How to choose the best employee loyalty program in 3 steps

The needs of every business are different, which is why different employee reward schemes can be better for different organisations.

Nevertheless, there are three important steps you should always take to find the perfect employee reward scheme.

1. Find out what your people want

With so many packages and solutions available, it can be hard to know where to begin. So, for this reason, it’s important you hold surveys to find out what your teams want. We also recommend hosting a town hall with snacks and activities. After all, choosing an employee reward scheme should be an exciting time for you and your employees!

2. Choose a recognition and rewards program based on your goals

Because there are many types of recognition programs, it’s important to choose one that aligns with your goals. Some programs don’t just include reward functionally, but also administration software. Consequently, if your goals are to improve communication and engagement, you need to look at tools that include enhanced admin features, in addition to a reward and recognition scheme.

3. Shortlist your favourite rewards programs according to your budget

So, you’ve found the perfect solution to boost engagement. What’s next? At this point, you should factor in your budget and estimated return on investment (ROI). This is especially important if you’re purchasing a combined rewards and benefits package. Lots of rewards and benefits providers offer different pricing options and can accommodate all sorts of budgets, so if your initial choice is out of scope, they could offer you a more affordable tier.

Loyal employee sitting on a grey bean bag and smiling

 Other benefits of an employee recognition scheme include:

  • An increase in employee engagement
  • A boost to team morale
  • Higher employee retention rates
  • Better customer satisfaction
  • Higher levels of productivity
  • A more supportive company culture

The right employee rewards program can completely transform your company. However finding the best one for your business can often feel overwhelming, given there are so many options. For that reason, we decided to cover how to find the best reward program in three simple steps: what the benefits of a reward program are, examples of popular rewards and an explanation of what features to look for, so you get the best experience possible.

Coworkers at a desk looking over paperwork.

What creates employee loyalty?

In theory, cultivating employee loyalty isn't necessarily difficult, you just need to treat your employees well enough so that they don't want to leave. But if it was this simple, the ongoing trend of The Great Resignation or Great Reshuffle wouldn't be happening.

Unfortunately, a lot of companies feel that investing in culture creates a situation where business needs are pitted against those of employees. Nevertheless, there comes a time when every organisation has to understand that high turnover rates not only increase spend but also decrease engagement. 

Loyal employees tend to value their employee experience and feel they are treated — at the very minimum, fairly. Strong leadership is incredibly important for retaining employees, that's obvious. But, what sets strong leaders apart from their weaker counterparts is that they understand the power of recognition. Giving credit where credit is due, shows you value the effort your team put into their work, which in turn makes them feel more secure.

You can nurture a culture of recognition and reward in several ways. Some organisations use all-in-one employee experience solutions that include recognition features. These are very popular as HR teams can track who receives the most recognition. This data can then feed into performance review scores and give managers a good idea of how employees work together.

Another way to develop loyalty is by practising active listening and there are also tools to support this. They may, for example, include features such as holding polls or running surveys.

Either way, building loyalty takes time and effort and how you go about it will depend on your business and the needs of your employees.

The benefits of a great employee loyalty scheme

A reward and recognition program should be a crucial part of your employee experience strategy. According to Deloitte, businesses who make the effort to recognise their teams’ achievements see on average 14% higher levels of engagement than those who don’t.

To learn more about employee experience management, read our helpful guide

Rewards to include in your staff loyalty program

Fortunately, there are many different rewards for all sorts of occasions — be it celebrating professional achievements or personal milestones. This is especially important for recognising remote employees, but applies to in-person teams as well.

Choosing a reward for a colleague should be something you look forward to, not a chore. However, we understand that if you don’t know the person well, finding the perfect reward can be challenging. That’s why we’ve created this helpful list to give you some inspiration.

Rewards can be categorised into two groups:

Monetary rewards

Monetary rewards are tangible gifts and include:

  • Store gift cards
  • Subscription boxes
  • Vouchers for meals out
  • Hampers
  • Theatre tickets
  • Wine or gin tasting experiences

Non-monetary custom rewards

 Non-monetary custom rewards are gestures and include:

  • Sending a thank you card
  • Allowing someone to finish early
  • Giving away an extra day of annual leave
  • An award, such as employee of the month
  • Role shadowing opportunities
  • Team rewards and benefits
  • Job swap for the day

Employee in the office kitchen grabbing a healthy snack

However, a higher level of employee engagement isn’t the only benefit, and employers could also notice:

An increase in employee motivation

Introducing an employee rewards program or loyalty scheme is one of the best actions you can take to motivate your employees.  What’s more, employers who understand the importance of a structured recognition and reward system also have a competitive advantage in attracting new talent over those that don’t. In the current employment climate, many people are prioritising employee experience over salary and want to work in places that value their contributions and ideas. They want to be in an environment where their leaders inspire and motivate them to do their best work. When people feel their efforts are noticed, they not only do more, but also think more innovatively. This will consequently will drive your business forward and lead to more growth.

Motivated employees sitting together and working

A boost to team morale

Employee morale is a reflection of your teams’ mental wellbeing, job satisfaction and attitude. So if morale is high, your employees are likely in a good place and love what they do. Incentives and rewards boost employee morale because they give your people focus and encourage them to do their best work. Plus, if you open your incentives to include peer-to-peer recognition, this promotes greater collaboration, which creates a strong and inclusive culture. However, for a loyalty or reward program to have the biggest impact on morale, we recommend taking a personalised approach. For example, if you’re thinking about introducing a reward and recognition platform, make sure it includes functionality such as displaying the recipient’s full name and a dedicated space for a customised message. Additionally, if there’s the option of adding company values to each recognition, even better!

Higher employee retention rates

More often than not, people stay at a company because they feel valued, not because of their salary. In fact, salary plays a smaller role in retention than previously thought. According to Forbes, 66% of employees said they would likely leave their jobs if they felt unappreciated. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways an organisation can recognise their employees and some of them are very cost-effective solutions. Sometimes, a simple thank you note is all it takes. That said, a more significant non-cash reward could include giving someone the day off, or letting them start later or finish early on a Friday. Other rewards may link to employee development, such as offering the opportunity to pursue a particular passion project, or work in another department for a month. Either way, it’s important to keep in mind that your employees are individuals who want praise and appreciation — and if you make recognition a priority, they stay.

Employees with great team morale sitting together and smiling

Better customer satisfaction

Let’s face it, increasing customer satisfaction is challenging. Yet, while many factors can influence how your customers feel, encountering an enthusiastic and happy employee can make all the difference. When your teams feel appreciated, they’re more willing to go the extra mile and deliver an exceptional level of service. Happy employees are excellent brand ambassadors for your business, as often their enthusiasm and can-do attitude are obvious to customers. Honestly, there’s no better feeling than hearing people speak highly of your company and helpful teams, which is why it’s important to give your employees the recognition and appreciation they deserve.

Higher levels of productivity

Setting up an employee recognition scheme is one the most significant promoters of productivity, with over 78% of employees acknowledging they would work harder if they received more recognition. The reason recognition has such a positive effect on productivity is that people feel a sense of accomplishment after receiving a compliment for something they’ve put a lot of effort into. Usually, employees say the most memorable recognition comes from their manager. Consequently, senior leaders should make an effort to let their teams know they’re doing a great job. That’s not to say peer-to-peer recognition isn’t important — because it is. Without peer-to-peer recognition, teams don’t collaborate and support each other as well as they could. Ideally, a business should strive to build a recognition-rich culture, with employees receiving recognition from colleagues of all levels of seniority.

A more supportive company culture

First and foremost, when creating a purposeful and supportive culture it’s important to develop a set of core values and principles that attract like-minded individuals to your business. So, what do we mean by this? Well, if you want to build a supportive culture you should first consider how you’ll prioritise recognition. Saying your employees are the heartbeat of your company loses its meaning if you overlook their achievements and take their hard work for granted. However, before choosing a recognition platform, we recommend asking your employees what they value and how they want to be appreciated. Some people like public gestures, such as employee of the month, whereas others prefer a discreet thank you card.

If you're looking to improve your workplace culture by giving employees the credit they deserve, check out this list of the best employee recognition tools.

Happy employees sitting together and sharing coffee as a team

What should be included in an effective employee loyalty program?

An effective employee loyalty scheme will promote a healthy company culture and boost team morale.

 Key features to look out for in a loyalty program include:

  • User-friendly recognition
  • A wide range of employee reward options
  • Functionality to share your core values
  • A range of benefits and discounts
  • Enhanced communication features
  • Additional wellbeing resources

Learn more about how Perkbox can help you create an effective reward and recognition scheme

How to improve your employee loyalty scheme

An effective employee loyalty program will have several aims. However, if your reward systems or employee engagement programs are falling short of their goals, there are a few actions you can take to improve their effectiveness, these include:

Asking your team what they think of the loyalty program

This is of course the first thing you should do before anything else. Asking your teams how they're getting on may reveal pain points you haven't thought about. Especially, if you've recently introduced a new engagement tool.

Checking if the loyalty program is in alignment with your goals

Researching the best employee loyalty programs for your culture strategy takes time and effort. And, when you think you've found the perfect solution your goals change. Yes, it's disruptive when this happens. But, thinking about how you can adapt the tool to meet your new goals could be something to think about.

Promoting your new loyalty program

Sometimes employees just don't know about the new tool, or they keep forgetting to download it. Regardless, we recommend running a workshop, or a few how-to group sessions as this will give your employees the confidence to start using the new system.

Create a great employee loyalty program & reward scheme with Perkbox

One of the most effective ways to increase employee motivation and engagement is with a personalised employee reward scheme.

Effective reward programs tend to include additional features that enable you to share your core values and so much more.

With Perkbox, your employees can recognise each other on the go with a user-friendly app.

Not only that, but employees can choose from over 8,500 different rewards, with the biggest global brands. With a points-based reward system managers can simply attach Reward points to each recognition they send, and employees can save or redeem them right away. 

For a more personalised approach, Perkbox also includes custom rewards, which are unique to your organisation. Managers can create custom rewards, such as an extra day of annual leave or a special lunch.

Build a culture of reward and recognition today with Perkbox


How do you reward employee loyalty?

Employee rewards are an excellent way of letting your star performers know you value their efforts and commitment to your business. However, a reward and recognition program can be used more creatively, especially when celebrating a 10 or even 20-year work anniversary. Celebrating a long-serving employee shows you still care about them and don't take their loyalty for granted.

What is an employee rewards program?

How much does an employee reward scheme cost?

Why is employee recognition important?

Retain your best talent with our step-by-step guide

Looking for tips and best practices that’ll make your employees want to stay? Check out our latest ebook on retaining top talent!

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