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Imagine receiving a gift for a job well done. Pretty nice, isn’t it? But now, you learn that the reward you've received is the exact same item for every person who receives an award. So Jane in the Sales Department gets the same thing as Jon on your People Team, and as Jenna in your Support Team. 

The problem with that is that while well-intended, blanket reward simply doesn’t work. What matters to Jane, who blanket-rewardtreats herself to the occasional fancy latte, might not matter to Jon, whose partner just had a baby, and that might not matter to Jenna, who just moved into a new flat. 

Even when created with good intentions, rewards can fall flat. Defaulting to a cup of coffee for a job well done is a common occurrence - everyone likes coffee, right? Well, no, actually. I know many of my colleagues can’t have extra caffeine, and this sort of reward would sit unused in a desk drawer. The value of that reward for some is diminished. 

In this case, choice was missing and one size fits all was resonating with some people, while leaving others wanting more.

We also work with a credit union who had established long service awards. These awards were selected from a limited catalogue – which saved some administrative time – but they ended up costing the company many times what they’d cost if the person ordered the same product online due to mark-ups on the merchandise. The awards were costing a lot but that cost wasn’t visible so the value wasn’t clear to employees.

These two critical pieces of the employee reward experience, choice and transparency, were missing from these scenarios, which mirror many of the experiences I’ve discovered through conversations with HR professionals.


It’s clear that gifts or rewards at work may not be accomplishing what you’ve set out for them. Instead of giving a gift that makes an employee smile, you could be creating an extra headache if the gift breaks, or doesn’t align with what the employee expects to receive. 

Reimagining Reward and Recognition with the third ‘R’

And so we’ve realised that there is a missing ‘r’ in the state of Reward and Recognition, and that is ‘Redemption.’ The new employee rewards redemption experience needs to anchor itself in choice and transparency, while also creating opportunities for personalisation. We know that the best employee rewards experience is immediate and timely so great work can be recognised and rewarded on the spot, when it happens, so employees feel that appreciation right away.

That’s why our new Reward Marketplace has four goals it addresses: 


We built a marketplace that has hundreds of eCards, exclusive company awards – lunch with the CEO or extra holiday, for example, the ability to donate rewards to charity, and a direct integration with Amazon’s catalogue and Prime shipping options.

Transform the reward redemption experience with Reward Marketplace »

You can see how ‘choice’ is something that is really resonating with employees, and our new Marketplace brings employees the ultimate choice in how they redeem their rewards, through experience, travel, fashion and much, much more. 

For full transparency, we needed to eliminate the middleperson, so employees could see the full value of their reward matches that of what they would see in the ‘real world,’ with no markups or hidden fees to your people (or to your business!).

reward marketplace from reward gateway

An established culture of reward and recognition motivates employees to do their best, and the right tools can make it easy for employers and managers to reward their people. We’ve seen in a recent survey that 80% of employees say receiving a reward from their manager would motivate them, and nearly 80% saying giving an award to their peers would also motivate them. 

It’s time to bring a reward experience to your employees that not only delights them, but also makes business sense. Bringing meaningful moments of reward and recognition that put your employees in the driver seat of choosing their top reward will lead to a better employee experience. 

If you’re ready for the next evolution of reward and recognition, or want to learn more about our new reward and recognition integrations with Amazon, please feel free to reach out to a member of our team to learn more. 

Talk to an Engagement Consultant »

Alexandra Powell

Alexandra Powell, Director of Client Cultural Insights, not only knows American Sign Language, but uses it to secretly communicate with her husband and kids at parties. Alex is a highly experienced employee engagement consultant, trainer and speaker. For over 20 years she has helped HR and business leaders implement strategies that drive true culture change.

Director of Client Cultural Insights

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