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Every employee wants to feel appreciated, so every organization should strive to provide and encourage recognition as much as possible. But the route to an effective employee reward system can be rather complex. Should your company focus on big-ticket events, like award ceremonies? Offer quality swag? Maybe a focus on covering the cost of team outings or additional training opportunities?
The core issue is that each employee values different things and wants to be rewarded in different ways. This would seem to require either a prohibitively expensive “all-of-the-above” approach to rewarding team members or spending an inordinate amount of time awkwardly asking each individual employee what rewards they would like. Luckily, modern HR technology has provided a solution in the form of points-based reward systems.
What are points-based reward systems?
Points-based reward systems give employees control over the recognition experience by letting them choose rewards they actually want. Powered by easy-to-use software, these systems let organizations automatically award employees points with a cash value at regular intervals — typically monthly. Team members can then redeem these points for a wide variety of rewards found in the platform’s built-in marketplace. This allows employees to receive rewards they really get excited about without requiring the massive legwork needed to otherwise individualize a rewards program.
The goal of points-based reward systems is to increase the impact of recognition across your company. They let every team member, from the C-suite on down, put their money where their mouth is whenever they want to give a shout out to another employee. This makes social recognition that much more effective, turning every thank you into something truly memorable by associating it with a coveted experience, product, or gift card. The best points-based recognition platforms offer these types of rewards and more, like charitable donations, from hundreds of vendors and other organizations.
3 key benefits of points-based reward systems
Implementing a points-based reward system pays dividends when it comes to many key aspects of organizational success. Here are three of the biggest benefits points-based rewards offer.
1. Increased employee engagement
Employee recognition is the top driver of engagement. By motivating employees on an individual basis, points-based reward systems form the core of any effective employee recognition and rewards program. And by connecting rewards to specific behaviors, you can even encourage employees to repeat those actions to further boost productivity and enhance your company culture.
2. Improved employee retention
Generic rewards, like yet another branded hoodie, are just as likely to drive away employees than entice them to stay with your company. And years-of-service awards are more likely to gather dust in a drawer and fade from memory than convince an employee to pass up a competitive offer from a rival company. By providing team members with rewards they want and will associate with your organization forever — along with the ability to show and receive recognition more frequently — you can transform the impact of your recognition program on employee retention.
3. Better connections between team members
There are few things that bind team members together better than genuine appreciation. Points-based reward systems make it easy for employees to reward peers and managers for big and small things, leading to moments of appreciation and connection that would otherwise be missed. Employees who feel like they really belong are more eager to collaborate and extend a helping hand whenever needed.
5 points-based reward systems strategies
If you’re considering implementing a points-based reward system for your employees, follow these five strategies to help ensure it delivers the results you’re looking for.
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Regular communication is key to the success of a points-based reward system. Use a variety of communication channels, such as email, meetings, and social media, to ensure all employees are aware of the program, understand it, and are motivated to participate. You should also choose a recognition and rewards platform that includes a home feed with regular updates on all recognitions employees provide. This makes it easy for other team members to join in on the appreciation with comments and additional reward points.
2. Solicit and act on employee input
As with all aspects of your organization, soliciting employee feedback on aspects of your points-based rewards system — and your entire employee recognition program — is a wise decision. Team members may have ideas for new rewards they’d like to see in the catalog, ways to increase participation in your program, or other methods for boosting the system’s overall impact. Adopt an employee engagement platform that makes collecting and acting on feedback easy with science-backed pulse surveys, AI-powered feedback channels, and robust reporting features that allow people leaders to surface insights at the click of a button.
3. Encourage effective recognition practices
While a points-based reward system is a critical part of an impactful employee recognition program, it isn’t the whole picture. HR professionals should educate other people leaders on why recognition is so important and how to act as recognition champions for their employees to emulate. They should also stress the importance of connecting rewards with the concrete actions being recognized, so employees understand the reason behind the gift and are motivated to repeat their successes.
Perhaps most importantly, emphasize the need for frequent recognition and rewards. All the advantages of a points-based reward system are wasted if points are only awarded sparingly. Instead, work to make appreciation a daily occurrence at your organization, whether backed by reward points or not, so team members experience the benefits of a culture of recognition year-round.
4. Define clear goals and objectives
Before launching a points-based reward system, it is important to define clear goals and objectives for the program. Do you want to achieve a 100% activation rate with your new recognition and rewards platform? Maybe seeing a significant decrease in employee turnover is most important to your business. Or are you simply looking for higher scores on the next employee engagement survey you send out? Whatever recognition-related metrics or other types of benchmarks your company values, it’s important to monitor them over time and adjust your recognition and rewards system as needed.
5. Adopt an employee recognition and rewards platform
If it sounds like setting up and managing a points-based rewards system on your own would be quite an endeavor — well, you’re not wrong. Thankfully, a top-of-the-line employee recognition and rewards solution turns what would otherwise be a burden into an intuitive, fun, and engaging experience for HR, managers, and staff alike. When deciding between platforms, choose one that makes it easy to combine social recognition with rewards and connect moments of recognition with company values and specific employee actions. You should also ensure that your choice is backed by a wide-ranging rewards marketplace filled with all the types of rewards mentioned above, preferably with brand-name selections employees love.
Make points-based rewards easy, fun, and impactful with Achievers
If you’re ready to start realizing the benefits of a first class points-based rewards system, look no further than the Achievers Employee Experience Platform and its integrated recognition and rewards solution, Achievers Recognize. It combines the features above with everything else needed to make your organization’s recognition program a success, including real-time reporting features, a dedicated app, and integrations with the tools your employees already use every day. The Achievers Employee Experience Platform also includes Achievers Listen, an employee engagement solution that lets your company keep its finger on the pulse of employee engagement as its recognition program and other initiatives mature.
See the benefits Achievers and a points-based rewards system can bring your company today with a free demo.
Discover the direct connection between employee recognition and employee retention
Everest Group Reward and Recognition software platform providers PEAK matrix 2023