Company Culture

A Manager's Guide to Bonusly: 10 Tips for Team Success

Vanessa Kahn
January 8, 2024
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As a manager, your day is already chock full of one-on-ones, team meetings, and tasks you need to complete to achieve team goals. At the risk of adding something else to your list, you also have to consider the engagement levels of your team. Why? Managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores.😯

Feeling overwhelmed? Bonusly can help managers create team cultures of feedback, amplify team accomplishments, and surface opportunities for growth with reliable insights. 

Here are ten ideas for managers to get the most out of Bonusly that will lead to a more productive, engaged, and happy team. Let’s go! 

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Manager tips for using Bonusly

Tip #1: Recognize often and equitably

One of the most powerful antidotes to disengagement is employee recognition, especially when it comes from managers. A recent study found that 53% of employees said they would stay at their organizations longer if they felt appreciated by their bosses. Additionally, when managers prioritize regular recognition, constructive feedback is better received by direct reports. For recognition to be most effective, it should be delivered frequently and equitably, which can be a tall order without the right tools.

Bonusly’s Manager Giving Tracker serves as an appreciation barometer to nudge managers to appreciate each of their direct reports throughout the month. The widget gives managers an at-a-glance view of which direct reports have been recognized for the month and indicates which team members might need an appreciation refuel. The Manager Giving Tracker also promotes appreciation equity on the team, encouraging managers to recognize each direct report at least once per month.

Tip #2: Amplify team accomplishments

There are lots of ways to show your team that you see and appreciate their work beyond recognizing team members directly. We recommend blocking 15 minutes at the end of each week to review, comment on, and add on to team accomplishments in the Bonusly feed. Here’s how we’d advise you use that time: 

  • Log into your Bonusly account. 
  • Use Custom Feeds to filter recognition to just your team’s. 
  • Scroll through all of your team’s recognition for the past week. 
  • Comment on, add on, or react to posts to show your team you’re paying attention. 
  • Flag pieces of recognition that you’d like to bring up in your 1:1s with your direct reports.

This exercise takes a short amount of time, but it’s worth its weight in gold in helping your team feel appreciated and seen.  

Tip #3: Bring recognition to life

Team meetings can sometimes become stagnant and uninspiring over time. One way to keep things fresh? Bring fun and inspiring data to life in weekly team meetings. People data is your oyster and you just have to look for the pearls. 

Here are a few tips to start: 

  • Highlight a team member each week that exemplifies team values by choosing a piece of recognition to read out loud. You can even consider giving them a special award by adding points to their recognition in real-time and inviting the team to do the same. 
  • Highlight cross-departmental recognition to encourage reducing silos across the organization. 
  • Play games in your team meetings and award the winners with points from a team award budget. 

Tip #4: Evidence-based performance reviews

As we’ve established, managers' to-do lists are never-ending. One key responsibility is to conduct performance reviews. This is no light lift, but using team data from Bonusly can help make performance reviews more efficient, effective, and evidence-based. 

If you’re preparing for a performance review, start  by visiting the user activity page to find information to support performance reviews and career development. You can scroll through the recognition activity to review performance over time to see the entire picture of an employee's work, not just the most recent activity. This can help to reduce recency bias in reviews. 

Tip #5: Never miss a special event 

With Bonusly, team celebrations for anniversaries, birthdays, and new hire start dates are posted front and center on the homepage. You can go even further to ensure you never miss a team member’s special day by using Custom Feeds to filter recognition for your team. Plus, Bonusly email and chat app notifications will nudge you to recognize your team on their special day—no more calendar reminders needed!

Tip #6: Proactively address silos

Wouldn’t it be nice to have visibility into team members that might be isolated or siloed? Well, with Bonusly’s team dashboard, you do! When visiting the team dashboard, there are a few ways to determine members of your team that might be feeling isolated: 

  • Check out the organization graph: Is there anyone who doesn’t have strong connections to others on your team? 
  • Is someone not getting recognized or not connected to the rest of the group?  
  • If your participation is below 100%, check to see which one of your team members hasn’t been using Bonusly. 
  • Is there someone on your team who has been receiving noticeably less recognition than the rest of the team? 

Without being overt, these indicators could be a good signal to check in about sentiment in your next 1:1 with the impacted team member or members. Using insights to guide conversations is a great way to unearth issues your employees may be experiencing in real-time. 

Tip #7:  Establish team tradition

Bonusly makes it easy to establish fun and exciting team traditions. Consider hosting a yearly award ceremony for your team using Bonusly data to help tell a story of your year. For instance, use the team dashboard to determine which of your team members topped the chart for each core value. You could give a generosity award to the team member who gave the most recognition. You can celebrate the top receiver on your team. You might even choose to highlight the funniest piece of recognition received by your team. Let your imagination guide you—just ensure that everyone on your team is celebrated equitably with a special award. 

Tip #8: Award team success

Speaking of awards: leadership and management can reward top performers through Bonusly’s Awards to inspire the team to perform at their best. Customers have seen success with sales incentives, customer satisfaction awards, and more! Using Bonusly’s incentive, ensure every team member is up to date with the training and classes that help them perform optimally. 

Tip #9: Encourage a culture of feedback

The best managers embrace positive and constructive feedback! Bonusly is already used as a place for leadership, managers, and employees to give positive feedback to their coworkers. Next time you receive feedback from a direct report, use Bonusly to appreciate the feedback given to you, thereby promoting a culture of feedback. By giving employees a mechanism to appreciate the feedback they receive, a virtuous cycle is created. 

Tip #10: Get the most out of your notifications

Bonusly's weekly Manager Digest gives you a quick and personal overview of your team's engagement. This email, which gets sent directly to your inbox every week, provides a snapshot of bonus activity, your team's top hashtags, and upcoming birthdays and work anniversaries. With quicker access to your team's people analytics, you can gain valuable insights to boost collaboration, recognize employee efforts, and stay connected! 

Pro tip: Though all of Bonusly’s communications are crafted  in service of helping you get the most out of your Bonusly account, we know you might want to customize  your notification preferences. You can always do that in your email settings.

The takeaway

There you have it: ten tips for managers harness the power of Bonusly for your team. From fostering equitable recognition to leveraging data for evidence-based reviews and cultivating a vibrant team culture through traditions and awards, each tip will bring you one step closer to top team performance and engagement. 

Feeling inspired? For more tips, visit the manager’s complete guide to employee recognition

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