9 Key Points for a Successful Employee Rewards Program

Successful employee rewards programs can prove highly motivational and help organizations derive the benefits of higher employee engagement, productivity, and retention. However, in order to ensure the success of such programs, they need to be designed in an intelligent manner and implemented with great care. Given below are a few of the most important points that need to be kept in mind while developing a successful employee rewards program:

In a survey, 40% of participating American employees said that they were likely to put more energy into their work if they were to be recognized more often.

Moreover, 90% of HR professionals agree to the fact that an effective rewards and recognition program helps drive business results. In another study, 91% of HR executives said that such programs impacted employee retention positively while 80% said that they were likely to invest in strong and effective rewards programs for their workforce in the coming months.

How to run a  Successful Employee Rewards Program?

1. Reward frequently

The modern work environment is extremely stressful and competitive, which is why it is important to recognize the efforts of the employees quite frequently. In fact, organizations need to do away with the tradition of rewarding and recognizing their employees on a yearly or quarterly basis.

Frequent recognition is likely to reassure the employees constantly that they are being valued and appreciated for their small and big achievements.

2. Make recognition spontaneous

It is important for organizations today to ensure that the employee recognition program is lightweight and spontaneous.

This means that recognition should not be confined to a certain schedule and should be offered as and when an employee does something that is worth appreciating. Such spontaneous recognition is deemed more authentic and fills the employees with a sense of gratitude.

3. Reward in time

Rewards and recognition can provide the best results only when they are offered on time. Delay in appreciating the efforts and achievements of the employees simply to adhere to a predefined timeline can make the whole process ineffective. This is because people tend to quickly forget the achievements of others.

Delayed recognition not only diminishes the sense of achievement for the employees in question but also fails to motivate their peers.

4. Be specific about the behaviors to be rewarded

Rewards and recognition should be associated with specific achievements and actions of the recipients and thus enhances its value. A successful rewards program should clearly outline the criteria for which the employees are being appreciated.

Even any form of verbal or written recognition may seem incomplete unless it specifically states the task or action for which praise is being bestowed on the employees.

5. Provide equal opportunities for participation

A great recognition program should level the playing field for all members of the workforce. This essentially means that the program should encourage participation from employees working at various levels within the business hierarchy.

In order to keep the program well-organized, it may be divided into sections, with each section covering a specific level of employees. Such an approach is sure to boost employee motivation and engagement across all levels within the organization.

6. Ensure the highest level of transparency

If for any reason, the workforce believes the rewards and recognition system to be biased, it will render the process completely useless and ineffective. Hence it is important for an organization to ensure complete transparency in designing and while implementing the rewards program.

For this, they need to take their workforce into confidence by sharing with them the most important aspects of the program from time to time.

7. Create maximum visibility

Making the rewards program visible means that the employees are appreciated and rewarded for their achievements on a more public platform. Maximizing the visibility of a rewards program ensures that the other members of the workforce feel inspired by learning about the commendable work done by a colleague.

It motivates them to make a similar positive contribution towards organizational growth and receive similar appreciation and recognition for their efforts.

8. Align with business objectives

Recognizing great work is important, however, if it is not relevant for meeting business objectives, it becomes more of a formality. On the other hand, when a reward program that is properly aligned with the business objectives, employees are likely to make a greater emotional investment towards fulfilling them.

This helps in bridging the gap between ‘the organization’ and ‘my organization’ for employees and motivates them to advance their own growth along with the growth of their organization.

9. Make the program measurable

It is important to ensure that the rewards program being developed is measurable. This means that the organizations should be able to quantify the improvement in employee engagement, motivation and productivity after the implementation of the program.

It also helps the organizations to identify any drawbacks or shortcomings in the program that need to be rectified to get even better results.


The above-discussed aspects need to be given serious thought and consideration to ensure the development of a successful employee rewards program that is beneficial and satisfying for both the organization as well as its employees.

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