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Sep 21'

How Rewards and Recognition can Build a High-Performance Culture

For anyone who’s visited the Bucketlist YouTube channel before, our CEO Jason Lindstrom needs no introduction. As the host of our regular series of interviews, he’s discussed people and culture - including how to implement a rewards and recognition program with some of the best and brightest business minds. 

But for our latest Bucketlist webinar - in association with the HR Certification Institute - Jason was on the other side of the microphone, as he delivered an insightful presentation on the role that rewards and recognition can play in building high-performing teams. 

Why rewards and recognition are so important 

To kick off the webinar Jason shared a quote from Michael LaBoeuf that emphasizes why a rewards and recognition program is such important tool for organizations. 

“The things that get rewarded and appreciated, get done.”

It’s a deceptively simple statement, but one that neatly sums up the power behind the idea - namely that by rewarding your staff for their success and recognizing their achievements, you can boost performance across your organization. 

rewards and recognition program

The power of storytelling

The act of rewarding someone for their work is powerful in itself, but what’s perhaps even more impactful is the dialogue that’s created around it. 

We are after all a species of storytellers. “People are hardwired to learn through narratives,” Jason says, pointing to research that shows messages delivered as stories are 22 times more likely to be remembered than facts alone. 

So what does this have to do with rewards and recognition? 

Well, rewarding your staff is itself a form of storytelling. Think of it this way: every time you recognize your people’s performance you are building a narrative and putting them at the heart of it. It’s an incredibly impactful experience for your team members, but also for their peers who will want to be the centre of their own story.

This culture of rewards and recognition brings your organization’s core values to life according to Jason, “helping people to live and breathe them” rather than simply read them in a manual. Done regularly it creates a virtuous cycle that continuously rewards and encourages high performance.

Let’s look at the benefits  

While grasping the fundamentals is important, as HR professionals we also need to understand the business case for a rewards and recognition program. 

During the webinar Jason highlighted four key areas where, if properly implemented, rewards and recognition can benefit an organization. These were... 


1. R​​ecruiting great staff

“One of the most effective tools for getting more applicants is an employee referral program,” said Jason. And the stats back it up. Research shows that when employees refer one another, candidates are 55% faster to hire. Additionally, 88% of companies said that referrals were their number one best source of applicants, and finally referred employees tend to stay in their roles for longer.

It’s further evidence of the power that rewarding staff can have on an organization. As Jason said, “great people know great people,” and by recognizing your top performers you make it far more likely that they will encourage their peers to swell your organization’s ranks. 

rewards and recognition

2. Retaining top performers

So far we’ve talked about traditional programs where organizations recognize and reward their people from the top down. But by far one of the most effective tools when it comes to employee retention is peer-to-peer recognition. 

Empowering your staff to recognize their peers will not only make your people feel more connected to each other but also your company’s goals and values. It’s a simple but effective tool that high-performing organizations use to keep hold of their best people.

3. Maintaining customer relationships

Everyone loves good customer service, and a rewards and recognition program could be the secret weapon to help your organization take yours to the next level. During the webinar Jason used Bucketlist as an example, pointing to our own program that recognizes staff who provide a great customer journey for our clients. For us, it’s been a hugely effective tool to reinforce the customer care that is at our core.

rewards and recognition program

4. Driving and increasing revenue

Commission programs are nothing new. In fact, your organization probably already has one in place already. However, there are a whole host of other incentives out there that can be used to help motivate your sales teams and recognize their performance. The key is to define the behaviour you want to encourage, then reward and recognize it in your top performers.  

The bottom line 

The world of work is changing. In our ultra-competitive landscape, businesses are finding it harder to not only attract the best people but keep hold of them. Today’s top talent don’t just want a corner office and a hefty salary, they want to feel connected to their work and appreciated for the impact they have on their company.

That’s why we’re so passionate about sharing our insight on the subject of recognition and rewards - because we’ve seen firsthand the impact it can have on creating high-performing teams. It’s also what drove us to create the number one Employee Rewards and Recognition Platform, so organizations across the globe can create programs that work for their business. 

If you’d like to find out more about how Bucketlist’s employee rewards and recognition platform can help you build high-performing teams, contact us for a free demo

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