HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime.
Techchecks.net Custom Printed Computer Laser / Inkjet
HACKER SAFE certified sites prevent over 99.9% of hacker crime.
Reorder your computer supplies here.

Incentivizing Excellence - Success Stories of Employee Rewards Programs

Incentivizing Excellence - Success Stories of Employee Rewards Programs

Employee rewards programs can be used as powerful tools for fostering a culture of excellence within organizations across many different industries. In this first article of our comprehensive, two-part exploration, we will delve into specific examples of successful employee rewards programs and analyze how they have positively impacted the organizations that used them.

In the next section, we will cover how excellence-seeking organizations can implement employee rewards programs to help motivate and drive their employees toward exceeding the current standards. Let’s begin by first understanding what types of programs have been successful for some of the high-performing companies that have implemented them, and why non-traditional programs may work best in some cases.

The Transformative Power of Recognition and Rewards

The significance of recognizing and rewarding employees in the modern work environment cannot be overstated. People will do what they are incentivized to do, and many business leaders are surprised to discover that their incentive programs may often prioritize the wrong outcomes. Likewise, not all employees are motivated by pure financial incentives, so well-designed programs find a way to reward employees in ways that are significant to them.

Beyond traditional compensation, successful organizations today are embracing innovative rewards programs to create environments where employees feel valued, motivated, and engaged. The following mini-case studies will outline the success stories of three organizations – Google, Zappos, and Unilever – shedding light on their unique approaches to employee rewards and why a desire for outcomes that are above the standard will require a non-standard approach.

Case Study 1: Google's Peer Recognition Program

Google, renowned for its cutting-edge workplace culture, has taken employee recognition to new heights with its peer recognition program. This initiative enables the tech giant’s employees to acknowledge and appreciate their peers and coworkers through a digital platform. Accumulated points from recognition can be redeemed for various rewards, creating a system where acknowledgment and teamwork become a currency.

The impact of this program extends beyond boosting morale; it has fostered a collaborative atmosphere where employees feel appreciated not just by management but also by their peers. Those submitted by their peers receive a pre-paid debit card from the company, a shout out in the Google blog, and as stated above the Googlers who are submitted for multiple recognitions can accrue points for higher rewards from the company.

The beauty of Google's approach lies in decentralizing recognition, making it a collective responsibility. This has contributed to a more inclusive work environment, breaking down hierarchical barriers and promoting a culture of mutual appreciation. As employees recognize and reward each other for valuable contributions, the company as a whole sees increased collaboration, innovation, and overall productivity.

Case Study 2: Zappos' Culture of Core Values

E-commerce giant Zappos has embedded its rewards program in the very fabric of its core values. The company encourages employees to embody these values and those who consistently demonstrate them are rewarded with unique experiences. These experiences range from paid trips to exclusive educational opportunities, creating a system that aligns rewards with the company's ethos.

This approach has profound effects on the organization's culture. Zappos' employees not only work for a paycheck but also for a sense of purpose and alignment with the company's values. These values and the effort through which Zappos highlights them (even in the hiring process) help the company attract the right talent in the first place.

As a result, the rewards program becomes a powerful tool for employee retention, attracting like-minded individuals who resonate with the company's core principles. This cultural alignment not only enhances individual performance but also contributes to the overall success and sustainability of the organization.

Along with a corporate culture that makes Zappos a coveted place to work, the company has built several “out-of-the-box” incentives, rewards, and recognition programs for Zapponians (the company’s term) who go the extra mile:

  • The Zollars program (Zappos dollars that are redeemable at the company store, or for movie tickets, or donated to charity)
  • Master of WOW parking (any Zapponian with a covered parking spot can award it to a co-worker who they feel has earned it)
  • Co-worker bonus program (Zapponians can reward each other with $50 Zollars (per month), but managers are excluded)
  • Zappos Heroes Award (award-winning Zapponians are awarded a hero cape and a $150 Zappos gift card that is redeemable at the Zappos store)

Case Study 3: Unilever

Creating a personalized employee rewards program may seem like a resource-intensive and difficult endeavor. The global brand Unilever was willing to put forth the effort for its 127,000 employees to create the uFlexReward program. This in-house and bespoke rewards program was released in 2015 and offers personalized incentives that are tailored to the employee being rewarded. The giant brand has been making the Forbes World’s Best Employers List repeatedly, and this program probably has a lot to do with it.

Unilever also organizes an annual Unilever Heroes Awards to celebrate, honor, and recognize those employees who show the initiative and effort to help the brand compete in its many markets across the globe.

Conclusion: Strategic Rewards Programs as Catalysts for Productivity

As the programs discussed above show, every business investment has to put the firm on the path to accomplishing its goals, so what better investment can be made than in the people who do the work to accomplish those goals? 

The success stories of Google, Zappos, and Unilever that are outlined above highlight the transformative potential of well-designed rewards programs. None of these programs would fit within the standard realm of traditional employee “perks” or incentive programs, but they fit well within and motivate those who are drawn to each company’s culture.

Some of them focus on a personal touch. Others start first with building a rewarding environment that is inviting to the types of people that the companies want on their teams. All of them focus on rewarding hard work and excellence, whether it comes from a top-down recognition or a horizontally-led peer-to-peer format that encourages teamwork.

These initiatives not only boost morale but also shape organizational cultures, driving sustained productivity and success. As organizations navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, strategic rewards programs emerge as catalysts for creating environments where excellence is not just encouraged but celebrated.

In our next article, we will focus on how employee rewards programs can be implemented within your organization, and the legal & tax considerations that must be factored into your approach to do so.

We Accept

* Quickbooks® Intuit® and quicken® are a registered trademark and are not affiliated and not owned by Tech Checks � Tech Checks offers its own brand of checks that are compatible with all versions of quickbooks® Intuit® and Quicken® software's
Copyright © 2024 Tech Checks, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

We Accept

* Quickbooks® Intuit® and quicken® are a registered trademark and are not affiliated and not owned by Tech Checks � Tech Checks offers its own brand of checks that are compatible with all versions of quickbooks® Intuit® and Quicken® software's
Copyright © 2024 Tech Checks, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.