3 Tips to Creating Your Own Employee Reward Program

Be-Prepared-257x300The customer’s experience relies on your employee experience.

If your employee isn’t feeling motivated to be at work, chances are the customer experience they give will lack enthusiasm and determination.


I know I’ve most definitely had jobs where I was not rewarded for positive behavior. The focus was always on what I wasn’t doing right.


When it came time to develop a rewards program, we immediately knew that the focus would be on the positive. And, we immediately knew that the reward program would become an part of our company culture.

But, how did we know what would actually work? We had to prepare!

While our program is still waiting in the wings, we found that proper preparation is key to learning about your team and finding the best method of recognition.

Here are my top 3 tips to get you on your way to creating your own reward program:

1. Ask and You Shall Receive

Money stands out as one of the biggest motivators, but when it comes down to it, money doesn’t always make smiles big and keep motivation high. Don’t know what motivates your team? Just ask them! Create a survey using a free program, such as QuestionPro, and ask what their current levels of satisfaction are, where they’d like them to be and what types of rewards they prefer. When I surveyed our team, I was surprised that food and personalized “Thank You” notes from the team were second to money.

2. Recognize Your Company Culture

What kind of culture do you have at your business? What type are you trying to build? We’re a fun community and we see our close knit team as one big, extended family. Incorporating a peer recognition program to showcase the “Random Acts of Awesome” allows us to kick up the morale even higher. When trying to determine what type of reward program for your company, pay close attention to your culture and incorporate incentives based on what will keep everyone motivated.

3. Welcome the Feedback

As you are developing your reward program, talk about it with your team. Toss ideas around to get insight you may have not otherwise thought of. Being open to change ahead of time allows the program to grow stronger. And, as the program becomes a part of regular activities, giving opportunities for feedback to everyone and actually applying them will ensure long term success.

It’s not incredibly easy to begin a reward program, but it is most definitely possible with the right preparation!


Jenny Dempsey is currently the the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. She has worked at tech startups since 2005. She's the co-founder and regular contributor over at CustomerServiceLife.com. She's a certified health coach, but not the kind that forces you to only eat cardboard and deprive yourself of ice cream. JennyDempseyWellness.com, the company she started, was designed to bring a new type of wellness into the workplace, one that gives you permission to look deeper into yourself, rather than just on the healthy snacks in the break room. She is the mother to a toothless rescue cat named Chompers. Avocados and veggie tacos are the way to her heart. She's also a Hanson fan for life.

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