards to both individuals and teams. 

How to Implement a Reward Program 

The first step in implementing a reward program is to define a set of criteria to keep track of and measure success. These means of measurement can be organized in a couple of different ways. Here are some examples: 

  • Milestones – Think birthdays, work anniversaries, team accomplishments, or finishing a course or training.
  • Peer-to-Peer – Your employees see the ins and outs of your company every day – sometimes more so than you! Grant them the power to bring up positive behaviors they notice in their teammates. 
  • Point System – Points-based rewards are granted when you or fellow employees can allot a certain amount of points to another employee. They can then gain a reward once they collect enough points. 
  • Quarterly Recognition – Leaders can structure rewards around a quarterly recognition based on best performance or some other metric. 
  • Social Recognition – Implement an allotted time for employees to vocalize their appreciation for one another. This can piggyback off milestones. For example, all employees can say what they appreciate about a coworker on their birthday. 

Here Are the Best Rewards to Offer Your Employees 

There are so many reward options you can offer your employees. But what are they really craving? This will vary from workplace to workplace and employee to employee. But generally, there are some top contenders that just about any employee would be more than happy to accept as a gift of recognition. 

Company Gear

This can be especially true if you have a highly sought-after brand. Hats, t-shirts, merchandise, and branded apparel can be great options to use as a reward for your recognition program. Just be sure to sprinkle in more perks than just company gear. It’s definitely a fun option but it also won’t reap the highest incentive. 

Need Branded Products? We Can Help! 


Nothing like a good old-fashioned free lunch to keep your employees motivated! It’s true what they say – food is the way to the heart. Order in a meal for your employees when a team hits a goal. Or maybe even implement a Friday Fun Day once a month for your employees to look forward to.

Gift Cards 

Gift cards are a great reward because they can offer some value to the employee’s life outside of work. For instance, you can offer a generous $100 Visa gift card for reaching a difficult KIP. This can help your employees with bills, groceries, or simply having the means to indulge in something for themself. This can be a great motivator and also skyrocket morale for the hardworking employees that earn it. 

Featured Employee 

Most all of us want to be praised and seen as valuable members of our community. Selecting a rotating “Employee of the Month” or perhaps creating a “Wall of Fame” for your top performers can be a wonderful way to recognize your team. It’s great to have the spotlight even for a short while. 

Social Praise

We are social creatures. At one point in our specie’s history, social acceptance was quite literally life or death. Today, we still have the same need for social validation and acceptance – even when we don’t always realize it. Craving out time for leadership or fellow team members to praise someone for their accomplishments is a wonderful reward to offer. 

There is No One-Size-Fits-All 

At the end of the day, every company maintains a different culture and each set of employees will want a unique set of rewards in their recognition program. It’s up to you as a company leader to hone in on what your team values and what the best way to show your appreciation for them may be. Regardless of what the reward is, pursuing a recognition program is sure to improve employee morale and help your business grow to its highest potential!

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