Creating an Employee Rewards and Recognition Program

It is no secret that every individual in the professional space is obliged when appreciation knocks on the door. Employees are likely to work harder if they feel that their work really makes a difference and that their efforts are acknowledged and rewarded by their employers. Employee Rewards and Recognition Program is the key.

When employees feel valued, they experience a sense of worth, boosting their happiness and productivity. It minimizes turnover and promotes employee engagement and loyalty. After all, building a long-lasting association requires maintaining a positive relationship with your workforce.

30% of respondents who left a job within the first six months indicated that being acknowledged more for their distinctive contributions could have helped them stay longer.

It is the sole responsibility of the employer to recognise and reward employees in a meaningful manner. Therefore, creating an effective rewards program is the need of the hour. By implementing the correct employee appreciation program, a company can foster a high achievement, efficiency, and motivation culture while lowering the number of employees looking for new jobs.

Globoforce reports that 83% of HR executives agree that a program for employee recognition enhances their organization’s values. Making employee awards and recognition a crucial component of an employee engagement strategy is certainly a great approach to promote this.

Employee Rewards and Recognition Program

What is an Employee Rewards and Recognition Program?

Employee reward and recognition programs are initiatives developed by companies to make their employees feel valued and appreciated. Effective employee recognition programs help to attract and retain top talent as well as encourage higher levels of employee motivation.


What is the key basis for rewarding and recognizing employees?

Most commonly, programs recognize:
a. Years of service awards
The loyalty and dedication of an employee who has continued in the company for a long tenure deserve applause and award. Particularly, these milestone awards aim to reward the employees for their effort, contribution, and service.
b. Outstanding one-time achievement
This type of recognition rewards employees for their hard work in achieving a goal. The applause is often accompanied by a cash award or additional paid time off.
c. Notable performance over time
These rewards are often presented to highly engaged employees who significantly improve the work process or product or provide superior customer or client service.

Types of Employee Rewards and Recognition Programs

Recognition comes in various forms, and how an employee prefers to be appreciated varies. Some people, for example, would appreciate being mentioned in a team meeting and publicly praised for their efforts, whereas others may value monetary benefits added to their paychecks.

A single type of recognition may not hold good for each of your employees and their achievements and contributions. For the same reason, the types of Employee Rewards and Recognition Programs can be divided into structured and unstructured categories. Let us go over each of these in detail to save you from investing time and energy in researching the various possibilities.

Structured programs

Structured programs are more traditional, with managers or senior leaders showing gratitude and appreciating employees for their service. These programs are either official or ceremonial and are held at a set time for all employees. Structured methods are ideal for meeting long-term employee needs. The following is a list of structured recognition programs:

The Employee of the Month program

Each month, an employee is chosen as the top employee on the basis of their performance.

Yearly or quarterly reviews

These meetings take place at regular intervals throughout the year. During these reviews, managers provide personalized and genuine recognition to employees to keep them motivated.

Years of Service Awards

These ceremonies honour those who have shown commitment to the company for a long time.

Unstructured programs

Personalized and spontaneous appreciation is the focus of unstructured recognition programs. The method emphasizes the importance of regular praise for employees to feel more valued at work. Employees receive credit from their managers and get encouragement to recognize one another. Here are a few examples of unstructured recognition programs:

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Co-workers express gratitude to one another at any time with peer-to-peer recognition. The acknowledgment is timely, and the employees do not have to wait for a formal event to receive recognition.

Gamified recognition

Gamified recognition refers to recognizing an employee’s efforts through digital recognition tools. Managers award virtual badges, trophies, or points for their efforts. Appreciation feels more personal as it comes directly from the manager.

Celebrations of essential milestones

Managers frequently commemorate significant employee milestones such as birthdays, weddings, and children’s birth, among other things. Employers can develop a personalized association with their employees in this manner.

Internal employee newsletter

An internal newsletter can inform everyone about an employee’s accomplishments, therefore, facilitating team engagement. Praise employees for specific skills and achievements to make them feel valued.

Financial Rewards

The main objective of financial rewards is to improve an employee?s financial well-being through a salary raise or bonus. When it comes to bonuses, awarded amounts can vary greatly depending on the company’s budget.

Non-Financial Rewards

As the name suggests, a non-financial reward is a reward that is not a part of an employee?s pay. Instead, non-financial rewards cover desirable ?extras? that an organization has to offer. Unlike the financial reward, which are typically one-time rewards, non-financial rewards can have long-term positive effects, as employees often get to continue enjoying the benefits for an extended period of time.

Creating an effective Employee Rewards and Recognition program

Following are the strategies to enable a well-defined Employee Rewards and Recognition program to recognize your employees’ achievements and success and drive high employee engagement. Take a holistic approach toward the planning and management of the program. Here are the steps to create an effective Employee Rewards and Recognition Program:


Establishing goals is the first step in designing your recognition program. Businesses often start a recognition program to increase employee engagement, create a recognition culture, or both. Consider whether these are the goals you want for your employee recognition program. Once you are sure of your goals, it is easier to build a result-oriented program.


The formation of a committee is critical for the program’s efficient implementation. To this effect, appoint a well-chosen committee of people familiar with the program and who believe in its success. They will be in charge of adopting, managing, and maintaining reward programs.


The next step for executing reward programs is to understand the indicators that would build a concrete program:

    • Appreciate someone as soon as they achieve their goals. Waiting for recognition lessens the excitement and impact that an award creates.

    • Recognition should be a concurrent process where no good work should go in vain. It’s about appreciating not only the bigger milestones but also little achievements.

    • Be specific with the appreciation, so the employees know that a certain kind of performance will bring in praise. It helps establish the belief that you pay attention and appreciate their dedication.

Decide the type of work and performance

Based on the values that you are seeking to cultivate in your company, decide what type of activities and actions should receive reward and appreciation. It could be productivity, teamwork, work ethics, or all.


Once you create the employee recognition program, maintain a commitment to the program by all means. Appreciation and recognition support employees’ belongingness and devotion to the company. The program should integrate with the company culture and be a part of it as an ongoing process for employee engagement.

Best practices for employee rewards and recognition

Now, let’s discuss some best practices for creating a successful reward program.

Creating a consistent and thoughtful strategy for recognizing employee achievements is essential in promoting your company’s growth and success. Initiate an appreciation culture in which every small and large performance gets a reward on the spot. Without a doubt, employees who receive appreciation have a greater sense of self-worth, which leads to greater happiness and productivity.