How To Navigate Employee Rewards

Recognition and employee rewards are key to increasing engagement in the office. Not only that, but this can motivate your employees to become more productive and efficient. Thanking someone, whether verbal or written, would go a long way, but what other tangible or thoughtful rewards can you give to employees? Plus, how do you start a rewards or recognition program?

Identifying How and When To Give Employee Rewards

Companies may choose to give employee rewards depending on the occasion or situation. Here are some instances that employers give rewards:

  • Job well done
  • Great work performance
  • Milestones

While you may expect an employee to do their job, you may have to recognize their work, in cases where they went above and beyond. You could even reward them for helping your company grow.

As for great work performance, you could measure this through a system that you’ll monitor. You can decide if the employee deserves a small or big reward or recognition during your year-end review.

Milestones like employee anniversaries are a cause for celebration and giving rewards. Companies may give a bonus, provide time off, or other experience-related rewards that the employee will appreciate. This could contribute to a rise in employee loyalty.

In some instances, companies may have an employee reward or recognition program. According to Better Team, here are the four types of employee recognition or rewards:

  • Recognition in public
  • Recognition in private
  • Promotion
  • Money or tangible rewards

Once you’ve decided the reward or recognition system in place, that’s how you can start identifying elements such as budget, qualifications and the type of reward to provide.

Examples of Employee Rewards

You have various options on which rewards to give to your employees. Hand-written or verbal thank you notes can be memorable and thoughtful. But you can opt for monetary, material, or experience-related rewards to recognize your employee’s efforts. Here are some examples of employee rewards to get you started.


One of the best employee rewards you can provide is money. Most would consider this a bonus, which most employers would give at the end of the year. Some employers would give a percentage of or an equal amount of the salary. As an alternative, you can give cards or certificates.

Time Off

Employees will appreciate extra time off from work. They could use this for activities outside the office. Some would use it to care for themselves or spend more time with family. Whatever their reasons are, time off can help them unwind and destress. It’s up to you if it’s a paid or unpaid time off.


Memberships to services like streaming, games, gyms, deliveries, and the like are great employee rewards. It would be great if you knew the employee personally, and they’re interested in a service but may need more funds for it. You decide how long the membership could last. By doing this, you’re helping them out by not having them pay too much.

Personalized Gifts

Make your employee feel like they’re part of the team by giving them personalized gifts. It’s one way to show your appreciation to them by knowing what they truly want. They might have their name on a mug or shirt. Another example could be a product they might want, like tech gadgets. You can also consider giving care packages or boxes with all of their needs or wants.

Dinner or Lunch on or with the Boss or CEO

Not only will this activity be a fun team or solo activity, but it’s one way to foster camaraderie as well. The boss or CEO could treat the team (if this is for a group-based reward system) or the employee. In some cases, the boss or CEO would tag along or have a one-on-one with the employee.


This would work well for those who have an employee recognition system in place. You might give out monthly awards for different employees. You could also consider awarding employees when you have a year-end ceremony too.

Exciting Team Activities

You want to reward employees but taking their minds off work for a day or two. It can be a trip to the beach or spa day. It will be great if the whole team is complete, and everyone doesn’t think about work. Not only would this give them time off, but it’s one way to get to know your teammates better.