How to Create an Employee Rewards Program

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If you need to boost employee morale, build a more positive team culture, and improve retention rates — not to mention increase productivity and sales — learning how to create an employee rewards program can help. To get started, you need to be clear about which activities you’ll be rewarding by determining your ultimate goals for the program. Once you know which behaviors and actions you wish to see, you can choose activities to reward. Then, prioritize them so you can determine the value of each activity. Finally, it’s time to implement your rewards program and spread the word among your workforce.

Why Do I Need an Employee Rewards Program?

An employee rewards program is extremely beneficial for all kinds of businesses, especially given the recent trend of employee resignations and reshuffling. Many organizations have seen high staff turnover, and that, in turn, reduces productivity, hurts profits, and requires more time and money to recruit and train replacements. To combat this, it’s important for managers and business leaders to prioritize employee recognition and appreciation efforts. In fact, 65% of employees say that feeling recognized makes them less likely to look for another job. An effective rewards program can also boosts employee performance by 11.1%, according to research by Gartner. With these statistics in mind, it’s clear that an employee rewards program is a must-have for every business.

READ MORE: Why Employee Rewards Programs Are Key for a Positive Workplace Culture

What Should My Employee Rewards Program Achieve?

Every business has its own goals, which can vary significantly. However, whatever those goals may be, it’s possible to tailor a rewards program around them. A rewards program can:

  • Keep employees happy so they don’t leave the business.
  • Improve worker performance and productivity.
  • Create a strong culture of employee recognition.
  • Show that there’s something for employees to strive for at work.

Which Activities Should Be Rewarded?

There are various different employee behaviors, activities, and milestones that business leaders can reward in an effort to reach their goals. These include:

  • Effective team collaboration
  • Work anniversaries
  • Putting in exceptional effort
  • Mentoring another employee
  • Complex problem solving
  • Coming up with a creative business idea
  • Hitting individual key performance indicators (KPIs)

In addition, different departments may wish to incorporate role-specific activities into their rewards program. Here are some examples for each team:

  • The sales team could recognize reps who hit goals for number of sales calls made, outbound leads generated, or referrals collected. You could also add rewards for process-related achievements, such as keeping records up to date.
  • For the customer service team, the rewards program could call out those who get the highest feedback ratings or resolve client issues fastest.
  • Product managers and engineers could earn rewards for successfully launching a new product or feature or fixing a certain number of bugs.
  • In marketing, reaching conversion or lead generation goals, attracting a certain threshold of webinar attendees, or hitting a milestone number of social media followers could all be reasons for recognition.

These are just some examples of the possible activities and behaviors that companies can reward employees for. When employees receive such recognition, they feel appreciated and are likely to continue to strive for more rewards. That results in better success for everyone, from higher productivity and sales to a better customer experience.

How Do I Promote a Rewards Program? 

An employee rewards program cannot be successful unless you promote it properly throughout your organization. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to achieve this. You can:

  • Announce it in company and team meetings.
  • Add it to the company’s internal website.
  • Include it in every communication channel.
  • Post stories about it on social media.

By raising awareness across all of these channels, you can inspire excitement in your team. You also want promotion to come from company executives and team managers, who can create a culture of recognition when they lead by example.

What Kind of Incentives Do Employees Want?

Once you’ve determined the activities to reward, the question is what kind of reward you will give. The best rewards are thoughtful, personalized, flexible, and meaningful.

Rewards programs that offer gift cards and prepaid cards can fulfil all these criteria, and they’re what employees prefer. Eighty-six percent of people surveyed by Blackhawk Network said they would feel valued if they received such a reward. Gift cards and prepaid cards are popular with employees because they easy and quick to redeem and give the recipient a range of options to pick from. You can find a great range of gift cards and prepaid cards on BHN Rewards’ digital rewards management platform. Get in touch to learn more today.

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