How Employee Rewards Can Translate to Major Returns

Do you reward your excellent employees for their hard work and dedication?

Chances are if you do, it’s something like a Christmas or end of fiscal year bonus. Personally I have never worked for a company that gave actual rewards besides the aforementioned bonus. 

And a once per year bonus is nice, technically you are already paying them already so why should you have to spend more money on them throughout the year to say thank you for what you are paying for, right? 

Well…technically you’re not wrong, however if you want above and beyond performance and evangelist employees, you’re going to have to step up your game.

Where do I start?

An employee rewards program doesn’t have to be complicated and the returns you can get from investing a little extra in people can hugely pay off in the form of loyalty, employee referrals, retention, etc.

Start with a rewards platform.

To keep things as simple and as automated as possible you’re going to want to have some sort of platform to reward people. Sure you could order gift cards for employees every few months (we used to do this) but it’s a pain and sometimes gets forgotten, which means you only have a half-baked rewards system.

We are currently using Zestful to power our rewards and the results are pretty cool. 

Zestful is a platform that provides each employee with a virtual and physical reloadable rewards card with a whole host of rewards they can choose from (from fitness classes to food delivery to clothing to streaming services, etc.).

You have the power to set up recurring rewards for birthdays, monthly rewards that can only be spent on certain things (for example a health reward could be set so that the card will only work on fitness category items) and more!

This is a very automated and innovative platform for setting up a rewards program.

How should I determine when to reward my employees?

This of course is up to you, but we have set our program up to reward on real, tracked metrics that matter most to us. 

For example employees earn points for things such as positive inspections, posting their photos to our app, having perfect attendance, etc. Employees lose points for things such as coming to work late, calling out last minute, etc. These points are objective so there’s no bias, which makes it even better. 

Points are tracked and tallied and at the end of the month these points turn into bonus dollars added to their Zestful accounts for them to use on whatever they like!

We also have recurring rewards for birthdays and anniversaries and periodic rewards for company contest winners, etc.

What are the results?

For us  building out a more comprehensive and regular reward program was a no-brainer. Especially for hourly jobs, you need things to help differentiate you from other companies paying the same rate. We have gotten excellent feedback with our program thus far and find that it has major correlations to our overall retention.


Whether you want to model or take ideas from our program or do something totally your own, make the effort.  Trust us your employees will appreciate it more than you know and in turn your business will run that much better.

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