How to Implement Workplace Reward Systems

Date: February 7, 2023

When done right, workplace reward systems are much more than an HR program that can make employees feel good. In fact, these systems, which help companies recognize their employees' commitment and hard work, are known to increase efficiency and productivity and reduce employee attrition.

However, before implementing workplace reward systems, it is important to understand the basics, including how to carry it out. That is why in the below step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of implementing workplace reward systems, go over why and when it may be time to create this program in your company, and how to ensure it provides you with the best return on your investment. 

What are Workplace Reward Systems?

Workplace reward systems are organized ways companies say "thank you" to their employees for doing a good job. It can be through bonuses, promotions, or just recognizing their efforts. These systems aim to encourage employees to keep doing well and make the workplace a happier and more motivating space. The goal is to create a rewarding and engaging work environment that fosters sustained commitment, motivation and ensures employees feel valued in the workplace.

When Is It Time to Implement an Employee Reward System?

While any time can be a great opportunity to implement an employee reward system, organizations often begin these programs when productivity seems to lag or morale is not as high as it was, especially after a big project. Fortunately, when companies start an workplace reward systems, it can be just what the business needs to get employees back on track and enthusiastic about the job.

Organizations use an employee reward system as a motivation method to make sure that workers and employees feel seen and encouraged to continue to produce high-quality work. This system often has businesses encouraging their staff by offering them gifts, recognition, money, and non-monetary incentives. For instance, an employee can earn gift cards, paid time off, lunches, or a bonus at the end of a pay period in addition to their salary. 

workplace reward systems

8 Steps for Implementing Workplace Reward Systems

While the workplace reward system has countless benefits, companies must understand how to implement it correctly, especially if they want to maximize the advantages of these programs and ensure they do not lose money in the process. That is why it is crucial to consider the following steps before starting a workplace reward system to make sure it is done right for your organization.

Step 1: Define Your Values

Before designing a workplace reward system, you want to make sure you define your company's values, goals, expectations, and the intended results you want. 

For example, you may want to consider the following questions when trying to define your values:

  • Do you want this program to boost sales?
  • Do you want to increase employee engagement?
  • Are you looking to improve your company culture?

After you figure out these goals, developing a workplace rewards program that meets these objectives will be easier.

Step 2: Talk With Employees About What They Want

Once your values are defined, step two involves discussing this program with employees, what they want from it and understanding their preferences. This constructive feedback on the program and rewards can help you gauge employee interest, determine the best methods to get the desired results, and figure out what things you need to consider to achieve the desired outcome. 

Step 3: Decide on an Internal Champion

After discussing the idea with employees, you will want to decide on an internal champion. These champions are usually individuals within the organization that can be your point of contact. 

They see the vision and are ready to advocate for the program and help facilitate the changes you want to create within the company. However, more importantly, they are there to support the team with these ideas and provide you feedback on what is working and what is not. 

When deciding on an internal champion or champion team, make sure you look for individuals who:

  • Have a good understanding of the program
  • Indicate interest in the program
  • Show leadership qualities
  • Believe in the organization's goals and values

workplace reward systems

Step 4: Define Reward Criteria

The key to creating a positive workplace reward system is to set clear criteria for getting appreciated and rewarded. You want to ensure your organization creates standards that encourage behaviors you want to see in the company while providing convenient and attainable criteria for the whole workforce. 

That is why before starting a workplace rewards system, you want first to determine what type of awards you will have. For instance, will they involve non-monetary or monetary incentives like money? 

Next, you want to consider the following rewards characteristics:

  • Are the rewards distributed equitably?
  • Are the rewards visible?
  • Do the rewards have flexibility depending on changes in performance?
  • Are the rewards low in cost?

Finally, you will want to create requirements for giving out these rewards. For example, consider giving out rewards based on performance, efforts, seniority, or skills.

Step 5: Shop for Programs 

If you are having a challenging time coming up with a workplace rewards system or are unsure of the best way to start this process, look into reward system based programs that can help you implement this system. At Bucketlist, employers can purchase employee retention software that can implement these programs quickly and effortlessly while offering over 2,576 rewards to encourage employee satisfaction, retention, and employee productivity

Not only does Bucketlist get rid of the manual labor often involved with workplace reward systems, but it allows companies to bridge the distance between their staff, especially when the organization has different units and employees spread around different areas. This allows the whole workforce to feel included and participate in the reward system.

workplace reward systems

Step 6: Execute

Once the program is in place and you have determined the best way to roll it out to the whole company, it is time to execute. First, you will want to ensure that all your staff knows about the program and what it involves. 

From there, you will want to have your management team, including supervisors, senior management, and managers, begin to promote the program and use it. This will show your staff that there is value to the reward system and that it will be something the company continues to focus on.

Step 7: Gather Employee Feedback

After implementing the employee rewards system, you will need to review it consistently and figure out what part is working and what is not. For example, after a month (or at the end of the first quarter), you want to ask for feedback from your staff regarding the reward system. This can help you determine if the program is operating as it should and what parts need to be revised. 

Step 8: Iterate/Expand

Once you determine that reward system is a good fit for your business, the final step is to continue expanding it. However, this also means you will want to stay consistent with the system and follow through. As employees see the company is serious about the system, they are more likely to stay motivated by the program and continue to work hard for the rewards.

Positive Outcomes of Implementing Employee Reward Systems

Implementing workplace reward systems can have significant impacts organizations. Outside of employee retention, such reward systems can also:

  • Increase employee productivity
  • Improve culture by reinforcing company values and providing a framework for the culture you want to flourish
  • Result in happier employees by giving them a boost, especially when they are feeling a lull or lacking motivation
  • Improve collaboration between staff, as well as relationships between co-workers
  • Improve professional and personal growth
  • Provide your company with a competitive edge
  • Decrease the need for close supervision since employees become more aware of their responsibilities
  • Reduce the number of employee complaints as long as the company provides appropriate incentives
  • Help you attract top talent and spot top workers in the company
  • Help reduce stress and lower absenteeism
  • Assist employees in developing new skills or expanding a skill set

Ultimately, workplace reward systems help companies stand out, when they are done right. It also allows staff to feel appreciated while improving their work product and encourages a proactive spirit within the organization. 

workplace reward systems

Find Out How Workplace Reward Systems Can Help Your Organization Thrive

Your team might need to implement a workplace reward system to improve its productivity and camaraderie. Starting this program does not need to be complicated or stressful, especially if you work with a team that can handle this whole process.

If you want assistance in implementing an employee performance reward system correctly, or want professionals to help set up a system that is easy to manage, contact Bucketlist today and request a demo. Our team is ready to answer all your questions and help you implement the right workplace reward system for your company.

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