Employee Rewards

How To Create An Awesome Employee Bonus Experience

June 21, 2022
min read

Every employee appreciates it when they receive a bonus as a reward for work well done. As a company, you can structure an awesome employee bonus experience that gives your team something to consistently work towards. 

This experience is about more than just handing over an extra paycheck. It’s about creating an environment of recognition where people know what constitutes work well done and are equipped to give their job their very best. Not only is this personally rewarding, but it can also inspire employees to meet your company goals.  

Here, we’ll show you how to quickly and easily create an incredible experience that boosts company-wide job satisfaction.

Why Do Employee Bonuses Matter?

It’s not just employees who benefit from an excellent bonus program. In general, giving bonuses where they are due can help motivate your team and align them with company performance goals. 

This plays an essential part in building your brand, achieving sales targets, and even providing excellent customer service. 

Here’s an outline of the numerous benefits both employees and organizations can enjoy when a structured bonus system is in place:

A Culture Of Recognition

When an employer awards a bonus, it tells the employee that their hard work is recognized. Employees feel appreciated, happier, and more loyal to the organization.

Related: 5 Ways to Provide Meaningful Recognition

Improved Performance

When companies reward employees for dedication and hard work, it consistently motivates them. Employees work harder, making it easier for the business to meet its goals.

Increased Retention 

Employee retention is the number one priority of 87% of HR experts. This study discovered that excellent employee retention could improve a company’s profits by as much as 400%.

And according to Bersin & Associates research, bonuses impact employee retention and happiness. Organizations with a ‘recognition-rich culture’ are more effective at improving employee engagement, retention, and profits.

The same study shows that companies with this type of culture have a 31% lower employee turnover rate than businesses without an effective rewards system.

Better Collaboration

When motivated by the promise of an excellent bonus, employees want to deliver their best. This improves collaboration as the team works to achieve their set targets. It also strengthens the company culture.

Seven Easy Steps To Create The Ultimate Employee Bonus Experience

Here’s how you can effortlessly design an impactful employee bonus program to help your company reach its goals.

1. Start A Bonus Program

The first step is to create a formal bonus program with fantastic perks and rewards that employees can earn. Rewards can come in the form of financial incentives, daily meals, or even further education and training.

When creating your bonus program, remember that employee bonuses should always go hand-in-hand with attainable and measurable outputs. These outputs can be team or individual-based. 

2. Link Rewards With Company Goals

Your bonus experience should also tie in directly with your company goals.

For instance, let employees know they’ll get a bonus when your sales team reaches a particular target, or customer care achieves a specific rating. 

By linking your rewards with the company goals, you motivate employees to work in specific ways that benefit the company.

Related: How To Align Rewards With Inclusive Workplace Practices

3. Define Program Parameters

It’s a good idea to define specific parameters for your program. These include points such as which departments can participate, how often bonuses are awarded and required targets for receiving rewards.

When you make all the criteria simple to understand, employees will focus on achieving the desired results.

4. Base It On Performance

According to Payscale, 65% of employees prefer bonuses based on personal performance. Where possible, try to establish your rewards on employees’ successes and achievements.

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t exclude other factors, such as your company objectives and targets.

After all, the idea behind a reward program is that it should encourage your employees to achieve set goals.

Related: Improving Performance with Incentive Pay

5. Market The Program Internally

After you’ve created your new employee bonus program, it’s time to market it to the team.   

Ensure that everybody knows about the program, its objectives, and how it works. It’s also worth hosting a launch to create hype and encourage everyone to participate.

6. Incorporate Recognition

Your bonus program should form part of your employee recognition efforts.

By joining these two strategies, you’ll increase the level of trust, cooperation, and appreciation in your organization. Mixing these two programs will also be a great way to boost employee morale.

7. Reduce The Burden On HR

Your bonus program shouldn’t be an additional burden on the HR department. When creating the program, try to find ways to automate specific tasks.

For instance, consider an employee rewards platform, such as PerkUp. The platform makes it easy to set up a range of bonuses, gifts, and rewards that employees will love. There’s no need to spend much time maintaining your rewards program when most of it is automated.

Ideas For Fantastic Bonuses To Include In Your Employee Bonus Experience

While many companies default to a monetary bonus, it’s not the only type of reward that HR professionals can utilize when trying to retain top talent. 

A combination of monetary incentives and perks will ensure that you provide employees with the ultimate bonus experience.

Here’s how you can effortlessly reward your team on various notable occasions:

The Signing Bonus

Did you know that 31% of employees quit their job within the first six months of starting? 

The main reason for leaving so soon is that the onboarding process, appraisal, and engagement doesn’t meet the employee’s expectations. 

In a separate study, Glassdoor found that excellent onboarding can improve employee retention by as much as 82%.

Suppose you want to avoid unnecessary recruitment costs and retain your top talent for longer. In that case, you need to create an excellent onboarding experience.

One way to provide an excellent onboarding experience is to offer new recruits a signing bonus. 

A signing bonus is a welcome gift or cash amount that makes new employees feel valued from the day they start at your company.

Bonus Ideas:

  • Offer a Netflix subscription to new employees. 
  • Offer a Spotify subscription to keep your new employees motivated and inspired.
  • Offer new employees a Starbucks gift card to start the day the right way.

The Annual Bonus

Probably the most popular employee bonus is the traditional annual bonus, which is often a monetary reward. 

An employee can get a bonus each year when they achieve specific goals. Typically, a company would set these goals at the beginning of the year. 

The annual bonus differs across roles, seniority, and departments. It provides an excellent way to recognize hard work and celebrate achievements from the year.

A yearly bonus can also tie in with work anniversaries. 

When you celebrate these anniversaries, you improve employee morale and loyalty. Are you and your staff working remotely? Check out this article on how to celebrate a work anniversary virtually.

Spice up your annual bonuses by including any of the following options.

Bonus Ideas:

  • Reward employees with live event tickets from Ticketmaster.
  • Reward your employees with an unforgettable hiking experience with AllTrails.
  • Reward staff members with a tasty cooking experience from Blue Apron.

The Spot Bonus

A spot bonus is perfect when an employee achieves an important goal or performs exceptionally well. 

Although you should use these bonuses sparingly, they are powerful motivators that keep your workforce focused and determined.

Unlike other bonuses, the conditions for earning a spot bonus are less clearly defined. Usually, a manager or supervisor will recognize hard work or exceptional performance and reward the employee for it. 

If you plan on rewarding employees with spot bonuses, it’s best to have well-trained managers. Your managers and supervisors need to understand the impact of these powerful motivators. 

Bonus Ideas:

  • Reward performing employees with a massage from Massage Envy.
  • Offer employees yoga or meditation classes with CorePower.
  • Reward employees with Regal movie theater tickets.

Related: 4 Ways To Reward Employees Who Go Above & Beyond

The Retention Bonus

The retention bonus is one of the most crucial bonuses a company can give to an employee. 

As the name suggests, an organization offers a retention bonus to employees who stay with the company for a set period.

WorldatWork found that 55% of top-level companies offered retention bonuses to valuable and critical employees. 

In a world where poaching top talent is pretty standard, and employee retention remains low overall, offering a retention bonus is a clever strategy. 

You’ll find it’s easier to remain competitive when your top talent stays loyal to your business.

A retention bonus doesn’t have to be a monetary bonus. Instead, offer classes and career development that’ll keep your employees motivated in the long run.

Bonus Ideas:

  • Provide your top talent with complimentary classes, certificates, and even degrees from Coursera.
  • Treat employees with a daily meal from Grubhub.
  • Empower employees with new skills through Udemy.

The Company Culture Bonus

Highly engaged employees are less likely to leave your company. One sure-fire way to keep everyone engaged is by offering them awesome perks and bonuses that reflect your company’s unique culture.

Your company culture is essential for making employees feel appreciated, valued, and a part of the organization.

A company culture bonus is perfect for creating a culture that reflects appreciation and helps employees stay focused, motivated, and determined to achieve company goals.

So, to offer a company culture bonus, choose rewards that relate directly to your organization’s mission and values.

Bonus Ideas:

  • Help employees master a new language with a subscription to Duolingo.
  • Offer employees tasty meals from DoorDash.
  • Treat employees with the latest books from Barnes & Noble.

The Referral Bonus

The longer a position in your company remains vacant, the more profit you’re losing due to reduced production at the end of the day. Vacancies turn out to be much more expensive than cost-saving.

A referral bonus is a great way to encourage employees to help your HR department fill those vacant positions. By filling them more quickly, you can improve your bottom line and save on recruitment and vacancy costs.

A referral bonus encourages employees to make referrals for open positions within your organization. When their referral joins your company, you can reward them with a fantastic bonus.

Bonus Ideas:

  • Reward employees for referrals with movie tickets from AMC Theaters.
  • Reward successful referrals with the best tech gear from Apple.
  • Reward employees with their favorite Verizon products and services.

Do You Give Rewards That Your Employees Want?

Creating an incredible employee bonus experience can be daunting if you don’t know what your employees want.

Luckily, at PerkUp, we’re in the business of keeping employees motivated and focused on achieving goals with rewards and incentives.

If you’re unsure whether you’re offering your employees the right bonuses and rewards, contact us. We’ll gladly help you design the ultimate employee rewards experience.

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