Helen Murphy

Helen previously drove product marketing strategy and processes for Bonusly.

Articles by


Not all product releases need to be huge to be impactful. 😎

This year, our product team added what we're calling Small Delights to Bonusly's roadmap. Small Delights are a collection of improvements to existing Bonusly features based on direct customer feedback. Our goal with these Small Delights is to help our users get the most out of Bonusly!

We had a number of Small Delights come out recently. Check them out below. And keep an eye on this post as we'll add additional Small Delights as they are released.  

 Giving to the giver when adding on to recognition 📢

We're excited to announce that the option to include the original recognizer in bonus add-ons is now available! Instead of creating a new bonus to ensure the bonus giver receives their much-deserved recognition, simply choose to include them when you add-on to an existing Bonusly post. 

How does it work? When you go to add-on to a recognition post, there is now an icon to the right of “Add a link” called “Include giver”. When adding on to recognition, users will have the option to give the add-on amount to both the initial recipient and the giver or only the initial recipient. For example, if you're giving +20 Bonusly points as an add-on, and you select “include giver”, the original giver will also get +20 Bonusly points. The “Add points” button will include your new total of +40 Bonusly points.  

Screen Shot 2022-08-08 at 10.30.30 AM

Add a URL to a Claimable Award 🔗

Many of our customers use our Claimable Award functionality to customize Bonusly and incentivize employee actions. With this Small Delight, we've made it easier to connect Bonusly to broader company initiatives with new URL capabilities in Claimable Awards. Add an external link to share more context about Awards and create a cohesive employee experience for company activities. 🙌

Updated feature name for Automated Awards 🤖

Goodbye bots, hello awards! Our Work, Birthday, and Welcome Awards make it super easy to recognize employee milestones with an automated award. We used to call these awards "bots." We got feedback that the term 'bots' feels a bit impersonal so we updated Automated Awards to be called just that, Awards! Bonusly recognition should always feel personal! 💚



Bonusly’s Microsoft Teams integration makes it quick and easy for everyone in your organization to give and see recognition no matter where or how they work. That convenience is impactful: companies that use a chat integration with Bonusly see an average 6% increase in participation rates! 

Bonusly's product team has been hard at work improving our Microsoft Teams integration experience and we're pleased to announce these updates are now live! 


To learn more, we chatted with Phil Lipman, the product lead for this update. Not in a video-watching mood? See a summary of our Microsoft Teams updates below. 

The updated Bonusly app for Microsoft Teams includes: 

  • A Bonusly app menu that Microsoft Teams users can call up by entering the `@bonusly give` command. This command works in Teams Chat and Posts feeds and brings up a menu with four button options: Give Bonusly recognition, Claim an award in Bonusly, Pick a reward in Bonusly, and Make a donation in Bonusly.
  • A Give Recognition modal that appears when users click the Give Bonusly recognition button. This modal significantly improves the recognition giving experience in Teams.

Take the next step

To upgrade your company's version of the Bonusly app for Microsoft Teams or to add the Bonusly app to a Microsoft Teams team or channel, check out Bonusly's AppSource listing.

To learn more about Bonusly's apps for Slack and Microsoft Teams, check out this interactive tour.


About Bonusly

Bonusly's mission is to connect people with each other and their work in meaningful ways. Our employee recognition and rewards platform combines peer-to-peer and 360-degree recognition with real-world monetary value, incentivizing coworkers to support one another and generate trust by celebrating exceptional contributions with praise and gratitude.

Congratulations! 🎉

Your company uses Bonusly! That means you’ve unlocked all the amazing benefits of fun and easy 360-degree employee recognition.



Bonusly’s recognition software has the power to impact many aspects of a business including engagement, productivity, morale, and purpose. 💃

Bonusly is a unique employee benefit that could differentiate your company from the crowd when it comes to recruiting and retention

We’ve pulled together a few resources to help you showcase your company’s recognition program as a compelling employee benefit. Check out the materials below and feel free to customize and share. 

When Launching Bonusly at Your Company 

This video explains the benefits and qualities of effective employee recognition: 

Share these blog posts to help your employees provide recognition like a pro:


Career Page and Job Description Blurbs

Add a blurb about your company’s recognition program to the benefits section of your career page and individual job descriptions. Here are templates you can use.

  • Career page copy: We offer 360-peer recognition through Bonusly. Recognize and get recognized for a job well done. Give and receive points that can be redeemed for fun rewards!
  • Job description copy: Peer recognition and points with Bonusly  

Social Posts

Share information about your company’s recognition program on LinkedIn along with your current job openings to encourage applications. Here is a template post you can use to get started!

  • LinkedIn: We are excited to announce we now offer 360-degree employee recognition and rewards through @Bonusly! Bonusly lets our employees publicly recognize each other by giving small bonuses that add up to meaningful rewards. Check out our careers page to see what other benefits we offer and our open positions. 

Recognition Badges

Add some visual pizzaz and include one of our recognition badges on your career page. You can link the image to bonus.ly or your company’s benefits page. Not sure how to get an image on your company’s career page? Check with your marketing or leadership team. They will likely be able to help or point you in the right direction.

  • Download vertical blue badge: png, svg
  • Download vertical white badge: png, png, svg
  • Download horizontal blue badge: png, svg
  • Download horizontal white badge: png, svg
Bonusly badge vertical dark@2x


Bonusly badge vertical light@2x

Bonusly badge horizontal dark@2x
Bonusly badge horizontal light@2x
Bonusly Pro

How Bonusly Uses Bonusly


This is hopefully not a surprise to you, but Bonusly (the company) uses Bonusly (the product), and we love it! 🤗💚🎉

If you’re finding it difficult to visualize what Bonusly looks like in action, you’re in the right spot. Who better to find inspiration and ideas from than the experts? 😉

But first, what is Bonusly?

Bonusly is the fun and easy employee engagement solution that combines peer-to-peer recognition, meaningful feedback, and rewards that employees love to keep them engaged and satisfied. Bonusly helps you celebrate everyday contributions and key milestones, automate time-consuming HR admin processes, run and incentivize participation in company initiatives and surveys, and offer digital rewards your employees will love.

See peer-to-peer recognition in action with a tour of Bonusly.

There are four main product areas where we have some fun, unique use cases and ways to use Bonusly at your company to help enrich company culture and promote your organization’s values.

Here’s what we’ll go through:

  • 💚 Recognition: Bonusly’s recognition software makes great work visible across the company, keeping people connected and building a greater sense of alignment and purpose.
  • 🎁 Rewards: Meaningful recognition leads to meaningful rewards! Bonusly’s reward catalog offers instantly available digital gift cards from popular brands as well as Custom Rewards.
  • 📈 Analytics: Bonusly’s powerful people analytics tools help you make meaningful improvements to your employee experience and connect the dots like never before.


Engaged employees are beneficial for workplaces in every way: they're higher performers, they’re connected and committed to their company, and they're willing to go above and beyond their role. In organizations that put a heavy emphasis on praising and recognizing employee achievements, engagement levels increase by nearly 60%. - Bonusly’s Guide to Modern Employee Recognition

Bonusly’s recognition feed makes great work visible across the company. It keeps our teams connected, and builds a greater sense of alignment and purpose across the work we do on a daily basis and the long-term goals we are working towards. Bonusly employees had 100% monthly giving AND receiving rates in 2021.


There are many ways we use our recognition feed outside of day-to-day peer recognition that help build a scalable culture of recognition. Two of our favorites are Manual Awards and using goal-specific company values with recognition.

Manual Awards

We live and breathe peer to peer recognition at Bonusly, but there are some instances where it just doesn’t make sense. Employee incentive programs, employee recognition awards, and spot recognition fall into this category. Our solution: Bonusly Manual Awards!

Manual Awards are earmarked funds for specific programs, incentives, and occasions. Bonusly users with giver permissions for a Manual Award can give out the award without drawing from their own monthly allowances. Once given, Manual Award bonuses appear in the recognition feed right alongside other peer recognition.

We have a number of Manual Awards here at Bonusly so we can recognize our teammates for acts that benefit a department, or the whole organization. Here are a few examples:

Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 4.29.26 PM

🎉💚💥 New Customer Alert 💥

Our sales team is full of rockstars and when they close a deal, we want the whole company to celebrate with them. Our sales managers give bonuses from our “New Customer Alert” Manual Award to celebrate deals made. As a bonus, managers include extra context on the deal such as why the company went with Bonusly. This extra bit of information is great for cross-team transparency.

Barketing Hero 🐶

Our marketing team gives bonuses from the Barketing Hero award to thank our colleagues when they do something to support marketing’s goals. For example, when our coworkers share information about an upcoming virtual event on their social media channels or when they share a customer that might be a good fit for a customer story. (Also, we love dogs and we couldn’t pass up this punny name. 😆🐶)

Guidepost Ranger

Bonusly is a fast-growing start-up and with growth comes the need for better knowledge management. We have an internal team called Guidepost that implements and manages a great piece of software called Guru to help with knowledge management. When launching Guru, our Guidepost team created the Guidepost Ranger Manual Award.

Guidepost Ranger (1)

Core Values

Company core values are a powerful tool that can motivate your employees, connect them with a sense of purpose, and offer direction on how to make decisions and treat others in your workplace. We do our best to live and breathe our core values and we have them front and center on our recognition feed.

But we have other goals we are working towards that are core to the company, but not necessarily a core value. For these goals, we create a #hashtag in Bonusly and use it when recognition is given out related to this goal. Using a hashtag lets us track activity around that goal and see who is contributing to making it happen. A good example of this is our #grow-the-team hashtag, which is used when someone participates in interviews, makes a referral, or other activities related to helping fill the hiring pipeline.

Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 4.34.23 PM


It’s important to know your team and reward behavior accordingly. In general, praise should be public and can be a great learning opportunity for the whole team. Tying that praise to a tangible reward can remind employees of their achievements long after praise is given. - Bonusly’s Guide to Modern Employee Recognition

Bonusly’s Reward Catalog is extensive. We have gift card, donation, and cash-out options in more than 120 countries with new rewards added monthly. Variety is the spice of life, after all. While gift cards are great, we make it super easy to customize the Reward Catalog with options that are meaningful to your company, culture, and values. Custom Rewards are an excellent way to add experiences, team outings, and in-jokes to your catalog! Unlike the Reward Catalog options, which Bonusly automatically fulfills, Custom Rewards are fulfilled by you.

Here’s what Bonusly’s Custom Rewards look like. 👀

Screen Shot 2021-10-26 at 5.49.39 AM

Goat 2 Meeting 🐐

If you’ve never heard about Goat 2 Meeting, you’re missing out. For less than $100, you can request a farm join your video chat to see a grab bag of cute farm animals. We added Goat 2 Meeting as a Custom Reward and it didn’t take long for Bonuslians to pool their dabs (our Bonusly point name) and get the Catskill Animal Sanctuary at our April 2020 all-hands meeting. We still think about Tracy, Edith, and Ferguson. 💚

Meaningful Donations

In mid-2021, Bonusly users surpassed $1 million to charity via Bonusly’s Reward Catalog. Even though employees have a variety of gift card options to choose from like Amazon, Starbucks, and Target, at least one out of every 20 reward redemptions is a charity donation. We’ve further customized the donation portion of our catalog by adding Custom Reward donation options that are meaningful to our company culture. We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: we love dogs (and cats) at Bonusly! The Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) is a charity near and dear to our hearts. Bonuslians have donated more than $900 to the HSBV Custom Reward in our Reward Catalog.



When it comes to analytics, look for tools that allow you to easily see team engagement in aggregate as well as which employees stand out as recognition and engagement. Use data to understand team dynamics, who’s recognized most frequently, and what they're being recognized for. - Bonusly’s Guide to Modern Employee Recognition

The average Bonusly user gives AND receives recognition at least once a week. 😲 Bonusly uses the rich social data produced by the giving of frequent recognition and transforms it into useful data, predictive metrics, and timelines. You get insights and information from Bonusly that you literally can’t get from anywhere else. You can read more about our analytics here. Read on to see examples of how we use our company’s Bonusly analytics to reduce silos, create opportunities for collaboration, and help employees grow and thrive.

Network Analysis

Like many companies in March 2020, Bonusly went from in-person to remote work in an instant. Luckily, we still had plenty of transparency into who was working with whom and on what thanks to our Bonusly analytics. Many of our managers and leaders within Bonusly use our Organization Graph to get a snapshot of who their reports are working with most and where there may be opportunities for more collaboration. With one click on the Activity feed, you can learn more about the projects folks are working on together. Our analysts have been a huge boon for enabling transparency and collaboration during this time of remote work.


Reviews and Reducing Recency Bias

Many of our managers use our user activity page to find information to support performance and career development. You can scroll through the recognition activity to review performance over time and get a reminder through past recognition of all the projects the employee has worked on in a review period—not just the most recent activity. This helps our managers reduce recency bias and give more complete, thoughtful reviews and feedback.

Looking for a better way to facilitate performance review conversations? Grab our handy performance management review template.

Wrapping up

Our goal at Bonusly is to help teams feel a greater sense of alignment and purpose, understand what it means to embody your company's core values, and see how contributions of all kinds support your mission. We’re constantly coming up with new and unique ways to use our software to better the employee experience.

Do you want to see how Bonusly could be put to work at your company? Request a Bonusly demo 👇

See Bonusly in action, Request a demo

Originally published on October 26, 2021 → Last updated January 3, 2023

Bust out your branded beach towel. Dust off your logoed water bottle! The launch of Bonusly's integration with AXOMO means it's officially the Summer of Swag. 😎🏖️☀️ 

Bonusly and AXOMO now have an integration that makes it easy for Bonusly customers to offer company swag in their Bonusly Reward Catalog.* 

Animated GIF with a Bonusly-branded t-shirt and tote bag being danced in front of a multicolored background

By default, the international Bonusly Reward Catalog features an extensive selection of instantly available digital gift cards, prepaid card and cash-out options, and charity donations.

When you connect your company's AXOMO store to the Bonusly Reward Catalog, you can offer company-branded swag in addition to the usual reward choices, giving your employees loads of fun items to choose from.

Why use Bonusly + AXOMO?

Bonusly and AXOMO are powerful additions to your HR toolkit. When you connect Bonusly's fun and easy recognition and rewards platform to AXOMO's comprehensive swag management and rewards platform, you and your employees will enjoy a simpler end-to-end swag rewards experience.

🔁 Swag, rinse, repeat

When you connect your company’s AXOMO store to the Bonusly Reward Catalog, your employees can redeem their Bonusly points for swag they’ll love. AXOMO manages order fulfillment, creating a stress-free process for rewards admins. 

🎁 Swag smarter, not harder

Let them choose it so they’ll use it! With AXOMO’s extensive swag options, you can offer your employees an array of stylish, high-quality swag right in your Bonusly Reward Catalog. 


🧹 Clear that clutter

AXOMO’s on-demand production services make it easy to retire unpopular swag items and introduce new ones. In addition to handling on-demand production and domestic and international shipping, AXOMO can store pre-made inventory for you, freeing up your storage closet and shrinking fulfillment times.

Chat with a Bonusly sales rep to learn more about Bonusly, our Reward Catalog, and other integrations. 

Why company swag?

People love swag! 💚 Believe us, we asked!

Summer of Swag Survey Result Header-1

To celebrate our new integration, we asked 300 full-time employees around the US how they really feel about company swag. Here’s what they shared.

Over half of the people we surveyed (58%) said they like getting branded swag from their employers. Only 13% responded that they don’t want more stuff.

Bonusly asked 300 full-time employees in the US if they like getting branded swag from their companies. 58.2% said "Yes! Give me all of the things free and branded," 28.4% said "I could take it or leave it," and 13.4% said "No, I don't need more stuff"

Here's a case for letting employees choose their own swag: 22% of our survey respondents use only about half of the swag they receive and 7% use none of it. 

Bonusly asked 300 full-time employees in the US how much company swag they use. 17% said "ALL of it!" 22% said "About half" and 7% said "None"

Want to know what swag to stock (or not?) Our survey respondents labeled tech accessories, clothes, and backpacks & bags the most desirable. Their least favorite items were stickers & patches, fitness gear, and water bottles.

Bonusly asked 300 full-time employees in the US what their favorite company swag is. They answered tech accessories, clothes, and backpacks & bags.
Bonusly asked 300 full-time employees in the US what their least favorite company swag is. They answered stickers and patches, fitness gear, and water bottles.

If you're looking for swag inspiration, we asked folks about the most random swag they ever received. Branded plywood or vacuum, anyone? 😅

Bonusly asked 300 full-time employees in the US what the most random swag they ever received was. They answered: slap bracelet, tobacco, compass, whistle, vacuum, easy button, jumper cables, plywood, alarm clock, chicken, and dog dish.

Swag or no swag, we have a big list of creative employee reward ideas to spark your imagination and motivate your employees. A lot of them are budget conscious, so you can start small and work your way up!

Ready, set, get your swag on

Bonusly Pro customers, you can set up your AXOMO integration right away. If your company is on the Bonusly Core plan and you'd like to upgrade to Pro to integrate with AXOMO, you can do that yourself and reach out to your Customer Success Manager or contact our Support team for assistance.

Not a Bonusly customer yet but want to be? Schedule a chat with a sales rep to get started. 💚👕

*You must be a Bonusly customer and an AXOMO customer in order to integrate the two platforms. If you're new to AXOMO, use this link (or our referral code, "BONUSLY") to get a discount on your platform fees.

Having great employees is definitely good for your business, but having great managers is perhaps even more vital. 

We chatted with Vicki Yang, Bonusly's VP of People Operations, about why managers matter and the most important things managers should do to keep their teams engaged. Listen to the interview or read the transcript, below! 

Hi Vicki! Thanks for joining me. Today we are going to talk about a topic that is near and dear to your heart: the role of the manager when it comes to employee engagement. 

One of our Bonusly writers recently shared this analogy about the role of a manager at a company: 

In the workplace, a manager is like a guide holding together a team of hikers on a long, winding trail. 

The guide needs to keep the group together, determine when to stop for breaks and when to push on, adjust the pace, and offer guidance so everyone can make it to the end of the trail successfully. 

What are your thoughts on this analogy? Would you expand on it to further define a manager’s role within a company? 

I love the analogy, I’ve heard terms like guides, coaches, conductors, all of those really help paint a picture of what a manager does. One thing the analogies don’t encompass is that you don’t have to have all the answers, you’re also a facilitator, trying to bring out the best in people and magnify their ability to get things done and solve problems.

Why do good managers matter? 

People naturally want feedback, in fact we’re always looking for it, it’s that search for data to know something as simple as, is it hot outside to am I doing a good job. We’re not always great at asking for feedback from other people, but we crave it. And in the workplace managers are in a role to help support giving feedback. Having a good manager who cares and gives feedback has a daily impact on the work and engagement of their entire team 

One of the most important factors in how satisfying and engaging employees find their job is their manager.

Managers are so critical to an employee’s experience on the job that half of the workers who quit their positions say they left because of their managers. This is according to Gallup’s State of the Workplace Survey.  

What are the three most important things managers should do to keep employees engaged?

It’s pretty hard to manage people well! Managing requires a complex mix of strategizing, prioritizing, technical skills, interpersonal skills, and support from the whole organization. It’s not easy given peoples communication styles, strengths and areas for development, and ways of working. But there are three basic things you can do to help keep employees engaged.

1. Know your people.

  • Is how you’re managing them working for you and them?
  • Do you know what they’re doing day to day AND how that ties into what they want to learn and do in the future?

2. Commit to communicating.

3. Create a healthy workplace culture - this is about creating trust and psychological safety.


Looking for more tips? Grab our employee recognition guide for managers.



Work life has become increasingly global, and many of our customers are located outside the United States or have teams around the world. We have Bonusly users in 124 countries! 🌎

Here are the top 5 ways Bonusly enables inclusive peer recognition and keeps global teams connected and engaged. 

  1. We offer rewards in over 120 countries and are adding more international rewards monthly. We recently rolled out Prepaid Visa and MasterCard options to users in 81 countries. We also give users the ability to customize their rewards catalog for the different countries their employees are located in. This results in more meaningful rewards for employees based on where they are.
Screen Shot 2021-04-29 at 4.15.42 PM
  1. Points can be budgeted and redeemed in the employee's country currency. We also offer purchasing power parity (say that five times fast!). Purchasing power parity adjusts reward costs based on the employee's location, creating equity for global employees.
  2. Our HRIS integrations make it easy to import employee location data indicating which country an employee is located in. This data feeds directly into our analytics dashboard, giving you more insights into participation and collaboration trends by location.

  3. The content on our Bonusly recognition feed is driven primarily by the employee. This means that whatever language the employee is most comfortable with can be the language they use to give recognition.
  4. With Bonusly employees can recognize any colleague, in any country. We make recognizing a colleague across the ocean as easy as recognizing the one right next to you!
global org graph

Want to learn more about our global capabilities? Our sales team can help.

Looking for an employee engagement solution? Try Bonusly for Free!