How to Build a Great Rewards Program

Want to improve motivation, efficiency, and morale within your company? Then consider building a rewards program.

Not only is a rewards program fun for employees, but it works as a tool for business owners to boost performance levels and engagement among staff. In many cases, they can bring out employees’ true potentials, as it encourages them to put more effort into their role.

With a solid rewards program, staff will also feel happier, more productive, and more valued in the workplace. This, in turn, can encourage employee retention which is great for business.

If this all sounds good but you’re not too sure how to create a successful rewards program, we’re here to help. This is how you can deliver a fantastic gamification and employee rewards program.

Outline Goals

Before you even think of what rewards you’ll offer in your program or anything like that, you must outline the goals of your scheme. Determine the goals you’d like your staff to reach, and what the long-term results are that you’re expecting the program to offer. 

You should also understand what your staff’s goals are too. After all, staff are more likely to chase goals that align with theirs than ones they have no interest pursuing. 

By outlining clear goals in your rewards scheme, employees can orient themselves to their role and know exactly what they need to do to reach their rewards.

For an employee rewards scheme to be successful, you must have both your staff’s goals and your own goals in mind. What are you trying to achieve by running the scheme?

Are you trying to boost employee morale? Are you encouraging staff to hit monthly targets? Do you want your staff to improve their time management skills?

If you’re not sure, a good idea is to ask yourself these three questions:

  • What are your team’s skill gaps?
  • What behaviors do you want to change or improve within your team?
  • What are the important programs, products, or initiatives to focus on in the coming months?

By setting real and achievable goals for the rewards scheme, you’re bringing it to life. With attainable goals on the horizon, employees will be able to picture themselves achieving them, and are more likely to put in the effort.

If you don’t have clear, solid goals, your employees will instead feel lost, and the rewards program will be a flop. Remember, bad practices flow from the top down, so begin your rewards scheme positively.

Determine How Employees Can Earn Points

Once you’ve decided on the goals for the program, the fun can start. It’s time to decide on ways that staff can earn rewards or points.

Depending on your goals, the rewards scheme can be appliable for the whole company, or different departments can earn points in different ways.

This can make sense in many workplaces. Think about it – in most cases you won’t need your HR team to work towards the same goals as your marketing staff.

Likewise, your scheme doesn’t have to run off leaderboards or a points system. Depending on your team, using a points system may not feel right. This is because some people can feel discouraged or embarrassed of the points that they’re earning – or not earning. 

Or, staff may end up feeling bitter towards other teams for attaining more points than them. This, in turn, can offer the opposite goal of the system and can remove the focus from improving everyone’s personal development.

Keep your team happy and come up with a system that works for everyone. It could be as simple as setting up a weekly goal linked to your staff’s KPIs. If they reach that benchmark, they’ll receive a reward.

Create Exciting Rewards

When it comes to what kinds of rewards to offer, you may be feeling a bit unsure. How much is too much? How much is too little?

Don’t worry – you don’t need to splash out on costly vacations away, unless you want to. Here are our ideas on some rewards that employees will strive for:

A Day Off

Sometimes the best gift you can give is time. Why not give any team or employee that reaches their goal an extra day off? For example, if they reach their targets, they can choose a Friday to take off the following month.

Most people will appreciate the extra time to spend with family and friends. And who doesn’t love a three-day weekend?


While you won’t want to give away a laptop often, a big prize like this ensures that people are likely to put in the effort. Plus, your team will love you for it. 

A Fancy Lunch

For most of us a workday lunch consists of a boring sandwich or a tupperware box filled with last night’s dinner at the desk. Treat high achievers by whisking them away to a nice lunch on a Friday. Not only will they appreciate the food, but it’s a great way to get people to mingle together outside the office.

Gift Card

One reward you can’t go wrong with is a gift card. If you offer it from a store that sells a variety of items and homeware, then anyone will be able to appreciate it. There are also gift cards that can be used at several different brands too.

Weekend Away

Want to go big? Then why not offer a holiday or weekend away in the sun? Your staff are sure to appreciate your efforts.

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About the Author:

Matt Bullock
Serial entrepreneur who loves a deep dive into technology and applying it to solve business problems. Matt recognized that gamification of business activity processes would lead to greater staff engagement, increase productivity and motivate the team to do more, so that businesses sell more and grow more.