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Do Successful Employee Rewards Programs Need Hefty Budgets?

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Do Successful Employee Rewards Programs Need Hefty Budgets?

Despite the growing significance of employee rewards and recognition, many organizations still feel that a good employee rewards program requires a high budget, which they cannot afford. Hence, this brings us to the question – ‘Do successful employee rewards programs need hefty budgets?

Do All Successful Employee Rewards Programs Need Hefty Budgets?

Integrate Reward and Recognition with Innovation Efforts

The answer to the above question is a clear NO.

The design and implementation of the rewards program is what ensures its success.

Organizations must stop overspending on their employee rewards programs to ensure proper design and implementation.  

A properly designed and implemented program ensures that employees are rewarded for their good work in a timely way.

Employee Rewards and Recognition Program

Even a simple and timely “Thank You” can often prove more effective than giving them expensive rewards months later.

Similarly, organizations working on tight budgets need not invest in expensive rewards for their top-performing employees.

Rather they can send e-cards or appreciation e-mails thanking them for their efforts and their contribution promptly.

How can Employee Rewards Programs work on a Low Budget?

Top Management Role in Employee Rewards and Recognition

The organization needs to set up an efficient and effective employee rewards program, keeping the budget constraints in mind.

The focus should be on enabling timely recognition with minimal effort.

The following are key factors that organizations should keep in mind while designing and implementing employee rewards programs:

Do Successful Employee Rewards Programs Need Hefty Budgets?

1. Non-Monetary Awards

Organizations can consider meaningful non-monetary awards such as e-certificates, time-offs, paid leaves, training programs, top-management interaction, special assignments, etc.

These can be combined with inexpensive monetary rewards such as gift vouchers, experiences, etc. tailored to the budgets.

2Use Technology


The use of technology can greatly help in streamlining employee rewards programs.

Organizations should invest in employee rewards and recognition platforms that can be configured as per their specific needs.

The recognition software platform should make it easy and simple for employees to receive rewards promptly.

The platform should also ensure immediate sharing of employee achievements on various social media channels – internal and external.

Such platforms typically work on a pay-per-use or per-seat pricing making it affordable even for organizations with tight budgets.

3.  Peer Recognition

Employee Recognition On Social Media - The Great Debate!

Organizations need to promote the concept of peer-to-peer recognition among their workforce.

Hence, they should encourage coworkers to appreciate and recognize each other’s achievements and contributions informally.

This strategy can help in creating a positive work culture based on mutual appreciation and motivation.

It does not require hefty investments in monetary awards.


Organizations need to understand that successful employee reward programs do not need hefty budgets; what is required is an efficient and effective reward system that ensures that employees are rewarded in a meaningful way for their good performance without any delay.

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and entrepreneurship. In the past, Sagar has worked with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank, in leadership roles. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.