Spot Awards: How to Implement Spot Recognition Program

High-performing organisations are implementing strategic approaches to improve employee experience and engagement. Spot awards programs are one such concept that is gaining popularity for their ability to provide instant gratification. While employers give awards and cash compensations on special occasions such as award ceremonies or anniversaries, spot awards provide prompt recognition to employees for their current outstanding contributions and performance.

Employees have a higher likelihood of staying with a company that recognises and values their contributions if they receive the appreciation at the right time. Recognition and Awards provide several benefits to an organization.

53% of employees would remain at a company longer if they felt appreciated.

Spot Awards in EEP

Spot awards, when done correctly, are an excellent addition to a company’s Employee Engagement Program whilst also being cost-effective for businesses. HR departments can use spot awards in novel and creative ways to recognise employees’ accomplishments and behaviors on the spot rather than after a considerable amount of time has elapsed. Individual employee achievements or contributions must get recognition with personalised awards. With Spot Awards, employees experience instant motivation, and feel much more valued and appreciated.

What are Spot Awards for employees? 

Spot awards are a way for employers to acknowledge and recognize the efforts and contributions of their employees as and when it happens. Spot awards are employee recognition tools that work on the concept of positive reinforcement. It is the process of inspiring or creating a practice of behavior by rewarding it when it is happens.


What are the types of employer Spot Awards?Employer spot awards are classified into two types:

a. Monetary awards: Cash, bonuses, gift cards, and discounts are examples of monetary awards.

b. Non-monetary awards: Examples of non-monetary awards include a social shout-out, certificates, trophies, time off, treats, company logo items, and so on.

Benefits of the Spot Award program

Spot awards programs benefit a company by creating an environment of value-based recognition. Companies that recognise employees who demonstrate exceptional contribution and behavior at the appropriate time encourage a culture of initiative and ingenuity. Here are several reasons why digitised spot rewards can be an effective way to recognise employees and tips to implement the same:

Provides Motivation 

Spot awards entail recognising employees for exceptional performance as soon as possible. Because of their timeliness, spot awards can increase overall employee satisfaction. Spot awards, when given on a regular basis, are highly effective in motivating employees.

Enhance Engagement

Design and personalise Spot awards to fit the needs of the employees. Employees become more committed to the company as they feel cared for. They embrace the organisation’s vision and strive for its success, becoming more involved and enthusiastic about their work. So, spot awards prove to be a valuable tool for keeping your employees engaged.

Boosts Productivity

As spot awards are tools for timely appreciation, employees become confident that their efforts get appreciation and recognition. The recognition helps improve their performance and dedication towards the company, thus boosting workplace effectiveness and productivity.

Spot Award Best Practices

Online platform

With a global workforce and many remote employees, leaders cannot approach each employee and thank them for their daily efforts. Using digital tools can make employee recognition convenient, more frequent, efficient, and seamless. 

Social visibility

A Spot Award is a source of pride for an employee, so make it public. Ensure media visibility for the feat. Sharing the accomplishment with a larger group will increase its importance. Employers may publicly recognise an employee’s efforts by making announcements or sharing their achievements on social media or other platforms. Employers may hold special events or activities to recognise an employee’s contributions, such as lunch or dinner.

Empower managers

Employees are ecstatic and proud when their superiors recognise them the moment they accomplish an outstanding achievement. Giving managers the authority to recognise individuals on the spot can help the program succeed. Managers should be given an adequate budget and a clear recognition workflow. They should instill a culture of appreciation in the office and learn when and how to give out spot awards (such as public or private recognition). This would empower and encourage managers to recognise and reward employees for good performance or behavior. A digital employee recognition tool will make the process easier and more convenient for them.


Spot recognition, like any other employee recognition policy, necessitates the application of specific criteria. One of these is consistency, which is essential for establishing the award’s transparency, authenticity, and credibility in employees’ eyes. People are more likely to put in consistent effort over time if they believe their efforts are being noticed and appreciated spot on. Companies should ensure that the spot award program is consistently and fairly implemented.

Isolated from bonuses

Exclude the spot awards from bonuses, i.e. these awards should not be used in place of annual bonus awards. The spot awards are given primarily to recognise and reward employees for their hard work, achievements, or contributions to the organisation on an as-it-happens basis. They should not be tied with annual awards and ceremonies. 

Tips for Implementation

The recent focus on spot awards has been welcomed by organisations and industries as it motivates employees while being cost-effective for businesses. But, there are correct and incorrect ways to handle spot rewards, and they can cause feelings of demotivation and unhappiness if handled incorrectly. Here are a few pointers to help ensure that your spot reward program brings actual benefit to your employees and your company.

Focus on behaviors

It is tricky to make a connection between goals and rewards. Instead of linking rewards to goal completion, link them to highly effective behaviors and effort put into achieving the goal. Employees may start expecting gratification every time they complete a project or achieve a goal. Also, rewarding people only if they meet goals can significantly decrease performance because the employee may have tried their hardest but fallen short of achieving it. Employees should be rewarded for their efforts toward achieving a goal rather than the achievement of the goal itself. Moreover, spot awards are more effective when used to recognise and encourage current behaviors rather than as a reward for past achievements.

Immediate effect

Immediacy equals effectiveness. Instant gratification yields more benefits to employee recognition programs as opposed to forgetting about a reward or deferring distribution until the end of the year. A reward given after the achievement has been long forgotten has no impact on motivation; instead, it is a cause of demoralisation among the employees. Due to their timeliness, spot awards boost overall employee satisfaction and are thus highly effective in motivating employees. Therefore, reward with spot awards as promptly as possible.

Respect satiation

When employees get the same type of reward is again and again, its value diminishes. Employees do not all place the same value on the same kinds of incentives. Not all achievements deserve the same award, and employees do not value receiving the same type of reward year after year. Subsequently, employee recognition programs become routine, and awards lose their significance. The suggestion is that the award be given as soon as possible and that the type of reward given to employees be varied. Furthermore, the kind of reward should be proportional to the amount of effort put into a project or attitude toward achieving a goal. Understanding what motivates each employee can assist managers in selecting the best type of reward.

Digitising Spot Awards

Companies need to conduct a number of award and reward ceremonies and celebrate occasions to enhance employee experience based on a wide range of reasons and behavioral characteristics. Instead of focusing solely on the top target achievers through an annual ceremony, the need of the hour is to make employee awards more inclusive. A digitised spot award comes in handy here. The capabilities of a digital platform are more expansive and practical for employee recognition.

How to utilise digital Spot Awards for maximum effectiveness?

To summarise, the employer spot award should consider both the employer’s budget as well as the specific efforts of the employee receiving recognition. What matters is that the award is meaningful and expresses the employer’s gratitude for the employee’s efforts. Spot rewards are an effective way to encourage and motivate employees. But overly relying on awards fades the value of the awards and decreases motivation.

Ensuring employees are genuinely motivated at work is the most efficient method for encouraging them. Recognise their unique skills and abilities as professionals and as people. Moreover, provide them with a holistic environment of well-being and job satisfaction to enhance their employee experience.