Run company recognition and incentive programs

Written by
Elisse Lockhart
Elisse Lockhart

When you build out your recognition program, you’re hopefully thinking about encouraging recognition between peers, from managers to their direct reports and vice versa, and across teams.

We also recommend giving recognition from the company, or groups within the company, to make your program even more impactful. With incentive programs, awards, and spot bonuses, you can use Bonusly Awards to emphasize how much your company values its employees.

Bonusly’s Awards are pools of points earmarked for specific programs, incentives, or occasions. With Awards, you can award Bonusly points without drawing from your or your team members’ personal allowances.

We’ve found that the best way to understand Awards and find inspiration for your own program is to hear how other companies use them. Here are a variety of ways you can use Awards to extend your recognition program:

Find inspiration in these examples

Here at Bonusly, we have a handful of Awards set up so we can recognize our teammates for doing things that benefit multiple people, someone outside the team, or even themselves.

Customer Success
We use the Customer Success Award to highlight moments when our team delights our customers, which happens to be one of our company's core values. For instance, when one of our Customer Success Associates gets a shout-out in a customer review or conversation, we give them a bonus from the Customer Success Award.


Office Manager
We give bonuses from this Award to thank coworkers when they empty the dishwasher and generally help out around the office.

Our Wellness Award is for incentivizing healthy activities like getting your flu shot or participating in Bike to Work Day!

Production Support
When our team members jump in after hours help to keep everything running smoothly, we recognize them with a bonus from this Award.

New Customer to Delight
The whole team loves knowing about our company's growth and learning the stories behind the people using our product. We use this Award to recognize our sales team and announce when we sign on new customers.

Barketing Hero
Our marketing team gives bonuses from this Award to thank other members of the company who do something to support marketing’s goals. We give Barketing Hero bonuses, for example, when our coworkers go to an event to scope it out for future sponsorship or share our product updates on social media. We love dogs, and we couldn’t pass up this punny name. 😆🐶


Our customers have come up with many more ways to use Awards to support their recognition initiatives. Check out these creative ideas inspired by our customers:

Create an award for a special holiday, like Administrative Professionals Day, and give your team members a different platform to recognize the admins that make their lives easier.

Program incentives
Set up an award for a particular program you’re running, like a fitness challenge, and use it to recognize everyone who participates in the program. If you need everyone to update their computer security settings, for example, you could give security award bonuses once employees have met your specific security and compliance requirements.

Make referrals more visible, and make it easier to award referral bonuses, by recognizing referrers with a dedicated Referral Award.

Encourage your employees to help with recruiting and interviewing efforts by using an award to recognize individuals when they get involved.


If you run competitions in your organization, use an award to recognize participants and give prizes to the winners! For example, if you host a team hackathon, you can give from an award to recognize the winners.

Going above and beyond
Several of our customers have special awards that they use to recognize team members who have gone above and beyond to create a positive impact on their team.

Many of our customers want to incentivize professional learning and development. An award is a great way to give out these incentives while also spreading the word about professional learning opportunities to your whole team.

Use an award to recognize your team when you’ve gone a long time without any safety incidents. Safety awards are particularly popular among our customers in manufacturing or with warehouses.

Quarterly and year-end bonuses
Awards can also facilitate larger bonuses that you want to give out during the year. Giving quarterly and year-end bonuses via Bonusly will fit into your existing bonus billing and reporting, plus your team will be able to redeem those bonuses for their choice of rewards from the Bonusly catalog.

Ready to set up your own Awards?

If you’re ready to try out Awards, check out this article to learn more about the options. You’ll be able to choose the name for your award, set its monthly allowance, determine whether to use a template, and specify who is eligible to give and receive the award.

Once you've created your award, follow the steps in this article to start giving bonuses from it!

We’d love to hear from you about the Awards you’re using on your team! Get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, or by email.

See Bonusly in action, request a demo

Originally published on May 21, 2018 → Last updated October 11, 2018

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Elisse Lockhart

Elisse leads marketing at Bonusly and is passionate about using recognition to build great teams and strong culture. With a background in startup growth, she’s excited to reach organizations ready for change.


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