Your Definitive Cheatsheet to Rewards and Recognition Program

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Definitive Cheatsheet To Rewards And Recognition Program

Somewhere between meeting daily and not getting to see each other’s faces for months, we all (including the introverts and ambiverts) have realised how innately conversation, appreciation and collaboration come to us and how much we miss them.

It is during these turbulent times that the business leaders started to notice even more the true treasure that their employees are. To honor their efforts, new ways were being introduced.

In a recent survey by SHRM and the recognition consulting firm Globoforce, 80 percent of organizations reported having an employee recognition program.

But what were the results like? How many employees left? How many were disengaged? How many were re-engaged? Were you able to see the desired impact? Maybe not, that’s because there was no reward and recognition program in place. All the initiatives taken in the direction might be totally impromptu.

What is a rewards and recognition program?

As the word suggests, the rewards and recognition program is a way to give employees an ‘instant pat on the back’ and keep them really engaged. It is an integral part of the employee engagement strategy, wherein, all the touchpoints for rewarding and recognising employees are identified. The program sets a standard for performance and acts as a guideline and motivator for employees.

Objective of Reward and Recognition Program

The main objective of a rewards and recognition program is to appreciate employees through monetary or non- monetary methods. Therefore, it’s a pre- requisite for the employer to understand their multigenerational and distributed workforce and chalk out what kind of rewards and recognition would make each of the generations happy. A little research on these lines is imperative.

Benefits of Reward and Recognition Program

Some of the direct benefits of a sound rewards and recognition program are higher productivity, inspired and motivated employees, a better retention rate and helping employees see the bigger picture, i.e give them a bigger purpose and goal to work with the organisation.

These 27 best reward and recognition quotes can also help understand the benefits.

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Your Definitive Cheatsheet to Rewards and Recognition Program 1

How can I create a rewards and recognition program?

A rewards and recognition program can be really effective in engaging and inspiring your employees, but only if you do it right. To help, below we share a 7 step cheat sheet to create a rewards and recognition program.

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Research and conduct polls-

The first step is to research well. Rely on the internet and people in the same industry. Are there any companies you quite like the rewards and recognition programs of? List them, read what they do and how. For instance, Accenture and Google.

HROne suggests: While researching and getting inspired is okay, you should pick only what aligns with your company culture. Introducing celebration points can be a good start.

Decide on types and budget for rewards-

By the end of your research you will have a ton of ideas, and approaches to choose from. In the second step you decide on the types of rewards and recognition titles you consider introducing, for instance, employee of the month, making an impact, out of the box thinker and more.

HROne suggests: To create the best rewards and recognition program, running a poll where you let the employees choose top x titles and types they like the most can be great. A mix of quirky fun and performance based titles can be wonderful.

Discuss with the stakeholders-

After you have decided on the major elements of your rewards and recognition program, take some second opinion. Organise a meeting or mail your plan to every department head. We bet you will get some amazing ideas from them.

HROne suggests: Getting a buy-in for this when stakeholders’ days are packed can be tough. So, we suggest you send the review task on HROne. HROne inbox will ensure it gets done in time.

Connect with employee and business goals-

The next step is to link your reward and recognition program for employees with the employee goals and business goals to make them more meaningful for everyone. For example, xxxx redeemable reward points for achieving xxx target.

HROne suggests: Link R&R module with performance and turn on the auto reward feature so that the rewards are given timely without anyone’s intervention.

Formalise the program using a policy-

After incorporating the suggestions from stakeholders, it’s time to announce the initiation of your rewards and recognition program and make it official. While conducting an in-person or virtual meeting is inevitable, not documenting it in a policy would make it vain. Download a free R&R policy template, make the necessary changes and upload it on the portal for everyone to access.

HROne suggests: Use a predefined template available in the software or upload your own, make sure it includes your program’s purpose, types of R&R, eligibility for each and tenure it is applicable for.

Give your people voice and choice-

Once the program goes live, you must track the activity around it and encourage employees to keep patting each other for the good work.  For the monetary rewards, make sure they are being given the options they can choose from. For instance, an employee might want a food voucher to celebrate with his family and not a paid subscription to his favorite app, a paid vacation for one or so.

HROne suggests: Follow 360 degree recognition where an employee can thank and appreciate anyone across the organisation and can even get badged by clients.

7 Best Reward and Recognition Ideas You Can Implement Right Away!

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When it comes to incorporating some reward and recognition ideas, traditional ideas are not a fit for all anymore. Below we share some quirky and new ideas you can pick up easily. Read on.

1. Gamified campaigns like #HROneKaIPL-

Our brains are wired for pleasure Gamification is thrilling and keeps them happy and engaged. Hence, it is one of the best rewards and recognition tactic to increase participation from employees.
At HROne, we launched a Fantasy League ( #HROneKaIPL) on April 19th, 2020 with 18 man of the matches and 1 man of the series.

What was the campaign about?
When HROne users login, they get a pop-up wherein they used to predict the team that could win. The top 3 HROne users with the most wins were rewarded every week. An IPL leadership Board was also launched in the application to keep things transparent. 
The immersive employee engagement experience was a huge hit with 20,000+ user participation within the 1st week of its launch.

2. Social Media Shoutouts-

Everyone loves a piece of fame to themselves, use your social media wall to appreciate your best employees from time to time. Use their picture, compile a video for them and jot some heartfelt lines coming right from the people they work with and/ or the company’s CEO.
We suggest you always ask if the employee is okay being on your social page, some might not want to. For them, and everyone else, HROne can act as the social wall.

3. Share a Subscription-

Employees, especially the ones who love to binge watch or listen to the melodies, would love some free subscriptions to their favorite apps like Netflix, Jio Saavn, Amazon Prime or any other as a reward for their effort.
HROne gives employees the power to use the amount you give the way they wish, thereby uncomplicating the process for everyone.

4. Cab Credits-

You can give cab credits to the employees. This is of great use for employees who come from a distance or spend most of their time on-field and travelling for office work.
HROne makes this easier by allowing you to allocate advance expense amounts to the employee(s) for the month. You can increase the limit as a reward for them or give the amount as redeemable reward points.

5. Ring the Bell-

Much like Pizza Hut does to understand customer experience and motivate the staff, you can place a bell in the office which can be used by employees to ring when something at work makes them happy. Place a box at the side to let them mention the reason if they want to. Another way to use it is to ring it when some target has been achieved.
Alternatively, you can post on HROne company wall about the prize or title you want to give to someone.

6. Surprise Scenes-

Posting notes, keeping balloons and happy birthday cards in their cubicle or a handwritten note for their achievements goes a long way. Alternatively, you can wish/ congratulate your peers in a click directly from your custom feed on HROne.

7. Caught in the act-

This can be like a newsletter (email or print) wherein you can share where the person was caught doing some exceptional work or deed. Alternatively,you can also share it using the broadcast feature on HROne.

How to make your rewards and recognition programs a success?

Karan Jain Cofounder Hrone
Your Definitive Cheatsheet to Rewards and Recognition Program 4

A myriad of factors impact the success of reward and recognition programs. Was the manager using it optimally? Was the R&R given fairly or was it biased? Were the employees feeling appreciative? Were they actively participating in the program? Was the reward and recognition for employees done in time? Here are some most important factors responsible for its success. Take a look at some of the most important characteristics. . 


The reward and recognition program must be objective and unbiased. The R&R also must be in line with the efforts. If your employees feel that the recognition or monetary reward trivialised their effort and achievement, the program will end up leaving a negative impact instead of positive. Make amends when needed to keep the reward and recognition meaningful and consistent. 

Keep a substantial difference between employees who are appreciated for landing quick favors and the ones who have shown phenomenal performance and got results on a year long project. To improvise, keep asking the employees for direction and suggestions.

Were they TIMELY?

Later R&R = No R&R

In order to strengthen the employee’s action and organisation action link, you must deliver the reward as close to the time the employee took action as possible. Some companies believe it is better to fix a day for the same,  but, in reality, R&R in real time is a better practice and it keeps the morale high. 


The manner of delivery matters the most. There are mails, personal acknowledgment, real-time via the R&R HCM module, hand-delivered at an event, in the form of a written note or a gift coupon.
Here, you get to choose but in any of the methods if the giver forgets to highlight the achievement, it can be a deal-breaker. A simple format you can follow to not make this mistake is to- Thank the employee mentioning his name,  work, why you felt it was well-deserved and how it added value closing with a thank you again.
It is done best when managers and peers know their team as to what reward and recognition type would fit their effort and also motivate them.
Remember, behavior that is being duly rewarded for is likely to be repeated. 

Was the procedure UNCOMPLICATED?

Sometimes, employees don’t participate much in the reward and recognition program because they find it complicated or time consuming. For instance, a process that would be managed excessively by management, including intricate calculations, would not work. The idea is to keep everything simple, automated and quick.


When you launch your reward and recognition program for employees, it is important to track and analyse for relevance. Keep evaluating the program at the end of every R&R cycle, to take best improvement and corrective measures.

How to use technology to measure the success of your rewards and recognition program?

Technology helps execute, track and analyse the impact of your rewards and recognition programs and ideas. In HROne, you can-

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Once initiated, the reward and recognition program analytics can help you measure and manage employee pulse and program success using three unique dashboards-

  • A special LEADERSHIP BOARD empowers you with filters basis duration, and badge, reward type allowing you to see-

    Who has received the most badges in the selected tenure

    Who has been rewarded for their performance

    Who has been the best performer amongst the new candidates and so on…

  • The ROI DASHBOARD also helps you in checking system usage for specific modules for a given duration.
  • ENGAGEMENT DASHBOARD highlights improvement areas for you to spot the areas that need improvement.

The insights above tell you how actively employees are engaged, how is the program going on- what is working, what is not. Pulse surveys can further be used to delve in any particular insight and find a probable solution for it. 

So, we are saying…

Creating rewards and recognition programs is only half the battle won, the other half is tested when it is implemented. Befriending technology can actually help in encouraging the employees, keeping a close tab on the feature usage and taking corrective actions. A software with mobile app increases the chance of it being a success immensely.

Make your Employee Engagement fun and easy!

Learn how HROne Employee Engagement software can help you automate Employee Engagement & stay 100% compliant!

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Sukriti Saini

Sukriti Saini works as a content marketing strategist at HROne. She has done Bachelors in Journalism from Delhi University and carries several years of experience in content development. HR trends, Productivity, Performance and topics related to Employee Engagement garner most of her writing interest here. During leisure, she loves to write and talk about fashion, food & life.

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