Ideas for Employee Reward and Recognition Programs

Sophia Divirgilio Category 01 2 Comments

What is an employee recognition and reward program? 

Employee recognition stems from the principle of acknowledging any positive contributions that an employee makes to the team and organisation. Employee reward programs can either be through monetary or non-monetary incentives and are often combined with the recognition programs. Both have the main objective of stimulating employee motivation and performance.  

Fair treatment of employees in any workplace is critical not only from a legal standpoint but also ensuring your workers feel appreciated. Some employers choose to show their employee appreciation through their individualised employee reward and recognition programs.  

Acknowledging all the hard work your employees do for you is essential!  

Why is employee recognition important?

Employee recognition is a highly important part of any business. Your ‘Hussets’ are what help get you over the line of many business goals. Employees that feel unappreciated will have a diminished drive and sense of purpose at an organisation. Ensuring you are recognising all the hard work your employees do for you helps build strong foundations of a good corporate culture and employee job satisfaction. This further motivates staff and increases productivity.  

Below we will further list some of the AMAZING benefits of employee reward and recognition programs.  

Benefits Of Employee Rewards And Recognition

  • Boost morale 
  • Increase engagement 
  • Encourage performance  
  • Lower Turnover 
  • Boosts Customer/client satisfaction 
  • Increased employee job satisfaction  
  • Improved corporate culture  
  • Overall happier employees  
  • A happier work environment  
  • Boosted employee motivation  
  • Improved productivity 
  • Improve retention 
  • Improves teamwork  

Employee Recognition Program Ideas

There are many types of rewards and recognition programs that you can construct in your business or your team. They can be both monetary and non-monetary. Find innovative strategy’s and ideas that suit your individual employee and business to ensure the greatest success from the rewards and recognition scheme.  

Below we have listed plenty of different ways that you can incorporate rewards and recognition into your business.  

Non-monetary benefits  

Non-monetary benefits are a way that employers can facilitate effective employee recognition and reward without spending money they may not have. 

Recognition of Work 

Unfortunately, a lot of employees feel under-appreciated at their workplace. This is detrimental to not only them as an employee but their work ethic and the workplace culture of your business. Recognising your employees and their hard work is a very simple way to show your appreciation! Simply saying well done to them and giving them a shout out through public acknowledgement is a great way to inspire and motivate the employee and people in the office. An email, handwritten letter or mentioning their success during an important meeting is a quick and easy way to compensate their hard-earned efforts.  


The type of reward you decide can be individualised based on what the employee may desire. It could be as simple as their favourite bottle of wine, or their car spot of choice for the week. Show them you have noticed their performance! The kind of reward you choose may prompt motivation in other employees, making for greater productivity throughout the office.  

Give employees more opportunity  

Your recognition and reward could be as simple as giving your employees more trust and loosening those reigns a little! Reward your employees by giving them the opportunity to lead a team task or take on a new work challenge! Allowing your employees to try new challenges can lead to up skilling and development, which was discussed in our last blog. You will get the appreciation from your team and the return on investment through knowledgeable employees.  

Allow for further flexibility  

Life has been crazy this year, work – life balance and flexibility is now more cherished than ever! Allowing your employees more flexibility of working hours if they are performing is a great reward. This shows them that you trust them to get the work done and gives them more balance to do work at a time that is more suited to them.  


Make sure your employees feel challenged in what they do! Job satisfaction will rapidly decrease if employees feel uninterested in their job. Give them tougher tasks, so they can prove to you how great they are!  

Birthdays off 

Give back to your employees by giving them a day off on their birthday! This is a super simple way to show your employees that you appreciate them. You could give them half a day off or even a full if you are feeling extra generous. This is an easy and simple way for you to recognise and reward them for their hard work all year round. 

Team lunches  

Team lunches are a great way to encourage and foster a stronger team connection. These lunches are a great way to not only break the ice between employees but reward your team for all their hard work. This is a reward that is easy to organise, non-intrusive and a great break for staff. Your employees will have a better sense of belonging among a team that not only can work together but socialise too! These lunches don’t just increase workplace culture but create a more fun team environment at your business.  

A fun idea is to also allow employees who have performed at the highest standard choose the lunch or dinner restaurant!

Tickets for events 

Buy your employee a ticket to their favourite event to recognise their hard work. This is a straightforward way to give back to your employee and can create a great motivation incentive for them to keep working and improving.  

Staff day 

A staff day could mean a lot of things! Whether it’s an extra-long weekend or bringing everyone together for a group chosen activity. Reward them by doing something fun all together.  

Achievement Plaque  

If your employee is correctly adhering to the organisation’s standards and company values, reward them with a plaque. The plaque can be a great reminder for them to maintain these standards always, and it will look pretty sitting on their desk 😉 .  

Birthday presents  

Who doesn’t love an extra present on their birthday? This is a great way to acknowledge all your employees’ hard work, plus show them how much you appreciate them. There are heaps of different ideas and ways you can gift an employee a birthday present. Whether this is purchasing individualised presents (easier for a smaller business) or having a lucky dip of presents your employees can choose from.  Make it fun!

Monetary benefits  

Monetary benefits are a little more costly to an organisation however they are a great incentive for employees to stay motivated and work harder, which in invaluable to a business! All monetary benefits are similar. Examples of these are profit sharing, bonuses, additional paid leave.  

Unfortunately, in some cases large sum monetary benefits could cause more employee stress in some cases. Make sure you assess as a manager if this kind of reward is suitable for your business before you proceed with creating a monetary rewards program.  


Money talks! Doesn’t it? An end of year bonus around Christmas time or a performance bonus if you hit those profit margins is a great incentive to encourage hard work. A monetary benefit is simple for an employee to comprehend. Employees will see that all their time and effort is being rewarded by management. A bonus is well known by many to increase motivation and productivity among staff.  

How to start an employee recognition program

  • Clearly communicate the goals and objectives that need to be complete 

Identify the company’s goals and objectives. Also identify the desired employee performance behaviours and the standards you expect of your employees. Then, determine how these will be measured, making it easier for you as a manager to organise your reward incentives as well as asses if the program is paying off. Make these clearly indicated to your employees so they know what they could potentially receive from putting in all their hard work.  

  • Get senior leadership approval 

It is imperative that any drastic changes or new employee reward and recognition is confirmed by a senior or supervisor first. Ensure all legal frame works in regards to employee contracts is monitored and adhered to through the rewards and recognition process.

It is important that all employees have access to the same rewards and recognition programs allowing everyone equal opportunity.  

We hope that this blog has given you a few fun ideas to incorporate employee reward and recognition into your workplace. Employee job satisfaction is invaluable to any business! Make your employees feel appreciated and reap in the benefits.    

Comments 2

  1. Very insightful article. It may seem to not be very impactful at a glance but small things like celebrating birthdays or team events have a huge positive impact on a staff

    1. Thanks Cam! The little things really do count. Even just verbally thanking your employees, really does show them you appreciate their hard efforts. Enjoy your day! -HussetHR

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