How to Reward Employees on a Budget

Employee recognition for the contributions they make to the organization is a good thing. But it’s a slippery slope that needs attention.

By Inc. Staff

Everyone likes to get a pat on the back for a job well done—especially if that pat includes some type of bonus or other financial compensation or recognition before colleagues. Businesses often face the dilemma of wanting to recognize employees’ efforts and performance, but during difficult financial times they may have very limited budgetary resources to do so. However, rewarding employees and motivating performance does not always require a tremendous outlay of money. You may be surprised to learn that if you were to ask some of your employees they may actually prefer other types of recognition.

Starting an employee rewards and recognition program can be overwhelming at first. And the task can seem impossible when you are trying to figure out how to incentivize employees to perform well while staying within a tight budget. In tough economic times, however, small and mid-sized businesses must keep in focus what they want to reward while being creative in coming up with ways to keep the troops happy.

“The goal of any rewards program should be to engender the loyalty and team spirit and have a good workplace where people feel appreciated,” says Nancy M. Cooper, chair of the labor and employment group of Garvey Schubert Barer, a law firm based in Portland, Ore. “It’s also likely to help you meet business goals especially with small to mid-sized employers.”

The following article will discuss how to determine what you want to reward, different types of rewards and recognition, and pitfalls to avoid.

Rewarding Employees on a Budget: Your Goals

Your purpose in creating an employee rewards program may be to create some acknowledgment and motivation for your company team. The purpose behind a recognition program is to help motivate your employees to earn the rewards and ultimately help you meet business goals. Here are steps you can take to design an effective employee rewards program:

  • Identify what you want to reinforce. The first step you need to take is to identify the activity or activities that you seek to reward. This can include job performance, such as achievement of sales targets or product development goals or meeting customer timetables ahead of schedule. You can also choose to reward behavior, such as exceptional customer service or team work or leadership. “Before an effective reward or recognition program can be developed, you need to really understand what you want to reinforce,” Cooper says. “Do you want to reward positive performance so that employees will strive to succeed? Do you want to reward stellar behavior that serves the best interests of the company? Do you want to reward employees who put forward suggestions that improve the functioning of the company or save the company money? Do you want to reward individual employees or teams?” Once you establish what it is you want to reward, those things should become the focus of the program.
  • Motivate your employees. The goals of your employee rewards program can only be met if you get staff “buy in” or participation. “Let the employees know that you are establishing a recognition program,” Cooper says. “Let them know that the budget is tight, but it is important to you that there be recognition of their good work and top-of-the-line efforts.” One of the best ways to find out what motivates your employees is to ask them — and that also may help you determine what types of rewards to offer. If you have budget constraints, let employees know so that they are more creative with their suggestions. “The loyalty that is established through recognizing the little — and not-so-little — contributions made by your employees is one of the best side effects of a reward program,’ Cooper ads.
  • Make sure it works for the company. There’s no point in starting a recognition program that is not going to motivate employees or help you achieve business goals. So in addition making it work for employees, you have to make sure that it works for the good of the company. That’s why it’s so important to put thought into the methods of recognition you use and how effective and practical they are for the company. What works for one company may not work for another. “You should customize the reward to make sure it works with and is accepted by your company culture,” Cooper says.

Dig Deeper: Personalizing Recognition

Rewarding Employees on a Budget: Types of Rewards

There’s an old saying in business that money speaks louder than words. Hence the traditional practice in business of rewarding exemplary employee behavior with bonuses, raises, stock options and other types of financial remuneration. But money is not the only way to recognize employees and surveys have found that some workers actually prefer a more personal “thank you” note, being singled out in front of colleagues, or other forms of recognition.

During a recession or prolonged economic downturn, however, financial rewards may be highly prized by your staff. “Given the current downturn, I can’t tell every company that money won’t help,” says Cindy Ventrice, author of Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works (Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2009). “In many cases, employees are being under paid or have experienced furloughs or cut backs in pay.”

However, when people feel that they are being fairly compensated, then the best rewards for performance or behavior don’t line your pocketbook or wallet. “The recognition that sticks with people doesn’t have much to do with money,” Ventrice says.

People like recognition. People enjoy being thanked for their work. In fiscally tough times, financial rewards are not always feasible. “A lot of the employers I work with say, ‘We are afraid we’re going to lose people if we can’t give people the raises or the bonuses,'” Cooper says. “But they are finding ways to make their employees more loyal than ever. Employers have to be more creative about how they go about recognizing the good work.” There a number of ways this can be done, with little or no financial investment. Some types of ideas include:

  • Opportunities. Sometimes the most meaningful form of recognition involves some type of opportunity as proof that an employee is valued by an organization. Opportunities can range from being asked to sit on a panel discussion on your manager’s behalf, an educational or mentoring opportunity, or being sent to an industry conference, Ventrice says.
  • Exposure. Another meaningful form of employee recognition is giving that person exposure to the rest of the staff, to important clients, or to others in their field. This can include everything from being pointed out as the most creative software developer of the month on an in-house bulletin board to being invited to lunch with the boss and one of the company’s key clients. Create an employee-of-the-month parking space. Another idea: “Elect employees to a ‘Wall of Fame,'” Cooper says. “This is a public space in the company where photos of employees who have accomplished something truly special are displayed, along with the details of what they have done.”
  • Experience. Sometimes the most sincere form of flattery is being trusted with more challenging work. “I’ve heard a lot of people say they were given a new responsibility or they were taking on another customer as a new challenge,” Ventrice says. “People have to be aware that the underpinning of recognition is a respectful relationship.” If the company trusts you with new challenges, or tells you that you’re too valuable to take vacation at the same time as a senior manager — that may be all the recognition you need.
  • Praise. Something as simple as writing a personal thank-you note to an employee for a job well done can leave a lasting impression. “Several times a week I hear stories from people who say, ‘Here is the most meaningful recognition I have ever received.’ And it’s a hand-written note,” Ventrice says. Personal thank-yous can be very powerful. Some people keep them for 10 years. Other people have taken a bar napkin featuring scribbles form the boss and had it framed.
  • Personal appreciation. Other meaningful ways of rewarding employees involve customizing a personal sign of appreciation. Ventrice says one manager told her of an experience with an employee who was logging so many hours that he said jokingly one day, “I do so much for you that you should be buying me an SUV.” So the manager went out and bought a toy SUV and gave it to the employee and said, “You really do a lot and if I could buy you an SUV, I would. Let this remind you how valued you are.”
  • Allow flexibility in an employee’s schedule. Extra efforts can also be rewarded with understanding of the family/life balance that many workers are trying to achieve. That can range from allowing an employee to telecommute one day a week in exchange for high performance to allowing them flexibility to start earlier and leave earlier.
  • Gift card rewards. Use a limited budget for employee rewards to buy a series of gift cards at popular coffee shops, book stores, or online retailers and let the employee choose one when they have done something positive or noteworthy. These can also be administered by co-workers to employees who have exhibited positive behaviors, either helping other staff members, going the extra mile in serving a customer or by their team work.

Employee rewards that commemorate years of service or milestones tend not to work. “They get handled badly in so many organizations,” Ventrice says. “HR is typically responsible for sending out the plaque. It goes out three months to three years late. It goes through an interoffice envelop instead of being presented by a manager.” It’s a sign that no one really cares, Ventrice says.

The most important thing to remember about a recognition and reward program is that you are trying to build a team environment, stimulate employee interest, and create positive behaviors, Cooper says. “This doesn’t always take a lot of money,” she adds. “It does take some creativity, some listening and the ability to say thank you to those who do the work, provide excellent customer service and make your company the valuable asset that it is.”

Dig Deeper: Building a Culture of Employee Appreciation

Rewarding Employees on a Budget: Pitfalls to Avoid

There are both legal and moral minefields to try to avoid when starting an employee rewards program. You need to really think this through, understand your motivation, and communicate to managers how to distribute rewards so that every employee has an equal chance.

“It is important to be consistent in how the rewards and recognition are handled,” Cooper says. “Be sure you train your managers to not give the award to the same person time after time. Develop guidelines that outline how often rewards or perks are given out, and the value of them. Be sure that the system does not just turn into a popularity contest.” Here are some of the do’s and don’ts when starting an employee rewards program:

  • Don’t let it become a popularity contest. If co-workers are able to nominate each other, you need to take steps to make sure that the same clique of friends isn’t just always nominating each other. You want to take steps to make sure any recognition is actually being given based on merit. Some possible steps might be to make nomination forms include a description of the meritorious behavior and make co-workers sign the forms so that managers at least know who is nominating whom
  • Don’t give the perception of playing favorites. If the nominations are coming from management, be careful to spread the joy around. “There is a danger of giving the perception that the same group of people is being rewarded all the time or that only favorites are rewarded and that there is no real chance for anybody else to be considered,” Ventrice says. If an employee is prone to think they are being treated differently based on some factor other than work performance, this may feed that insecurity and suspicion.
  • Do communicate the criteria. When advertising the program to employees make sure you spell out very clearly what the rewards are based on, what criteria is used to choose winners, and how everyone in the company is eligible.
  • Do your homework when building the program. Put together a recognition team made up of managers and supervisors in different roles throughout the company. Get the team to come up with ideas, survey employees, and monitor how the program is working. Make sure managers are trained in how to administer the awards so the program works to improve overall performance.
  • Do start small with gift cards or a program to reward a specific behavior or goal. The safest types of programs that don’t get a company into trouble are programs that start small, such as distributing gift cards worth $5 or $10 attached to them as spot awards. You may want to focus on one goal initially, such as boosting service, and reinforce when rewarding employees that they helped the business meet this goal.

Employee rewards don’t only have to single out the individual either, Ventrice says. You can set team goals for certain groups or the entire company and when you achieve those have some type of celebration. “I know some manufacturing companies that set goals and called everyone out to the front lawn and made the announcement that they had met the goal,” Ventrice says. “They had a big pizza delivery and everyone celebrated. It doesn’t have to be anything big or anything that they know is coming. It’s about putting fun and excitement into meeting the types of challenges we need to meet to be successful in the current economy.”

Take Employee Recognition to the Next Level

Employee recognition for the contributions they make to the organization is a good thing. But it’s a slippery slope that needs attention.

By Dr. Paul White


Building a vibrant workplace requires a foundation of trust, respect, and honest communication. It also requires employee appreciation.

Over 200,000 global employees were studied by the Boston Consulting Group, and the top reason they reported enjoying their work was, “feeling appreciated”. Number 2 was having a good relationship with their supervisor, and number 4 was that they had a good relationship with their colleagues. Financial compensation didn’t appear until number 8!

Four out of five employees (81%) say they are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. Unfortunately, many managers don’t respond to this need and those who do, choose employee recognition programs.

Traditional recognition programs breed cynicism and apathy and come across as a one-size-fits-all approach. When I talk with employees, front-line supervisors, and mid level managers about their companies’ efforts to improve staff morale, usually through employee recognition programs, the most common responses I get are negative:

“They don’t care about us; they just do this recognition stuff to make themselves look good,” said one employee.

“It’s just a bunch of ‘going through the motions,’” said another. “The people who give the awards don’t even know who I am.”


This doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a positive impact from recognizing employees’ efforts and achievements. Research has shown the effects of recognition done wellare decreased absenteeism, increased productivity, reduced staff turnover, and improved customer satisfaction.

While the prevalence of employee recognition programs has grown tremendously (in at least 80% of all organizations in the U.S. currently), employee engagement has barely increased at all (around 30 to 33% of the workforce report they are engaged).

Probably the most cynical environments I’ve experienced recently are medical settings and hospitals, public schools, and government agencies. Why might this be?

It appears that in many of these institutions they’ve tried to communicate recognition and praise, or have provided training on “how to build a positive team,” and it has been largely done through a program-based approach. This leads, almost by definition, to a perceived belief of insincerity on the part of the participants.

When employees do not believe that others are genuine or sincere in their communication of appreciation, reactions include cynicism, lack of trust, disbelief, skepticism, resentment…etc…

Why is this? Largely because people have not been communicated to with genuineappreciation.


As I have explored the underlying issues with employee appreciation and recognition, the following themes have become clear. Employees question the genuineness of recognition when it is:

Commanded. Everyone has to participate whether they like it or not.

Organizationally Driven. The “recognition” comes from a divisional manager who has no relationship with the recipient.

Impersonal. A lot of recognition is communicated to groups: “Way to go, team! Great job!” But the message says nothing about the team member who stayed late to make sure the product would ship on time.

Generic. The number of negative stories I have heard is amazing — like when everyone in a large organization received the same Christmas card with the same (low dollar value) gift card enclosed.

Fake. When discussing reasons why recognition is seen as inauthentic, one astute (and brave) training participant stated: “Sometimes it’s because they don’t mean it.”

If you’re having problems in getting buy-in of your recognition program, you may want to investigate the perceptions of your employees and supervisors.


The way many recognition programs are carried out helps feed employee aversion. Among them:

Public recognition. I ask groups, “How many of you would prefer not to go up in front of a group to receive an award or be recognized?” Regularly, 40 to 50 percent of the group raises their hand. (In some groups — administrators, librarians — it’s more like 80 to 90 percent.) One woman stated, “They can give me an award, but they’ll have to drag me up there to get it!” If the purpose is to encourage an employee, shouldn’t it be done in a manner they prefer?

Emphasis on verbal praise. While our trainings indicate that using words to communicate appreciation is actually the preferred method for a little less than half of participants, there is a fairly large subset that doesn’t trust words. Their mantras are: “Don’t tell me, show me,” or “Words are cheap.” They believe in action and tangible proof. Many of these individuals don’t want recognition or praise; they want help getting the job done.

Reliance on rewards. Virtually every employee recognition program has a heavy reliance on rewards as a key component. Unfortunately, our research shows that less than 10 percent of employees desire tangible rewards as the primary way to be recognized. In fact, we have noticed the number of employees desiring tangible gifts as the primary way to be appreciated actually seems to be declining. While most people like receiving some type of gift, if it is not also accompanied by sincere words, quality time, or helping them out, the gift is viewed as superficial and disingenuous.


Ultimately, the question is “What should we do in response to this growing problem of perceived authenticity?” I think it needs to be answered at two levels: individually and corporately.

As Jim Collins stated in his bestseller, Good to Great, companies that are successful are willing to “face the brutal facts of reality.” If recognition in the workplace is viewed as superficial and fake, we better figure out why and then address the issues.

Unfortunately, some leaders seem to have the attitude of legendary comedian George Burns: “The secret of success is sincerity. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” They want to act like they care about their employees. The problem is, faking it doesn’t work, and undermines any trust the leader may have with their staff.

While we can’t control the perceptions of others, we are in control of our own behaviors and attitudes. Individually, we should each strive to be genuine and authentic in our communication with others — don’t give praise when we don’t mean it, and seek to communicate in the ways meaningful to the recipient.

Corporately, each organization needs to take a hard look at their employee appreciation activities and take the time to obtain input and feedback from their staff about their perception of the employee recognition program and activities. Ask yourselves:

Are there processes or procedures that foster a sense of inauthenticity?

How much of our employee appreciation is personal (vs. organizational), individual (vs. group-based), and communicated in the ways important to the recipient (vs. generic)?

Recognizing employees for the contributions they make to the organization is a good thing. But we are on a slippery slope that needs attention, lest our efforts crumble into a pile of devalued activities that will either be increasingly scoffed at — or discarded completely in the future.

Also shared on 15Five.

Ways to Increase Employee Motivation Using Rewards

Seeking to increase employee motivation using rewards can sometimes be a daunting task for managers. But it shouldn’t be. When armed with the right information and the proper techniques, managers can be experts at enhancing motivation using rewards in no time.

Mangers who are developing, revamping or currently implementing an employee rewards program should consider these 20 tips:

1. Involve all employees in the development, implementation and revision of rewards programs

Involving all employees (or representatives from different positions) will encourage communication between employees and management about the rewards process. It will also ensure that both employees and upper management are onboard with the reward system.

2. Ensure that employees view the rewards as worth the effort

Including employees in the reward program development process is critical to ensuring that they value the rewards and see them as worth the effort. Managers should value employee input and select rewards accordingly. Employees who see the rewards as worth the effort will be more motivated to work hard to obtain them.

3. Make sure that employees understand how to earn the rewards

Managers should clearly delineate how employees can earn rewards. When employees have a comprehensive understanding of what is expected of them, they will be more capable of achieving performance standards.

4. Set reasonable and transparent performance standards for rewards

Employees must see the rewards as attainable in order for them to engage in the necessary effort to obtain them. Check in with employees to ensure that they believe the rewards are within their reach. Also, providing the employees with a dashboard where they can view their performance in real time will allow them to accurately assess their own performance and have realistic expectations for rewards.

5. Base reward determinations on objective performance data

When rewards are distributed based on objective data, employees are more likely to view the process as fair and are also more likely to have a concrete understanding of what is expected of them. This will increase their motivation to achieve the desired performance results.

6. Make sure employees view the reward system as fair

When employees view the reward system as fair, they will be more engaged in trying to obtain the reward. Rewards should be distributed consistently according to pre-determined policies. Never engage in favoritism or cut corners as this will have a detrimental impact on employee performance.

7. Always link rewards to performance

In order for rewards to have the most impact on influencing employee performance, they must be directly linked to the desired behavior. Tie praise, recognition, cash rewards and non-cash rewards to specific results. When employees understand the connection between their reward and their performance, they will be motivated to perform optimally in the future.

8. Recognize small and large accomplishments

Employees should be rewarded when they meet large goals as well as smaller milestones. This will ensure that they receive recognition for their progress and that their behavior is consistent with company expectations.

9. Reward teamwork and cooperation

Team-based incentives were found to be more effective at increasing performance than individual incentives. If team-based rewards are not already included in the company strategy, they should be. Additionally, the resources devoted to team-based rewards should be substantial. This could have a significant impact on cooperation, employee cohesiveness and the company’s bottom line.

10. Never take a good performance for granted

It can be easy to stop rewarding top performers, but this could be a fatal flaw. In order to keep top talent on the team, ensure that your company continues to acknowledge and reward an excellent performance.

11. Provide rewards immediately after the employee achieves the desired behavior

There is a temporal component to the effect of the reward. The longer the delay in providing the reward after the employee’s achievement, the less of an impact it has shaping subsequent behavior. Reward behavior that meets performance standards immediately.

12. Match the reward to the employee

Allow each employee to select their own reward or decide what rewards employees should receive under predefined circumstances. This will enhance their commitment to achieving the reward by engaging in the required behavior. Understanding the needs of employees is central to this process.

Of note, the reward that each employee wants may not necessarily be the reward with the most motivational influence. A recent study found that the majority of employees prefer cash rewards; however, many employees will perform better in pursuit of non-cash rewards of similar value (Jeffrey). Managers seeking to gain the biggest impact from their rewards programs should include both cash and non-monetary rewards for performance.

13. Offer financial rewards, non-monetary rewards and recognition

Reward systems that include a combination of cash and non-monetary rewards as well as social awards (e.g. recognition and praise) have the greatest impact on employee performance. Pay cash bonuses in a lump sum to maximize their effect as money only motivates when it is a significant amount.

14. When employees learn an unfamiliar task, distribute rewards based on a continuous reinforcement schedule

The most effective way to encourage learning a new task is by reinforcing employee behavior on a continuous schedule. This can require considerable effort when executed by a manager, however, using an employee reward software program is a more feasible and cost effective solution.

15. Once the behavior becomes a habit, distribute rewards based on a variable ratio or variable interval schedule

Variable ratio and variable interval schedules of reinforcement result in the most significant behavior change once the behavior becomes a habit. This change in behavior is also more resistant to weakening. Therefore, one of these reinforcement schedules should dictate the reward distribution process after the behavior has become a habit.

16. Do not disclose the cash value of non-monetary tangible rewards

Employees who are unaware of the exact cash value of non-monetary rewards are more motivated by them. Do not disclose the amount unless necessary.

17. Use long-term rewards programs

Long-term rewards programs have the greatest effect on employee performance and the resulting gains last longer.

18. Balance competitive reward programs with non-competitive programs

Competitive incentive programs are just as effective as non-competitive reward programs in increasing performance. An effective rewards strategy should include both.

19. Make rewards an integral part of the company’s strategy

Rewards are invaluable in aligning employee behavior with the organization’s business strategy. Ensure that rewarded behavior is in line with company standards, objectives and strategy.

20. Change the rewards frequently

When the reward is changed frequently, employees will be more surprised and the process will be more exciting. When employees are excited about rewards, they will work harder to achieve them.

Following the 20 aforementioned tips will help managers get the most bang for their buck from their employee rewards program.

Works Cited:

[1] Jeffrey, S.A. (2009). Justifiability and the motivational power of tangible noncash incentives. Human Performance, 22, 143–155.

[2] LaMere, J. M., Dickinson, A. M., Henry, G., Henry, M., & Poling, A. D. (1996). Effects of a multicomponent monetary incentive program on the performance of truck drivers. Behavior Modification, 20, 385-405.

[3] Skinner, B.F. (1938). The Behavior of Organisms. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

[4] “Incentive Pay Plans: Which Ones Work and Why,” HR Focus, April 2001, p. 3.
Kreitner and Kinicki. (2004). Organizational Behavior. Boston. MA: McGraw Hill, Irwin.

Best ways to reward customer-facing employees

Any employee who deals with customers on a regular basis has probably earned a ticket straight to Heaven. But you still have to reward them well now for all the thankless work they do.

Customer-facing employees — your service reps, inside salespeople, receptionists, delivery people, etc. — probably get more than their fair share of negative or monotonous feedback from customers. That’s why they need special employee rewards to boost their morale.

Give them credit

These ideas can help build an effective employee rewards program:

  • Give them say in the rewards. Ask employees at least once a year what they’d like as rewards. Example: Send out a simple form asking employees to list their favorite restaurants, post-work activities and events, hobbies and dream destinations. What’s most important is that the rewards are customized to the group, or even better, to individual employee preferences.
  • Simplify the decision. Managers should reward employees for exceptional work. But to take rewards to a whole new level, ask employees to nominate colleagues for things they’ve done (and that you, as the manager, didn’t even know occurred). Outline the levels of quality, productivity and service that warrant rewards and recognition. And ask another manager to oversee the final decisions so there isn’t any chance of favoritism.
  • Speed up the process. Limit the amount of time a reward program or special event runs so employees never lose their interest in doing well and receiving rewards. A month is ideal for a special promotion. Any program longer than that will lose momentum. Also, hand out rewards and recognition within a couple of days after the event finishes.
  • Publicize what you do. Increase the effects of your morale boosting rewards by spreading the wordon what was accomplished and who did well. Post it online, in company newsletters and on the walls in public areas.


Employee of the Month? Pros and Cons

Employee of the month- a term everyone knows about and everyone is striving to get at least once. After all, who does not like recognition? We all are fond of being praised and appreciated by others, didn’t we all worked hard to top in class. Organizations realized this could be a good tool for employee motivation. The employee who performs the best as per the standards are given the ’employee of the month’ award. Though the concept sounds interesting, it is not as simple as it looks. It certainly has its share of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s have a look at each of it in detail.

What is ‘Employee of the Month’?

The employee of the month is a recognition given to an outstanding performer. It may be in a form of gift, Gift certificate or a certificate with Thank you note. Some organizations have a wall of fame and the picture and name of the outstanding performer is put up there.

Few companies have started with this form of recognition, but scraped it of within few months, whereas few companies still think it is the best form of recognition and motivation. Thus, companies have been successful and unsuccessful while attempting to use employee of the month award.

Why Employee Recognition is Necessary?

HR policies in organizations are well framed, the expectations are clearly jotted down in the job description, also if the performance is not as expected then we have performance improvement plans, wherein employee is given a period and asked to perform well. If he fails then that may lead to his termination. Therefore, if disciplinary actions are well stated for poor performance there should necessarily exist something for a good performance.
Say, there are two employees , one is a hard worker and other is a average performer, if both of them are getting same benefit then the hard worker will feel demotivated. Thus, recognition in the form of ‘employee of the month award’ is a ‘pat on back’ gesture and a form of appreciation for the hard work. If employer wants a continued excellence, recognition is of utmost importance.

Advantages of Employee of the Month:

1. Healthy Competition:

An award for best performance will make the employees strive hard to do their assigned tasks in the best way. In sales, a person with highest sales figure, satisfied customers and good networking will have a chance of getting the award. Many a times, organizations keep incentives as a form of motivation.

2. Employee retention:

It helps to retain employees, as employee of the month award is a great accomplishment and a good point to add in the resume. Employee of the month or any other methods of employee recognition help for employee retention. When hard work is appreciated, employees are happy and when they are happy, they do not want to leave the organization

3. Employee Engagement:

Employee engagement means the sense of belongings to the organizations. An engaged employee sees the organizations goals and visions as its own, and takes effort to increase organizations reputation and interests. He is fully absorbed and enthusiastic for his work.
Employee of the month increases employee engagement as a person works well when there is a reward and recognition at the end.

4. Optimum productivity:

Organizations pay to get their work done, if the work done by the employees is the best, then ultimately organization is making profit. In addition, a reward in return to an employee makes him happy too. Thus, it is a win- win situation for both employee and the employer.

A perfectly set up incentive system and recognition methods will be a fair method to praise the employees who are doing well.

Disadvantages of Employee of the Month:

Though it has certain benefits, it is harmful if not executed well. Many companies have scrapped of the employee of the month program.

1. While making one person happy you make others unhappier:

Once an industry expert said, ‘one does not compare the cooking of our mom with your girlfriend and reward the ones who performs the best’ because while making one person happy you are making the other one unhappier. Mom and girlfriend both are dear to you, comparing them will cause unnecessary discord.

However, it sounds a bit offbeat to compare a personal relations with professional setup, but it does relate. As an organization, all employees are dear to you and are an asset to the company. It may cause discord and employees may harbor bad feelings. In a group of 100 people, if one is rewarded, then the 99 others are demotivated.

2. Causes internal discord within the organization:

While selecting the employee of the month, the selection is often subjective, the results, which are quantifiable, are focused more, but there can be people whose results are not quantifiable but they are the one who had an original idea, had guided and motivated the team to work harder. These efforts may have happened behind the scenes, but are appreciable and valuable support to organization too. Hence, putting up one person on top may make other people resentful and they may feel that the organization is being impartial. It is hard to evaluate the efforts taken by employees; one cannot monitor them all the time. Hence, the whole employee of the month award goes in vain.

Organizations need their work force to work with their strengths and weaknesses together and bring out a favorable result. However, once the employees are competing against each other the overall outcome is not good.

3. Focus shifts only on the benefits:

There should be perfect balance in everything; employees must focus on their work and overall growth of the organization. When awards and incentives are kept, the whole focus is shifted to achieving it and employees may ignore other necessary tasks. Employees are required to understand the companies’ vision and shared goals and work together accordingly.

By setting up rewards, companies are unable to inculcate the intrinsic motivation in the employee. Intrinsic motivation means, feeling motivated on their own without any extra means. Extrinsic motivating factors, condition employees to think ‘what will I get in return’, which is the most disengaged form of an employee.

4. Verbal Appreciation more effective:

One company sent a handwritten note from CEO to employee’s mother and his wife stating how great he is working and how great they are to have him in their team, this is the excellent form of reward; one can get for their good work. This way employer is not making others demotivated and the person who deserves to be appreciated gets the reward.

Thus, the key should be to make the best employee know that you are grateful without putting him as a focal point of all. If organization is confused about whom to appreciate, best way is to thank the whole team.

5. Employees may allege the employer of favoritism:

If the people who decide the employee of the month have his or her relatives working in the company, then he will be alleged for favoritism

Thus we saw that there is a high probability that employee of the month award could go wrong. Here are few steps that one can follow to get it right.

Steps for Good ‘Employee of the Month’ Plan:

1. Define the aim:

We saw Employee of the month award can help in employee retention, employee engagement and for increasing productivity. One must have one HR objective in mind and set the award accordingly. Any employee recognition and other HR activities must have its objective aligned to the business goal.

2. Prepare a blueprint:

One needs to decide the basic outline and the mechanism of the reward program and delegate the responsibilities. It can require people who will coordinate, gather and compile the votes.

3. Setting voting system:

The main point here is the voting criteria. Involve employees to set up the voting criteria, as it will make the process transparent and will assure them fair judgment. The objective must align to the business goal, if you are aiming on high productivity or sales target, then the criteria must be set on target achievement, revenue collection, relationship building and proactivity. Other issues must also be addressed like who can vote, when they will vote, procedure to vote and the like. Most importantly, all should know about the procedure.

4. Set the rewards:

Decide the rewards, for some team and for some objective, monetary gifts can be useful. However, some might feel an extra training to be a good reward or a day off from work as a good form of reward. Hence, choose wisely, it is best to have discussion about it with the team itself.

5. Follow-up:

No system is full proof, one needs to do many trails and errors as per the requirement, assess the satisfaction level/productivity or employee engagement of the employees. Have a check whether the objective that was set is being met. Directly communicate with employees and try to get an open feedback from them.

It is advised to first identify the need and the objective of employee recognition and accordingly choose the path. Employee of the month is a good way for motivating, though it is necessary to see it is not affecting negatively.

Few Best Practices for Employee Recognition:

Apart from employee of the month following ideas can also help for employee recognition.

1. Verbal praises:

Personally thanking the employee goes a long way. Thank an employee in front of superiors; introduce him or her to clients or to the higher authority of the company. Take efforts to highlight the excellent work done by the employee in important presentations and meetings. Give due credit to the deserved employee.

2. Thank you cards:

Send thank you cards to employees along with some gift cards or a flower bouquet. It does not cost much and does an impeccable job of employee recognition and appreciation. You can get the thank you cards printed, or if the time permits, sending a hand written thank you note is very valuable to employee.

3. Hall of fame:

One can display the picture of best performers on bulletin board or display pictures in the internal company website. Congratulate and thank them well. The recognition among all employees gives a boost to the performer.

4. Prepaid gift cards:

Gift cards from retail stores or petrol card is a best token of appreciation. Reason being its utility. A person can gift himself whatever he wants, when a gift card is given to him.

5. Staff celebration:

Have office get together and have some fun activities, or food parties, take this chance to appreciate all the team members and thank them for all the efforts that they put in.

6. Movie or event tickets:

After a long and tiring month of work, an employee needs some relaxation, a free movie ticket for couple or a favorite band or sports event will make him relax and have some fun. Activity like this promotes work life balance, as he gets to spend quality time with family on behalf of the organization he works with.

7. Volunteer Hours for Paid Days Off:

Give a day off for volunteer work, it is self-satisfying and also acts as a corporate social responsibility. Ask employees to visit old age homes or orphanage and do some good deed. The time they spend there can be considered as office working hours.

8. Retreats and Team Building Events:

Have some sports events and team building activities, which will help people, relax and be less formal. One can also take the team to an outing where food, sports, CEO Addressing, music can be arranged, it is a great way to unwind and be stress free. One can get refreshed and rejoin work with new vigour and enthusiasm.

9. Special skill based training:

Offer free training for knowledge enhancements or reimburse the cost of the training an employee wants to learn. Appreciate the zeal of learning and improvement.

10. Job rotation based on special skill of employee:

An employee with some special skill can be asked to guide some other group of employee. This activity will help him feel special due to the knowledge sharing and he will be recognized as a mentor by other staff members, which ultimately gives him a boost.

Employee Recognition: Low Cost, High Impact

by Annamarie Mann and Nate Dvorak


  • Top performers need to know their efforts are recognized and valued
  • Employee recognition isn’t one-size-fits-all
  • Money isn’t the only, or even the top, form of recognition

In today’s war for talent, organizations and leaders are looking for strategies to attract and retain their top performers while increasing organic growth and employee productivity. From offering new perks to designing flexible workplaces, company efforts to optimize the workplace are as strong as ever.

But in their search for new ideas and approaches, organizations could be overlooking one of the most easily executed strategies: employee recognition.

According to Gallup’s analysis, only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days. At any given company, it’s not uncommon for employees to feel that their best efforts are routinely ignored. Further, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year.

This element of engagement and performance might be one of the greatest missed opportunities for leaders and managers.

Workplace recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work. Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.

Beyond communicating appreciation and providing motivation to the recognized employee, the act of recognition also sends messages to other employees about what success looks like. In this way, recognition is both a tool for personal reward and an opportunity to reinforce the desired culture of the organization to other employees.

Acknowledging the Individual

Gallup’s data reveal that the most effective recognition is honest, authentic and individualized to how each employee wants to be recognized. Acknowledging employees’ best work can be a low-cost endeavor — it can be as small as a personal note or a thank-you card. But the key is to know what makes it meaningful and memorable for the employee, and who is doing the recognizing.

In a recent Gallup workplace survey, employees were asked to recall who gave them their most meaningful and memorable recognition. The data revealed the most memorable recognition comes most often from an employee’s manager (28%), followed by a high-level leader or CEO (24%), the manager’s manager (12%), a customer (10%) and peers (9%). Worth mentioning, 17% cited “other” as the source of their most memorable recognition.

touchdown-06282016 (3)

What’s most surprising about these findings? Nearly one-quarter said the most memorable recognition comes from a high-level leader or CEO. Employees will remember personal feedback from the CEO — even a small amount of time a high-ranking leader takes to show appreciation can yield a positive impression on an employee. In fact, acknowledgment from a CEO could become a career highlight.

When asked what types of recognition were the most memorable, respondents emphasized six methods in particular — and money isn’t the only (or the top) form of recognition:

  • public recognition or acknowledgment via an award, certificate or commendation
  • private recognition from a boss, peer or customer
  • receiving or obtaining a high level of achievement through evaluations or reviews
  • promotion or increase in scope of work or responsibility to show trust
  • monetary award such as a trip, prize or pay increase
  • personal satisfaction or pride in work

Recognition From All Sides

The best managers promote a recognition-rich environment, with praise coming from every direction and everyone aware of how others like to receive appreciation. This type of employee feedback should be frequent — Gallup recommends every seven days — and timely to ensure that the employee knows the significance of the recent achievement and to reinforce company values.

The criteria for recognition should align with the purposebrand and culture of the company and should reflect its aspirational identity to inspire others. Rewarding employees who are not top performers could adversely affect high performers’ motivation. As such, companies need to state specific standards for awards to avoid any backlash.

Great managers know that they can never give too much recognition as long as it’s honest and deserved. Acknowledging an employee’s best work goes a long way toward making him or her feel valued and can lead to other desirable workplace outcomes.

Make the Job a Game

“How can my people get so excited about guys hitting a ball with a wooden club and not care half as much about the phenomenal parts they are building for interplanetary rockets?” A senior officer of an aerospace company asked me that question during a World Series.

How indeed?

The fact is that most working people can be highly enthusiastic about all sorts of things in their lives yet go to work with no sense of enthusiasm or fun. People love to play, but work for the most part isn’t much fun. Sixty-nine percent of the heads of households in the U.S. play computer and video games. And 97% of young people — your emerging talent pool — play them. A working population that derives its excitement from video and computer games and communicates via texts and tweets is not going to function well in the majority of our workplaces, which are too often hangovers from an earlier era.

The Humdrum Organization Life

No manager ever says, “Let’s make our company a humdrum place to work.” Nevertheless most do a superb job of achieving that result. For example:

  • Endless sameness. People come to work and, without climactic events, do essentially the same thing every day forever — like a mountain climber who never sees a peak ahead.
  • Little sense of personal achievement. Most people lack sharply measured goals. They can work diligently every day but never have a significant success — or failure.
  • No celebrations. Individuals throughout the organization may contribute to some very crucial project. But when the project succeeds — and there is a new jet engine or a new drug — very few of those people will enjoy the exhilaration of a personal win.
  • Long time spans. In their personal lives people enjoy activities with shorter and shorter time spans — sports events, computer games, texting and so on — whereas at work they must live through glacial planning cycles.

It is easy for organizations to evolve into these patterns and remain frozen in them forever. Few senior executives even consider the possibilities of redesigning work to make it more fun and more productive.

Crises Provide a Hint

Consider, however: When there are sudden customer orders that must get shipped, or power outages, or fires and other emergencies, most employees come to life and get things done with spirit and enthusiasm.

When 33 miners were trapped in a cave-in in Chile in 2010, the experts estimated that, with luck, they might possibly be rescued in four months. The rescue crews in fact got them all to the surface in two months. When Apollo 13 was aborted, programmers re-wrote some software in three days instead of the usual three months.

These must-do situations all have some common elements that evoke the remarkable performance:

  • A sharply focused, urgent goal
  • A very tight deadline
  • Autonomous team encouraged to experiment
  • Results clearly noticed and celebrated

Our experience shows that by designing jobs with these game-like characteristics and infusing a spirit of fun it is possible to enliven work and produce the kind of high-level, zesty behavior provoked by crises.

Spice the Culture 
Here’s how it can work with virtually any job: No matter how long-term a goal may be, carve off some sub-goals that have to be accomplished in a short time — 10 or 15 weeks not 6 months or a year. For each goal a team should be asked to plan an approach and carry it out. The whole effort should encourage some fun and creativity along the way. People should be encouraged to experiment. Success at the end should be celebrated.

Georgia Pacific launched a number of experiments to discover how to improve mill productivity. For example, the operators in one paper mill decided to test a process change: Typically each operator would, when required, have to change the large rollers on the paper-making machine for which he was responsible. It was a tough, slow job. The operators were certain that the job could be sped up by calling a fellow operator to come and help. Because the person at the very next machine might not be available, there would have to be considerable flexibility on who was called to help. They proved easily that they could deal with taking this kind of initiative. After a few demonstrated successes, dozens and then hundreds of such projects cumulated into the company-wide mill improvement process that yielded hundreds of millions of dollars.

In the same way, before installing a large new system, a team can test the idea. At VIA Rail, Canada’s passenger rail system, the design of a new inventory control system (for food service cars) was going painfully slowly. Even though the system had been only partially installed, the chief of passenger service told his commissary people to stop waiting for the new system to solve the problem. He asked them to use the best data they had in hand and to estimate what the system, if completed, would dictate they do. And with that, they were actually to reduce the inventory levels by a significant amount in a matter of weeks. The team was not only able to achieve the result, but it discovered a number of ways to strengthen the new system that was being installed.

Avery Dennison used the approach to accelerate growth. Several divisions each selected a few new-product projects that were lumbering along multi-year tracks. The game was to have teams achieve a sale or submitted proposal within 100 days on each of these long-term projects. Every one of 13 such experiments delivered tangible results. And the team members were proud and enthusiastic about their achievements.

Other such projects have focused on less-then-100-day improvements in quality in an iron ore processing plant, speeding the order-to-payment cycle in a manufacturing company, and reducing the time and cost of doing processing assessments for tax purposes. In companies that have tried out such “games,” non-involved employees often actually request to be included.

A zesty high-achieving work life does not need to be the monopoly of astronauts, entrepreneurs, movie actors, and NFL quarterbacks. Almost every humdrum job can be redesigned to include these game-like qualities.


About the author:

Robert H. Schaffer ( is the founder of Schaffer Consulting in Stamford, Connecticut. He is also a coauthor of Rapid Results! How 100-Day Projects Build the Capacity for Large-Scale Change (Jossey-Bass, 2005).

Non Monetary Recognition is Better than Cash

Monetary rewards are not the answer to recognizing and encouraging success, and can actually undermine motivation. Extensive research backs this up. According to a study by the London School of Economics: “We find that financial incentives can result in a negative impact on overall performance.” Gadgets, trips, or other monetary incentives don’t make a lasting impression, or benefit the organization as a whole. “Over-reliance on pay and promotion as motivators leads to an organizational culture that is very transactional and disengaged,” says Susan David, co-director of the Harvard/McLean Institute of Coaching.

Non monetary recognition, on the other hand, does not affect employee behavior the same way that monetary rewards do. Here are five reasons why:

1. Recognition helps build an employee’s brand

Recognition, when it’s done well, is public. You can praise an employee on the front page of the corporate intranet. This can help elevate an employee’s status among her peers. Cash rewards, on the other hand, need to be kept private. There’s a strong taboo about discussing pay scales in the workplace, meaning that you can’t post an employee’s bonus payments in public. Yes, an employee with a fat bonus can put a payment down on a new Lexus, but that brings us to point #2.

2. Recognition is guilt-free for both parties

Monetary rewards feel good for a moment. But once the money is in the bank many employees become conflicted. Is the money still a reward for good work? Or does it really need to go to roof repairs, paying down a credit card or get tucked away for the kids’ college funds?

Non-monetary recognition, on the other hand, can be enjoyed by employees with no strings attached. It goes straight into their emotional expense accounts and doesn’t have to be used to repay past debts.

Learn how a non-monetary recognition program inside SharePoint helped a newly-merged company achieve a single conversation around achievement and accomplishment.

3. Recognition goes above and beyond employee expectations

Cash is expected. It is part of the contract you make when you hire an employee. If you offer bonuses for performance, those also become expected. It’s just part of the salary package. Something that you owe your employees.

Non-monetary recognition, on the other hand, can be perceived as a gift – something that you give an employee for significant reasons beyond just showing up and clocking in.

4. Recognition creates meaning for employees

Non monetary recognition reaps greater performance benefits than cash | TemboSocial

Doing meaningful work is deeply important to most people. Cash payouts don’t create meaning. In fact if an employee gets a bonus when he knows he only contributed 50% of his best effort it can make the workplace feel capricious. “They don’t know what they’re doing here – and look how much they pay me to do it!”

Non monetary recognition, on the other hand, is all about meaning. It says “I saw how much work you put into the Jones account, and that means a lot to me.”

5. Recognition is human

People don’t want to spend their whole lives cranking widgets, even if that’s their job. They want to be part of a bigger social enterprise. When you recognize their contributions like when you thank Sally for her 99.9% widget success rate, you are building a personal connection with an employee. She is now a vital part of your team and your tribe.

Cash, on the other hand, can be dehumanizing. Just like the episode of Seinfeld where Jerry gave Elaine a stack of bills for her birthday, cash can leave employees feeling used. It can leave a lingering sense of “sure, they pay me, but they don’t really know me.”

When it’s working as it should, recognition transforms your company’s culture. People bond to each other, and watch each other’s backs. They get engaged and look for new ways to contribute.

Social Employee Recognition – the heart of your talent management strategy

Social Employee Recognition is now becoming a critical part of an organisation’s talent management strategy. It can impact every employee, every day, and revolve around all of your TM initiatives.

‘Employee recognition’ goes back to the early 1900’s when Ford Motor’s Founder, Henry Ford, was experiencing significant turnover impacting the production of vehicles.  He needed to ensure employees on the front-line met production quotas. In order to do so, he rewarded employees for their length of service with gifts to retain and engage them.

The world has since changed.  Rewarding an employee for their length of service and engaging their ‘hands’ on the production line doesn’t work for today’s employees.  It’s now more important to engage people’s hearts and minds through recognition.  The problem is durable – we will always be challenged with ways to engage and retain employees, but the solutions are changing as quickly as our workforce is.

One of those solutions is Social Employee Recognition.  It’s real and it’s impactful.  In fact, it sits on Gartner’s Hype Cycle of HCM Technologies which is poised to hit mainstream adoption in the next few years.  Read on to quickly familiarise yourself with this concept in the age-old W5H format and see why it has the ability to impact daily talent management.

WHAT is it?

Social Employee Recognition is ‘peer recognition’ through technology that enables frequent and in-the-moment appreciation of company behaviours, values, and results that organisations want to see more of.  It uses social principles that take recognition from what was traditionally a one-to-one act of appreciation to a one-to-many approach, breaking barriers of traditional recognition programmes and helping enact company strategies to improve employee and company performance.

Simple enough, right?  But, WHY should you care?

Social Employee Recognition is becoming the heart of progressive integrated talent management strategies, supporting and complimenting all elements – namely performance management, learning and development and talent acquisition.  Also, recognition has proven to positively impact employee engagement and retention. Recent Harvard Business Review research found recognition as the most impactful employee engagement driver.

Beyond recognition stimulating intrinsic motivation to help positively impact engagement and retention, it also impacts performance.  When authentic moments of recognition happen repeatedly in organisations, those behaviours and results get repeated.

WHERE does this get implemented?

Company wide.  Organisations are challenged with disparate recognition programmes across different locations and departments leading to inconsistencies in the employee experience.  Companies have found power in the ability to have a consistent message to employees that align to the organisational values, and to help enact company and talent management strategies.

WHO cares? And WHO does it impact?

This type of strategy MUST be inclusive – giving every employee the trust and opportunity to participate.  A platform where employees are getting recognised on an ongoing basis is one employees ACTUALLY like to use.  The result is HR technology that employees love to use, with insight into talent that managers need to be better leaders, and produces a return on investment that executives crave.

WHEN should I consider this?

Your competitors already are.  As technology supports advance analytics, mobile use for anywhere access, and seamless integration into other HR systems, companies are beginning to see value in streamlining and maximising the impact of their traditional reward spend.  As the battle for talent increases with the UK economy improving, it’s important now more than ever to engage, retain and attract key talent.

I’m convinced! HOW do I move forward?

Before considering implementation, the most important task is starting with a foundation of behaviours from your talent management construct (values, competencies or results) that your company wants to see more of.  Without establishing what recognition will be based on, all of the new trends and technology will not make it successful.  Technology is an enabler. Success includes the right balance between human connection and technology.

More questions?

If you’re interested in learning more or even considering a social recognition strategy, check a Brandon Hall report entitled Building the Business Case for Social Recognition Solutions – one of the more comprehensive (and recent) research on this topic.

You can also get more information about these types of solutions from Achievers, who have helped hundreds of global organisations implement social employee recognition into their talent management strategy resulting in dramatic employee and business success.

About the author

Rob Catalano

Rob Catalano is passionate about helping companies succeed – by leveraging technology to make employees successful.

Gamification is the Future of the Workplace

Five statistics that suggest gamification is the future of the workplace, plus the psychological theory of why gamification works.

What motivates employees at work? Recognition, rewards and a sense of competition are all strong motivators.

Gamification works because it taps into each of these motivators to keep employees engaged. This convergence of technology and productivity is where game mechanics are used in a non-gaming context.

Traditionally, you can’t get further away from a ‘game’ than at work. However, in many companies, there’s a big problem with lack of employee engagement. If employees aren’t motivated to do their best, businesses will lose out.

This is where gamification comes in.

The Psychology of Gamification: Why It Works

According to Gamification by Design co-author Gabe Zichermann, “gamification is 75 percent psychology and 25 percent technology.”

So, what a gamification tool does is tap into the psychological behaviors that govern the day-to-day decisions we make – providing a platform for competition, sharing your achievements and managing the progress of your work.

The purpose of gamification, from an employer’s point of view, is to encourage the behavior you want. However, behavior is a hard thing to change.

According to Professor B.J. Fogg, an experimental psychologist at Stanford University, there are three elements that must converge in order for a change in behavior to occur: motivation, ability, and trigger. What’s most important is that all three things have to happen at the same time.

Successful gamification tools work because they:

  • Give users the motivation to do something (the chance to win, receive rewards or gain recognition)
  • Give users the ability to carry out a task – by facilitating it, or breaking each task into bite-size chunks, increasing the perceived capability for the user
  • Give the user a trigger or cue to complete the action

If all these conditions are met, gamification can change behavior, create motivation and keep employees engaged.

The following statistics prove that gamification is taking the modern workplace by storm.

70% of business transformation efforts fail due to lack of engagement.

First, let’s start with a statistic that demonstrates why gamification is needed in the workplace. Businesses need to adapt to changing technology, market conditions, and consumer behavior, but can’t if they have an unmotivated team that are unwilling to change.

Companies need to provide incentives and employ the same techniques game designers use to keep players interested, in order to achieve the engagement needed for the transformation of business operations.

By the end of 2015, 40% of Global 1000 organizations will use gamification as the primary mechanism to transform business operations.

The popularity of gamification as a way to engage employees is growing. With 40 percent of the top organizations in the world using gamification this year – the percentage only looks set to grow in the next few years.

The worldwide gamification market will grow from $242 million in 2012 to $2.8 billion in 2016.

During this time, gamification tools aimed at businesses will also eclipse those aimed at consumers, showing not only a growth in the market but the value of gamification in the workplace.

53 percent of technology stakeholders said that by 2020, the use of gamification will be widespread.

While not a huge percentage, it still shows that just over half of technology stakeholders believe gamification to be the future of not only the workplace but of education and health too. The other 42 percent still predicted that gamification would play an important role in 2020, but would not be as widespread.

Stewart Agency managed to double the number of emails they collected over two years, in just three months with gamification.

Statistics about the growth of the gamification market may be impressive, but it’s not as impressive as seeing statistics showing the success of gamification in practice.

Stewart Agency wanted their team to collect more email addresses when talking to leads. To do this, they needed to motivate their team to want to change their behavior. They incentivized this with a competition, awarding sales people based on how many email addresses they could collect over several months.

The gamification of the sales process worked – in less than two months, they had almost doubled the number of emails they collected over three years.

Gamification is not only the future of the workplace – it’s how businesses are succeeding right now. NewVoiceMedia’s Motivate for your sales or customer service team can engage them in their job, encouraging best practices and pushing your team that bit further.

Do you think gamification is the future of the workplace? Are you already using gamification techniques in your organization? Share your thoughts and experiences below.