25 Popular Employee Rewards And Recognition Programs

The employee rewards and recognition programs help acknowledge the efforts and contributions made by the employees for a company.

Appreciating the employees for their dedication and contributions is necessary because they help a company become successful. Thus, recognition keeps employees dedicated and makes all their hard work worthwhile.

Companies usually reward their employees for giving a realization that it values their efforts and achievements. And while it is crucial to success, it also helps a company sustain itself during its difficult times.

Employee rewards and recognition programs also help an organization be competitive enough to keep up with its competitors. However, without recognition and rewards, a company lags behind its competitors in its respective industry.

If a company does not incorporate employee rewards and recognition programs in its culture, it may find its very survival endangered.

When employees receive appreciation, it keeps them performing well, and their work engagement also stays on track. Therefore, crediting employees for their achievements, regardless of their significance, holds immense importance.

Employee rewards and recognition programs help enhance employee performance and engagement; to the level that you desire. And such programs, eventually, pay off for an employer.

Given the importance, this article discusses one of the most influential and popular employee rewards and recognition programs. So, keep reading it till the end, to find the one that suits your needs and company culture.

Read them below:

1. Accessories with the company logo

Accessories with the company logo

One of the employee rewards and recognition programs is to give away employees the accessories that have a company’s logo. And this includes t-shirts, water bottles, bags, and similar.

It helps to make and keep the employees happy, but it also helps promote its name. And this, resultantly, helps to make the employer brand stronger.

2. Subscription to the Spotify premium or Apple Music

Now, everyone has their personalized song playlist. However, imagine you’re listening to your favorite artist, and suddenly you’re prompted to buy their premium subscription to continue listening. Irritating, right?

Now, you can reward your employees by buying them a subscription to the music streaming service of their choice.

These days, Spotify and Apple music are the most used music streaming platforms. So, you can buy your employees a subscription to the platform that is in their use.

3. Plants

Give your employees room to develop Employee Rewards And Recognition Programs

It may sound a little unconventional to give your hardworking employees plants. However, it has emerged as one of the latest employee rewards and recognition programs.

Having plants in your workplace positively affects the work environment, increasing workplace efficiency and productivity.

Researchers suggest that greenery has a tendency to increase employee performance since it makes them more focused and engaged towards their work.

4. Book recommendation

It may sound uninteresting to have a book recommendation in recognition of your efforts. But for those who are bookworms, it could mean a lot. And why not, when you’re always looking forward to reading a new book!

A book recommendation costs you nothing. Yet, it helps to build a connection between you and your team.

5. Supporting a cause or charity 

Many of your employees are probably a part of a charity or either supporting a cause. And you can help them in whatever cause they believe in or by donating to their charity.

You may also help your employees in this regard by promoting their just cause or charitable organization on suitable platforms.

6. Gifts

Now, who doesn’t like to receive gifts? Nobody, because it gives a feeling of belonging. And it also makes the recipient feel special.

Gifting your employees to recognize their contributions and achievements is one of the best employee rewards and recognition programs. So, you can give your employees anything that will warm their hearts.

7. Coffee-shop membership

Local coffee-shop membership as Employee Rewards And Recognition Programs

Coffee in the morning is a must to start one’s day. And it is deliciously helpful in getting over a bad day at work or resuming the challenging task from yesterday. And it is why people with regular jobs need it more.

You can buy your worthy employees membership to the local coffee shop. And not only is it an effective employee recognition, but it also helps make the employees more active and present-minded.

8. Newsletter or Website shout outs

To get a public shout-out takes away the mental and physical stress of a challenging endeavor. So, on your company website or monthly newsletter, you should give a public shout-out to your hardworking employees.

Not only does it motivate them to work hard, but it also gives them confidence in their abilities. Besides, it gives them a realization that their hard work does not go unnoticed and is unappreciated.

Read More: Advantages And Disadvantages Of Reward System For Employees

9. Special outfits for special occasions

There are times when your employees need to become a part of events such as client presentations, charity events, and similar. And you can show that you care about them by bearing the expense for the outfit they need to wear at an event.

It goes without saying how the employees would feel with this gesture.

Some organizations require employees to be represented in a specific attire. For example, if you’re a law firm, your employees are obliged to wear formal dress to enter the court of law.

If you purchase your employees’ professional attire, it will make them feel great about themselves. Besides, they will get a feeling of belongingness.

10. Sending a package privately

gift-cards Employee Rewards And Recognition Programs

Going to the post office to send someone a package is not an easy task to perform. And so, when you send a package privately, the recipient can understand their worth for you!

To receive mail with a personally-addressed package gives a special feeling to the one receiving it. Thus it makes all the time and energy worth it that is spent in the whole process.

It’s like receiving a letter at your private address. But the difference is that a package is more than just a letter.

11. Personalized items

One of the employee rewards and recognition programs is to surprise your employees with an item with their name or picture.

Gifting the employees has become increasingly common. Therefore, it has lost its charm. However, when you surprise them with a gift, such as a mug, with their face painted, it is one of the sweetest forms of recognition.

Such customized items are like the personalized Slack emojis. However, the difference is that the latter is used for the virtual world, while the former for the real one. Nonetheless, both are effective in their use.

12. Greenery

Give your employees room to develop

Do you know: a workplace environment becomes better with the presence of plants. Resultantly, it can enhance employee performance and efficiency. However, it is not merely an assumption.

Dutch and English researchers have confirmed the same. And they affirm the presence of plants is positive for workplace productivity and engagement. Moreover, the US News also confirms this in one of its articles.

The research further reveals that greenery increases employee engagement by focusing on their jobs physically, emotionally, and cognitively. That being said, you need to be also aware that any of the receiving-employee has any related allergies.

13. Shoes/insoles

There’s a saying that if you care about someone, buy them a comfortable mattress since one-third of our lives is spent sleeping. And the same can be said about comfortable footwear, as a significant part of our lives is spent wearing them.

Comfortable shoes are essential for people with professions that require them to spend a large part of their day standing. And such disciplines may include healthcare, hospitality staff, retail, etc.

If you belong to one of such industries, you should be buying your loyal employees a pair of shoes. Or buying them an excellent inner sole for their footwear is the least that you can do.

14. Personalized emojis

The use of emojis in our communications, professional or personal, has no longer remained new. However, the use of custom emojis is not very common. And so, using them as a reward for employees can be a great idea.

Using employee-personalized emojis is on our list of employee rewards and recognition programs. And their use in acknowledging their contributions and efforts can give them a feeling of belonging.

15. CEO’s recognition note

An appreciation from someone as CEO can be guaranteed to induce motivation in an employee for the upcoming tasks.

The top leaders should be informed about an employee burning the midnight oil for the company. And their work should be shared in detail so the CEO could make the appreciation more precise.

The employees receiving personal recognition from a CEO in the handwritten note can go a long way in buying their loyalty.

16. Office library

Making an investment in the professional development of your employees is one of the best forms of employee rewards and recognition programs.

Buying a book required by the employee to help them excel in their career and adding them to your office library is a rare yet grand gesture of recognition.

You may also add employee-personalized books. And stating the reason for their addiction to the books collection can make such a program further efficient.

A company should go above and beyond for the employees that go above and beyond for the company. And so, helping the dedicated employees in their career development is one such example and symbol of generosity.

17. Professional courses

Professional courses

There are abundant courses available for any subject, both online and in-person. These professional courses can go a long way in helping your employees improve their professional skills.

Buying such courses can benefit employees in learning the skills that are in demand. Additionally, the employees can know that their company values their growth as much as it loves its own.

18. Seminars

Arranging seminars for your employees as a recognition of their hard work is also one of the employee rewards and recognition programs.

Professional seminars, as the professional courses, include valuable information on a particular subject. And thus, attending to them and learning what they entail can help employees excel and succeed in their careers.

19. Books

As a manager/employer, you should be keeping an eye on the books that you think can be helpful for your employees on a particular subject.

The books that you can give your employees as a reward should also cover subjects relating to communications and leadership. So, it can help them to improve their interpersonal and leadership skills.

In this regard, e-books and audiobooks are a great option as well, as they can be used digitally and therefore efficiently.

20. Hackathons

To the surprise of many, organizing hackathons for your employees is also one of the employee rewards and recognition programs. And dedicating a day(s) for it is indeed a fun activity, besides being one of the employee rewards and recognition programs.

Hackathons do not necessarily have to be about programming only. And they can be about anything. Thus, they can be about ‘hacking’ old processes, legacy content, or a better organizational approach to your organization’s resources.

“Breaking out of the day-to-day routine can reinvigorate and inspire staff, but hackathons also demonstrate to employees that innovation is not only welcomed but also expected.”

–Elizabeth Spaulding and Greg Caimi, Harvard Business Review

21. Premium office tools

Purchasing premium tools to help your employees in their work is one of the innovative and ingenious employee rewards and recognition programs.

It is ingenious and innovative because it also increases the employees’ work efficiency besides being an employee reward. And that can be a win-win situation for any company.

Many organizations are practicing this recognition program. And for a reason explained earlier, it can enhance employee productivity while being used as an employee reward.

Premium subscriptions to tools such as online writing assistants, plagiarism checkers, project management tools are a few examples.

22. Cookies

Giving them cookies

The human race is divided over several issues. But if there’s anything that unites, it is cookies.

The love of cookies for humans is undeniable. However, someone who doesn’t like them has something wrong with their taste buds.

Giving cookies to your employees is one of the exciting employee rewards and recognition programs. And it can indeed make your employees, who have tasted them before, happy.

23. New skills learning

You can make your dedicated employees learn new skills in acknowledgment of their dedication to the company.

In this regard, you can introduce skill learning programs and encourage such employees to become part of them. Also, due to certain constraints, such as time, the employees can share skills with other employees during the recess period.

From digital marketing to CSS and HTML basics, employees from different domains can share and, thus, learn new skills.

24. Sponsored trips (recreational)

Sponsoring recreation trips for employees is also on our list of employee rewards and recognition programs.

Such recreational trips include visits to the national parks, museums, and similar. And from paying for their entrance fees to purchasing their memberships, a company can appreciate its employees.

25. Remote work and flexible timings

Remote work and flexible timings

Allowing employees to work remotely with flexible timings is one of the popular employee rewards and recognition programs.

Allowing your employees to work remotely is one of the motivating factors for the employees of a company. Furthermore, the flexibility that comes with remote work will enable employees to finish their day-to-day tasks more productively.

Remote work with flexible timings makes employees more productive and happier. It is because the time flexibility allows them to complete their work in a 24 hours’ window. And not in the 9-to-5 window; precisely nine hours only.

Working remotely also allows employees to find a perfect balance between their professional and personal lives. They can divide their time, which makes them happier and productive.

One of those employee rewards and recognition programs is key to making the employees work with more dedication. Thus, it is one of the most efficient of such programs.

Last few words

This article discusses employee rewards and recognition programs. And they can be helpful for anyone looking to keep the excellent work from their employees going.

Such programs make sure that your company gets and stays on the right track, making it become and remain successful. And without them, your company may face an existential crisis because of the employees not getting due credit for their work.

Employee rewards and recognition programs, undoubtedly, go a long way in determining whether a company becomes and stays successful. Therefore, it won’t be an overstatement that employee recognition programs are one of the success factors for any organization today.

This article discusses an exhaustive list of employee rewards, from giving cookies to buying premium online tools for the work. And so, you may opt for the one you think can be suitable and, thus, beneficial for your company.

If employee rewards and recognition programs interest you more, you may get a demo about them at

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