Which Employee Reward Systems Actually Motivate Workforces?

Which Employee Reward Systems Actually Motivate Workforces?

In the quest to keep teams engaged and motivated, we’ve gathered insights from HR Managers and CEOs on unique reward systems that truly make an impact. From adopting a helpful rewards approach to surprising employees with monthly unique rewards, discover the eight innovative strategies these professionals have successfully implemented in their companies.

  • Adopt a Helpful Rewards Approach
  • Personalize Growth and Recognition
  • Implement Peer-to-Peer Recognition
  • Customize Rewards to Employee Preferences
  • Create a ‘Bucket List Bonus’ Program
  • Introduce ‘Land for Loyalty’ Incentives
  • Structure Profit-Sharing Bonus Systems
  • Surprise with Monthly Unique Rewards

Adopt a Helpful Rewards Approach

My advice here isn’t specific to a system that has worked, but more about how businesses should be approaching reward programs. You need to first look at what is actually going to help your employees and strive to do just that—the rest will fall into place if you genuinely approach ‘rewards’ with the view of being helpful and doing what’s right for your teams.

Wendy MakinsonWendy Makinson
HR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll

Personalize Growth and Recognition

Wanted to share some insights from my experience at EchoGlobal. When we started, we quickly realized the usual ‘carrot on a stick’ rewards weren’t cutting it with our team. It was a bit of a wake-up call, honestly.

So, we shook things up. We ditched the one-size-fits-all rewards for something that actually mattered to our people: growth, autonomy, and recognition that feels personal. Instead of just throwing bonuses around, we focused on creating a space where everyone’s encouraged to learn and chase what they’re passionate about. And yeah, it’s about seeing the value in what you do, not just in the paycheck.

We also doubled down on being open about our goals and how each person’s work fits into the bigger picture. We added regular feedback loops and made sure everyone felt heard. It wasn’t an overnight success, but it’s really changed the vibe around here. People are more connected, driven, and innovative.

Just goes to show, sometimes you’ve got to fail a bit to figure out what really works.

Lou ReverchukLou Reverchuk
Co-Founder and CEO, EchoGlobal

Implement Peer-to-Peer Recognition

In my experience, our company has introduced a unique employee reward system that has effectively motivated our workforce. This personalized approach involves implementing a peer-to-peer recognition program, empowering employees to openly acknowledge and appreciate their colleagues’ contributions. I have found that this initiative not only cultivates a culture of gratitude and collaboration but also inspires individuals, including myself, to strive for excellence in our roles to earn recognition from our peers. Additionally, we’ve established a points-based reward system where employees, including myself, can accumulate points for outstanding performance, which we can later redeem for various rewards such as gift cards, extra vacation days, or personalized experiences. Through my perspective, I’ve witnessed firsthand how this strategy significantly boosts morale, enhances engagement, and ultimately drives better performance across our organization.

Jon LynnJon Lynn
Founder, My Office Pod

Customize Rewards to Employee Preferences

Our approach to employee motivation centers around a customizable rewards system, which we’ve implemented after recognizing that a one-size-fits-all model does not cater to the varied preferences of our diverse workforce. This system permits employees to select from a range of benefits that align with their personal or professional growth interests, lifestyle, or health and wellness goals.

For instance, employees who value work-life balance might opt for additional annual leave days, allowing them more time with family or for personal pursuits. Others focused on professional development may choose courses or workshops that enhance their skills and career trajectory. Health-conscious individuals have the option to access gym memberships, health checks, or wellness programs that support their physical and mental well-being.

This strategy not only serves to motivate our staff by providing rewards that are genuinely desirable to them but also demonstrates our commitment to their individual needs and aspirations. The positive impact on motivation, job satisfaction, and overall engagement within our workforce has been significant, affirming the effectiveness of a personalized rewards system in fostering a supportive and motivating workplace environment.

Ana AlipatAna Alipat
Recruitment Team Lead, Dayjob Recruitment

Create a ‘Bucket List Bonus’ Program

In our team at SellHouseColumbus, we spice things up with what we call the ‘Bucket List Bonus.’ It’s not your typical bonus. Each person gets a little extra cash, but here’s the catch: you’ve got to spend it on something you’ve always wanted to do. It’s led to some wild stories, from skydiving adventures to gourmet cooking classes. Sharing these experiences has brought a whole new energy to our team meetings, making us more than just colleagues. It’s like we’re all cheering for each other to tick off those dream experiences, and it’s honestly been a game-changer for our team vibe.

Bennett HeynBennett Heyn
CEO, Sell House Columbus Ohio

Introduce ‘Land for Loyalty’ Incentives

I found success in motivating my team through a ‘Land for Loyalty’ program. Employees who excel in their roles over the year earn credits toward purchasing land at significantly reduced rates. This not only aligns with our core business but also instills a sense of ownership and investment in the company’s growth. The tangible reward of land, which they can use or sell, has sparked incredible enthusiasm and commitment across our global team, setting a solid foundation for mutual growth and success.

Bart WaldonBart Waldon
Co-Founder, Land Boss

Structure Profit-Sharing Bonus Systems

As a real estate business owner, I have found that one effective reward system that has effectively motivated my workforce is their built-up expectation that they will be recognized and appreciated with a bonus check. This reward system, which has been structured to effectively target the various departments of our operations, has proven sufficient in motivating my entire team both to work harder and to contribute more to increasing our efficiency as a workforce.

Here is how we do it: Having understood that it would be quite unfair to reward only the agents who are on the field making sales, especially when their work efficiency is a result of a collaborative effort. For instance, the office assistants also assist in the task of lead generation, from searching for open listings to finding properties, scheduling showings at a time that is both convenient for the agent and the client, replying to phone calls and emails, and even helping the agent ensure that the client finds a home well within their budget.

The truth is that our success is a contributory effort from the entire team. Therefore, as a business owner, I have learned that it is much more effective to have a profit-sharing bonus system. This way, I have been able to keep every member of my workforce effectively engaged in being productive from their end because they understand that their efforts are important and will equally be appreciated.

Rinal PatelRinal Patel
Founder, Webuyphillyhomes

Surprise with Monthly Unique Rewards

At our business, we’ve implemented a truly unique reward system that keeps our employees motivated and excited. Each month, our team members eagerly anticipate a surprise, whether it’s a cash prize, exclusive coupons, a delightful dinner with the boss, a well-deserved Friday off, or even heartfelt recognition for their hard work. The element of surprise adds an extra layer of excitement and keeps our team members engaged and motivated to consistently perform at their best. It’s not just about the reward itself, but the anticipation and the thoughtful, personalized touch that make our unique monthly gifts a special way to show appreciation for our dedicated employees. This system not only boosts morale but also fosters a sense of enthusiasm within our workplace.

Michael AshleyMichael Ashley
Founder and Finance Expert, Richiest

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