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Employee Reward Solutions That Get Results

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It’s no secret that people want to feel appreciated. But what kind of program makes employees feel valued and motivated to achieve for your company? 

This guide will review practical employee recognition solutions and how you can implement a successful recognition program for your business.

What are Employee Reward Solutions?

Employee reward solutions or recognition programs help employees perfect their work habits and set themselves up for success. Many include peer-to-peer recognition, ensuring that the motivation isn’t coming solely from the top.

Recognition programs increase employee engagement. Engaged employees feel satisfied and appreciated in their job. They want to arrive at work daily and feel emotionally connected to their employer.

The impact of engagement on employee performance is undeniable. Gallup surveys have determined that:

  • Companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable and 22% more productive than their peers.
  • Highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their employer voluntarily.
  • 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt more appreciated.
  • 37% of employees say recognition is the most critical factor in job satisfaction. 

So what do effective employee recognition programs look like, and what do you need to consider? Let’s take a look. 

When are Rewards Typically Offered? 

Many companies start with a reward on the employee’s first day on the job, as this welcomes new employees into the fold and helps existing employees break the ice.

Work anniversaries are another common reward target. In observing an anniversary, employees are likely to think about their past, ponder their future, and assess their workplace well-being. What better time to show them how much they are valued?

Project completion, especially when the work has been complex or of particular value to the company, is another great target for employee recognition. Recognition has a more significant impact immediately than if postponed, so be prepared to distribute them promptly after project completion.

Another common reward target is when an employee meets certain performance metrics: sales volume, service tickets closed, new customers onboarded, total units produced, cost reductions achieved, and so on.

Building a Successful Employee Reward Program

But building a successful employee rewards program involves more than deciding when to offer rewards.

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Recognition from peers is just as vital as that from managers. Employee performance and productivity increase when employees feel respected by their teammates. 

Peer-to-peer recognition develops a culture of gratitude, acknowledgment, and a sense of belonging and initiative, all of which contribute to strong teams and efficient productivity. It also helps promote business culture by aligning employee behavior with the company for which they work.

Performance Management

Performance management, or employee performance evaluation, is an important part of any employee recognition program. Employees thrive in a workplace that recognizes their achievements. 

Gallup reports that just one in three employees have received praise within the past week for doing a good job. Many companies overlook an easy opportunity to enhance employee engagement, retention, and culture. In many cases, written and verbal praise has as much impact as monetary rewards.

Point Systems

Employee recognition programs often include a points-based reward system. Workers earn points for completing high-value tasks and fulfilling objectives and then trade them for a monetary or experiential gift, extra PTO, or some other benefit.

Point-based compensation benefits many firms because it helps monitor performance and solve potential \roadblocks.


Online collaboration and remote communication have become essential in today’s hybrid workforce to keep teams linked. Employees must communicate with one another to perform their best work. 

Peer recognition systems should support frequent recognition for employees’ hard work, whether near or far, in the office or working from home.


Feedback is the most effective technique for ensuring that positive work habits are maintained and challenges are overcome. It’s essential to improve, change, or maintain work standards. Employees and coworkers can take responsibility for their professional development by soliciting feedback.

Making Employees Feel Appreciated and Motivated

Employees who believe their opinions are valued and that credit is given where credit is due are more likely to reject complacency and strive for excellence. Simply put, employees who believe their bosses love them are more likely to put in the extra effort. 

After significant fluctuation during the pandemic, employee engagement rates have settled down in the U.S. Currently about 36% of employees feel engaged in their work, with about 15% feeling actively disengaged.

5 Steps to Building a Recognition Program

Employee reward solutions come in many forms. Most are through trustworthy software platforms that implement the reward program of your choice, which we’ll discuss more in the next section. 

However, before you get to that point, collect the materials needed to develop your recognition program:

  1. Clarify Your Goals

Make a list of the reasons you want to begin a recognition program. To excite and inspire workers, or to increase sales? If solely the latter, reconsider. There must be a larger aim for these programs or employees will eventually view them as self-serving.

  1. Talk to Your Employees

Employee personalities are like night and day. Some find it motivating to be recognized in public, while others prefer a quiet pat on the back. Talk to employees about how they want to be honored. If you don’t have time to interview each employee individually, we recommend sending out a quick survey with open-ended questions.

  1. Create a Management Group or Committee

Appoint a few employees to oversee your recognition program, even if you are a relatively small company. Serving on the recognition committee should be a privilege that’s promoted widely inside the company.

Recognition should be something special and accessible for everyone in the firm, not just the front office or sales workers. The recognition committee is responsible for developing recognition algorithms. After the committee is appointed, suggest automated mechanisms for tracking employee milestones like anniversaries and promotions. 

  1. Get Management Involved

Although appreciated from any source, praise is meaningful when it comes from an employee’s direct manager or supervisor. HR should not handle thank-you notes or rewards. People want to be noticed by the people with whom they work. Ensure that supervisors are personally involved in the recognition and reward process. 

  1. Practice and Repeat

Even with a committee managing the program, small business owners constantly dealing with company problems might find speaking positively difficult. But practice makes perfect. Think about how good you feel after giving praise and recognition. 

Invest in the Right Recognition Software 

Companies that conduct well-structured recognition programs are 12X more likely to experience robust and successful business outcomes.

Xceleration is here to help you create a successful employee recognition program that provides easy, accessible, and effective rewards. RewardStation, our patented web-based recognition platform, provides employee reward solutions worldwide. 

Get in touch with the team at Xceleration today to learn more about how we can help you get results in your workplace.

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