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We all know how much your team values positive employee feedback and recognition for their work. While you might think that your employees dread receiving constructive feedback, there are some surprising statistics that say otherwise. According to research compiled by Zippia,

60% of employees reported wanting feedback on a daily or weekly basis [and] 80% of employees want feedback at the moment rather than receiving aggregated feedback in an annual or bi-annual review.


28% of employees receive meaningful feedback at least once a week. Another 28% receive feedback a few times a year and 19% receive feedback once a year or less.

Why do we fear these much-needed conversations, and why don’t we give them the priority they deserve?

As an HR consulting professional, I regularly mediate disagreements and coach managers on how to deliver difficult news. So I can tell you from personal experience: it doesn’t matter how many tough conversations you’ve had, giving constructive employee feedback is hard.

I’ve managed all kinds of hard conversations, from company closures and terminations to performance improvement plans, but sometimes, they cover topics as simple as personality clashes and misunderstandings. In this article, I’ll share the insights I’ve gained through years of coaching.

Conflict can be a good thing

Per Merriam-Webster, conflict can be defined as "a mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes or external or internal demands.”

…and it can also present a wonderful opportunity! Overcoming conflict helps us grow, learn, and change for the better. We need conflict in order to become our best selves, even in the workplace. Conflict has many purposes at work, and when it’s handled appropriately, conflict can strengthen interpersonal relationships within teams.


Improves employee and manager performance

Conflict is often caused by unmet expectations and other misunderstandings stemming from ineffective communication. Addressing conflict in appropriate ways helps people know, meet, and exceed expectations.

It’s amazing how well we can perform once we understand what is expected of us. Setting clear and realistic expectations for our coworkers, direct reports and managers sets us all up for success.

Improves relationships

Disagreements, handled with the proper care, can actually bring people closer together. Opening up to coworkers about a concern shows vulnerability, trust, and transparency.

Giving employees feedback shows that we care enough about them to help steer them in the right direction. It also establishes healthy, needed boundaries and limits on behaviors we are willing to accept. You and your team members can learn more about one another and come to a deeper understanding through healthy conflict resolution.


Giving and receiving feedback in the workplace: know your audience

It’s critically important that you understand how the person on the receiving end of your feedback will react and respond to you. Depending on your respective communication styles, the feedback may need to be delivered in a modified way.

Many assessments exist to help us identify our communication styles. DISC and Myers-Briggs are two of the most widely recognized assessments, but there are also other similar tests out there, some of which are free. By having your whole team take a communication style assessment, you can better understand how to interact with each other and how to best provide feedback. Plus, it can be a fun team bonding activity. 💖

Most of these assessments break communication styles into four main categories. The names for the categories differ slightly from test to test, but they tend to share similar traits across the board.

The authors of the book How to Deal with Annoying People: What to Do When You Can’t Avoid Them do a particularly thorough job of explaining these categories and what they mean for providing effective feedback.

For simplicity, these are the communication styles I'll cover:

  • Driver
  • Expressive
  • Analytical
  • Amiable

Let's dive into each of these personality types, their strengths and weaknesses, and how to best approach giving them feedback.


Be sure to check out our employee feedback examples article for more inspiration!


People with an analytical communication style respect competence and expect accuracy from others. They care about the details, even seemingly irrelevant ones, and they expect you to as well. They cross their Ts and dot their Is, and their attention often pays off in the quality of their work.

However, their standards can be too high or unrealistic. They often suffer from “paralysis by analysis” and have trouble making decisions and starting projects. Analyticals tend to prefer the analyzing and planning phase over performing the actual work, and they often take a long time ultimately declare a project complete.

It’d make an analytical person very uncomfortable if you try to pressure them into making a rushed decision without providing supporting evidence as to why your idea is a good one. This, of course, can come across as highly offensive to Amiables and Expressives who value relationships and make decisions based on emotion. It also annoys Drivers who just want to check the item off their list and move on.

When giving feedback to an Analytical, make sure you support whatever you’re saying with documented evidence and specific examples. Do not expect an Analytical to change behaviors simply because what they’re doing makes you unhappy or uncomfortable. Analyticals understand their own working styles best and can see your suggestions as a roadblock. Instead, focus on how what they’re doing fails to meet established expectations, and provide the specific criteria for that expectation. Support observations with facts and figures whenever possible. 📊

Employee feedback example for an Analytical:

“In our review of your formal job description, we discussed the requirement to communicate effectively with other staff. In your recent peer review, 25% of your peers reported that your criticisms of their work made them less engaged and productive and even resulted in them making worse mistakes. When asked how you could improve your approach, they all reported that privately asking them for clarification when you have a question about their work would be the best approach. Moving forward, let’s follow this approach and not directly point out your coworkers’ mistakes, especially in front of other people.”


Drivers are dynamic, goal-oriented individuals who are often found in leadership positions. They are highly productive, strong-willed, and exude confidence, but they can also make rash, impulsive decisions.

Drivers prefer to delegate work, particularly if they find it tedious. They hate getting bogged down with details and instead prefer to receive a high-level overview. Someone who is a Driver may be perceived as bossy, manipulative, rude, or short-sighted. This communication style particularly affronts Analyticals, who dislike recklessness, and Amiables, who don’t enjoy being pushed to do things.

If you need to provide feedback to a Driver, follow this simple directive: Be quick, be smart, be gone! Say what you need to see happen, provide a brief but meaningful reason for why they should adjust, and then let them get on with their day.

Employee feedback example for a Driver:

“I’ve noticed several typos on the last three client proposals you submitted. I need you to slow down and double check your work before submitting it. Your performance review will be more favorable, and you’ll be eligible for a bigger bonus percentage, if you turn this around right now and I see very few mistakes moving forward.”


If you have a coworker who is easy-going, good-natured, and supportive, you work with an Amiable. Amiables don’t like to rock the boat and are generally content with their day-to-day routines. They perform well under pressure and are often seen as stabilizing forces on teams. Although you might love working with an Amiable teammate, if you’re any other communication style, the Amiable probably finds you to be difficult to work with. 😝

One of the most important things to remember when providing feedback to someone with an amiable communication style is that they are typically emotionally sensitive. They are the most likely to take feedback personally and see it as a personal failure. It’s important to take extra steps when providing feedback to Amiables to avoid them feeling hurt or offended.

Showing that you care about their personal growth and are providing feedback to help them be successful is the most productive way to give Amiables feedback. They are collaborative personalities, so suggest check-ins as they work on solutions to their problems.

Employee feedback example for an Amiable:

“Thanks so much for meeting with me. I have enjoyed working with you these past few months, and I am so glad we are able to connect. Since I envision you becoming one of our strongest support reps, I want to make sure you’re equipped with the tools to get there. Currently, the time it takes you to close out an open ticket is averaging 5-hours longer than the goal we established. We need to fulfill our commitment to customers to completely resolve their issues in 24 hours or less. If you follow the SOPs that I shared with you step-by-step, every time, I am confident that you will achieve this goal.”


Expressives are everything their name implies. They love to talk and tell stories, and they have tons of energy. Expressives are creative and inspirational, so they make great public speakers.

Their spontaneity and regular shift in focus, however, often result in poor planning, and they are often late to meetings. While Expressives always seem happy, they can be perceived as being “fake”. They also annoy others by not letting them get a word in edgewise. Drivers particularly dislike being held captive by long-winded, meandering Expressives, and their energy levels can completely exhaust Analyticals and Amiables.

Because Expressives need to feel heard, it’s important to include questions in your feedback to allow them to tell you what they think their opportunities for improvement are. It’s also important to not let them go off on a tangent or change the subject, so you may need to redirect them back to the issue at hand at least once.

Employee feedback example for an Expressive:

“Thanks for meeting with me! I wanted to hear from you on how you’ve been doing and what areas for improvement you’ve identified. (...) Great, thanks for sharing that with me. I agree that you could focus more on closing sales. What can I do to best support you with this? (...) I can do that. What can I expect to see from you moving forward? (...) Great! Thanks so much for discussing this with me.

Tips for effectively giving employees feedback

In his world-renowned book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie explains how to give constructive criticism without alienating people. While his model certainly keeps the likeability of the person giving feedback intact, it has a few major drawbacks:

  • It’s not direct enough to effectively address the issues for Drivers.
  • It’s not specific enough to address issues with Analyticals.
  • Anyone, regardless of their communication style, might walk away from receiving feedback not understanding the consequences of unchanged behavior.

For these reasons, I've learned to blend Carnegie's trusted approach with the feedback formula proposed by Shari Harley in How to Say Anything to Anyone. The following steps outline the ultimate effective feedback approach, and like her book says, this isn’t strictly for supervisors—these are also great tips for peer-to-peer, interpersonal communications.

  1. Meet privately: Address the recipient of the feedback one-on-one. Privacy helps prevent embarrassment, and it also eliminates distractions.
  2. Begin with appreciation, humility, and empathy: Thank the person for meeting with you, and explain that you know how difficult the issue at hand can be. Praise anything that can be praised before moving into the criticism. Explain the issue that is of concern and, if applicable, admit to any fault that you might share in the issue.
  3. Use specific examples of unacceptable behavior: The feedback recipient should be reminded of a recent, specific example of behavior that was not acceptable.
  4. Focus on the impact of the actions: Make sure that the person receiving the feedback understands why she needs to change her behavior (e.g. because it’s losing the company money, because it negatively impacts other peoples’ work, etc.). Explain how the behavior makes you feel.
  5. State your expectations moving forward: Communicate the changes you expect to see moving forward. It can be helpful to brainstorm potential solutions together or ask how you specifically can help them achieve their goals.
  6. State your consequences: Let them know what could happen if the behavior continues. For example, someone’s brusque tone could alienate other team members or even how customers think about the company.
  7. Allow the other person to save face: Be gentle and empathetic—it’s hard to receive criticism! Leave the meeting with a smile and no indication to anyone else as to the topic of the meeting, and allow them to take the lead on addressing the issue with other team members or if they want to work on it privately.
  8. Praise any and all improvements: Be sure to communicate when you observe positive changes. This shows your team member that their hard work is seen and that you’re paying attention!

Receiving feedback

Just as important as giving great feedback is receiving feedback correctly. John Ford, Founder and Principal Mediator at the HR Mediation Academy, shared his thoughts with us on accepting feedback:

Feedback is vital for the well being of any important relationship, yet fraught with difficulty, especially in the receiving, because of our propensity to perceive it as an attack. When you remember that the purpose behind feedback is learning (not to embarrass or humiliate) it's easier to receive it non-defensively and assume that the person giving it has a positive intention. As with all key conversations, it's always a good idea to summarize at the end to confirm your understanding of the feedback given.
–John Ford, HR Mediation Academy

While this approach to receiving feedback can be broadly applied to all workforce members, there are a few additional considerations based on your role.

Supervisors, for example, should be especially sensitive to the fact that they have a certain degree of power over their subordinates. Supervisors should recognize that it’s extremely difficult and even scary for their team members to provide critical feedback if they fear retaliation. 🤐

For this reason, supervisors should actively solicit feedback and let their staff know that it’s okay for them to voice their concerns. Then, regardless of the content of the feedback they’ve received, supervisors should show gratitude and encouragement for teams’ transparent communication.

On an organization-wide level, consider implementing pulse surveys—whether anonymous or not—to get frequent, timely feedback from your employees.

How we make giving feedback a regular practice at Bonusly

At Bonusly, we believe that radical candor is instrumental in being an excellent teammate (one of our core values). We practice delivering positive feedback frequently with the use of our employee recognition program. Providing regular positive feedback makes it much easier to deliver constructive feedback when the time comes.


We also share peer feedback with one another twice per year. The way this works is that employees ask two of their colleagues to share feedback about their performance when it comes to both strengths and areas for growth.

Last but not least, our manager-employee one-on-one meetings are structured in a way that prioritizes regular positive and constructive feedback that goes in both directions. There's a shared understanding that both managers and employees will benefit and ultimately grow as a result of consistent positive and constructive feedback.

Download our free one-on-one meeting agenda template to make positive and constructive feedback a habit with your employees!



By providing a psychologically safe workplace and a culture of constructive feedback in their departments, teams can capitalize on valuable learning opportunities and chances to improve.

In the end, my best advice is to always assume the best intentions! Unless you’re working on improving a toxic workplace, chances are that everyone on your team wants the best for the company. Listen—giving and receiving feedback is hard! But, the payoff includes better team communication and even more opportunities to recognize hard work.

While you're here, check out our other Best Practice resources! ⬇️

For more best practices on how to effectively recognize and engage employees, check out our Guide to Modern Employee Recognition!

Get The Guide to Modern Employee Recognition

Originally published on September 28, 2022 → Last updated September 28, 2022

What do we mean by employee recognition, and why does it matter?

Employee recognition is the open acknowledgment and expressed appreciation for an employee’s contributions to their organization, and it provides a number of business, social, and employee wellness advantages to teams. In this article, we will discuss the following topics. (Click the links below to jump to a specific section!)

While the interest in providing effective, more frequent recognition in the workplace may be recent, psychological research has well-documented evidence of our need to be appreciated, respected, and acknowledged. This knowledge has spurred the introduction of home-grown programs and dedicated employee recognition software platforms in organizations around the world.

One way to understand the impact of recognition programs is through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Essentially, after our baseline physiological needs (i.e., food, water, rest) are met, we can focus on our need for shelter and security, followed by belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. Modern employee recognition supports both belongingness and esteem in the workplace.

Want more? Check out the Complete Manager's Guide to Employee Recognition

Recognition is integral in creating a psychologically-safe environment, where employees feel that it’s acceptable to offer feedback, make mistakes, and share contrary opinions. By rewarding strategic risks through recognition, teams can reinforce creative and innovative behavior without feelings of insecurity or embarrassment.

But even beyond our survival and needs—being appreciated just feels good. And there’s a reason why: Being recognized releases the flow of oxytocin, the chemical our bodies create when we bond with others and feel loved. It could be as small as a “thank you” note or as large as an award—the more often employees are valued and acknowledged, the better they’ll feel.

Benefits of recognition

There are a number of demonstrated benefits that stem from recognizing people, at all levels, in the workplace. To start, it’s been shown to:

  • Increase morale and motivation
    65% of employees say that they would put more effort into their work if they were recognized more often.

  • Enhance productivity and lead to bottom-line improvement
    When you increase morale, productivity, performance, and work quality also increase, ultimately improving your bottom line.

  • Help retain top performers
    Employees are 56% less likely to search for a new job if they work for companies that prioritize effective employee recognition compared to those that don't. Aside from direct costs, losing your top performers carries many indirect costs, like lost institutional knowledge and relationships.

  • Identify low performers before it's too late
    Once you have a recognition program in place, you’ll be able to quickly see who your low performers are and support them through professional development, a better team environment, or otherwise.

  • Drive engagement
    Motivation and productivity are just one piece of the engagement puzzle. Recognition also helps drive employee engagement by providing a sense of value and accomplishment. According to research by Harvard Business Review:
Leaders rated in the bottom 10% for providing recognition had employees at the 27th percentile on engagement. By contrast, those leaders rated in the top 10% were at the 69th percentile.


If you’re looking for a deeper dive into the importance and benefits, head over to The Guide to Modern Employee Recognition which also includes tools, resources, and case studies on unique and interesting ways to recognize your employees.

Giving effective recognition

Before implementing a dedicated program, it’s important to understand how to give meaningful recognition. The characteristics of effective employee recognition are:

  • Timely
  • Frequent
  • Specific
  • Visible
  • Inclusive
  • Values-based

To start, effective recognition is specific and timely. It’s the difference between “Thanks—you did a good job on that report” and “Thanks for the report—I appreciated the clear visuals you used. The graphs on page 14 were especially effective in demonstrating your point. Excellent work!” Specific recognition helps employees understand which actions contribute to team goals and should be repeated. Naturally, this type of praise should follow soon after the report is delivered, rather than an employee hearing about it eight months later in an annual performance review after you've forgotten the specifics.

Recognition should also be frequent, visible, tied to company values, and inclusive. Frequent recognition builds ongoing motivation and ensures that employees feel perpetually valued. Visible recognition provides positive reinforcement for both the employee being recognized and others around them. It also spotlights work that may have gone unnoticed and encourages increased collaboration. Values-based recognition brings your company vision to life by reinforcing your core values. Inclusive recognition encourages peer-to-peer recognition to promote stronger team connections.

Want to know more about these characteristics? Check out the Complete Manager's Guide to Employee Recognition

Best practices for recognition programs

Now that your team understands the benefits of recognition and the characteristics of effective recognition, it’s time to examine your own program. Are you following employee recognition best practices?

Managing your recognition program using the following five recommendations will help you make the most of appreciation on your team:

1. Define clear recognition program objectives and criteria

Employers should be clear about what behaviors or actions they’d like to see from recognition programs and the impact of recognition on business objectives. Whether you’re starting a new employee recognition program or updating an existing one, challenge your team to answer the following questions:

  • What types of behaviors will be rewarded?
    Reference your business objectives and decide which behaviors to incentivize, and remember that effective recognition is tied to organizational values! Reward deliverables completed on time if lateness is a challenge, and applaud cross-departmental collaboration if your organization is stuck working in silos.

  • How should the desired behavior be rewarded?
    It’s important to know your team and reward behavior accordingly – everyone prefers certain languages of appreciation over others. In general, praise should be public and can be a great learning opportunity for the whole team. Tying that praise to a tangible reward or experience can remind employees of their achievements long after praise is given.

  • How often should recognition occur?
    Effective praise is frequent, so it’s important to recognize your team regularly. Giving recognition on the spot is a good habit, and reiterating that praise during team meetings, especially for special achievements, can amplify the effects of recognition.

  • Who should recognition come from?
    Recognition is traditionally given top-down by managers, but peer-to-peer and 360-degree recognition is even more effective.

2. Use a multifaceted rewards and recognition program

Many employers assume that employees always want money instead of non-tangible rewards, but research suggests that’s not true. Research by Deloitte, for example, identified two different types of recognition: 1.) praise and emblematic recognition and 2.) token and monetary rewards. They found that both types of recognition are important to employees, as:

“This varied approach helps to constantly and frequently reinforce desired employee behaviors.”

This may not seem intuitive at first, but imagine receiving a bonus without any note or explanation. How would you know how to replicate the behaviors that led to the bonus? You’d have no idea what you did correctly to earn it—and how to avoid doing something incorrectly!

Similarly, it’s beneficial to understand the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in the workplace. Whether the praise or the monetary reward is the primary form of recognition, both approaches complement each other.

3. Give employees a voice and a choice

Don’t assume that you know what everyone wants; engage your employees to better understand the types of rewards they’re most interested in. This is true even for monetary rewards, where a gift card may be preferred over company-branded materials. For example, if you’re rewarding employees with gift cards, make sure employees will use and enjoy products or services from that business.

Once you’ve drafted ideas for potential rewards, it’s easy to get employee preferences by sending out some survey questions and asking for feedback. Giving employees a say in rewards redemption can increase their personal investment in the program and make recognition even more enjoyable.


4. Ensure effective implementation and roll-out

When introducing a new system or approach, it’s important that communication around the roll-out is clear and the implementation is as painless as possible. Any team participating in a new program should be clued in on that program’s purpose, how to use it, and when it will take effect. Here are three factors to consider as you’re thinking about implementing or updating a recognition program:


Management should be aligned on the program’s purpose, especially when they’re leading the roll-out of the program. Teams and employees may start to feel jaded if no one is taking it seriously. Imagine being on a team where the manager withholds recognition and doesn’t think it’s important while watching the team next door receive reward after reward—it would be demoralizing.

Recognition should also be aligned with organizational objectives and goals; creating recognition programs around behaviors that the business doesn’t value leads to confusion and may have the negative impact of directing energy away from company goals. Consider it a reinforcement of existing priorities.


Managers should strive for publicly-visible recognition, especially at the start of any recognition program. Employees should be able to see when their peers are recognized, fostering a culture of recognition. Data from that recognition should be visible for teams to help improve communication.


With current technology, how recognition is delivered is also critical to determine. How will recognition or rewards be delivered in your organization?

Meet your employees where they’re at. If you regularly communicate through a collaboration tool like Slack, find a program that integrates with it. Use existing team meetings to reiterate recognition where appropriate, and consider using an automated system to fulfill rewards.


5. Measure your recognition program’s effectiveness

Recognition programs impact many different areas of an organization. Using a measurement system like employee net promoter score can provide a useful way to measure the effect of recognition on factors like employee engagement and morale.

Successful recognition programs should positively impact other factors like performance, productivity, and turnover. You can use a number of ways to analyze changes in those areas, like pulse surveys, brief interviews or feedback sessions, and performance management software. Gather 360-degree feedback on a regular basis, and use it to adjust your program where necessary.

To take it one step further, use data from your recognition program to inform other business decisions. Research behavior to determine if any team or individual is isolated, review how teams are connected, and facilitate collaboration where needed. Are there teams with outstanding behavior? Study them to understand how to take those learnings to other departments.

The takeaway

Beyond measures of productivity and performance, employers can use recognition as a catalyst for widespread positive organizational change by engaging employees, connecting teams, and fostering a culture of appreciation.

Nearly every company can benefit from implementing or improving its existing recognition practices. Whether you’re implementing a new recognition program like Bonusly or refining an existing one, effective recognition can be an extremely powerful positive force.

While you're here, check out our other Best Practice resources! ⬇️

Top 5 Essential Best Practices for Employee Offboarding

DEI at Work: 5 Best Practices and 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Modern Compensation Strategy Best Practices

Ready to learn more about the top employee recognition program that makes timely, frequent, specific, visible, inclusive, and values-based recognition effortless?

Learn more with a free trial, demo, or quick tour of our fun, smart, and cost-effective employee recognition platform.

Meet our fun and intuitive recognition program. Click to take a tour of Bonusly.

Originally published on September 26, 2022 → Last updated October 31, 2022

The new and improved Rewards page allows companies to highlight their company culture and users to express their unique personalities through a customized reward experience. Bonsuly’s robust reward catalog meets employees wherever they work with 1,200+ rewards in 200+ countries. With reward information at their fingertips, and a WCAG AA accessibility supported  interface, employees can spend less time redeeming rewards and more time enjoying them. 

Let’s take a look at what’s on the menu!

Streamlined shopping experience

The new rewards experience matches familiar online shopping patterns and pages load faster than ever before for a stellar shopping experience. Redeeming a reward is as simple as 1, 2, 3:

  1. When a user navigates to the rewards page, they’ll immediately see how many points they have available to spend with a prominent redeemable point balance. 
  1. With their balance in mind, they can browse the updated reward categories to easily find the right reward for them. 
  1. Once they select their desired reward, they’ll be met with a brand detail page highlighting key information they need to confidently claim their reward. After claiming the reward, it’s ready to be redeemed with the selected brand.

Rewards for everyone

Bonusly’s reward experience is WCAG AA approved and meets the needs of global customers with robust translation capabilities and rewards in 200+ countries. We’re meeting our customers wherever they work with additional content translations supported and purchasing power parity abilities. It’s the rewarding experience heard around the world. 🌎

Built with your employees in mind

Every employee has a unique reward personality. There are the repeat redeemers; employees redeeming from the same reward month after month. The situational shoppers; employees cashing out rewards to line up with life events. The spontaneous purchasers; employees who like to try a new reward every time.

Lucky for our users, Bonusly’s reward refresh is customized to meet the unique needs of employees and companies alike. Now, everyone can quickly find rewards they might like or re-order their favorites. At the company level, admins have the ability to add custom rewards or donations central to their culture. We’ve also made it much easier to represent your company in style with automated swag fulfillment through AXOMO. Last, but not least, we highlighted "Points Boost" on the rewards page to increase peer-to-peer recognition while keeping recognition budgets in check. 

The bottom line: employers reward the way they want, and employees are rewarded the way they want. 

As if this update wasn’t enough, we’re just getting started! Keep an eye on this blog post to be the first to find out about additional reward enhancements. We hope you and your employees enjoy a more seamless, fun, and accessible rewards experience. Ready to share the news? Our one pager can help. Happy rewarding!

Are employee engagement surveys the be-all and end-all to understanding employee sentiment? 🤔

Though surveys can be a good first step to assess the state of the organization, they need to be supplemented with rich, real-time people analytics in order to be meaningful, trustworthy, and actionable. Let's take a look at the challenges with traditional engagement surveys and how rich people analytics can help fill in the gaps. 📈

The issue with traditional engagement surveys

Surveys without action can create mistrust among employees. If you're willing to ask employees questions, you should be ready to respond to feedback, and quickly. When survey data is mishandled, mistrust among employees increases. Additionally, employees don’t trust that survey results are truly anonymous and fear retribution for unfavorable opinions about the company. That’s why surveys should be supplemented with reliable, real-time people analytics.  

Beyond mistrust, surveys often offer temporary solutions to long term problems. HR teams frequently scramble to offer quick fixes to the issues they see in their survey results, when what they need to focus on is implementing permanent solutions. That’s the problem with receiving engagement data all at once instead of regularly, in real-time. Enter Bonusly analytics! Bonusly allows you to understand and react to employee sentiment in real time with powerful people analytics

How to use Bonusly to supplement survey data

As Walden University puts it, “Surveys provide a snapshot of the moment that’s already passed.” By the time you collect, analyze and take action on survey results it can be too late to move the needle on employee engagement and retention. In addition to employee surveys, it’s essential to monitor real-time people analytics to act on important peoples decisions quickly. 

Zero in on problem areas

Identify engagement issues in real-time and quickly understand which parts of your organization need your attention. With Compare Rates analytics, you can consistently compare recognition rates across teams and identify teams that are giving and receiving recognition at a rate below your company’s average. You can make recommendations to boost recognition rates by implementing award programs, encouraging managers to recognize their direct reports, and connecting your Bonusly instance to your preferred chat tool to boost visibility of recognition and encourage add-ons. 

Establish benchmarks

Before and after you take action based on survey results, benchmark your company’s current level of engagement with Bonusly. Having quantitative data to improve upon can be a great way to set tangible goals for long term improvement. 

Measure adoption of core values

You can use hashtag analytics to regularly measure the adoption of your company values. Understand if there are values that have trended down that may need programming support from the HR team. Were there key events that can be tied to those declines? Regularly reviewing changes in hashtag analytics allows Bonusly customers to proactively implement changes instead of reacting to survey results. 

Incentivize survey responses

A key issue with employee engagement surveys is that they’re hard to get employees to respond to given the time commitment. Low response rates lead to inadequate sample sizes which makes meaningful organizational change a challenge. Using Bonusly’s awards, HR teams can incentivize participation in the engagement survey to ensure they have sufficient results to work with. 

Next up, let's look at how you can use Bonusly data to make employee survey results actionable. 

How to use Bonusly to take action on survey results

Bonusly’s robust people analytics are essential to supplementing survey data.  Here are four ways you can use Bonusly analytics to ensure survey results don't collect dust on your HR team's desk:

Survey says: low engagement scores

Bonusly helps build a culture of appreciation and many of our customers have seen their eNPS scores go up as a result of implementing Bonusly. Both Andiamo and Nexthink were able to increase their eNPS scores significantly after implementing Bonusly. 👏

Survey says: lack of DEI education

If you get feedback about a lack of DEI education in the company, start to incentivize educational behaviors like training, courses, and focus groups happening at your organization. Using Bonusly’s award functionality helps increase employees' personal initiative to take part in important learning opportunities and empowers everyone to influence company culture in a meaningfully positive way. 

Survey says: retention is an issue

Often, employees flag retention as an improvement area in engagement surveys. Implementing an employee recognition program has a powerful impact on retention. In fact, 48% of Bonusly customers saw an improvement in employee retention after implementing Bonusly. With Bonusly's help, our customers at Pender Veterinary saw their attrition rate stay flat during the Great Resignation.

Survey says: employees are disconnected

Often, HR teams get survey feedback about a lack of connection between employees, teams, and departments. Bonusly can help! Over ⅔ of Bonusly customers reported an improvement in employee connection after implementing Bonusly.  

We've only scratched the surface on what Bonusly's powerful people analytics can do for your company. Want to learn more? Schedule an employee recognition demo


Too much employee  appreciation is a good problem to have, but it can be overwhelming to keep track of every piece of recognition flowing through your organization.

To help you and your team stay up to date on recognition that matters most to you, we’ve launched Custom Feeds. Custom Feeds allow Bonusly users to save feeds to their homepage for specific locations, teams, or departments. Everyone has the freedom to decide which feeds they want to see and the flexibility to quickly change them at any time. With easily adjustable views, users can zoom in on relevant recognition without losing sight of the organization as a whole. 

What can the update do? 

With Custom Feeds, you can view only the recognition you need to see, when you need to see it. Then, when you’re done looking at a specific slice of your organization, you can quickly toggle back to seeing organization-wide recognition. With Custom Feeds you can: 

  • Create and save new feeds based on teams, departments, and locations
  • Keep tabs on several streams of recognition at once
  • Add and remove feeds easily and as often as needed

What can the update do for you? 

Teams aren’t static, Bonusly’s new Custom Feeds aren’t either. New Custom Feeds support large, international teams like never before all while saving managers and leaders valuable time. 

Support companies with multiple office locations

For companies with multiple offices and locations, Custom Feeds allow you to easily follow recognition posts from your location, helping you keep tabs on the team you interact with most throughout your workday, without losing sight of what’s happening company-wide. 

Support large and scaling businesses

If you’re working at a large or scaling business,  you can use Custom Feeds to create visible feeds of the most relevant teams, departments, and locations. Then, when you’re done zooming in on specific teams, you can quickly return to viewing the organization as a whole. 

Keep track of the team’s key milestones

Gone are the days of missing important work milestones like birthdays and anniversaries. With Custom Feeds, you can view recognition by teams or departments to keep track of recognition and interactions flowing between the people you work with most. 

Quickly change your perspective

Custom Feeds saves you time and makes catching up on and engaging with relevant recognition simple. Need to switch up your feed view to get some new perspective? You can change your recognition view in a matter of seconds by adding feeds to your homepage. You can set them and forget them, or make changes as often as you’d like. 

What’s next? 

Custom Feeds are now available to all new and existing Bonusly customers.  🎉 If you’re new to Bonusly and want to see Custom Feeds in action, request a product demo or take an interactive tour of Bonusly. 

Previously the head of design, Bartels will apply her additional, deep experience in business and computer science to the Bonusly product roadmap.

Boulder, Colorado May 16, 2023: Bonusly, an engaging recognition and rewards platform that connects teams and enriches company culture, today announced that Judith Bartels, previously senior director of design, has been appointed vice president of product and design. In her new role, Bartels will be responsible for the end-to-end Bonusly experience, encompassing both product strategy and design execution.

Bartels joined Bonusly in 2021 after spending nearly four years as executive creative director at IHS Markit, a financial information services fintech company, where she managed a team of 50 creative directors and designers who worked with clients on user research, product innovation, and global brand redesigns. Her clients included the New York Times, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, E-Trade and PIMCO. Before that, Bartels spent seven years in senior design roles at SapientRazorfish, where she consulted on digital design and product user experience with some of the world's best-known brands, such as American Eagle Outfitters, Verizon Wireless and Swisscom. She brings years of experience and training in design, along with business management and computer science expertise to her new position.


"I've always cared deeply about the people on my teams, and in previous roles I spent a lot of time thinking about how to best motivate, engage and recognize them," Bartels said. "It's exciting to take charge of Bonusly's product, especially now. Work continues to undergo dramatic change with remote and hybrid models, and the entry of younger generations who have very different expectations about work. Organizations now recognize that they need to leverage technology to facilitate employee recognition and engagement."


The Bonusly platform empowers real-time employee recognition and rewards to highlight accomplishments big and small in a very positive and public way, which fosters stronger cultures and builds resilient companies. While other employee engagement companies offer little more than gift card programs, Bonusly's recognition platform captures and analyzes real-time data on how organizations really work, communicate and connect, informing HR teams and managers so they can make more informed, faster business decisions.


"Judith has proven herself to be a compassionate, effective leader for the product design team," said Raphael Crawford-Marks, Bonusly founder and CEO. "And with her formidable skill sets in design, user experience, business management and computer science, we know she's going to drive the product forward to create an even better experience with even greater value to our more than 3,000 customers around the world. We are excited to see her apply her talents and expertise as she leads our product team."


About Bonusly

Thousands of companies worldwide rely on Bonusly to cultivate high-performing and motivated teams, regardless of their location, work setting, or industry. Bonusly serves as a crucial tool for investing in, and driving positive business outcomes from a company's most critical asset — their people.

Bonusly's engagement software is easy to use and enables companies to build stronger connections among and between teams, leading to increased collaboration and innovation among your workforce. Additionally, Bonusly provides exclusive insights at the individual, team, and company levels, empowering managers to make informed decisions regarding culture, professional growth, performance management, and employee retention. To learn more, please visit

Bonusly Wins Recognition for the Second Year in a Row.

Boulder, Colorado May 9, 2023: Bonusly, the leading employee engagement solution provider, has once again been named to Inc. magazine’s annual Best Workplaces list for the second year in a row. Featured in the May/June 2023 issue, the list is the result of a comprehensive measurement of American companies that  have excelled in creating exceptional workplaces and company culture, whether operating in a physical or a virtual facility.

The Bonusly platform creates a culture of recognition in which employees receive an average of two meaningful, timely, detailed recognitions from peers and managers every week. After deploying Bonusly, more than nine in ten (93%) customers see improved employee engagement. Ranked by G2 as No. 1 in Employee Recognition and No. 3 in Employee Engagement, Bonusly is used by top-tier companies including Chobani, ZipRecruiter, Pender Veterinary, and SDMI. 

After collecting data from thousands of submissions, Inc. selected 591 honorees this year. Each company that was nominated took part in an employee survey, conducted by Quantum Workplace, which included topics such as management effectiveness, perks, fostering employee growth, and overall company culture. The organization’s benefits were also audited to determine overall score and ranking.


"Bonusly's goal is to boost employee engagement, morale, and retention through authentic and frequent recognition from co-workers and managers," explains Raphael Crawford-Marks, Bonusly founder and CEO. "Our solution has been built over the past decade with the aim of creating a culture where individuals feel valued as part of a larger team. Receiving this award for two consecutive years validates not only our efforts to create a great workplace culture but also the effectiveness of our solution in helping other organizations do the same."


“Being named to Best Workplaces is an honor that only a small fraction of companies have been able to claim,” says Inc.editor-in-chief Scott Omelianuk. “Proving to the world that you’re a magnet for talent and have a culture that keeps teams engaged, productive, and proud to come to work is a truly remarkable achievement.”


About Bonusly

Thousands of companies worldwide rely on Bonusly to cultivate high-performing and motivated teams, regardless of their location, work setting, or industry. Bonusly serves as a crucial tool for investing in, and driving positive business outcomes from a company's most critical asset — their people.

Bonusly's engagement software is easy to use and enables companies to build stronger connections among and between teams, leading to increased collaboration and innovation among your workforce. Additionally, Bonusly provides exclusive insights at the individual, team, and company levels, empowering managers to make informed decisions regarding culture, professional growth, performance management, and employee retention. To learn more, please visit


About Inc. Media

The world’s most trusted business-media brand, Inc. offers entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, connections, and community to build great companies. Its award-winning multi-platform-content reaches more than 50 million people each month across a variety of channels including websites, newsletters, social media, podcasts, and print. Its prestigious Inc. 5000 list, produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion in the 5000 gives the founders of the best businesses an opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and the credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit


A simple “thank you” can mean the world to someone, regardless of who says it. And in the workplace, recognition of good work can lead to a deeper sense of connection across the organization.

Unfortunately, that can be a big challenge at an international company—or anywhere with remote workers. A person in Boston might work with someone in Madrid or Dubai on a project, but once the project is completed and those daily collaborations cease, it’s easy for people to fall out of mind.

Over the past few years, Nexthink has formalized a space for giving and receiving recognition, so employees feel valued wherever they are. 

A Positive Environment That Was Siloed

Nexthink is a leading digital employee experience management software, giving IT leaders unprecedented insight into employees’ daily experiences of technology. We are a global company with 1,000 employees serving companies in 40 countries worldwide, but we still foster a friendly, non-hierarchical environment where anyone can approach a colleague as a peer, no matter their role or title. 

I joined Nexthink in 2021 as an HR business partner, supporting our go-to-market organizations. It was right in the midst of the pandemic and at the time, we had about 700 employees. Everyone was working remote, and there was this new sense of everyone feeling like there was these silos that existed that hadn't existed before.

Even though Nexthink was a positive space, we didn’t have any formal employee recognition or rewards mechanism. People would offer recognition and appreciation informally, but it was primarily within their own team or department, and so it went unnoticed by the wider community. With Nexthink employees working in different countries across various time zones, a lot of good work flew under the radar. An employee engagement survey reinforced this idea: People didn't think others saw or celebrated their success.

The talent management team works to strengthen the bridges between departments and geographic regions. We knew gaps existed in our impromptu and siloed approach to recognition, and Meg, our chief people officer, saw an opportunity to enhance recognition throughout the organization. 

Aligning Appreciation-Worthy Actions with Company Values

I had used Bonusly at a previous company to great success. Recognition is way better when it comes from people that you work with every day and see your work. I love the peer-to-peer element of Bonusly, which prevents recognition from being only top-down. It's also spontaneous. It's a beautiful thing to democratize recognition and the rewards behind it.

It's a beautiful thing to democratize recognition and the rewards behind it.

So I suggested it to our leadership team as a way to combine direct, cross-departmental recognition with a focus on company values. At Nexthink, our values are We Are One Team, We Get Things Done, We Are Positive, and We Keep Growing. Everyone gets points they can award to their colleagues for good work, a positive attitude, and everything in between. Every recognition post in Bonusly must include a company value hashtag, reinforcing how kudos-worthy actions align with what the company stands for.

Once we launched Bonusly, we maximized this hashtag feature for our core value awards. We have one award for each of our four values, and our nomination process for these awards now happens exclusively through Bonusly. At the end of the year, everyone at Nexthink gets an opportunity to put forward five nominations. Each nomination must include an explanation of how their colleague has embodied that core value. We then tabulate who received the most recognition for each value. Management reviews the submissions and determines award winners based on the nominations.

Everybody likes seeing such widespread recognition and we have since expanded to using Bonusly for events throughout the year. On International Women’s Day, for example, we rewarded those people who took the time to discuss the challenges women face in the workplace. And for Employee Appreciation Day, we doubled everyone’s point allowance for the month to encourage them to be extra thankful to their colleagues. We can tailor Bonusly to fit the company’s priorities and focus at any given time and this flexibility also empowers managers to encourage specific actions within their teams.

Bonusly Breaks Barriers and Instills Resilience

I manage the platform together with my colleague, Nicole Pesantes, management is a breeze. We used to spend time and effort on ad hoc rewards like gift cards. But we have employees in a few different countries, so securing gift cards in various denominations and currencies required a huge amount of effort. The accounting department really likes Bonusly because we can distribute rewards quickly without the headache of ensuring we have the right amount in the correct currency.  We have integrations set up so it's pretty seamless and self-sustaining. 

One of the most valuable benefits of Bonusly is helping us overcome geographic barriers between employees in different time zones and countries. Now, everyone can see what their colleagues are working on and what they’re doing well, even though they may work thousands of miles away from each other. That visibility brings everyone together as one unified company. And as important as recognition is, Bonusly keeps it light and fun. It’s an intuitive platform, and GIFs and hashtags help users communicate like we’re all used to in other digital media. 

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

We launched Bonusly during the pandemic, where getting a kind word from anybody was much appreciated. Bonusly helped employees feel seen even when we couldn’t be physically present. The resiliency we have built with Bonusly continues to bolster our workforce during times of economic uncertainty. Throughout the Great Resignation, our attrition stayed flat year over year, and although I can't attribute that directly to Bonusly, I do know our employees feel like they have opportunities to be seen in a lot of different ways and I'm sure we have kept more people engaged and invested in their work. We value each other more, and leadership can see the value that we all bring to the table.

Giving credit where credit is due also helps boost positivity. In our feed, everyone can see individuals thanking interns right next to VPs or directors, which aligns with the non-hierarchical culture we want to maintain across the organization. 

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Our most used reward is the Allowance Boost, which allows people to cash in their points to boost their giving allowance to others. It’s great to see people sacrifice something of their own to spread more goodwill to their colleagues.

In addition to our Allowance Boost, Bonusly’s analytics have become especially important for us. It helps the talent and management team determine how workloads are distributed, and identify the unsung heroes of the organization who might go unnoticed otherwise. We can also track the most used core value hashtags and which hashtags may need attention. For example, if we see a fluctuation in our #we-are-positive hashtag, that tells us something about morale. If we see a decrease in the use of #we-get-things-done, that might indicate some friction slowing down workflows, which we can address proactively. Our most popular hashtag is #we-are-one-team, which tells us that we have a strong collective sense of collaboration and cooperation.

Bonusly is now part of our onboarding process, so everyone at Nexthink—960 people at last count—has immediate access. Nicole and I are constantly looking for ways to boost engagement and keep usage above average. Sometimes, increasing engagement means launching specific initiatives or working with teams to identify how they can best use Bonusly. From March 2022 to February 2023, our average rate of recognition received was around 90%. We see about 54 acts of recognition received each month, and we’ve seen a 15% increase in recognition sentiment in our employee engagement survey.

Everyone Can Get the Recognition They Deserve

Recognition isn’t something you can force onto others, and it doesn’t work as a mandatory policy. It needs to be born from the genuine feelings and sentiments of employees. However, there are things a company can do to encourage that activity, and one of them is to adopt a centralized platform for recognition and rewards. 

Recognition isn’t something you can force onto others. It needs to be born from the genuine feelings and sentiments of employees.

Bonusly has allowed cross-functional teams to recognize each other in a way that wasn't happening before. And by creating visibility to some of the successful wins, people see other people's success and get more opportunities to share knowledge. It's also empowered individual employees and managers to reward team members without having to go through the hurdles of getting budget approvals. Bonusly fits really nicely into our values, and our values drive all the results and our bottom line. 

Our team uses Bonusly to create ongoing opportunities for colleagues to thank and recognize each other—not just for their work but for who they are as people. Because it’s not just about the company, it’s about the humans behind the Nexthink name. Bonusly makes sure everyone gets the recognition they deserve. Doing so fosters a stronger connection with each other, with the company, and with our work.

As a business leader, you want to be ready to meet challenges as they arise and weather difficult times. But who could have predicted—let alone prepare for—the global events unfolding in recent years?

The pandemic and its economic reverberations reveal the limitations of even the best-laid plans. Forecasting is still important, but there’s simply no way you can ever fully gauge what lies ahead.

Instead, by building resilient, engaged teams, you can help create an organization capable of adapting and thriving in the face of continuing change. Read on to find out why resilience is so important and how you can best support members of your team in developing it.    

Why does resilience matter?

When employees are resilient, they’re able to withstand and recover from challenging circumstances. They’re also more likely to be engaged in their efforts, which translates into greater productivity and a far happier workplace.

In short, engaged employees—those with a psychological commitment to a team, organization, and/or role—are a powerful engine for growth and a vital competitive advantage.

And when they aren’t engaged? It isn’t just costly in terms of organizational morale. Each year, companies spend trillions covering the costs of lost productivity and employee turnover.


Learn more about the connection between employee engagement and resilience:




What does resilience look like at work?

When it comes to resilience at work, you probably know it when you see it. But you may not be seeing it as much as you’d like. A recent research study by MIT Sloan Management Review categorized just 14% of participating workers as fully engaged and only 15% as highly resilient.

How can you, as a leader, encourage and nurture characteristics that are so vital for success but also so seemingly rare? Let’s start by exploring several key aspects of resilience and engagement at work: safety, trust, purpose, and progress.


1. Safety

An underlying sense of psychological safety is the critical foundation for resiliency and engagement on teams in the workplace. If employees don’t feel comfortable speaking up or taking risks because they fear negative consequences, they won’t sound the alarm when something is going wrong and they’re far less likely to develop innovative solutions.

When employees feel safe within a team, however, they feel free to:

  • Proactively bring up issues before they become larger problems.
  • Take smart risks to address challenges.
  • Learn from failure and continue moving forward.

2. Trust

The numbers are in: employees who completely trust their team leaders are 14 times more likely to be fully engaged in their work. And when they completely trust their colleagues, team leader, and senior leaders, they’re 42 times more likely to be highly resilient.

It makes sense, after all. If employees aren’t spending time and energy worrying about the direction their team is going or their place within it, they’re free to focus on the work at hand. And it’s far easier to endure challenging times and bounce back when they believe they can count on support from leadership.


Understanding the business case-Blogimage2x-1


3. Purpose

It’s easy to understand why a sense of purpose is so essential in the workplace. Decades of research suggest that people have an inherent desire for significance and meaning in their work. And when they do believe that their efforts matter, they’re four times more likely to be engaged, motivated, and fulfilled.

Research also shows that, although most leaders understand just how important purpose is as a motivating factor, far fewer are actually fostering it on their teams. In a recent survey, 79% of participating leaders agreed that connecting people with an inspiring purpose is critical for success, but only 27% actively address it. 


4. Progress

A sense of progress might look slightly different for each member of your team, but it’s crucial. For one person, progress may mean advancing on a career path; for another, it may be developing new skills or facing a new set of challenges.

One thing is clear: employees feeling stuck in their roles aren’t engaged or resilient. Promotions are the most visible indicator of progress and they’re important in many environments. But opportunities for learning and development—including the chance to take on new projects or assignments—can also be key in fostering a sense of progress and growth within an organization.


Find out more about why safety, trust, purpose, and progress are so crucial in the workplace:


How can you foster resilience as a leader?

The good news? Resilience isn’t a trait that some people are born with and others aren’t. As a leader in your organization, you can support your team members in developing this quality over time.

The small things matter . . . a lot

To foster greater resilience on your team, you don’t have to launch a major initiative with quarterly check-ins and KPIs. Cultivating real resilience has more to do with small, meaningful moments: encouraging team members to take time off, letting them know that support is readily available, or recognizing hard work and adaptability, for example. 

Over time, these moments can help build a strong foundation of resilience, both within individual employees and your larger team. Think of it as putting deposits into a bank account for the future—when unforeseen challenges arise, you can draw on your team’s balance to help weather the storm.


Ensure diverse viewpoints and safety

When your team operates from a broader knowledge base, you can view problems from more angles and tap into a wider range of ideas to solve them, boosting overall adaptability and resilience.  

This means not only ensuring that your teams include employees offering diverse experiences and viewpoints—it also requires you to create the psychological safety necessary for all team members to fully participate and contribute. 




Workplace flexibility goes a long way

When a team has rigid policies dictating when and where employees need to be working, morale tends to suffer. Conversely, when a leader allows for greater autonomy, flexible hours, and remote work — trusting team members to get work done when and where they need to — employees are typically more empowered, energized, and ready to tackle whatever comes their way.  


Start where you are

If you’re not sure where to begin in fostering greater resilience, start by assessing your team:

  • Do team members regularly voice concerns and raise potential issues?
  • Are they comfortable taking measured risks when necessary?
  • Are they encouraged to learn from their mistakes and continue moving forward?
  • Do they know why their work matters in a larger organizational context?
  • Do they have opportunities for learning, development, and career advancement?
  • Can they count on you for support, encouragement, and recognition?
  • Do team discussions typically include a range of viewpoints and ideas?
  • Do team members have autonomy and flexibility in the way they work (flexible hours and remote or hybrid work options)?  

It may also be helpful to survey team members as part of your assessment to better understand ways for your group to evolve. For example, if learning and growth opportunities are important, find out what type of opportunities matter most. Classes? New projects? Assignments in different areas of your organization?




Drive greater employee engagement with Bonusly

No matter where you are on the path to a more resilient team, Bonusly can help. Our 360-degree platform makes it fun and easy for employees to recognize and award small bonuses to each other, adding up to meaningful rewards. And when you create a culture of recognition and rewards, you create a more engaged organization.  

Find out how Bonusly can boost your team’s engagement

Learn more about fostering resilience within your organization by downloading our complete guide today. 👇


The sun is out, the birds are chirping, and G2's Spring report has bloomed. 🌷 We’re excited to share that Bonusly earned 66 awards across the Employee Recognition and Employee Engagement categories. 

What is the G2 Spring Report? 

G2 Reports are determined by an aggregate of customer rating scores for tech platforms, like Bonusly, in various categories. Their aim is to help professionals like you pick the best softwares to meet your business needs. As an employee recognition, rewards, and engagement platform, we deeply value and appreciate feedback of all kinds. We are grateful to all the teams that use (and love) Bonusly that reviewed our platform.  💚

Searching for new software? Get this [FREE] HR vendor evaluation scorecard to help you compare providers.

Here's a partial list of honors that Bonusly earned in G2's Spring 2023 reports:

  • Leader, Employee Recognition - Spring 2023
  • Momentum Leader, Employee Recognition - Spring 2023
  • Best Usability, Employee Recognition, Small Business and Enterprise - Spring 2023
  • Leader, Employee Recognition, Asia, Asia-Pacific, Europe, India - Spring 2023
  • Leader, Employee Engagement - Spring 2023
  • Best Meets Requirements, Employee Engagement, Small Business and Enterprise - Spring 2023
  • Most Implementable, Employee Engagement - Spring 2023
  • Momentum Leader, Employee Engagement - Spring 2023

Bonusly leads in employee recognition

Bonusly’s fun and smart employee recognition and rewards platform has helped 3,250+ customers across 75 countries invest in their most valuable asset: their people. G2 has recognized Bonusly as the leader in the Employee Recognition category for the 5th season in a row! 



“Bonusly has transformed the way we activate peer-to-peer recognition at Chobani. The program has brought our amazingly diverse company together behind a common goal of real-time acknowledgement and fostered a genuine spirit of recognition in all that we do.” - Grace Zuncic, Senior Vice President of People, Chobani


Bonusly leads in employee engagement

Gallup found that disengaged employees are costing companies worldwide $7.8 billion dollars. Investing in effective and consistent recognition and rewards has a powerful impact on employee engagement. 70% of customers see a noticeable improvement in employee engagement after implementing Bonusly. We’re honored to be named a leader in G2’s Employee Engagement category.



"In the six months since adopting Bonusly, our eNPS score jumped from 72.2 to 82.1." - Daniel McAdams, President, Andiamo


Bonusly leads in implementation and usability

Bonusly excels at saving our customers time and money running their recognition programs. The average Bonusly admin spends less than 1.5 hours per month administering Bonusly, compared to the dozens of hours required to maintain a manual program. Moreover, the average company using Bonusly is up and running within 3-4 weeks. 👏 G2 recognized Bonusly for best meeting the requirements of our customers and for exceptional implementation and usability. 



“The application was extremely easy to implement and integrate into our existing communication tools.” - Said Andrew K., a COO at a small business in a G2 review. 

We’ve only scratched the surface, our customers have a lot more to say. We are honored to earn a spot in G2’s Spring Report. These awards are recognition of one of Bonusly’s core values, #delight-the-customer, which is what we will continue to do. Speaking of which, we’re continuously releasing new and exciting updates, check out our latest here. Interested in seeing our award-winning software for yourself? You can always schedule a free demo.



At Bonusly, we’re strong believers in bringing our full selves to work—including our ethnic and racial backgrounds. Not only that, but we like to celebrate it. Recognizing and celebrating employees’ racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds can be effective in building psychological safety and employee engagement!

If your leadership team or key stakeholders need a bit of a nudge to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion, download this fact sheet for some of the most compelling D&I statistics around.

The beginning of May signals a month-long celebration of the many, many, cultural backgrounds that make up the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) identity. AAPI Heritage Month is a great opportunity to have fun, learn about your colleagues, and educate yourself! 


In 1976, congressional staffer Jeanie Jew witnessed the United States’ bicentennial celebration (it’d been 200 years since the Declaration of Independence was signed) and was troubled by the lack of recognition for AAPI contributions. Her great-grandfather, M.Y. Lee, had immigrated to the United States in the 1800s to help build the transcontinental railroad—a tremendous accomplishment that was blighted by violent anti-Asian discrimination and the introduction of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

She’d mentioned her concerns to New York Congressman Frank Horton, and it took until 1992—more than 15 years later—before the legislation to permanently designate May as AAPI Heritage Month passed through Congress.

“The revelations about Mr. Lee and the story of Asian Americans led [Jeanie Jew] to believe that not only should Asians understand their own heritage, but that all Americans must know about the contributions and histories of the Asian-Pacific American experience in the United States.”
–New York Congressman Frank Horton

So, why May? It commemorates the first Japanese people to immigrate to the United States, on May 7, 1843, and also is a nod toward the May 10, 1869 completion of the same transcontinental railroad that Jeanie Jew’s own grandfather had worked on.

Now, 23 million Asian American and Pacific Islanders trace their roots to more than 20 countries in East and Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, each with their own unique histories and cultural practices. There’s a lot to cover—here are a few ways to get started.

To see a list of the other best workplace holiday celebrations by month with guides to help you plan in advance, check out our recommended calendar


Often seen as a monolithic “model minority,” we should first understand that “Employment and economic status among members of the AAPI community are also far from uniform: While some AAPI subpopulations are heavily concentrated in higher-wage professional and management occupations, others are heavily concentrated in lower-wage service occupations.”

This danger of a single story rears its head here. The AAPI community consists of more than 50 ethnic groups, grouped together as a demographic purely because of vague geographic borders; it’s impossible to capture a singular “Asian-American experience.” Instead, the following ideas and resources are meant to capture the diversity of narratives and stories present in the AAPI community.


Read a book by an AAPI author

There’s nothing like diving into new experiences through a great book. Host a book club with your team members, and learn together!

Some of our favorite books by AAPI authors include:

The Making of Asian America: A History
Erika LeeMinor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
Cathy Park HongAsian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People
Helen ZiaThe Sympathizer
Viet Thanh NguyenHow to Pronounce Knife
Souvankham ThammavongsaTime is a Mother
Ocean VuongThe Island of Sea Women
Lisa SeeSour Heart
Jenny ZhangPin Ups
Yi Shun LaiPachinko
Min Jin Lee


Watch a movie by an AAPI director

There are excellent movies out there that explore the multiplicity of the AAPI experience. At Bonusly, we often host movie screenings (virtually, for now!) as a way to learn about our cultures and spend time together.

Nomadland (2020)
Chloé ZhaoMinari (2020)
Lee Isaac ChungSaving Face (2005)
Alice WuThe Farewell (2019)
Lulu WangAlways Be My Maybe (2019)
Nahnatchka KhanBitter Melon (2018)
H.P MendozaWho Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
Christine ChoyTigertail (2020)
Alan YangMeet the Patels (2015)
Ravi Patel, Geeta PatelMinari (2021)
Lee Isaac Chung


Eat and drink

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—eating and drinking is one of our favorite ways to get to know a culture better. Here are a few different ways to enjoy and learn about AAPI cuisine:


Participate in asynchronous discussion

For a lightweight way to learn and discuss, Bonusly likes to post a prompt in the beginning of the week—typically a short video or article—with some questions to get everyone thinking. Team members are free to discuss and chat about what was striking, surprising, or new to them.

Here are some media we’re planning to talk about:

Make a contribution to an AAPI non-profit organization

Donating to an organization that advances AAPI issues is a great way to tangibly support the AAPI community. Here are a few to applaud, research, and donate to:

Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) 

Fighting for civil rights and empowering Asian Americans to create a more just America for all.

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

SAALT’s vision is to help build a South Asian Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty with shared val­ues that uplift all peo­ple of col­or, and will cross lines of race, caste, gen­der, sex­u­al­i­ty, and reli­gion to abol­ish sys­tems of oppres­sion and achieve col­lec­tive lib­er­a­tion.

Asian Mental Health Collective

Asian Mental Health Collective seeks to raise awareness about the importance of mental health care, promote emotional well-being, and challenge the stigma concerning mental illness amongst  Asian communities worldwide.

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)

Our mission is to build collective power with AAPI women and girls to gain full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.

Red Canary Song

A grassroots collective of Asian & migrant sex workers, organizing transnationally.

Stop AAPI Hate

Stop AAPI Hate began as a reporting center to track and analyze incidents of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through our reports and advocacy, we have raised national awareness about the issue of anti-Asian hate.

Host a speaker from your local AAPI coalition

Chances are, you have a local organization that's working hard to advance the AAPI community and pursue justice in your area. They're your experts—why not invite them to speak at your company about the unique issues your city is tackling? It's a great way to build stronger relationships in the community you reside in. Google around for who's present in your area—this list is also a good place to start. 


Next steps

Has this post sparked inspiration? Tell us in the comments below, or check out these additional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion resources from Bonusly:


Work has changed, we have too.

At Bonusly, we help our customers foster a sense of Purpose, Progress, and Belonging at work. And as the world of work continues to change, so too does Bonusly. We’re thrilled to share Bonusly’s new look and functionality with you. The refreshed Bonusly homepage reinforces Bonusly’s industry leadership in usability, accessibility, and engagement. 

Though the refreshed homepage is a beautiful sight to see, the changes are more than meets the eye. We’ve made substantial improvements to streamline the ways in which employees can interact, recognize, and connect every single day. Let’s take a closer look at these new engagement-improving features! 🔎


Bonusly interface, quick reaction, point budget view, and include giver

Recognize, Navigate, and Amplify with a Click of a Button

Creating a culture of celebration and belonging should be easy and fun. Bonusly’s new interface has simplified users’ ability to recognize their coworkers, navigate to popular pages, and amplify their peers’ recognition. 


👏 Recognize

Bonusly users who want to sharpen their digital pencil and write some recognition can easily allocate points with the new ‘points budget’ view, eliminating the need for a calculator. When selecting the number of points to give away, a popup will show common point denominations as well as the number of remaining points the user has for the month. That way, recognition is given in a flash and a teammate’s day is made with a click of a button. 

Amount Menu

Shreya L., a customer from Evora IT, loves to dive into the colorful world of Bonusly. 

Whenever I open Bonusly page to see my team's recognition shared , I feel immersed in a whole new colourful world. I just love the myriad colours.


🧭 Navigate  

Navigation is simple with Bonusly’s new homepage—no orienteering required. Bonusly customers can easily navigate the new interface and glean insights on their coworkers, often without leaving the homepage. 

On the homepage, users can review a snapshot of their points summary for both giveable and receivable points.

With a simple hover over a coworkers’ profile image, users can see immediate insights on who their coworkers are and how they’re interacting with others. 

Venturing beyond the homepage is effortless with the new sticky navigation bar. The Rewards, Awards, and Analytics pages are calling and you must go!


🗣️ Amplify 

Beyond direct recognition, there are plenty of ways to engage with the recognition feed to make peers, direct reports, and leaders know you see and appreciate them. Bonusly’s reinvigorated homepage highlights and simplifies the ability to add-on, react, or comment on recognition. Employees feel seen and leaders enjoy more engaged teams. Users can also choose to include the original recognition giver when adding on to a post to ensure the original recognizer gets their piece of the appreciation pie.

Include giver

Come one, come all to the recognition wall!

When we say recognition is for everyone, we mean everyone! A core tenant of effective recognition is inclusivity. And so we’ve prioritized accessibility with this update with the new Bonusly homepage meeting WCAG AA accessibility standards ensuring an accessible experience for all of our users (and your employees)! Speaking of usability, here's what David K., a Bonusly customer from Passero, had to say: 

The interface is cleaner, more streamlined, and user friendly. 

What’s next?

We will continue to invest in our product so you can invest in your most valuable asset: your people. Bonusly users will first enjoy the new and improved Bonusly on the homepage, but the refreshed look will soon be coming to the Rewards page. We’ll keep this blog post updated with exciting updates. 

If you’re new to Bonusly, but want to see the fresh feed loved by over 400,000 users, take a free interactive tour of the changes. 

Now, go forth and “thank you” in style. 😎

Bonusly's been busy lately. 

📈 We recently raised $18.9 Million in Series B capital, led by Ankona Capital. 

👏 Employees at more than 3,000 companies around the world collectively donated $2 million to charity through Bonusly's Reward Catalog. 🥳

🥇For the fourth consecutive season, Bonusly maintained the top spot in G2's Winter 2023 Grid Report for Employee Recognition software.

Wouldn't you like to know what's happening in the mind of Bonusly's Founder and CEO, Raphael Crawford-Marks, after reaching these significant milestones? You're in luck! Raphael recently joined Amber Mac and Michael B on The Feed podcast to discuss recognition in a remote world and how HR leaders can make more data-driven decisions.

The interview is below for your reading pleasure, but if you’re more of an auditory learner you can listen to the podcast here. Let’s dive in! 

Amber Mac: Bonusly helps companies build a scalable culture of recognition by allowing everyone to recognize their direct reports as well as their managers and coworkers. To talk more about this is Raphael Crawford-Marks who is the CEO of Bonusly. Hi Raphael, thanks for being on the show. 

Raphael Crawford-Marks: Hi Amber, thanks for having me. 

Can you explain to us how everyone can really participate in recognizing good work?

Bonusly is focused on enabling companies to recognize, develop, and retain high-performing, highly-engaged employees and the way we do that is in a very democratized fashion. So, every employee who’s enrolled in Bonusly has the ability to provide immediate, authentic, recognition to their colleagues. This is something that all workers want to do, but often there are barriers or friction to doing so, more so in remote environments. So, Bonusly removes all of that friction and enables appreciation to flow which creates this positive feedback loop of appreciating great behaviors and then seeing more of those behaviors from your team.  


Speaking of remote work, have you seen a shift in the way teams interact with each other and subsequently give each other feedback? 

Yes, I have. Not just in Bonusly, but in general the shift to remote work has been a pretty seismic shift. We’re still in the early innings of what this means and how we best create a remote environment. One of the things that’s lost when a team goes fully remote is all of those free opportunities for employees to bump into each other, have an open-ended conversation, share some ideas, build some trust and rapport. All of those go away, so we need to find something to replace those within a virtual space on a remote team. That is something that Bonusly can help with, but I don’t pretend we’re a panacea that immediately solves everything by ourselves. What Bonusly does is create opportunities for employees to have these positive interactions with one another, which are really foundational to building the trust and rapport that enable great communication and collaboration. 


What Bonusly does is create opportunities for employees to have these positive interactions with one another, which are really foundational to building the trust and rapport that enable great communication and collaboration. 





Can you talk about why it’s important that there are different ways to reward people?

Yes absolutely, there are actually two different things that Bonusly provides–one is recognition. Bonusly enables frequent, specific, timely, and effective recognition to flow between employees. Then, as employees receive recognition they actually accrue points and can redeem them for rewards that they find meaningful. So, that can be donations to their favorite charity, gift cards to their favorite brand, and so forth. So the benefit that companies realize is really from the recognition aspect, where when employees feel recognized they put forth more discretionary effort, they are less likely to look for work elsewhere, and they build additional trust and rapport with their colleagues through exchanging recognition. So, what you end up with is a higher-performing, more highly-engaged team.


I imagine something like this could create useful data for the wider decision making process for an HR department. How can this information help better inform HR departments and executives in a company to ensure they have a robust healthy team?

One of the things that we’re really excited about is we’re in the early stages of developing what we call people analytics tools for management, HR, and executive leadership to use to make better decisions about how they run their company. Just a few examples of what can already be done with Bonusly is you can look department by department and see engagement levels across departments and identify areas where specific teams or departments might have very high engagement and other areas that might have very low engagement. Then, we can start to figure out what participation or behavior characteristics are correlated with that and how might we intervene to improve engagement in the problem areas.

Another thing that people have to do, but no one really likes are performance reviews. Bonusly is extremely helpful to managers at mitigating recency bias in performance reviews. So, managers can very easily go to Bonusly and say hey I wanna see all of Michael’s biggest accomplishments in the past 6 months and then that gives me, as a manager, a much more holistic picture of your performance rather than just what I could call out last week. 


What is it like building a startup in this climate that we’re in right now when the technology sector is under a microscope and a lot is happening in terms of hiring talent and people laying off talent?

I would actually go back to early 2020 and say that running a company from early 2020 has been an intense roller coaster. Even more so than running a startup normally is. I started Bonusly well before the pandemic and it was a roller coaster then. You know, having to deal with the shutdowns and all the uncertainty from the pandemic and then all of the sudden everything shifted to remote work so we saw a huge spike in demand. And then inflation started climbing, interest rates went up and that triggered a big contraction in demand and layoffs. It’s been really challenging to stay on top of external conditions that are really buffeting the company. It has also been a real education and it’s made us a much stronger company being able to weather all of these different conditions and continue to grow and be successful. 


It has also been a real education and it’s made us a much stronger company being able to weather all of these different conditions and continue to grow and be successful. 


 What’s next? 

We hope this interview inspired you to invest in your most critical asset: your people. Thousands of companies worldwide rely on Bonusly to cultivate high-performing and motivated teams, regardless of their location, work setting, or industry. If you’re interested in learning more about Bonusly, schedule time to meet with an employee engagement expert today!

We host a lot of awesome conversations with HR leaders and other experts in the employee engagement space. Check out these webinar recordings below—and make sure to see what's on tap and register for upcoming events! 🍻

Upcoming webinars

Customer-Exclusive: Maximizing Your Employee Rewards Budget

How can you reduce the budget without sacrificing employee experience? The truth is, rewarding employees and reducing budgets aren’t mutually exclusive. In this challenging economy, HR teams have to get creative with their employee rewards and recognition programs in order to keep spending in check.

In this customer-exclusive webinar, Radhika Samant, Bonusly’s CFO advisor, will be sharing smart strategies and tactics to centralize, reduce, and maximize your employee rewards budget. Radhika Samant brings over 20 years of deep financial and operational expertise and extensive experience building high-growth HR businesses. 👏

Webinar recordings

The Role of the employee experience in an uncertain economy

  • Watch the recording
  • With the current state of the economy and seemingly endless organizational changes across some of the largest names in tech, employees are on edge. What is our best tool against low morale, burnout, and disengagement? An exceptional employee experience. Building an employee experience and culture that gives your employees something to believe in is non-negotiable today. 

Managing Stress & Maximizing Resilience in Teams

  • Watch the recording
  • The turbulent changes of the past few years have not subsided. Employees are continuing to face uncertainty, company reorgs, and shifting expectations, leading many to feel stress and, ultimately, burnout. Yet managing stress and instilling resilience in the team begins with good leadership. Leaders and managers can make an impact by modeling a healthy work-life balance, promoting a culture of well-being, and fostering open communication to increase resilience.

Understanding How Managers and Leaders Build Resilience on Teams

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  • Resilience is often considered an individual virtue—and it’s certainly something people can develop themselves, but cultures and organizations also contribute significantly to the ability of the people within them to be resilient. Teams themselves can build resilience as well, ensuring that the department or group as a whole can adapt to any challenge. In this on-demand webinar, we talk about the key characteristics of a resilient team and the vital role that psychological safety plays in building resilient teams. During this conversation we talk about how building a culture of recognition contributes to psychological safety by fostering a workplace where employees feel safe, supported, and ready for any challenge or crisis.

How Individuals Build Resilience in the Workplace

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  • Organizations need resilient employees, but how can employees build resilience in times of uncertainty and discomfort? During this webinar, Bonusly will team up with customer Lamar Nava of Betts Recruiting, to explore the ways organizations can help empower their employees to be more resilient, by providing a sense of purpose, progress and belonging at work. The discussion will include real-life examples and tangible solutions for organizations and people leaders who want to help their teams become more resilient.

Building Resilience in Uncertainty: Top Tips for HR Leaders

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  • As we plan for another unpredictable year, a focus on employee resilience can offer HR teams a controllable variable in an uncontrollable world. This webinar in partnership with Bennie explores the ways that HR and People Ops leaders can build more resilient teams in 2023.

Understanding the Business Case of Resilience at Work

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  • We discuss the business case of building resiliency at work: why do resilient teams matter? What are the impacts of not having a resilient team, especially in our current economic landscape?

Management Training 101: The Key to Building Stronger, More Engaged Teams in 2023

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  • In this webinar, leaders from Pilot and Bonusly will discuss why manager training should be a key 2023 strategy for HR professionals and how strong leaders build strong, resilient teams. Attendees will also leave with resources and ideas for how to get started with management training in their own organizations.

What to Expect in 2023: Data-Driven HR Predictions

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  • Leaders from Checkr, Lever, and Bonusly reflect on 2022, share our predictions for 2023, and offer tips to prepare now for the future of work.

People Managers: HR’s Most Important Partner in the Fight Against Turnover

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  • Bonusly leaders discuss the importance of cooperation between HR leaders and people managers in order to identify and combat unnecessary employee turnover, and how that partnership can improve your employees’ overall experience.

Answering the Most-Asked HR Questions for 2023

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  • HR leaders from Bonusly, Oyster, and Knoetic answer questions that human resources and people operations professionals are asking the most going into 2023.

Build a Purpose-Led Employee Engagement Strategy for 2023

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  • In this webinar recording, speakers from Bonusly and Goodera discuss how to put purpose at the forefront of their 2023 plans so you can start the year off with an engaged team.

The Cost of Disengagement: Useful Insights for HR Leaders

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  • Today’s human resources professionals are tasked with reversing disengagement in their workplaces through initiatives like improved workplace transparency, learning and development opportunities, and meaningful appreciation and recognition programs. In this recording, Bonusly HR experts discuss why employee engagement programs are not only worth your investment but essential for connecting to and retaining top talent.

How to Show Gratitude that will Make your Employees Feel Truly Valued

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  • This Q&A style webinar discusses the benefits of expressing gratitude in the workplace, including increased motivation, performance, and retention. We’ll share useful insights and unique ideas for expressing gratitude in a meaningful, intentional way that will ensure your team feels valued and appreciated all year long.

Top Tips for Building and Maintaining Connections in a Virtual World

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  • In the conversation, we’ll touch on the signs and symptoms of decreasing employee engagement and how the trend toward hybrid and fully remote work environments might contribute to employee disengagement. We’ll address the new challenge companies face in balancing the flexibility that employees have grown accustomed to while working from home, and the personal connection they’re missing from IRL relationships with managers and peers.

Quiet Quitting: How to Reengage Your Employees

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  • Join us to hear from experts in employee experience and retention from Guru, Bravely, and Bonusly about how to recognize quiet quitting, respond to it, and reverse the trend at your company.

Worry less about quiet quitting and more about actual quitting: Strategies to engage your team

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  • This interactive webinar covers what we think quiet quitting really is, and its impact both on employees and employers. We’ll also share useful strategies for managers and people ops teams who are looking for ways to re-engage their teams.

The Impact of DEI - Practical Tips for People Ops Professionals

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  • This webinar discusses how Bonusly’s People Ops team prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the organizational structure, from leadership structure to hiring, to compensation philosophy and beyond.

Bridging the Communication Gap for Hybrid Teams

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  • Discover how your organization can better its communication processes to boost employee engagement and enhance workplace connections to retain the best talent from around the world.

Beyond the Birthday Shoutout: The Importance of Fostering a Culture of Recognition

  • Watch the recording
  • This webinar discusses the importance of frequent, meaningful feedback and simple ways that HR leaders can begin building a culture of recognition in their organization right away.

DEI at Work: Where to begin and what to avoid

  • Watch the recording
  • Building diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at work is about more than simply adding training or a committee to your existing structure, it is a priority for businesses today. It’s not just the right thing to do—it drives profits. A recent study indicated that highly inclusive organizations are more likely to hit their financial target goals by up to 120%.

How to build strong work relationships that fuel growth in a downturn

  • Watch the recording
  • Now more than ever, it’s essential to develop strong relationships in the workplace. We’ve all had to learn so much in the last few years about building relationships with distributed teams. This webinar includes insights on how to grow, build resilience, and thrive in our changing work environment.

Deep dive: How to scale human-centric onboarding practices

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  • Onboarding just a few hires per week is manageable, but how do you keep the human connection intact and communication personalized once you start onboarding bigger new hire classes? There's an art to maintaining personalized onboarding elements while enjoying efficiencies as your organization grows. Our panelists will discuss the tricks, tools, and strategies to creating an onboarding program that is loved by employees and HR teams alike.

Organizational Culture and What It Means for Your Business

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  • There are many tools for developing and sustaining a high-performance organizational culture, including hiring practices, onboarding efforts, recognition programs, performance management programs, and more. Getting the right mix for these tools is important, and the pursuit of that perfect mix can be overwhelming.

Expert Advice for Building a More Transparent Workplace

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  • A study by Slack found that 80% of today’s workers want insights into how decisions are made at their organization, and 87% of today’s job seekers want transparency in their future workplace. Still, many company leaders find themselves asking themselves how and what to share when it comes to important topics like budget changes, job performance, and compensation.

    In this webinar, Pave and Bonusly discuss how defaulting to transparency can significantly improve your employees’ experience. These experts will share compelling data in favor of transparency as well as tangible and realistic ideas for implementing a more transparent culture.

Expert Advice for Prioritizing Employee Benefits on a Tight Budget

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  • Studies show that 92% of employees consider benefits a vital part of their overall job satisfaction. It’s clear that decisions about whether or not to continue offering certain benefits, even during times of economic instability, cannot be taken lightly. This webinar discusses the best approaches to prioritizing the benefits you offer as your budget might be tightening.

Finding Purpose at Work: Our Take On Why Intrinsic Value Matters

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  • In this conversation, we’ll discuss the importance of nurturing a sense of purpose in the workplace and provide actionable, research-backed tactics for creating a culture that feels (and truly is!) meaningful to employees.

Managing Employee Morale During Times of Economic Instability

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  • This webinar discusses the impact that economic instability has on employees’ mental health and sense of job security–and how we as HR professionals can help manage our team’s concerns in the face of so much uncertainty.

Retention Starts at Day Zero: How to Craft Employee Experiences That Make Them Stay

  • Watch the recording
  • From special moments with candidates in the hiring process to setting new employees up for success and hosting impactful career planning conversations, we are demystifying what makes employees want to stay at a company long term. The earlier you introduce these in the employee journey, the better–but you can use many of these as part of your overall retention strategy. 

Managing Employee Morale During Times of Economic Instability–Advice by HR Experts for HR Experts

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  • It’s clear that the current hiring landscape heavily favors job seekers—the U.S. now has a record-high of 2 job openings for every unemployed person. But rising inflation and slower economic growth for companies across all industries could signal a shift in this trend–and employees are feeling the impact. In fact, a recent ADP survey found that only 20% of employees feel secure in their current roles. This webinar discusses the impact that economic instability has on employees’ mental health and sense of job security–and how we as HR professionals can help manage our team’s concerns in the face of so much uncertainty.

Employee Development: The Critical Missing Piece From Your Retention Strategy

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  • Employees who don’t feel supported in their professional development are three times more likely to search for a new job. 😱 It’s clear that offering growth opportunities should be a priority for all companies. PILOT CEO & Founder Ben Brooks and Bonusly Vice President of People Operations Vicki Yang answer critical questions to help you set up an employee development plan that will be sure to ignite your retention strategy. 

Loom x Bonusly Workshop: How to build a culture of connection and engagement for distributed teams

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  • It’s no secret that hybrid and remote work environments have changed the way companies and employees think about engagement and collaboration, particularly amongst distributed teams. 
  • From reassessing sync and async activities to diversifying communications, leaders are in a unique position to redesign what connection and cohesion can look like in this new work era. How can companies build and prioritize creating a rich company culture with a distributed or hybrid team?

It’s Not Just Up to HR Anymore: Practical Ways to Empower Your Teams to Reduce Turnover

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  • Description: We recently surveyed HR leaders to uncover the top challenges they are facing. And guess what was right at the top? Managing retention.
  • You’re not alone! It’s no secret keeping top talent is a struggle for most organizations. Resignations have been at a record high (ever hear of The Great Resignation?!) and, replacing an employee is nearly twice as expensive as keeping one.
  • So—what do we do? Where do we start?
  • In this recording, Bonusly’s Director of Talent Acquisition, Kai Robinson, and VP of Engineering, Brian Noyle, discuss practical ways HR professionals can lean on and improve company culture to influence retention.

Ask Me Anything: Tangible Expert Tips to Prevent Burnout

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  • Description: The temperature is rising outside, and many of us can feel the heat of our work and life responsibilities ramping up too. Knowing that burnout can put even the most dedicated workers on the path toward turnover, HR and people leaders are looking for ways to contain it.

    Watch the recording of this discussion featuring the VP of People Ops at Bonusly, Vicki Yang, Head of Recruiting Operations at Brex, Brittany Daunno, and CEO of Welcome, Roberto Ortiz. This recording covers ways to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work/life balance without impacting your team’s productivity.

Lunch and Learn: Insider Tips Into How Bonusly Hires Top Talent

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  • Description: Have you ever “known” that a candidate you were interviewing was (or wasn’t) a fit within the first few seconds of speaking with them?What brought you to this conclusion so quickly? If your answer is a “gut feeling,” there was most likely unconscious bias involved.
  • Bonusly recognizes how easy it is for unconscious bias to slip into our everyday lives, which is why we’ve built an objective and evidence-based interview process that helps us mitigate bias and ensure we’re hiring the right people. This approach has helped us build a highly qualified and high-achieving team of Bonuslians.

Virtual Safaris: Creative Ways to Engage Remote Teams

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  • Description: How has your organization adapted team-building activities to accommodate remote workers?In this webinar, we discuss the importance of team-building and how to create meaningful interactions in our virtual world. Afterwards, you'll experience a virtual safari to get you thinking creatively about your next team-building event.

Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day the Right Way

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  • Description: Employee Appreciation Day is around the corner and this year, more than ever, your employees are looking to leadership for that sense of appreciation. Are your leadership and HR teams set up for success? This webinar includes several solid ideas for recognizing your employees and exclusive insights into building a year-round culture of appreciation. We discuss the importance of including employee recognition efforts as a part of your overall year-round retention strategy and some key do’s (and don’ts) when it comes to thanking your employees for their hard work.

5 Smart Ways to Use People Analytics Data in 2022

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  • Description: There's still plenty of time to dig into your people analytics to plan for a successful 2022. In this webinar, Raphael Crawford-Marks, CEO of Bonusly, will sit down with Bonusly's VP of People Ops, Vicki Yang, and Michael Powers, Director of Employee Experience & Engagement at Toast, to discuss how they’re using people analytics to support strategic planning and execution.

2021 Reflections: A Roundtable with HR Experts

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  • Description: In January, we set predictions for what would be most important for HR and People Ops leaders to address in the coming year. Fast forward 12 months to...December! As we prepare for 2022, we want to hold space to reflect—sharing insights with HR experts from the previous year while discussing what should be top of mind as we turn our calendars yet again. HR experts from Bonusly, Headspace Health, Donut, and 1Password share their stories—the good, the bad, and maybe even the ugly. They also made predictions for what’s in store for HR leaders and company-wide culture in the year ahead—you won’t want to miss it.

How These HR Leaders are Reimagining Employee Engagement in a Remote Work World

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  • Description: The pandemic changed not only how we work, but how we connect at work. With teams shifting to remote or hybrid environments, HR leaders have faced a unique challenge: how do we reimagine employee engagement when we’re no longer connecting in person? Join Bonusly for an interactive session with a panel of experts from Headspace Health, Guru, and Toast, who have gone through this unique transition from in-person to remote and hybrid work. After attending, you’ll feel equipped to apply these learnings to your teams to ensure engagement improves, even as we continue to collaborate in a digital world.

Beat WFH Burnout: 6 Ways to Keep Teams Engaged

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  • Description: Many U.S. companies were scheduled to return-to-office in fall of 2021, but the rise of the COVID-19 Delta Variant halted those plans. Regardless of whether your team prefers remote work, this period of uncertainty about the future can be mentally exhausting. In fact, according to CNBC, 69% of employees are experiencing burnout while working from home.
    Bonusly and Polly leaders share what’s worked (and what hasn’t!) for our hybrid teams, and how you can use these strategies to build virtual, company-wide connections and camaraderie.

Going Beyond the Annual Review: Creating a Feedback-Friendly Company Culture

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  • Description: As an HR leader, you have the power to shape your company's culture, and making sure your team is empowered to give and receive feedback is a key aspect of a healthy workplace environment. But giving feedback, both to peers and managers, is hard! And creating a culture of feedback? Even harder, but not impossible. In this webinar, Bonusly and Hypercontext cover the crucial aspects of transforming your company culture into a feedback-friendly environment.

Strategizing for the Future of Hybrid Work 

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  • Description: The hybrid work model is here to stay. Many companies are navigating how to bring folks back to the office—or not! So, how do employers stay flexible with individual employee preferences, while keeping lines of communication open and meeting business goals? In this webinar, Bonusly and Guru present the guiding principles that inform their own workplace strategies, and the tactical action items you can take to form an effective hybrid work model for your organization.

Foundations of Anti-Black Bias in the Workplace

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  • Description: 2020’s racial injustice protests shone a light on the Black-American experience at home—and in the workplace. As companies undergo major changes to attract and retain Black talent, their leaders also need to understand the foundations of bias that can drive talent away. In this webinar, Kalyn Wilson, founder and CEO of Dream Forward Consulting, provides a history of the Black experience and its associated workplace stereotypes, then shares how HR leaders and practitioners can reframe their own biases to support Black talent.

Harnessing Positive Leadership to Thrive in Uncertain Times

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  • Description: 2020 was one of the most challenging years in recent history for organizational leaders, and leveraging Positive Leadership made all the difference. Learn about this growing leadership style that empowers teams and enables vital success. In this event, leadership experts Linda Rad, Jahnavi Brenner, and Josh Vaisman discuss Positive Leadership—from what it really means to common missteps and excellent examples.

Reimagining Rituals of the Age of Digital Work

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  • Description: Rituals play a major role in building (and reinforcing) strong cultures at any scale, especially for remote, distributed, and digital teams. Josh Levine, author of Great Mondays, and Dennis Field, Manager, Employer Brand & Internal Marketing, at InVision, discuss the different ways that rituals and recognition function to build culture, and how they’ve built & reinforced a strong culture throughout different stages of the company’s journey.

How Employee Engagement Changed in 2020 and What That Means for the Future

  • Watch the recording
  • Description: 2020 has changed just about everything, especially employee engagement. How has your team responded? In this event, we took a look at the most important ways employee engagement has changed this year. We reviewed recent research to take stock of the current state of employee engagement, including the effects of COVID-19, remote work, inclusivity, and mental wellness. Then, we discuss practical ways to successfully engage your own teams in 2021 and beyond.

How to Build Inclusive Work Environments on Remote Teams

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  • Description: A Glassdoor survey revealed that 67% of job seekers consider workplace diversity and inclusion an important factor when considering employment opportunities. So where do HR and people leaders start? What does an inclusive workplace look like—and what does it look like on remote and distributed teams? In this event, Latesha Byrd, founder and CEO of the talent development agency Perfeqta, leads an energetic discussion around building inclusive work environments on remote teams, joined by panelists Marquis White, Bernita Dillard, and Kalyn Wilson.

Employee Rewards in 2021: How to Prepare

  • Watch the recording
  • Description: Employee rewards are an important and powerful factor in any employee experience, and the space has evolved rapidly in the past year, adapting to global events and shifting preferences. In this webinar, we unveil the latest employee rewards research (from the Incentive Research Foundation and Bonusly) and review the current state of employee rewards. Then, we discuss how to successfully prepare for the future by sharing insights on using employee rewards to engage teams in 2021 and beyond.

Want more?

No. 1 Employee Recognition Platform Provider Expands its Organizational Analytics Capabilities, Empowering Organizations to Make Data-Driven Decisions and Maximize Performance

BOULDER, Colo. — February 28, 2023Bonusly, an engaging recognition and rewards platform that connects teams and enriches company culture, today announced it has received $18.9 million in Series B funding led by Ankona Capital. Prior investors FirstMark Capital, Access Venture Partners, and Next Frontier Capital also participated.

Bonusly, which is ranked by G2 as No. 1 in Employee Recognition and No. 3 in Employee Engagement, used by top-tier companies including Chobani, ZipRecruiter, Pender Veterinary, and SDMI. The Bonusly platform creates a culture of recognition in which employees receive an average of two meaningful, timely, detailed recognitions from peers and managers every week. After deploying Bonusly, more than nine in ten (93%) customers see improved employee engagement.

Recognition is crucial to employee retention. According to a 2022 survey of 2,000 respondents, 63% of workers feel unappreciated by their employer on a daily basis and 46% left a job because they felt unappreciated. Frequent, authentic recognition of their work can make an enormous difference. In fact, nearly two-thirds (65%) said they are likely to stay at a job if their coworkers and peers recognize their work, even if they have an unappreciative manager.

Especially in today’s volatile economic environment, organizations need an engaged and highly motivated workforce, along with accurate, current information about how their organizations truly work so they can be agile in making rapid, data-driven decisions to adapt as conditions change. Bonusly's platform empowers real-time recognition to highlight accomplishments big and small in a very positive and public way, which fosters stronger cultures and builds resilient companies. The company also provides strong support for an organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs by recognizing and encouraging inclusiveness.
Additionally, while other employee engagement companies offer little more than gift card programs, Bonusly’s recognition platform captures and analyzes a treasure trove of real-time data on how organizations really work, communicate and connect, informing HR teams and managers so they can make powerful behavior change throughout an employee population. Bonusly’s proprietary graph database enables management to gain a keen understanding of how their company actually functions. With this information, HR and managers can better help team members continuously improve, foster collaboration and belonging, and assess behavior changes to predict turnover. 

“We saw almost instant engagement with Bonusly after deployment, and the recognition our people have given and received has had a big positive impact on employee morale,” said Daniel McAdams, President at Andiamo. “We’ve seen significant, measurable increases in our employee retention and engagement rate, which has translated to greater productivity. And just as important is the rich, current data Bonusly provides on the interconnections within our organization. We’re a stronger organization thanks to Bonusly.”

Bonusly will use the new funding to enhance its recognition platform and continue to further build out its analytics capabilities. The company will also invest in sales and marketing to further expand go-to-market activities.

“Bonusly customers see significant, measurable improvement in employee engagement and morale with Bonusly,” said Newth Morris, Partner at Ankona Capital. “The organizational network data that Bonusly provides is both powerful and unique. But just as important is the leadership team’s approach to managing the company with incredible capital efficiency. Raphael founded and bootstrapped the company for nearly three years before raising capital, and that culture of making every dollar count continues to this day. It puts the company in a very strong position to address the challenges companies face motivating, retaining and understanding their workforce in a rapidly changing economic landscape.”

"This new capital will enable us to expand and build on the strong foundation we have in place, enabling companies to meet the constantly changing people challenges of today’s volatile economy," said Raphael Crawford-Marks, founder and CEO of Bonusly. "Since our Series A, we have seen our valuation more than triple, despite the multiple compression that has occurred in today’s market — a strong recognition of the value we already provide and the even greater opportunity that lies ahead. We’re just getting started.”

About Bonusly
Thousands of companies worldwide rely on Bonusly to cultivate high-performing and motivated teams, regardless of their location, work setting, or industry. Bonusly serves as a crucial tool for investing in, and driving positive business outcomes from a company’s most critical asset — their people.

Bonusly’s engagement software is easy to use and enables companies to build stronger connections among and between teams, leading to increased collaboration and innovation among your workforce. Additionally, Bonusly provides exclusive insights at the individual, team, and company levels, empowering managers to make informed decisions regarding culture, professional growth, performance management, and employee retention. To learn more, please visit

About Ankona Capital
Ankona Capital is a southern California-based growth venture firm that invests $5 to $15 million into early growth-stage B2B software companies, which typically have $5-$15 million in recurring revenues. Ankona’s team of experienced investors and operating partners have over 50 years of combined software and investment experience. Ankona is focused on creating a winning, inclusive, and rewarding culture that caters to founders, provides resources and support to entrepreneurs and fosters opportunities for tech companies and investment outside of Silicon Valley. To learn more, visit

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Jeff Miller
Nonfiction Agency

When selecting a new tool for your team, how do you wade through claims of being “the best'' to find the truth? At Bonusly, we believe in defaulting to transparency, so we're sharing an overview of Bonusly’s greatest strengths according to data and the experience of our 3,100+ customers. 

Here are the top nine reasons Bonusly is the number one rewards and recognition software. 

Number 1: We’ll deliver ROI on your investment

The cost of a meaningful recognition program pales in comparison to the cost of disengaged employees. Gallup found that disengaged employees are costing companies worldwide $7.8 billion dollars. Investing in effective and consistent recognition and rewards has a powerful impact on employee engagement, productivity, and retention, ultimately paying dividends on your investment.

Here's some cold hard stats: 

  • The average Bonusly admin spends less than 1.5 hours each month managing their employee recognition and rewards program compared to the dozens of hours required to administer manual programs. Imagine what HR admins can accomplish (and the vacations they can take) with all that free time! ✅ 🌴
  • We have helped some customers save up to one million dollars on their employee gifting budget. How? Bonusly helps consolidate employee gifting spend into a centralized budget, allowing HR admins and finance teams to visualize, predict, and save on incentives. 
  • 70% of customers see a noticeable improvement in employee engagement after implementing Bonusly. Employee engagement is proven to reduce turnover and increase productivity resulting in invaluable savings for Bonusly customers. We can almost hear the CFOs rejoicing! 
  • Bonusly has the most powerful people analytics in the industry, helping our customers outperform their competition using reliable and actionable data. Spoiler alert: data-driven companies experience better financial results, outperforming their competitors by 20%. More on that later! 

Feeling inspired? Keep reading! 📕

Number 2: We’re leaders in employee recognition and engagement

Only one rewards and recognition software can be number one and Bonusly customers have spoken. Bonusly has received the top spot for employee recognition software from G2 for four consecutive seasons. With 4.8 ★★★★★ average social reviews across all platforms, customers highlight Bonusly’s integrations, reward catalog, analytics, usability, company value hashtags, and more in 16,000+ G2 reviews. Take it from John C, a sales compensation manager at an enterprise company:

"Our annual survey from last year reflected low scores for Employee Recognition, but those scores increased significantly after implementing the Bonusly platform.”

Number 3: We’re proven 

In a survey of 350+ customers, over two thirds reported improvements in employee engagement, recognition frequency and visibility, morale, and connection with core values after implementing Bonusly. Some customers even saw up to 10 point increases in eNPS scores thanks to Bonusly! 

"In the six months since adopting Bonusly, our eNPS score jumped from 72.2 to 82.1." - Daniel McAdams, President at Andiamo

Many Bonusly customers come to us on a mission to retain top talent. When done right, employee recognition and rewards can have a powerful impact on retention, especially in high-turnover industries like medical and veterinary. Pender Veterinary started using Bonusly to decrease burnout and nurture workplace culture. With the help of Bonusly, Pender Vet went against the industry odds and experienced their highest-ever retention rate!

Number 4: We’re people-analytics focused

Bonusly believes an organization’s most valuable asset is its people. However, companies need reliable data to understand and get the most out of their people. Bonusly has the most advanced analytics in the industry and we’re laser focused on helping our customers understand their people through clear and actionable insights. A recent study by the Harvard Business School found that data-driven companies experience better financial results, outperforming their competitors by 20%. That’s why the price of not investing in robust people analytics is costing many organizations more money than the investment itself. 

In addition to offering the most advanced people analytics in the industry, Bonusly’s dedicated customer success team presents quarterly business reviews to customers to help them understand how to make important data-driven decisions and ultimately achieve their business goals. Our customers at Headspace Health are incredibly data-driven and use Bonusly’s analytics to report on employee engagement and how connected employees are with their company culture. 

Number 5: We’re experts

Bonusly established the rewards and recognition market by developing the first-ever employee recognition software. Launched in 2013, Bonusly is now beloved by 3,100+ customers. Prominent companies including ZipRecruiter, Chobani, and Hulu trust Bonusly to support their employee engagement and company culture.  

After ten years of industry experience, Bonusly leads the way in program participation, implementation, and customer satisfaction. The average Bonusly user gives or receives recognition two times every week resulting in an 87% sustained monthly participation rate across all customers. Bonusly customers were able to start using Bonusly right away (3-4 weeks) after purchase. Bonusly customer Andiamo needed just three weeks to implement Bonusly and launch the program to the whole company. 

Number 6: We’re secure

Security is table stakes for any software, yet many of Bonusly’s competitors aren’t prioritizing customer security. At Bonusly, security is built into our systems, processes, and culture. We understand organizations trust us with their data and we take the responsibility of securing it extremely seriously. We offer world-class security including SOC2 certification and full GDPR compliance so HR admins can rest assured their data is safe. 

Number 7: We’re integrated with Slack, Microsoft Teams & top HRIS programs 

Bonusly works with, not against, the tools our customers already know and love. Bonusly connects seamlessly with over 50 HRIS, single sign on, and collaboration tools. We consistently listen to and act on our customers’ needs by regularly enhancing and expanding our integration offerings, check out the latest additions to our suite of HRIS integrations. Bonusly provides clients with highly-rated chat integrations (Slack, Teams, Google Hangouts, etc) and mobile apps (Apple and Android) to ensure we meet Bonusly users wherever they are working day-to-day. Integrating with collaboration tools can have a positive impact on employee adoption. We found that three out of four of our customers integrate with chat tools, increasing participation up to 10% higher than average. 

"With Bonusly front and center in Ordermark's Slack workspace, employees send nearly half (43%) of all recognition through Bonusly's Slack app. Having Bonusly in Slack makes recognition visible to everyone throughout the whole work day. It’s constantly being utilized to showcase how people are making an impact — large or small." - Lindsey Kampmeier, VP of People & Culture, Ordermark

Number 8: We’re global 

Bonusly serves a global customer base across 75 countries and for good reason. Bonusly offers a global digital rewards catalog where users can choose from dozens of vendors and charitable organizations and shop for rewards with no points-breakage, fees or markups. 35% of Bonusly customers use the platform to connect teams in multiple countries. To support our global customers, Bonusly has recently expanded our global rewards in 200+ countries. 

Number 9: We’re partners

Bonusly’s customer success team is there to support our customers throughout their entire journey with Bonusly, from implementation to Friday afternoon questions. Bonusly’s customer success partnership ensures all Bonusly users have successful and active recognition programs - as supported by our exceptional customer retention rate. Our customer success team is dedicated to building valuable relationships with our customers and providing efficient solutions; that’s why 94% of our customer support team's chat ratings in 2022 have been 😃 or 🤩. 

Beyond live support, Bonusly has a robust learning center to help ensure program adoption rates start high and stay high. Our team has helped shepherd customers through times of change. Bonusly provided consistency and morale support to our customers at Jellyfish as they scaled from 250 to 2,000 employees. Beyond scaling, Bonusly has seen many customers through exciting, but challenging, mergers and acquisitions. Bonusly served as a common thread for Integris employees as they successfully merged twelve companies and cultures. 

“Seeing recognition spill out across regions and teams is a strong indication that we're building a unified culture and breaking out of our initial post-merger silos." - Bill McCharen, Chief People Officer, Integris

We’re ready to talk when you are

We know you have a lot to consider when purchasing new rewards and recognition software. That’s why we put together this customizable vendor evaluation scorecard. If you’re interested in learning more about Bonusly, you can schedule time to speak with an employee engagement expert to explore the profound benefits Bonusly can have on your team.

In my opinion, International Women’s Day on March 8th is up there with Galentine’s Day as one of the most fun occasions. The day is an opportunity to empower one another, celebrate female-identifying friends, and recognize the the hard work, sacrifices, and joy evident in the long history of women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements.

I mean, come on! Just reading that inspires me! 😭🎉💪

However, the story of women in the workforce is a long and often troubled one. We’ve made strides in some areas of the world, but the reality is, women are still underrepresented in many fields and in the executive suite. When you take into account racial and ethnic background, the disparity becomes even more stark.

We've also gathered some of the most compelling diversity, equity, and inclusion statistics into one resource.

-> 11 Diversity and Inclusion Statistics That Will Change How You Do Business

So, with a mind for guaranteeing an equitable and diverse workplace, let’s continue to empower, recognize, and celebrate women’s accomplishments. 


How to celebrate International Women’s Day in the workplace

Before we dive into ideas, it’s important to note: Inclusion is key. 🔑

While it’s wonderful to have women-owned coalitions and support networks, it takes a careful balancing act to allow space for psychologically-safe conversations but also not push these conversations aside.

For example, I recently listened to a woman speak about how awesome it was to be invited to speak at so many women-in-tech conferences—but that it was a bummer that more “mainstream” conferences regularly overlooked her proposals. 

In the spirit of inclusion, you should think of different identity groups as contained within your company culture, not as separate entities! 

So when it comes to celebrating women’s accomplishments, challenging the status quo, and understanding gender disparity, it should be a company-wide effort.

Got it? Cool. Let’s talk about ideas.

To ensure you're being inclusive to other groups at your organization, check out the best workplace holiday celebrations by month with guides to help you plan in advance in our recommended calendar.  

1. Reflect 

International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to reflect on your current equity and inclusion practices. Take a moment to dig into the data: What are the current demographics of your team? What does your hiring pool look like? Who gets recognized, and who receives promotions? 

Take a look at your HRIS or people operations systems—you should be taking advantage of its people analytics capabilities! If you’re using a recognition and rewards platform like Bonusly, you can easily see who your team is collaborating with and recognizing

These are hard questions, and the data can be surprising. If you have an equitable company culture, great! If not, then we have some work to do. 💚

For example, women are less likely to advocate for themselves in conversations about raises and promotions. Much like how the loudest voice in the room is often the most listened to, you can reduce this bias by standardizing performance review cycles and hosting a company-wide workshop on how to reduce bias in the review process. 

2. Educate

Learning about the impact of diversity, equity, and inclusion is important for every organization. Think of it as a career development opportunity! 

A common bias? Assuming that everyone on your team identifies as a man or woman. Celebrating International Women's Day may backfire if you highlight someone who might not identify as a woman. That's why, here at Bonusly, our email signature templates include pronouns

Diverse and inclusive companies are more likely to be financially successful. There are a lot of theories surrounding this, the most prominent of which describes the importance of different perspectives in innovating and solving problems. Diverse workforces are just smarter, and building inclusive teams is a goal that can be worked toward like any other company objective. 

International Women’s Day is a great time to kick off this initiative. Bring in speakers, arrange workshops, read books… There are a lot of ways to learn about the impact of diverse workplaces.

Here’s a good place to start:

-> 11 Diversity and Inclusion Statistics That Will Change How You Do Business


3. Mentor

Mentorship is important in many business settings, and it’s shown to increase the promotion rates of women, both for the mentees and the mentors. 

The benefits of mentorship in the workplace extend beyond the employee to the company itself. Effective mentorship is proven to help companies improve retention and minority representation in management roles. 

Encouraging mentorship opportunities solidifies peer relationships in the workplace. Unfortunately, recent research shows that 60% of men in senior-level positions are uncomfortable taking on a mentor role with younger women, leaving women 24% less likely than men to receive career advice from senior leaders. 

More than ever, senior leaders (who are still primarily men) need to support and advocate for women. 

Kickstarting a formal mentorship program at your organization, with careful consideration into complementary personalities, is a way to circumvent informal and/or casual mentorships, and make sure everyone has the opportunity to benefit from learning from a company leader. 

4. Support

Research confirms that people seem to have an inherent need and desire for meaningful work—work that is perceived as significant and purposeful. 

This also applies to the philanthropic, charitable work that your company does! Whether it’s through fundraising or volunteering, lending a helping hand is a good deed and is a great way to showcase your company’s values. 

In honor of International Women’s Day, consider making a donation or volunteering with a women-focused organization. Women- and girls-focused organizations only receive 1.6% of all charitable giving, so your support will definitely be recognized. 

Here are a few to consider:


5. Recognize 

The higher you go up the corporate ladder, the fewer women you see. Do you have any women on your executive team? 

Considering that companies with gender diversity on their executive teams are more likely to be financially successful, we should all be working toward a diverse and engaging workforce—and that includes making sure everyone gets recognized.

I mean, only if you want a higher chance for your company to succeed. 😉

It’s not enough to simply hire women and hope for the best; you have to make sure they have the environment they need to succeed. That means celebrating and recognizing their accomplishments!

Look at your directors and managers. What’s the gender ratio like? What are the unique challenges they’ve had to face, and what successes can you highlight? 

This doesn’t have to just be a hierarchical practice. Who are your culture leaders? These leaders are the ones who take it upon themselves to amplify the ideas of other women, or the ones who always go the extra mile. International Women’s Day is the perfect day to make sure you see them and their efforts. 

But more than that, you’ll find that recognizing your employees is more impactful when you extend it beyond just one day. Make it a 365-day effort, and you’ll find a more transparent and inclusive company culture.

When coupled with consistent recognition, employee resilience can help build a sense of purpose, progress, and belonging at work to support every member of your team. Download our resilience guide to get started. 👇

Resilient teams are better equipped to handle whatever is thrown at them—from uncertainty, transitions, and pivots, to the many other unknowns that may unfold this year. Especially during uncertain times or crises, resilient teams experience a reduced initial impact, higher recovery speed, and a greater degree of recovery. Resilience is vital for business success, but how do individual employees and teams actually build resilience at work? 

Fortunately, resilience is not a trait a person is born with—it’s a skill that can be built and developed over time. At work, resilience comes from having a sense of purpose, progress, and belonging in a role, whether as a front-line employee or company executive.

For a deep dive into resilience at work:


Helping employees find a sense of purpose means showing them how their day-to-day work connects with the larger goals and success of the organization. 

For example, a salesperson who needs to enter prospect data into a CRM every day probably doesn’t find that part of their job enthralling. But if you connect that data entry to the sales pipeline your company uses to ensure growth is on track, this tedious task becomes a little less onerous because they understand why it’s important.

HR leaders should help managers proactively communicate how each employee’s role contributes to the overall mission of the organization. If work begins to seem meaningless, that’s a bad sign for engagement and resilience, so take care to link their work to the company’s success. 





Employees who feel stuck (in their role, their level, or their team) are likely not engaged or resilient. It’s hard for staff to feel motivated when there’s no clear path for advancing up the career ladder or simply developing new skills. And if employees are stuck in one place too long, they may lose the ability to adapt to new conditions, practices, or roles. 

While promotions are the most visible form of progress (and they’re important), they’re not the only way to give employees a sense of progress. 

Investing in ongoing learning and development and offering employees stretch assignments or lateral promotions helps them see their careers progressing. And they also increase your organizational resilience because they let employees develop and flex new skills instead of remaining in a silo. 


To build teams that are ready to handle whatever comes next:



Feeling a sense of belonging at work is critical to resilience. Diversity in the workplace helps to avoid the pitfalls of groupthink (which the International Monetary Fund cited as a major cause of the 2008 global financial crisis) and spurs innovation. 

Belonging also fosters better social connections and support at work, which increases resilience. Imagine a time when you worked long hours on a complicated task or project—did having committed colleagues who made you feel like part of a team lighten the load? It’s no surprise that employees who are on a team are 2.6 times more likely to be fully engaged and 2.7 times more likely to be highly resilient than those who aren’t. Other surprising statistics of employee belonging include a 50% lower risk of turnover, a 56% increase in job performance, and a 167% increase in eNPS scores! 

Interestingly, a sense of belonging and engagement doesn’t necessarily come from being in the same physical place. 20% of virtual workers are fully engaged and 18% are highly resilient, in comparison to the 11% of fully engaged and 9% of highly resilient office-based workers. Resilience and connection are a state of mind, not a physical place.




Practicing resilience

It can be helpful to think of building a resilience practice similar to a gratitude practice. Resilience is rarely built all at once—it must be cultivated during small but frequent, meaningful moments. 

These small moments can look like encouraging team members to turn to each other or their manager for support when they need it, ensuring employees take time off to rest and recover, and recognizing when employees succeed because of their adaptability and resilience. 

For example, if you have a team that just completed a project that went far beyond the initial scope and timeline, give them a shoutout in a team meeting, email, or (best yet) through a recognition platform. Praising their flexibility and problem-solving skills reminds them of how resilient they are, which is inspiring for the next time they face a challenge. 

These small moments and efforts build on each other to create a strong foundation of resilience. By building them now, when a crisis or challenge hits, you can draw from those resources you’ve carefully built during the good times. 




Employee recognition and building resilience

A dedicated employee recognition program can build a sense of community in your team or company helping employees feel a greater sense of purpose, progress, and belonging. Additionally, when recognition is visible throughout your organization, people can see how their individual contributions make an impact during times of ongoing change and get rewarded for exemplifying resilience—a powerful way to build a culture of resilience.

Bonusly is here to help! 

Our rewards and recognition platform helps you build a culture that shows appreciation for the work employees do every day and rewards them for adapting to the challenges and shifts facing every workplace in 2023. 

Key takeaways

  • Employees build resilience on an individual level through a sense of purpose, progress, and belonging.

  • Focusing on all three of these areas through small, meaningful efforts will help your employees increase their resilience.

  • These practices are like putting deposits into the bank when cash flows are good so you have a cushion of resilience savings to draw from when unforeseen obstacles arise. 

For further reading download our complete guide to building more resilient, engaged teams today. 👇


Bonusly has been making some pretty exciting enhancements to our suite of Analytics tools. After all, we know HR teams and people managers need a one stop shop to easily understand, compare, and act on their organization’s people data. We’re excited to announce that Compare Rates analytics is officially available to Bonusly customers. 🎊 

What is Compare Rates Analytics

Compare Rates - full screen (1)

Compare Rates analytics enables HR admins to visualize how different segments of their company are embracing recognition over time. HR teams can focus their time and energy on the departments or office locations that aren't giving or receiving recognition at the same rate as the company average. Inversely, they can glean insights from people leaders whose teams give or receive at higher rates.

How To Use Compare Rates Analytics

Compare Rates allow HR admins and managers to filter recognition data by department, location, teams, and custom business segments unique to their organization. The opportunities to take meaningful data-driven action are endless! Speaking of action, let’s walk through three potential insights users could glean from Compare Rates. 

  • Managers and people leaders can easily compare how often the average employee under their direction gives or receives recognition compared to others as well as the company average. Tracking these rates over time can help managers address team morale and spot engagement issues with clear and reliable data.
  • People-ops teams can compare segments of their company, like locations, teams, or departments, to overall company giving and receiving rates. This will help illuminate any issues with engagement and give users a map of where to focus their improvement efforts.
  • Lastly, teams can match personnel or departmental changes to drops or increases in giving and receiving recognition in specific business segments. This will give admins a clear idea of the impact (positive or negative) of HR decisions on departmental engagement. 

Additional Reading

We kept this blog post short and sweet, because we know you want to start analyzing your company’s data with Compare Rates. If you are interested in learning more about Bonusly’s suite of Analytics, check out this blog post. If you’re ready to start telling the story of your company’s recognition trends, you can download this customizable presentation template to help you share insights with your leadership team in style. Happy analyzing! 

What do stars have to do with employee recognition? ⭐️

In 2022, Bonusly users recognized each other 10,148,894 times. We like to think of each piece of recognition as one star in a galaxy of appreciation; collectively they make up a constellation that tells a story about our lives at work.

In a challenging world, daily recognition serves as a bright spot in modern employees' day-to-day. 2022 was a year of collaboration, giving back, and unexpected joy for Bonusly users. Here's a look back at 2022 through the lens of Bonusly data. 🔭

Recognition heard around the world

Let's get the negative out of the way: employees feel a lack of connection. Harvard Business Review found that 65% of workers report significantly less connection to coworkers and 76% of hybrid employees report they don't feel connected to the company's culture. The upshot: Bonusly customers were able to connect their teams, no matter where or how they worked, through consistent appreciation. Bonusly customers celebrated each other in 130 countries in 2022 with over a third of Bonusly customers using the platform to connect users in multiple countries. 🌎

The connection continued as 66% of Bonusly customers used the platform to connect teams in multiple office locations and 42.04% of all recognition given was interdepartmentally.

Speaking of connection, check out Jellyfish's customer story on using Bonusly to break down regional and departmental silos.


In 2022, Bonusly recognition was linked to core value hashtags 10.9 million times. Values-based recognition helps employees feel a greater sense of purpose at work and understand how their day-to-day contributions add up to a meaningful company culture. Beyond employee satisfaction, a Harvard Business Review study found that companies with a strong sense of purpose enjoyed higher growth rates than those with weaker purposes. So what were Bonusly users' top value hashtags of 2022?

  1. #Teamwork
  2. #Collaboration
  3. #Leadership
  4. #Thankyou
  5. #problemsolving

In addition to frequent use of company values hashtags, Bonusly customers rallied around the causes that mattered most to them through platform-enabled donations. Bonusly users donated $742,515 to charity in 2022, nearly doubling the amount they gave to charity in 2021 ($463,855). Small individual donations added up to big celebrations, as Bonusly users surpassed $2 million dollars in donations through Bonusly's reward catalog at the end of 2022.

Rewards make recognition programs sticky

All of that recognition resulted in meaningful rewards for Bonusly users. This year Bonusly users bought everything from plane rides to their pets with Bonusly points. In 2022, Bonusly users redeemed rewards from 606 brands, but they had some favorites:

  1. Amazon
  2. Allowance Boost
  3. PayPal
  4. Starbucks
  5. Visa

Among their favorites is the Allowance Boost, which allows Bonusly users to redeem their earned points to bolster their giveable point allowances. The Allowance Boost has remained in the top five reward redemptions for the past five years, cheers to more recognition!

Bonusly Cheers Wet - Cheers! 720p

Quality recognition reigns supreme

What ingredients do you need to make quality recognition? Great recognition should be timely, specific, visible, frequent, inclusive, and values-based. Let's break that recipe down:

Timely: Birthday, anniversary, and start date recognition are all great examples of how Bonusly helps our customers automate timely recognition. Bonusly users celebrated 753,492 birthdays, start dates, and work anniversaries using Bonusly's automated recognition.

Frequent: On average 82% Bonusly users gave and/or received recognition each month in 2022! Fun fact: monthly participation was consistently highest for companies with a monthly user allowance range of 101-200 points.

Values-based: You already know all about how Bonusly supports values-based recognition.

Visible: All Bonusly recognition is visible in the Bonusly app, but many customers use communication integrations like Slack to boost visibility even further. In 2022, 6.13% of all recognition was given via Slack and average monthly participation in Bonusly was 6.44% higher for customers with an active Slack integration.

Inclusive: One of the core tenants of Bonusly is the belief that anyone can recognize anyone. That's why 89.95% of all Bonusly recognition given in 2022 was peer-to-peer recognition.

Combine these key ingredients and you'll end up with a quality recognition program. Bonusly admins can sleep easy knowing that out of over ten million recognition posts only 2,882 posts (or 0.028% of the total recognition) were flagged by bots or users as illegitimate.

Let's end on a fun note

What better way to express your appreciation for a coworker than through GIFs and emojis?

3,013,474 of recognition posts were given with GIFs in 2022. In terms of Bonusly users' favorite GIFs the show The Office reigned supreme with this GIF  landing on top for the second year in a row, with over 21,000 uses. This GIF was number two, with around 14,000 uses. Lastly, this GIF was number three, with 10,400 uses.

That's a lot of high-fives!

In terms of emojis, users favored 👍♥️ 😍 🎂 💚 🎈 🙂 😁 😊 🎉.  It's with these good vibes that we'll conclude this blog post, but before you go...

What's next?

We hope you're inspired to think about each employee, office location, or department as a star in a constellation of appreciation. You can start forming your own recognition solar system at your organization by learning more about Bonusly today.

Meet our fun and intuitive recognition program

Originally published on February 21, 2023 → Last updated February 21, 2023

What makes recognition from a colleague even more special? When you pair that recognition with meaningful rewards!

In today's globalized working environment, it is becoming more common for companies to have employees working internationally. Because of this, it is important for us to work with our partners and vendors to constantly expand Bonusly's Rewards Catalog, so we can bring more reward options to international users. In these efforts, we can continue to provide a space for people to make meaningful connections through recognition, while getting rewarded for it, no matter where they are located.  

We listened to our customers' needs for more rewards options, so we partnered with multiple vendors to expand our international rewards offering. We've added multiple brands to our international gift cards, powered by both Tango and Tremendous. This exciting expansion improves the rewards experience for Bonusly users to have more options, regardless of location.

But wait, there's more! Another new addition to the Bonusly Rewards Catalog is the international Visa gift card powered by Tremendous, which allows users to redeem this popular prepaid option globally at more than 175 countries. And even more good news, the new international Visa gift card has no conversion or user fees.

We are continously adding to this list as we strive to offer meaningful rewards for everyone, everywhere. We have recently launched more than 100 brands in 50+ countries within the last month, highlighting some of them below. We encourage you to check out the full catalog of Bonusly Rewards to view the expansive list of international rewards to choose from. 


  • Dan Murphy's
  • IKEA Australia
  • Target


  • Apple AT
  • Cyperport
  • Cyperport
  • H&M Austria
  • Jollydays


  • 3 Food
  • Cafe CAF
  • Artisan
  • Crocodile


  • Lifestyle
  • Lulu Hypermarket


  • C&C
  • Carrefour
  • Decathalon

Czech Republic

  • Adidas
  • Amazon
  • H&M C


  • Anghami Plus
  • Shahid VIP Subscriptions
  • Lifestyle 


  • Adidas
  • Baskin Robbins 
  • Coasta 
  • GrabFood
  • Starbucks 

New Zealand

  • David Jones
  • Farmers
  • Just Jeans

South Korea

  • Cultureland
  • Nexon


  • Adidas
  • H&M
  • Jula
  • Lindex
  • Dressman
  • Footlocker


  • Apple
  • Coop

Don't see your favorite brands or country? 

This list is just some of the many brands we added this month. Please check out the full catalog of Bonusly Rewards and simply click on a specific country to view all of the brands available.

Check out this customer story on Jellyfish, an enterprise company in the UK, that utilizes Bonusly's rewards options to keep their distributed teams connected and engaged.


2022 was a year of constant change. Between inflation, rising interest rates, a historically tight labor market, and the Great Resignation, there were few industries and companies unaffected. Combine all of these challenges, and it’s no surprise that many HR teams weren’t equipped to handle them, nor were employees equipped to face them.

These consistent, unexpected changes led to issues like high levels of turnover, low employee morale, and decreased engagement in the workplace—problems that persist in 2023. As economic conditions continue to be unpredictable, success in 2023 demands adaptability.

How can HR teams, managers, and leaders inspire employees to be stronger and more flexible in times of ongoing change? Building more resilient teams is the answer. 

Resilient teams and companies are better equipped to handle whatever is thrown at them—from uncertainty, transitions, and pivots, to other unknowns that may unfold this year. 

We will take you through everything you need to know about the business case for resilient and engaged teams that are ready for the future, including what resiliency is, and why it matters especially amid uncertainty.  


For an in-depth look at how you can build stronger, more resilient teams during unpredictable times:


What is resiliency and why does it matter?

Resiliency is a person's ability to bounce back from, withstand, and work through difficult events or circumstances. In other words, it’s the capacity to endure challenges and come back stronger from them—instead of falling apart. 

Resiliency isn’t about ensuring that employees and teams don’t fail—they are guaranteed to at some point, and some amount of failure is actually required for successful innovation. Rather, it’s about building teams that can bounce back from those challenges and failures with forward momentum.


resilient team


The relationship between resilience and engagement

Resilient teams are also more likely to be engaged at work, meaning they’re deeply committed to their work and willing to give their all because they find work meaningful and satisfying. Resilience has positive effects on well-being, job performance, and work engagement.

Engagement tends to be proactive, measuring how much employees are willing to go above and beyond at work. Resilience, on the other hand, is reactive, describing how employees react to challenges when they arise unexpectedly.

And unfortunately, either quality remains fairly rare in the workplace. Research from MIT Sloan Review found that worldwide, only 14% of workers were fully engaged and 15% were highly resilient in 2021. That’s one employee engagement trend we hope to see change in 2023.

Of course, while resilience and engagement are strongly related, they still remain somewhat independent of each other—a person can be engaged and not resilient. However, employees can’t be resilient without being engaged, because having a sense of meaning and purpose in their work gives them a way to survive, and even thrive, through tough times.

So if you can build teams that approach their work with both engagement and resilience, you’ll have a company that can thrive during great times and challenging ones alike.


thrive during challenge


The business case for building resilience at work

The first step is understanding why resilience is so important in the workplace.

Resilience is increased when people and teams feel a sense of purpose, safety, trust, and belonging at work.

Trust is especially critical—it’s hard to have confidence that you and the organization you work for can bounce back when you don’t have trust in your manager or leadership.

A report from the ADP Research Industry found that employees who completely trust their team leader are 14 times more likely to be fully engaged. 

And those who completely trust their colleagues, team leader, and senior leaders are an astonishing 42 times more likely to be highly resilient.

Teams that can trust their leaders to act with integrity, accountability, and honesty don’t need to spend time worrying about workplace dysfunction or looking over their shoulders for the next problem. They can simply do the work they find meaning in, and know that their leaders and colleagues will look out for them no matter what comes next. 


How can HR teams, managers, and leaders inspire employees to be stronger and more flexible in times of ongoing change?


Why engaged, resilient teams matter

Why do you need engaged, resilient teams? They’re always important, but are especially critical during a crisis, whether it’s a global pandemic, the burst of the dot-com bubble, or a worldwide financial crisis. 


3 keys advantages of resilient companies


In fact, during a crisis, resilient companies have three key advantages over non-resilient organizations:

1. A reduced initial impact as a result of a crisis.

2. A higher recovery speed.

3. A greater degree of recovery.

When it comes to employee engagement, having disengaged employees is costly, not just to your organization’s morale but also in hard numbers. Gallup estimates that employees who aren’t engaged or are actively disengaged cost the globe a staggering $7.8 trillion in lost productivity. This is largely because employees who aren’t engaged are a turnover risk, and the costs of turnover are also quite high—from .5 to 2 times the annual salary of a single employee. Additionally, disengaged employees are less likely to be productive or motivated to do their best work.

On the other hand, resilient and engaged employees are a powerful engine of business growth and a significant competitive advantage. They’re too valuable to ignore, especially since we live in times of ongoing challenges and swift shifts in the workplace and economy. If your teams aren’t adapted to take on challenges as they come, you’re likely to fall behind your competitors the next time a crisis arises. 

And Gallup's study of over 112,000 organizations confirms employee engagement as a competitive advantage. Researchers discovered that companies scoring in the top 25% for employee engagement experienced these benefits compared to the bottom 25%:

  • 10% higher customer loyalty and engagement
  • 23% greater profitability
  • 18% more sales
  • 14% higher employee productivity
  • 18% less turnover for companies with historically high turnover (those with average annual turnover rates above 40%)
  • 43% less turnover for companies with historically low turnover (those with average annual turnover rates at or below 40%)

While preparing for potential specific crises, such as an upcoming recession or economic slowdown, is helpful, the truth is that many crises can’t be forecasted or planned for in advance. For example, in 2019 even the most prepared organization likely did not have a global pandemic plan in place that would have enabled them to cope with that specific scenario. 

Instead, building resiliency ensures that your organization is prepared for anything, both what you may expect and what you can’t foresee. It’s an all-purpose tool for strengthening your people, teams, and organization as a whole.


Key takeaways: 

  • Resilience is the ability to adapt to, and bounce back from, challenges. It is not a way to avoid failure altogether.

  • Resilience begins with trust. How much do your employees currently trust their colleagues, team leader, and senior leaders? Knowing where you stand now will help you build a plan to improve in the future.

  • Resilient organizations suffer less and bounce back faster in a crisis, even ones they may not have anticipated.  

Learn more

Bonusly is the leader in employee engagement through our top-rated employee recognition platform.

The Bonusly platform:

  1. Makes recognition visible helping employees stay connected during uncertain times.
  2. Strengthens relationships between peers, supervisors, and direct reports.
  3. Builds strong communities that can bounce back from unexpected obstacles. 

For further reading on how employees can build resilience on an individual level and specific ways that leaders can help build resilience within their teams, check out our complete guide. 👇

Have you marked your calendar yet? Employee Appreciation Day is observed every year on the first Friday in March. It's a day when companies across the world take time to express appreciation for their employees.


For a sidesplitting way to celebrate: 😂


Some buy lunch for employees, while others throw parties or give out awards. A few might even give their team the day off! So how do you know the time, effort, and other resources you're putting into recognizing employees are well spent?

Good intentions, limited impact

Employee Appreciation Day dates back to 1995. Bob Nelson, a founding board member of Recognition Professional International, created the holiday with his publishing company Workman Publishing.

Over the past 20 years, many other companies have embraced the unofficial holiday. However, a problem presents itself when an organization limits employee appreciation to that one day.

An annual employee recognition celebration may feel like the right thing to do, especially as Employee Appreciation Day draws near, but to truly appreciate your employees, you'll need to go further.

Nelson himself explained the problematic nature of this approach in an interview with Business Insider:


I'm a big advocate of using recognition on a daily basis...By no means is Employee Appreciation Day meant to be this one day to thank people or this one day to bring in doughnuts...But I did want to have one day where we could call attention to the topic and have conversations about its importance.


Celebrating your employees only once per year:

  • Rewards everyone collectively, regardless of their individual contributions.
  • Occurs too infrequently to be much of a motivational tool.
  • Can come across as insincere, especially if there's minimal appreciation for the rest of the year.

So what's the solution?

Make every day Employee Appreciation Day


Show genuine appreciation to your employees throughout the year. You don't need to throw a party every day; it's about building a culture of appreciation across the entire organization.


Show genuine appreciation to your employees throughout the year. You don't need to throw a party every day; it's about building a culture of appreciation across the entire organization.


Easier said than done? Not really.

To help get the ball rolling, we built a list of easy ways to recognize employees on a regular basis, along with quotes from organizations with recognition-rich cultures:

1. Celebrate diverse wins, results, and contributions

Have you ever noticed the same superstars getting all of the recognition? Are rewards are tied to sales or years of service? As deserving as your top producers and senior employees may be, your other employees are contributing to the company's success, too.

While one employee may have landed a big new account, another may have reduced the company's exposure to risk, and yet another may have recently completed an intense training program. Look for and celebrate "wins" of all kinds both publicly and privately.


2. Encourage peer recognition


Encouraging peer recognition is an effective way to ensure that your employees feel recognized and appreciated for their contributions. Instead of an annual, top-down approach, peer recognition programs like Bonusly empower employees to recognize and reward one another on a much more frequent basis.

Crowdsourcing employee recognition makes celebrating the myriad achievements and contributions of all the members of your team much easier, more organic, more genuine, and much more realistic to accomplish.

Although peer recognition is one of the most effective methods to ensure employees know they're appreciated, there are many other complementary initiatives you can implement that dovetail nicely with it.


3. Host Lunch and Learns

Lunch and learn

Each of your employees has a list of unique talents. Some of those talents may still be hidden. Take the initiative, pick up lunch for the team, and organize a half-hour event to learn from each other.

Perhaps someone from the team is a bicycle enthusiast in their spare time and would be willing to teach a quick seminar on basic spring bike tune-ups.

The talent pool isn't limited to members of your team. There are other experts you can bring in to share their expertise. For example, if you don't have a bike expert on staff, check in with a few local bike shops and see if any of their techs are willing to give a half-hour lesson. They'll get a great opportunity for exposure, and your team gets some expert instruction.

What would your team like to learn about or share? Use your creativity, and solicit feedback from the team on what they'd like to hear about.


4. Offer professional development

Professional Development

Providing professional development opportunities and encouraging employees to grow within your organization is one of the most powerful ways you can show your appreciation.


Providing professional development opportunities and encouraging employees to grow within your organization is one of the most powerful ways you can show your appreciation.


The first step toward this could be something simple, like providing a monthly allowance for education and development. Modern educational tools like Lynda and Udemy make this simple and cost-effective. Think about setting up a stipend for relevant conferences or training.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that investing in your team's education is simply grooming them for their next position at another company. By supporting their professional development, you're showing the team how much you value their current skills, and the things they bring to the table. Your investment also shows your interest in seeing them grow with you over the long term.

Peter Baeklund has a great quote on the topic:


A CFO asks a CEO: What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?
The CEO responds: What happens if we don’t and they stay?


5. Provide functional equipment


It's hard to say you appreciate your team if they're using outdated, barely functional equipment.

You don't have to spring for the most expensive tools, but it's important to ask your employees if there's anything you can provide that would make their job easier. It could be a more ergonomic tool, a new web service, or anything, really.

No, you don't need a Porsche when a golf cart will do the job, but the important thing is to keep an open line of communication about the needs of your team.


6. Prioritize personal outreach

Personal outreach takes just a few minutes of your time and is an incredibly powerful way to help employees feel appreciated. There are a lot of great tools and techniques out there to help make this happen on a mass scale, but it's important to remember to personally thank your teammates for the work they do.


7. Provide open communication channels

Andrew Schrader, HR Manager at Chobani, shared one way that he and his team communicate appreciation:


Our employees wanted frequent recognition, and the program empowers them to recognize each other. Having the ability to recognize someone immediately is the most valuable part of Bonusly. Whether you have 20 employees or 2,000, it doesn’t matter. People just want to be told they’re doing a good job.
-Andrew Schrader


SnackNation's Emil Shour shared two great examples of what he and the SnackNation team do to make sure the team feels like every day is Employee Appreciation Day: Crush-It Calls and Shout-outs.


8. Crush-It Calls



We know that a lack of appreciation is the #1 reason why Americans quit their jobs, so creating a culture where recognition and praise are abundant has been ingrained into SnackNation from Day 1. On a weekly basis, we host what we call the Crush-It Call. Each Friday afternoon, the entire team huddles together and we go around the room answering 2 things: a coworker you want to 'crush' (i.e., praise) for something awesome they did in the past week, and something you're grateful for.

I love the Crush-It Call because everyone on the team a chance to see all the cool things happening in each department. As SnackNation has grown, each department has become a little more compartmentalized and we often miss all the valuable things our coworkers are accomplishing.

We actually filmed one of our recent Crush-It Calls. If you want to see what it looks like so you can replicate it at your company, check it out here.
-Emil Shour, SnackNation




9. Shout-Outs


As for a daily practice, we encourage people to give shout-outs to the team when it's deserved. You'll often see emails like this going out to the whole team:

SnackNation Shout-outs

Plus, having unlimited healthy snacks to fuel our team is something that makes us all feel very appreciated on a daily basis!
-Emil Shour, SnackNation





10. Team events

At Bonusly, in the spirit of our mission to help people connect with their work and each other in meaningful ways, each month we do a fun, company-wide team event together.

Past events have included a virtual escape room challenge, boba tea and popcorn chicken making (or tofu depending on preference and dietary needs!), Hispanic Heritage Month trivia, and—maybe our most popular—a virtual safari where a zookeeper fed giraffes live.

image (1)

Teams look forward to these events as a way to connect with one another, have fun, and break from the normal routines at work. What better way to do that than a live giraffe feeding?! 


Make it a day your team won't forget!


11. Treat your team to lunch

Weekly meal reimbursements and Grubhub, Doordash, or UberEats credits are becoming commonplace work perks and it's easy to see why! Employees love this simple gesture of appreciation. What's not to love when you can order your favorite meal and have it delivered to your doorstep? 

12. Pleasant surprises

If you're like most of us, you have a life outside of work. And that means that you also have important life milestones worth acknowledging! Help your employees celebrate with thoughtful and meaningful gestures. Consider sending flowers, a signed card, and a bottle of champagne to help an employee celebrate their recent marriage. Did someone on your team recently buy a new home? Send a simple housewarming gift in the mail with your team's congratulations.

Other milestones or events to acknowledge: welcoming a newborn baby (company-branded onesies anyone?!), the loss of a loved one, and following through on a personal goal like running a marathon or mastering a new skill. 

Jennifer Riggins of Management 3.0 shared two simple ways you can keep the appreciation flowing all throughout the year, and make yours stand out: specificity and visibility.



13. Specificity


We are all running a mile a minute at work, so we lose track of communication, and then when we do take time to talk, we focus on the negative. Yes, we need to talk about ways we can improve, but we also need to be appreciative more. And to do it in a specific way, not just a 'Thanks for everything' type of message, but compliment your coworkers and recognize them for doing something special.
-Jennifer Riggins, Management 3.0


14. Visibility


A lot of companies make saying 'thank you' a visible practice. Virgin calls them Rippas, some call them hugs, at Management 3.0, we call them Kudos. You can put up a bulletin board to publicly post your employee recognition or you can take the time to celebrate these little thank you notes once a week or once a month. And it doesn't have to be just for those in the office. You can show anyone a remote thanks on Twitter with
-Jennifer Riggins, Management 3.0


15. Wellness


You don't need to install nap pods or provide free yoga lessons (though you could), but it's important to let your team know your organization values their health, both on and off the job. That dedication to employee health is valuable both on an individual and group basis.

In a recent interview with us, Button's Stephen Milbank explained why employee health is so important, and how something as simple as your attendance policy can have a surprisingly large impact:


We have a pretty open policy where you can take those days off and not put other people at risk. By doing stuff like that, you allow people to be more responsible. They are going to act on the side of caution, which is ultimately better for the organization.
-Stephen Milbank, Button


Wellness isn't just about physical health either. Make sure the team isn't saddled with assignments keeping them from occasionally unplugging from work. That recuperative time is crucial to their performance, their stress levels, and ultimately their retention. In the same interview, Milbank shared some more great advice on this topic as well:


If you're creating an environment where someone is never able to go home and relax—where they work all sorts of crazy hours—the other people in their lives are going to be unhappy.
-Stephen Milbank, Button


Looking out for the health of your team isn't just valuable as an expression of employee appreciation, it has clear bottom-line benefits.


Putting it all together

This final tip is crucial: putting all the right strategies together into a sustainable practice that fits your company culture.

When I Work's Rob Wormley shared how he and the When I Work team expertly combine several of these techniques into one cohesive strategy:


At When I Work, we celebrate and show appreciation to our employees in a number of ways:

First, we give them the tools and resources they need to be successful in their roles. We’ve found that this ultimately has a positive impact on employee happiness and retention.

Second, we give employees the opportunity to continue learning by sending them to conferences and buying books that they want to read.

Third, we plan fun monthly and quarterly company and team outings in an effort to thank our employees for their hard work. Finally, we stock our kitchen with free food and drinks to keep employees energized and happy throughout the day.
-Rob Wormley, When I Work


Did this year's Employee Appreciation Day catch you off guard? Use these tips to make every day Employee Appreciation Day, and you'll never have to worry about the first Friday in March sneaking up on you again.

Bonusly is in the business of year-round appreciation, and we invite you to take a tour or request a demo of our recognition and rewards platform.

For a fun way to celebrate at work: 👇

There are all kinds of employee and corporate rewards out there. Since Bonusly is the top-rated employee recognition and rewards program, we're pretty familiar with the best employee appreciation ideas out there. To help you, we’ve gathered the very best and most creative employee reward ideas and put them all into one big list. 😎

This list has been so popular that we've updated and expanded it multiple times—and we’re happy to say that this time around, we’ve rehauled the entire list! Plus, by popular request, look for 🚫💰 peppered throughout for free or low-cost ideas! 

Creativity, not cost, is the real secret to building an assortment of employee rewards and incentives that everyone will be excited to earn. Bonus points: rewarding your employees is important when building your organizational culture and growing your benefits and perks offerings.

Looking to build stronger, more engaged, and motivated teams in 2023?

-> Download the Free Guide: 3 Steps to Building Engaged, Resilient Teams

Before we get started—if you're looking for a better way to reward employees on your team or in your company—we can help! To learn more, you can take a tour of our platform, request a demo, or try it out for free today! 

Ready, set, rewards! 

Here's a shortcut to our favorite categories. ⬇️

Gifts Professional Development ExperiencesServices



1. Branded clothing/swag 

The first idea on our list is to utilize what you likely already have in your arsenal—your company’s own branded swag! There are always t-shirts or water bottles floating around the office, and most people love the opportunity to rep their company. Most people also love free things. 🤑

Take this moment to think about your swag designs. Are they cool? Is it just your company logo slapped on a plain t-shirt? Listen—your company logo might be really snazzy, but crowdsourcing swag design is a great way to get employees involved and show off your team’s creativity.

Maybe you landed on an elephant riding a rocket ship wearing your company logo? Great! Consider working with a company like Caroo to create and send out your new favorite designs in curated swag boxes to employees. You can take this quick 60-second quiz to get personalized results.


2. Spotify Premium or Apple Music subscription

Nearly everybody has a preferred work playlist. So you’re grooving along, in the zone, and then—screech—a horribly jarring ad comes on and ruins your focus.

You hate it, I hate it, everybody hates it. So eliminate those moments altogether by rewarding your employees with a premium account to their music streaming service of choice.

3. Plants 🚫💰

According to US News & World Report, British and Dutch researchers have “found that having office plants created a better work environment.”

Why? Here’s what the research suggests: “One possible explanation is that greenery increases engagement by making people more physically, cognitively, and emotionally involved in their jobs.”

If your employees would consider it a gift and not a source of stress, give them a plant to care for at the office. We recommend low-light, easy-care plants like succulents and cacti! 🌿🌱🌵🌼

4. Book of the Month

Have a few bookworms on your team? Book of the Month is an easy, subscription-based gift that provides readers with their pick from five buzz-worthy new novels each month. Plus, if there are multiple big readers at your company, you basically get a built-in book club!

5. Charitable giving

Many of your employees are likely making charitable donations already. You can help them to amplify the impact they're making by making a donation on their behalf, or matching a donation, as a meaningful reward.

For more, see how Bonusly users donate within the employee recognition platform. 

6. Gift cards

Gift cards are one of the most impactful types of employee rewards (especially when you automate them with Bonusly!). There's no doubt a huge variety of gift cards from your team's favorite retailers that you can offer. There's a special feeling you get when you buy a pair of new shoes, a spa day, or a cup of coffee on the weekend—with the knowledge that your company just foot the bill. 😉

7. “____” club

It’s the gift that keeps on giving. 😉

Getting a package in the mail every month with goodies is always delightful, and now you don’t even have to go through the trouble of packaging it up for someone and heading to the post office. There are so many monthly subscription services out there with every theme under the sun. Here are a few of our favorites:

💅 Beauty: Birchbox
🍦 Ice cream: Jeni's Ice Cream, Salt & Straw
🍺🍷 Beer and wine: Beer of the Month Club, Winc
🍭 International snacks and candy: Universal Yums, Bokksu 

8. Coffee memberships

Nearly everybody has a morning routine, whether they’re coffee, tea, or juice drinkers!

This reward is inspired by a local café in Boulder, CO, home of Bonusly HQ! It may take some research, but check around and see if any cafés around you offer memberships or subscriptions—this typically means customers can pay a set price, often discounted, for a month or more of unlimited beverages. Fronting that cost brightens mornings and supports local businesses!

Depending on your location, there might be an app for it, too! ☕️🍵

9. Designated “fun” budget

It’s easy to feel more engaged with something when you have direct control over it. It’s a lot like having a piggy bank—except when it’s full, the team can decide on a fun thing to do together.

10. Website or newsletter feature 🚫💰

Getting a public shout-out never gets old. If you have a company newsletter or blog, writing up a small feature on an indispensable team member is sure to make them feel recognized and appreciated.

11. Rented or professionally styled outfits for special occasions

Every once in a while, employees typically encounter a Big Deal event—this can be presentations to clients, speaking engagements, or charity galas! Show the organization cares and is rooting for them by footing the bill for a snazzy outfit from Rent the Runway or Generation Tux. It’ll make the recipient look and feel good. 💅

If you’re an organization that requires a specific dress, like business-professional attire in a law office or steel-toed boots for construction firms, expensing those additional costs can go a long way for your employee in terms of budget—but also for their feelings of inclusion and belonging.

12. Send a care package

Personally, going to the post office is a huge chore for me. So when I do, you can bet that the person I’m sending mail to is someone I really value!

At its core, receiving personally-addressed things in the mail feels so good from the time and care someone displays in going through the process of posting mail. It’s a similar feeling to receiving letters! Except a care package can contain snacks. 😎

(You're 18% through the article! Want to finish reading later? Get a PDF copy of this list sent to your inbox. Otherwise, keep scrolling!)

Want the TL;DR version of this blog post? Download the free PDF!

13. Stickers, mugs, and magnets oh my! 🚫💰

Surprise your employees with stickers, mugs, or magnets printed with their faces or their dogs’ faces! Great for decorating laptops, drinking coffee, or playing on the kitchen fridge, these personalized items are like custom Slack emojis for the physical world. Check out Sticker Mule for excellent die-cut and kiss-cut stickers for this kind of project.

14. Cookies 🚫💰

Listen. Everybody likes cookies, and not just on employee appreciation day. Supermarket cookies are acceptable, but bonus points for finding a cool recipe and making them yourself.

15. Art

Research by Exeter University’s School of Psychology found that employees who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are not only happier and healthier—they’re also up to 32% more productive.
Karen Higginbottom

Invite your employees to select new artwork for your office space. Give them a budget and designate a wall space, then see what they propose! If your office doesn’t necessarily have the wall space for new artwork, a print for their home is also a thoughtful gift that will remind them of your company’s appreciation for them.

16. Supportive shoes or insoles

You know how they say you should buy a good mattress because you spend a third of your life sleeping? We’d like to say the same about good shoes—but for the third of your life where you're working! 👟

Supportive shoes and insoles are especially important for professions that require a lot of time on someone’s feet—like the healthcare, retail, and hospitality industries. If you’re in one of these fields, keeping your team members comfortable should be part of your business expenses.

17. Custom emoji 🚫💰

If you’re big Slack communicators at your company, a custom emoji dedicated to someone’s likeness is a quirky and unexpected reward. It’s also an excellent way to welcome new employees to the team!



18. Personal recognition note from CEO 🚫💰

Knowing that someone at the very top of your job hierarchy appreciates the work you do can be thrilling. Take the time to make sure your leaders know about the great work your team members are doing and ask them to write letters of appreciation to individuals who are crushing it.

Employee recognition is a crucial component of engaged, adaptable teams. Start building stronger teams today!

-> Download the Free Guide: 3 Steps to Building Engaged, Resilient Teams



Professional development

19. Office resource library 🚫💰

An investment in your employees’ professional development is an invaluable reward. Offer to cover the cost of a book they’ve been wanting and add it to your office’s resource library. Personalized bookplates to recognize each person and their reason for adding a book could be a nice touch, but you don’t have to go overboard. Supporting your employees and owning your role in their development as they build their personal skill sets is a generous and symbolic gesture.

20. Classes and courses

There are a plethora of courses out there for every subject under the sun, both in-person and virtual, and it’s an easy way to get someone refreshed and inspired about their daily tasks.

If you can’t necessarily fund attendance for a whole course, designate some time once a week to watch webinars or conference videos. It’s a no-cost opportunity to learn something new.

21. Seminars

Similar to classes, seminars are typically less of a time commitment, but are just as packed with information. They’re also a great opportunity to network!

22. Memberships

Sponsoring an employee’s admission fees into a professional organization has a long-lasting impact. It communicates that an organization cares about an employee’s career development beyond their tenure at a particular company, and provides a plethora of opportunities for networking and learning.

23. Conferences

Similar to courses and seminars, conferences are excellent opportunities to learn about the current state of your industry and network with potential customers.

24. Books 🚫💰

As an employer, you can provide the materials an employee needs to improve their mastery of a subject. Find out what kinds of books and other educational resources might be valuable to your team—and don’t forget about leadership, communications management, and interpersonal help books!

Audiobooks and eBooks are also great options since they're delivered digitally, which makes fulfilling them a breeze. 

25. Hackathons 🚫💰

Designate a day or week for a hackathon! We recommend pizza, too. 🍕🤖

Hackathons don’t have to be centered around developers—at Bonusly, it’s a week where the team is encouraged to “hack” anything, whether it’s an outdated process, an old piece of content, or a better organization system for your resources. The projects that take place during this time are typically those that employees really want to work on, but are often pushed aside.

Plus, hackathons are a really great opportunity to explore different areas of the industry, try out new things, and flex your skills in a new way.

[B]reaking out of the day-to-day routine can reinvigorate and inspire staff, but hackathons also demonstrate to employees that innovation is not only welcomed, but also expected.
–Elizabeth Spaulding and Greg Caimi, Harvard Business Review


26. Share a meal  

Networking and mentorship can be a little awkward at first, so break the ice with an excellent meal. Delicious food and great conversation? Sign us up.

27. Upgraded or premium office products

Do your team members long for better Adobe stock photo options? Or the pro version of your project management tool? Consider upgrading your current software and products to make your team members’ daily tasks more efficient and their work higher quality.

28. Sponsored content on LinkedIn or Forbes

For many people, it’s super meaningful to have a byline on a well-written article. If they have some insights that are useful to the industry, broaden their reach by promoting their article on LinkedIn or submitting it to Forbes.

29. Session with a financial advisor

Unfortunately, long-term financial planning isn’t exactly freely offered. If a 401k match is already offered as part of your total rewards package, consider having a financial advisor on deck to help your employees throughout the year. It makes a tremendous personal impact and dispenses valuable knowledge for any individual’s future.

30. Skill-sharing 🚫💰

There’s no use in siloing information in a company! Take the time to encourage skill-sharing through lunch-and-learns or simply dedicated professional development time. From HTML basics to social media best practices, these topics can be useful across the team.



31. Subsidized recreation

Depending on where your workplace is located, you may see some preferences in the weekend activities among your team members. For Bonusly HQ in Boulder, you’ll find us at a U.S. National Park in the summertime and on the ski slopes during winter!

There are often some expenses that can add up, and a great way to encourage your employees to stay active is by subsidizing any recreational costs they may come across—like offering the gift of a U.S. Park Pass. From entrance fees to memberships, there are many ways a company can show support for their employees’ out-of-office activities. 

Head here to read more about employee gifting experiences.

32. Dogs at the office (or on Zoom!) 🚫💰

Having a dog-friendly office has a ton of benefits for humans (although doggos probably love it, as well). A recent study showed that employees at dog-friendly offices are less stressed, more collaborative, and more likely to give higher ratings of trustworthiness to their team members. 

Of course, it’s not possible for every office to be dog-friendly. A great way to feel those same benefits is by partnering with your local humane society or rescue organization to schedule a puppy pitstop by the office. Aside from playing with adorable dogs, team members get to take a break, spend time together (dogs in the office are also shown to be an excellent icebreaker), and make some great memories.

If you're working remotely, encourage teammates to let their pooch say hi to the camera. 

33. Work from elsewhere 🚫💰

Support local businesses and treat your employees to a working day outside the office. If your team likes rock climbing, for instance, you can get day passes to a rock climbing gym that offers wifi and lounge areas. You can host active team-building activities and productive creative sessions all under the same roof. (We like Movement here in Boulder, CO; Brooklyn Boulders has locations in New York, Chicago, and Boston).

34. Fly in remote team members

If you have more than one office, offering employees opportunities to spend time working in a different office is a great way to break the monotony of the daily routine, while still getting great work done. It's also a nice way for employees who may never have met face-to-face to forge valuable friendships.

35. Subscription to Headspace

Don’t just give people breaks—give your team members a sign that you care about their mental and emotional well-being. A gift of a Headspace subscription can provide valuable guided meditation sessions that’ll leave employees feeling refreshed.

36. Wine-tasting or brewery tour

For those that drink alcohol, a guided wine-tasting or brewery tour is educational and fun. Plus, you get to support a local business! 🍷🍺

37. Local restaurant experience

Good food? Always appreciated. After accomplishing a big milestone, treat your employees to a private dinner at a local restaurant.

38. Cooking class

Learning something new with your team members! Whether you’re heading to a professional kitchen to learn how to make sushi or enlisting a skilled coworker to teach the office how to make their famous crepes, it’s bound to be a fun and yummy time. 😋

There are companies that also offer virtual cooking classes and will send ingredients right to the doorstep of participants!  

39. Pottery class

Ceramics is a unique, hands-on, totally messy experience that’s bound to be a hit with your team. Plus, you get a kiln-fired pot, mug, bowl, or… artistic lump… to commemorate the occasion. 😎🔥

40. Tickets to a concert, movie, sports game, or festival

Tickets to a basketball game, local food festival, or Ariana Grande concert are easy crowd-pleasers and always lots of fun!

41. Yoga classes

Yoga can help improve the fitness of both body and mind. Offering yoga classes to employees can be a great reward since it can help them feel focused at the start of the day or unwind after a hard day’s work.

42. Remote Year

Remote Year brings together groups of inspiring professionals to travel, live, and work in different cities around the world for a year or four months. For some of your employees, your support for their application and acceptance to RemoteYear could be the ultimate reward.

43. Volunteer day at employee’s non-profit of choice 🚫💰

Support a non-profit organization and an employee’s personal passion! Volunteering is a great team bonding activity, and it’s even more meaningful when it’s for a cause near and dear to a team member’s heart.

44. Express experience 🚫💰

There are a lot of ways to feel special, and one of my favorites is by getting to skip to the front of the line. Whether that’s the privilege of jumping to the front of the line at the company cafeteria or skipping the printer queue, this is a small but mighty reward for your hard work. 

45. Design swag

Get your employees involved in designing your new company swag, whether it’s a wall calendar featuring the dogs of your office or a t-shirt featuring a company mascot. Handing the creative reins to your employees can inspire new collaborative dynamics, give them a sense of ownership, and imbue the final product with more meaning! 🎨

46. Airbnb experiences

Airbnb offers tons of excellent local experiences! If you have a team member who's really excited about an upcoming trip, picking something from Airbnb's extensive catalog is a great way to make your employee's trip even better.

Plus—take a look at your own hometown's Airbnb experiences! You'll no doubt unearth fun new opportunities to bond with your team members, without having to go anywhere!

47. Museum membership

Museums are rich institutions of culture and education, and a trip to one makes for a great weekend afternoon. Corporate museum memberships are great rewards since team members can also take their family and friends!

48. Music lessons

Enriching your employees’ personal life and hobbies can only lead to better work in the office. Has a teammate always wanted to learn the piano, ukulele, or trumpet? Sign them up with the local music school and encourage them to show off their new skills with a mini talent showcase. 🎶

49. Gym membership

Staying physically healthy is a big contributor to feeling mentally and emotionally healthy. Reward your employees with a membership to a gym or, if they like variety, a program like ClassPass. Consider memberships to yoga and indoor cycling studios, too!

50. Personal training vouchers

It's in an employer's best interest to help their employees achieve their goals, whether that means operating at the top of their professional field or getting in tip-top shape. If members of your team show interest in this type of reward, it's a great way to help them achieve their personal goals.

51. Book a spa appointment

It’s very rare that we get to slow down and be pampered. After a hard project, it’s especially important for an employee to hit reset, and an indulgent day at the spa is an excellent way to do just that.

52. Sponsor an individual or team in a race

It’s especially meaningful when a company recognizes an employee’s personal passions and hobbies. If that passion is running, why not sponsor their admission fee in a race? Or a whole team, if they’re interested!

From 5Ks up to marathons, these races often contribute to important causes and charities as well, making it a double-hitter of a meaningful gift.

53. Catered lunch/food truck lunch

Go a step further than ordering lunch! Ordering from a food truck is always a fun experience, and it’s a way to treat employees to food that would be a great change in pace from their standard repertoire of soup and sandwiches.

This is also a great time to take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch together—an excellent team-bonding opportunity!

54. Time off 🚫💰

Time is a priceless resource, and it's one thing you can never get back. Why not offer some extra PTO to your team as a reward for great work? Even for people who love their jobs, a little extra free time is always welcome.

There are many time-based ways to reward your employees for their hard work, from flexible scheduling to summer hours. Even consider sleep-in days and early releases!

How can HR teams, managers, and leaders inspire employees to be stronger and more flexible in times of ongoing change?

-> Download the Free Guide: 3 Steps to Building Engaged, Resilient Teams




55. House cleaning

You don't always need to give employees time away from the office to give them the gift of time. Personally, my living space is always a disaster when I have a big project going on at work, and it stresses me out even more! 🙈

By rewarding hard-working employees with a one-time or ongoing house cleaning service, you’re eliminating a big chore and time-suck from their lives.

56. Laundry service

If you're located in a city where laundromats are a way of life, this is just another example of an easy way to give time back to your team.

57. Project takeover 🚫💰

Delegating a task you’re dreading to someone else is such a relief. Reward a hard-working employee with the ability to push off a task to someone else on the team—or let them have dibs on an “easy” project next time around.

58. Subsidized commute

Depending on your location, getting to and from work can be a challenge, and in some cases, expensive. If it's not already mandatory in your city to offer transit assistance to employees, subsidizing their commute costs is a great way to eliminate the daily stressor of getting to and from work.

59. Rideshare reimbursement or credits

If your employees are working late or are hopping around town meeting clients, knowing that they can expense a Lyft definitely puts the mind at ease. Even if you’re in a small city or the suburbs, ordering fancy town cars for your employees can be a special treat for holiday parties.

60. Car maintenance

There’s nothing more stressful than sudden car repair expenses! If you have employees who spend a lot of time on the road, like those in field marketing, regional sales, or consulting, making sure that their cars are in tip-top shape is a very appreciated reward. Consider offering car washes, oil changes, and tire changes on a regular basis.

61. Bike share

At Bonusly, our NYC-based employees can select a yearlong CitiBike bike-share membership available as a reward. This is a great perk because it enhances both health and transit! If you're not based in a city with a bike-share program, there are likely some similar services to take advantage of.

62. Bike maintenance

Make a one-time investment in a bike pump, Allen wrench set, and screwdrivers to keep on hand for employees who commute by bike. You’ll be supporting their environmentally-friendly transportation choices and helping them stay safe on the road!

Alternatively, you can cover the cost of an annual tune-up, which usually includes brake pad replacements and truing the wheels of the bike. 🚲

63. Catered meals or meal delivery

Eliminate the chore of figuring out lunch for the day by providing a catered lunch or ordering delivery. It’s a nice change of pace for an employee’s day-to-day, and eating lunch together is a fun and underrated team-building activity.

64. Dog walking service or doggie daycare

Unfortunately, not all offices can be dog-friendly! But subsidizing or providing dog-walking services like Wag or making a deal with a local doggie daycare can go a long way in providing peace of mind for your team members. It also shows that your company really cares about their employees' personal lives and families, including their furry ones! 🐶

65. Dibs 🚫💰

Do we ever grow out of the simple joy of calling dibs? Reward employees by allowing them to call dibs on coveted things, whether it’s the most comfortable desk chair, their favorite mug, their schedule of choice, on not cleaning up a spill… you can call dibs on anything, really.


+1 Bonus idea!

Bonusly is the ultimate customizable gift that rewards employees all year long. The Bonusly platform inspires frequent, meaningful recognition that translates to real rewards. Our solution helps teams and companies build recognition-first cultures which result in more connected, collaborative, energized, and high-performing teams. Learn more at, sign up for a free trial, or request a demo today

Want more resources on building better teams in 2023? This free guide will take you through everything you need to know about creating more resilient, engaged teams today. 👇


At Bonusly, you’ll never find us without a good staff appreciation idea. After all, recognition-rich cultures have been proven to improve engagement, reduce turnover, and even increase productivity.

Employee appreciation is crucial to building more resilient, engaged teams. Learn more:

-> Download the Free Guide: 3 Steps to Building Engaged, Resilient Teams

We've assembled a list of employee appreciation ideas so you can get started on your own team. And if you have any questions about appreciation, let one of our appreciation experts help you out!

Plus, it's important to keep in mind the four key “languages of appreciation"—we focus on Words of AffirmationActs of ServiceQuality Time, and Gifts. 

Each one of the ideas below👇is marked with the language of appreciation it corresponds to. Ask around, or use a simple survey, for your teams’ language of appreciation, and let’s get started! ✨

1. Food truck lunch

Acts of Service, Quality Time


Go a step further than ordering lunch! Ordering from a food truck is always a fun experience, and it’s a way to treat employees to food that would be a great change in pace from their standard repertoire of soup and sandwiches.

This is also a great time to take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch together—an excellent team bonding opportunity!

2. Puppy playdate 

Quality Time

When the Humane Society of Boulder Valley visited Bonusly HQ with puppies, it was basically the best day of our lives. 🐶

Having a dog-friendly office has a ton of benefits for humans (although doggos probably love it, as well). A 2017 study showed that employees at dog-friendly offices are less stressed, more collaborative, and more likely to give higher ratings of trustworthiness to their team members.

Of course, it’s not possible for every office to be dog-friendly. A great way to feel those same benefits is by partnering with your local humane society or rescue organization to schedule a puppy pitstop by the office. Aside from playing with adorable dogs, team members get to take a break, spend time together (dogs in the office are also shown to be an excellent ice breaker), and make some great memories.

3. Meaningful gifts 



Putting together a company-sponsored happy hour is always nice. However, it can be really easy for employees to feel like this is an insincere effort to curb negativity and disengagement in the office.

That’s why it’s so important to give employees “voice and choice”—some teams would love a weekly team lunch, while others would prefer other perks, like gas reimbursement or a wellness program. Gather opinions and survey your employees before pulling out the company card!

4. Summer Fridays

Acts of Service

When it’s July and beautiful outside, your employees will enjoy the opportunity to enjoy it! From entire Fridays off to just a couple of hours every week, this is a perk that your team members will definitely appreciate.

One reason to offer summer hours is that it gives your employees more time to recover from work-related stress. By leaving work [early] on Friday, employees see that you value their mental health and work/life balance. You'll be able to prevent burnout and boost productivity.
–Sasha Butkovich, Justworks




5. Spa-ffice day

Acts of Service


Give employees a break from the day by taking some time for tranquility. Offer professional 15-minute neck, hand, or foot massages, or even just let team members zen out with a guided meditation session. Sometimes, a quick reset is all people need to return to work energized. 💪

6. Reward your early arrivers 

Acts of Service, Gifts

There are always a few early birds in the office. They open the shades, get the coffee pot going, and probably a million other things you wouldn’t notice if you’re prone to sleeping in. Show them that you do see them by heading in early with a breakfast spread and caffeine at the ready.

If you have a few night owls, popping in with dinner wouldn’t hurt, either.

7. Work from elsewhere

Acts of Service


A change in scenery is always nice and could be all someone needs to feel like their preferences are listened to. Whether that’s a work-from-home day a few times a week for your introverted team members, sending your strategists off to a cushy co-working space the week before a big presentation, or giving the green light for a “workcation,” this act of appreciation shows that you care more about them working at their best, instead of just their output.

Need some inspiration for how to implement these policies? Check out the Bonusly Un-Handbook for how we approach taking time off.

8. Secret recognition Santa

Words of Affirmation, Gifts

It’s typical that employees receive recognition from their managers, but do they also have opportunities to receive recognition from their peers? By randomizing recognition givers and receivers, you’re giving team members who don’t typically get to recognize each other the chance to do so.

All it takes is sticking everyone’s names in a hat and spending some time together to write nice notes to each other. Even if two employees don’t know each other that well, this exercise can be a nice ice breaker for future collaboration!

9. Pass the trophy

Words of Affirmation


Company lore can develop around the most unexpected of things—just ask us why we have a duck decoy in our main conference room! 😝💚

These “trophies”—whether they’re physical objects or the honor of pinning a specific emoji next to your name in Slack—can be used to symbolize certain accomplishments and successes. When someone accomplishes something big, don’t just say “good job!” Instead, a ceremonial passing of the trophy along with a few words of recognition signifies to the entire organization that an employee has done something great.

10. Write a LinkedIn recommendation

Words of Affirmation


When my previous manager wrote me a LinkedIn recommendation, I almost cried. It’s personal, meaningful, and an endorsement of someone’s hard work. It’s an underrated gesture that communicates your appreciation of a team member, but also that you care about their future success—even if it’s not at your company. Plus, it's free. 😜

LinkedIn recommendations are the gold star of public recognition because it’s truly public. 🌍

11. Volunteer as a team

Acts of Service, Quality Time

It may be counter-intuitive, but putting your team members to work with a non-profit organization is actually something a lot of people enjoy. Studies show that “70% of working Americans believe “volunteer activities are more likely to boost employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours.”

In addition to being an affordable staff appreciation activity, volunteering as a team allows employees to give back to their communities and build purpose—two factors that contribute to employee retention.

12. Shoutouts 

Words of Affirmation

End a meeting on a high note by giving shout-outs to your awesome colleagues, or have a public recognition feed as part of your employee appreciation program that showcases everyone's achievements. 

Employee recognition is so important for employee engagement, and shoutouts a great way to make your employees feel appreciated. 

13. Upgrade an office essential

Acts of Service, Gifts


Take a look around: Is there anything causing an inconvenience to your team members? Taking the time to notice someone’s uncomfortable desk chair, outdated software, or preference for an espresso instead of drip coffee goes a long way in making someone feel appreciated and set up for success, and that they, too, are an essential part of the office.

14. Close the office early

Acts of Service

If your team has been working long hours to hit a deadline recently, there’s nothing sweeter than an “Office closes at 2:00 pm today!” email. The surprise of being shooed from the office with enough time in the day for themselves is definitely something they’ll remember.

15. DJ for the day

Acts of Service


If you have a Sonos (Bonusly customer!), Google Home, or Alexa sound system at your office, it’s easy to hand over the reins to someone who’s been especially killin’ it lately. Make it a game!

This is a fun way to bestow a costless perk and presents some team-bonding opportunities—AKA dance parties. Work-appropriate dance moves only, of course. 😉💃🕺

16. Incentivize feedback


Does nobody answer your engagement surveys or feedback forms? The sad reality is that your team members have probably faced backlash from being candid at previous companies. Providing feedback can be a scary experience, especially when there’s a power difference in place. When done correctly, one-on-one meetings can be a great place to regularly solicit positive and constructive feedback. 

To start building the foundations for a radically candid culture you need to publicly show that feedback is welcome and appreciated. A small way to begin this process is by adding a small incentive, like a $5 gift card, for providing thoughtful feedback or asking relevant questions.

If you’re using Bonusly, setting up a Claimable Award is an easy way to encourage employees to complete those tasks—whether it’s filling out a quarterly engagement survey, submitting a question to be answered at the next all-hands meeting, or even dropping a note in the suggestion box.

17. Celebrate life milestones

Words of Affirmation


Surprise! Your employees have lives outside of the workplace. Applaud their personal accomplishments as a way to communicate that you care about your team as humans, not just as workers.

This is something you can mention at your weekly status meeting—like, Josh is running a marathon this weekend! Sarah got engaged! Marcus just received his French C2 certification! A quick moment to cheer each other on is great for morale and is also an easy icebreaker.

18. “Up-to-you” hours

Acts of Service

Everyone has those projects they’d rather be working on but seems to fall by the wayside in favor of more high-priority projects. Demonstrate your trust for your employees by dedicating some time each week as “up-to-you” hours, where teams can work on whatever they want. Chances are, the projects they’ve been meaning to work on will be a benefit to your company’s bottom line, whether that means streamlining an outdated process or building something totally new. 

19. Celebrate holidays

Acts of Service, Gifts, Words of Affirmation

inclusion_on dark

Don’t let fun holidays slip by without a whisper. Breaking up the monotony of the day-to-day can go a long way toward improving morale, and it’s as simple as putting up some decorations and preparing some treats for your team.

This is especially important for holidays that don’t typically warrant a day off—think St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween! These are all super-fun, low-pressure holidays that can turn into a day to look forward to with a little effort and planning. Think outside the box—instead of chocolates and grocery-store cards (although those are awesome too!), consider bringing a griddle into the office to whip up some crêpes to enjoy. 😍

20. Website or newsletter features

Words of Affirmation

Don’t just include the executive team on your company’s website. As often as you can, pick an outstanding employee to highlight on your website or newsletter, and be sure to write a detailed and meaningful blurb on why that employee deserves the featured spot.

21. Team retreat


Quality Time

Give your team a break from the office and send them out on a fun retreat. Depending on your budget, this can mean a good team-bonding hike or a multi-day adventure. Take the time to talk about your team’s big-picture goals, address issues, and plan for the future.

22. Donate to employees’ causes


If your employee is particularly passionate about a cause, it can be extremely meaningful to donate to a charity in their name. If they’re actively fundraising, that’s an even better opportunity to throw your support behind them.

P.S. Bonusly’s platform makes it easy for employees to donate to causes they care about! Click here to learn more.

23. Random acts of fun

Quality Time, Acts of Service


Don’t underestimate the value of having fun in the workplace. If the entire office is excited about the new summer blockbuster, why not take a field trip at the end of the day to the nearest movie theater? This is team building at its best—when it’s organic and meaningful to the individuals in those teams.

Can you think of other ideas your team would enjoy? Even small, spontaneous activities like a mid-day stretch break or sundae-building session can boost morale and wake everyone up during a sleepy afternoon.

Success in business requires engaged, adaptable, and resilient teams. Learn everything you need to know about building stronger, more motivated teams:

-> Download the Free Guide: 3 Steps to Building Engaged, Resilient Teams

24. VIP parking spot

Acts of Service

Pretty self-explanatory. Make an employee feel like a rockstar for a week by letting them park in the best spot. While a small privilege, it’s a huge convenience. Sometimes, even the little things can feel like big luxuries.

25. Special treats



Desserts—cupcakes, donuts, candy—are a common token of appreciation, but take it a step further by keeping track of your employees’ special favorites. Why bring in cupcakes when a team member prefers donuts? Instead of a box of chocolates, how about a bag of sour gummies?

When you’re getting to know new employees during the onboarding process, slip in some questions about their favorite sweets, and you’ll have insider knowledge on how to delight them all year long.

26. Write a haiku

Words of Affirmation

They’re short and simple

Kindness from a coworker

Works well with humor

27. Share swag


Sweet swag never goes unnoticed. When you gift the right swag, you're encouraging pride in your team and overall good vibes. Extra points for sustainable and seasonal swag!

28. Celebrate birthdays



This might be a silly question—but does your company celebrate employee birthdays? You don’t have to get the party planning committee involved every time there’s a birthday, but you can make your employees feel extra appreciated by going beyond the typical card or email. Have a special treat mailed to their house or allow them to take an extra day off during their birthday month. Consider creating a calendar of employee birthdays so no special day goes unnoticed. 

Bonusly’s employee recognition platform can automate birthday gifts and also allow all employees to wish their fellow peers a happy birthday!


29. Celebrate work anniversaries


It may be no surprise that, according to Gallup, millennials are job-hopping more than any other generation. That makes employee loyalty something to be celebrated. Depending on the number of years of service, you could award employee work anniversaries with anything from a restaurant gift card to plane tickets on company miles to a destination they choose.

Learn more about how Bonusly can automate work anniversary gifts!


30. Lunch with a person of your choice

Quality Time


In our ever-increasing remote and hybrid work environments, it can be a challenge to connect with colleagues and other company leaders. Reimburse your employee and anyone else that they choose in the company (a fellow team member, manager, or even the CEO) for a virtual or in-person lunch date. (Or coffee and a cupcake—why not?!) 

31. Set aside time in a 1:1

Words of Affirmation

At Bonusly, we believe that employee appreciation should occur frequently. There’s no better way to show your consistent, specific appreciation than building in dedicated time for it in your manager-employee one-on-one meetings

32. Professional development

Acts of Service

It can be a real treat for your employees to gain a new skill or learn something new. Provide your employees with a budget specifically for professional development opportunities like conferences or classes.

33. Dedicated recognition software

Words of Affirmation, Gifts


We can’t leave out our forte! A true
employee recognition program makes it easy to build appreciation right into your company culture and existing processes. Our top-rated employee recognition platform makes staff appreciation second nature not only from supervisors to their direct reports but between peers as well. The benefits of employee recognition include increased job satisfaction, retention, and productivity at every level. It also improves visibility into all of the wonderful things your employees do company-wide every day!

To learn more, visit Bonusly.

34. Gamify your work


Does your organization have a big initiative coming up? Are your teams struggling to hit their quarterly KPIs? A bit of healthy competition could do the trick. Create a game where teams score points for hitting deadlines or inching closer to their goals. The winning team gets a reward as a token of appreciation for their hard work.

35. Extra time off

Acts of Service

Burnout has been a hot topic and common challenge over the past couple of years. Your employees are sure to feel valued and appreciated if they are given an extra day off every now and then.

36. Make appreciation visible

Words of Affirmation


A quote by Albert Schweitzer says, “Happiness is the only thing that multiplies when you share it.” We would argue that the same goes for appreciation. When the gratitude you share for a particular staff member is displayed for all to see, it will be noticed by others thereby multiplying the appreciation! Create a new channel in Google Chat or Slack that is dedicated to displaying specific recognition for your staff. If your team goes to the office often, you can even create a physical appreciation board where employees write down appreciation for one another. 

Bonusly makes your appreciation visible company-wide! Learn more

37. Meal reimbursement


Meals are an inevitable and unavoidable expense. They also take valuable time to make every single day. Show appreciation for your team by reducing some of that burden. Consider reimbursing a few meals for your employees. You can do this weekly, monthly, or make it a one-time surprise. This can be especially helpful around big holidays when other expenses stack up quickly.

38. Engaging speaker

Quality Time

It can be difficult to break from the everyday routine—especially for remote workers. Change things up by getting a speaker or facilitator to lead a virtual discussion on an interesting topic that may or may not be work-related. Bonus points for surveying your team to see what topics they would be most interested in!

39. Virtual events

Quality Time

The possibilities for virtual events are endless. Some ideas to get you started include virtual trivia, a murder mystery party, games, a painting class, cooking, Pictionary, a virtual scavenger hunt, and yoga. A couple that Bonusly has hosted and our teams have loved include Hispanic Heritage Month trivia and a hot sauce-making class!

40. Wellness stipend

Acts of Service, Gifts

Employee Morale

The importance of wellness can never be overstated. Show your employees that you care about their health and well-being by reimbursing them for a dollar amount toward anything that is wellness-related.

41. Top chef competition

Quality Time

If you’re looking for a fun way to build camaraderie with your team while showing your appreciation at the same time, you can’t go wrong with a top chef competition—especially for the foodies you work with! Split your group into teams, provide the same 3-5 ingredients to each team, give them a bit of time to strategize, then set a timer for an hour so they can create their culinary masterpieces! Make sure you plan for any food allergies or sensitivities your contestants might have and find a few impartial judges to determine the winner.

42. "Just because" surprise

Acts of Service, Gifts

It was the height of the pandemic and, after a long week of virtual meetings, the Zoom fatigue on my team was almost palpable. On Friday that week, the HR director at my company had a mandatory four-hour virtual team-building event planned at the end of the day. Everyone signed in and tried their best to muster a few ounces of team spirit. When an executive began to read the agenda, eyes already began to glaze over. He said, “Alright everyone, we’ll start by turning our computers off and signing off for the rest of the day. And go ahead and buy yourself lunch on your company card. Have a great weekend!”    

This was really a “just because” gift from leaders to show their appreciation for our team. Instead of gifting a few hours, you could also gift your employees with new company swag, or anything else from our list to surprise your team… “just because.”

43. Treat-yo-self day

Acts of Service, Gifts

Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle do it best when they dedicate an entire day (October 13th to be exact) to, you guessed it: treat themselves. Show your employees your appreciation by providing them with a small budget that they can spend on whatever they want.

44. Personalized gift



An extra thoughtful staff appreciation idea is to gift something with your employee’s name printed or engraved on it—a mug, a watch, a nice company-branded sweater or jacket. Your staff will appreciate your considerate gift!

45. Welcome new employees

Gifts, Words of Affirmation

Today’s job market is unbelievably competitive. With so many other opportunities available, it’s important to show gratitude for your new employees and make them feel welcome right away. An idea to start (and something we do at Bonusly) is to send a welcome kit in the mail with branded company gear, stickers, a notebook, and a handwritten welcome note. It will make a great impression and your new employees will feel like they are part of the team from the start!

The takeaway

The similarity between all of these ideas is that it carefully takes preferences into consideration. If someone perceives appreciation through Words of Affirmation, giving them a new mug just isn’t going to cut it.

So take your time. Be thoughtful. Ask for opinions, because showing meaningful appreciation can only improve your company’s success and overall performance.

For a turnkey solution to employee appreciation, we invite you to take a tour or request a demo of Bonusly—the number one recognition and rewards program. 


Need more ideas on how to improve employee engagement? Check out our latest guide on building more resilient, engaged teams. 👇

The guide covers: 

❓ What resilience is and why it matters in the workplace.

🔑 Key insights on how resilient and engaged teams have the competitive edge during uncertain times.

🔎 The latest research and statistics on employee resilience and engagement.

✅ A step-by-step guide to building resilient teams.


Employee Appreciation Day—it's the best day of the year! 😄 🎉 🎶

It's probably no surprise to you that Bonusly takes Employee Appreciation Day very seriously. Recognizing and celebrating employees' great work—not only on this day but every day of the year—is at the core of our mission, after all!

Employee Appreciation Day falls on the first Friday of March—it'll be on Friday, March 3rd in 2023!

On this day, employers around the world make the extra effort to appreciate their employees’ effort and dedication. Over the past 20 years, an increasing number of companies have embraced this occasion to recognize the achievements and contributions of their employees with special events, gifts, and surprises.

We'll cover why celebrating Employee Appreciation Day is a top goal for HR, and we've rounded up a big list of our favorite ideas. Since Employee Appreciation Day might look a little different if you don't have an in-office setup, we've included adjustments to make each idea remote-friendly!

 Looking for a fun activity to celebrate with your team

-> Download Hilarious Team Activity for Employee Appreciation Day


Why is Employee Appreciation Day important?

Most work weeks are focused on business objectives, decisions from management, or customer issues. Employee Appreciation Day, on the other hand, is a special day that should be truly centered around the teams of employees that make things happen every single day.

Even a little bit of recognition can make a big impact on employee motivation. Research shows that feeling appreciated increases morale, improves engagement, and reduces turnover. In particular, employee recognition has been proven to boost oxytocin levels—that’s the chemical our bodies create when we bond socially!



Research also shows that recognizing employees makes for a better customer experience. For example, a study in the hospitality industry found a strong correlation between employee engagement and guest satisfaction.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson famously said:


Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.


Mic drop. 🎤

15 ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

So how can you make your employees feel especially appreciated on this day? Here are 15 ideas to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with your team.

1. Volunteer

Volunteer at a local conservation program, homeless shelter, senior living community, or humane society. Give back by planting trees, cooking and serving those in need, bringing joy to seniors, or taking dogs for walks. Research by Deloitte found that 70% of working Americans believe “volunteer activities are more likely to boost employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours.”

Having trouble finding volunteer opportunities and events? Ask your team for ideas or try a service like VolunteerMatch.

Benefits include: Working together with team members, getting to know new colleagues, helping the community, building great memories, and inspiring gratitude.

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly: VolunteerMatch has an excellent virtual volunteering opportunities page to explore. Some other remote-friendly volunteering ideas include:

  • Arranging drop-off locations for a food drive or for donating warm-weather clothing
  • Hosting a virtual fundraiser and raffle off prizes 
  • Volunteering at a food pantry by packing, organizing, or giving out food
  • Delivering groceries or meals to seniors

2. Play games & socialize


Engage in team games like a scavenger hunt, ‘pub’ quiz, or team-based office Olympics. They can be great opportunities for teams to know each other better in a fun setting while introducing healthy competition and encouraging innovative thinking. Chances are you’ll see your coworkers in a whole new light!

Need help getting started? Here are some articles to inspire your next group activity:

Benefits include: Having fun, getting to know colleagues you don’t normally work with, laughing, and feeling closer to the team.

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly: There are tons of ways to play online games with your team. Why not set up a Jackbox Games party? Plus, check out Water Cooler Trivia for excellent, asynchronous trivia competitions.


3. Dedicated employee recognition program

If you're celebrating Employee Appreciation Day to help make your employees feel valued, you're headed in the right direction. As we've mentioned, employee appreciation comes with many benefits. But what if you could make every day Employee Appreciation Day for your team or company? 

With Bonusly, you can! The Bonusly platform empowers companies, from small to enterprise around the world to build values-based, recognition-first cultures all year long. 

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly: Bonusly is perfect for remote teams that might feel disconnected. Because employee recognition is made visible, it can increase collaboration and communication between teams, and help company leaders gain more insight into the work that happens every day! Bonusly is also great for in-office or hybrid work environments. 

To learn more, request a demo today!


4. Gift bags

Create a bag with fun gifts like company-branded clothing, lunch boxes, or water bottles. Include some treats, add gift cards, and share experiences at local restaurants, massage centers, or coffee shops.

Go a step further and ask your staff what kind of gifts they really want. Giving the right kind of swag can increase loyalty and help spark future conversations about your brand.

Benefits include: Feeling appreciated and enjoying gifts with friends and family.

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly: Delivery services have really stepped up their game during the pandemic. Create a custom care box experience with Knack, cult-favorite hometown treats from Goldbelly, or send over the essentials with Doordash


5. Get creative

Research at San Francisco State University shows that having creative outlets outside of work boosts job performance. Introduce your employees to some fun hobbies with a workshop on painting, cooking, flower arrangement, crocheting, or origami.

To make sure that everyone participates in an activity that they’ll enjoy, propose multiple options and let everyone sign up for their preferred activity beforehand.

Benefits include: Focusing on something fun, right-brained thinking, experiencing a new hobby, and getting to take a masterpiece home with you.

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly: Just like delivery services, all sorts of businesses have adapted to the socially-distant environment and are offering classes and experiences online. Browse through hundreds of options on The Vendry, Marco, and Airbnb Experiences! Since Bonusly started working from home, we've attended a virtual cooking class (empanadas!), followed along with an expert mixologist, and will soon embark on a Harlem Renaissance-themed tour for Black History Month!


Appreciate your team with laughter!

-> Download Hilarious Team Activity for Employee Appreciation Day


6. Provide a lunch experience


Provide a catered lunch for your employees and offer activities afterward, like listening to a lunchtime concert, joining a local walking tour, attending a library talk, or going for a bike ride. Eating right, exercising, and concerts all have proven work-related benefits. Poll your team and refer to your local newspaper for venues and events that could be a good fit for your outing.

Benefits include: Discovering new and exciting things to do in your town, enjoying new experiences with team members, and sharing interests.

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly: Make an effort to connect by ordering lunch from a local favorite. While we can't be together in person, enjoying the same food is almost as good. 💚


7. Throw a team happy hour

Happy hours provide a relaxed atmosphere that can encourage positive staff interactions. They allow team members to reduce stress and can contribute to positive company culture. Note that hosting any after-hours activity may exclude some individuals, so consider stopping the workday a little early before other commitments pull people away.

If you choose to host a happy hour, make sure to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of serving alcohol to your team and be sensitive to any folks who don’t drink, providing alternatives.

Benefits include casual socializing and learning something new about each other.

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly: Virtual mixology classes or wine tastings are a fun, fresh way to enjoy happy hours—especially if you feel like the energy around your virtual happy hours is lagging!


8. Take a field trip


Organize a field trip to a local museum, botanical garden, or park. Sign up for a factory, brewery, or winery tour. Use Employee Appreciation Day as an opportunity to better know your community and learn about your neighbors. It might even spark some new ideas!

Benefits include: Creating a memorable day, having fun, enjoying local attractions, and learning something new.

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly: This one is tricky. 😅 

If you have a smaller team that's based in the same geographic location, it may be possible to meet up in a park or do some kind of outdoor activity. Consider having a picnic, or taking a stroll along the lakefront. 


9. Bring in treats

Who doesn't love a dessert spread? 😋

Desserts—cupcakes, donuts, candy—are a common token of appreciation, but take it a step further by keeping track of your employees’ special favorites. Why bring in cupcakes when a team member prefers donuts? Instead of a box of chocolates, how about some vegan cookies

When you’re getting to know new employees during the onboarding process, slip in some questions about their favorite sweets, and you’ll have insider knowledge on how to delight on Employee Appreciation Day.

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly: Delivery services are your friend! Many sweets shops are offering delivery across the United States, like Jeni's Ice Creams and Milk Bar.


10. Spruce up their workspace

You know what they say about March—it comes in like a lion. 🦁🌧

I don't know about you, but March is definitely when I start to get antsy about the dreary weather—especially when you're stuck inside, working remotely. Employee Appreciation Day is a perfect opportunity to help your employees with a spring refresh of their workspace. Pick up some new greenery for the office, or bring in new art for a fresh mindset. 

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly:  Explore options like The Sill or Bloomscape for delivery of indoor potted plants. Also, consider implementing an office equipment stipend to make sure your employees have what they need to be productive and successful!


11. Film a short video

A few months after Bonusly started working remotely due to COVID-19, we kicked off a quick video project. Participating employees shot a selfie video thanking our leadership team for their care and flexibility as we transitioned to remote work, which was stitched together into a full appreciation video! We surprised them by playing it at our all-hands meeting, and it was a hit! Yes, there were happy tears. 😄📹

This is an easy but meaningful way to show your appreciation, whether it’s on a company-wide or individual level. If you’re on a Mac, Apple iMovie will work in a pinch, but there’s also tons of free video editing software out there!


12. Send a postcard or letter

Postcards, letters, and other forms of snail mail are a special joy to receive during the pandemic. Write a letter of appreciation for your employees, and it's something they can pin up in their workspace!


13. Start a mentorship program

According to our State of Employee Engagement Workplace Report, employee engagement is inconsistent. One way to combat this is mentorship. Case in point: another recent engagement report found that 89% of Highly Engaged employees are satisfied with their professional development opportunities, compared to only 36% of Actively Disengaged employees.

Employee Appreciation Day is a great day to announce a new mentorship program. You should be thinking about how you can help your employees learn and grow, but there are many ways you can do this besides paying for expensive conferences and course tuition. Establishing an official mentoring program empowers employees to build relationships, shadow others in desirable roles, and find opportunities for growth.


14. Establish dedicated time off 

Time is a priceless resource, and it's one thing you can never get back. Why not offer some extra PTO to your team as part of Employee Appreciation Day? Even for people who love their jobs, a little extra free time is always welcome.

There are many time-based ways to reward your employees for their hard work, from flexible scheduling to sleep-in days and early releases!

⚡️ Make it remote-friendly: At Bonusly, we’ve been dedicating one Friday a month as “Rest from Home Days”—a way for our leadership team to acknowledge how many employees are working longer and harder throughout the pandemic.

With the shift to more remote work, the lines between work and personal life have been heavily blurred. It’s important to make sure your employees have the time to actually rest and recharge. There's no better way to show your appreciation for your employees' hard work. 


15. Write a LinkedIn recommendation

Writing a LinkedIn recommendation is the perfect way to commemorate Employee Appreciation Day! It’s personal, meaningful, and an endorsement of someone’s hard work. It’s an underrated gesture that communicates your appreciation of a team member, but also that you care about their future success—even if it’s not at your company. Plus, it's free. 😜

LinkedIn recommendations are the gold star of public recognition because it’s truly public. 🌍


Impact of employee recognition

How exactly are employees and companies positively impacted by recognition? Employees experience several positive feelings through appreciation that translate into measurable business benefits:

Job satisfaction

Feeling appreciated and recognized at work helps employees enjoy their work more while also increasing productivity. According to a SHRM study, 48% of employees reported that management's recognition of their job performance was very important to their job satisfaction.


Sense of purpose

The feeling that your work is important and that your contribution is valuable is a great motivator, one that increases employee engagement. According to a study by Alight Solutions, employees who feel rewarded are seven times more likely to be engaged with work than employees who don’t.

-> Download Hilarious Team Activity for Employee Appreciation Day



When an employee feels like their company cares about them, stress levels decrease, confidence builds, and costly turnover decreases. An impressive 55% of workers said that if they feel their employer cares about their well-being, they would want to stay at that company for 10 years or more.



Appreciating employees builds trust. In his book Trust Factor, Harvard Researcher Paul J. Zak states that compared with employees at low-trust companies, those at high-trust companies report 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days, 76% more engagement, and 40% less burnout.


Employee Appreciation Day can be an epiphany moment for many employees, one that you can use to show they're cared for and appreciated.


Make every day Employee Appreciation Day

While it’s a great idea to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day, it’s important to understand that organizations shouldn’t limit employee appreciation to just one day. Every day should be Employee Appreciation Day.

If you haven’t already, start thinking about implementing an employee recognition program. These programs can be a great way to help your team foster a happy, fulfilled, and motivated culture through recognition. Using an employee recognition platform like Bonusly makes it easy to appreciate your team—and experience the benefits that come along with that—all year long.

Want more ideas to appreciate your employees throughout the year? Take a tour of Bonusly or talk with one of our rewards experts.

Kickstart meaningful recognition with this hilarious team activity to appreciate your employees! 👇

Google is associated with innovation in every aspect of its business, and its management techniques are no exception.

Google employs multiple award systems to motivate employees, and perhaps the most notable is its peer-to-peer recognition program. This program allows Google employees to proactively recognize their peers for doing something big or small that goes above and beyond the call of duty. Peers often reward an activity that would have gone completely unnoticed by managers.

Looking for information on how you can implement your own peer-to-peer recognition program? Check out our free guide:

-> Download the Manager's Guide to Employee Recognition

Google peer bonuses typically aren’t large, but in the words of one employee: “It’s a great privilege to receive one.”

Google peer bonuses typically aren’t large, but in the words of one employee: “it’s a great privilege to receive one.”

A typical example of a peer bonus would be one employee giving $175 to a peer who “coded an SQL query for me and saved me a lot of time.” Using an internal tool, peers nominate individuals for bonuses, providing context for their manager to review and approve.


complete managers guide to recognition


The system isn’t without critics. Piaw Nai, in his presentation "5 Google Engineering Management Mistakes," claims that “[p]eer bonus structure was very well done, but not widely used inside engineering.” 

A few reasons for that may include that there is not enough buy-in from the team or the program is not easy enough to use. It's also important to ensure that the same people aren't always being recognized all the time.

Eduardo Pinheiro, a researcher at Google, mentioned: “The person who got the most peer bonuses [on my team] had eight in a little less than two years. The second one had five during the same time.”

Effective employee recognition programs are inclusive, meaning recognition is distributed across the team. Effective recognition should also be frequent (we recommend at least once a month), timely (not six months later during a performance review), specific, visible, and values-based. 



A successful peer bonus system should increase employee morale and motivation, enhance productivity and even profitability, identify top performers and help retain them, and increase employee engagement.  

To learn more about employee recognition programs and how to implement them on your team:

 -> Download the Manager's Guide to Employee Recognition

Google also offers an open-source peer bonus program, where external contributors can be nominated for bonuses and recognition. 

In the same way that a Google Peer Bonus is used to recognize a fellow Googler who has gone above and beyond, an Open Source Peer Bonus recognizes external people who have made exceptional contributions to open source. Googlers can nominate contributors who they feel deserve our recognition (and some cash)!

Bonusly: the leader in employee recognition

Bonusly makes the employee experience more rewarding at organizations across the globe. Through the top-rated SaaS platform, companies from small to enterprise have built recognition-first cultures which result in more connected, collaborative, energized, and high-performing teams. Bonusly inspires frequent, meaningful, peer-to-peer recognition tied to company values that translates to real rewards. 

Want to bring the benefits of employee recognition and peer bonuses to your organization? Talk with one of our recognition experts today or check this resource:

Recognition coupled with meaningful rewards can have a powerful impact on company culture, employee engagement, and satisfaction. Bonusly has over 1,200 rewards in hundreds of countries for our customers to choose from. That said, we know each of our customers has a unique culture to support and one way to do that is through Custom Rewards. Custom Rewards are a great way to personalize your company's reward catalog and can be added by Bonusly admins to offer incentives unique to your company culture. In contrast to standard rewards, which are fulfilled electronically by Bonusly, Custom Rewards are fulfilled by you, offline. 

If you’re looking for a place to get started, we have 15 Custom Reward ideas to help your culture shine. ☀️ Before we get into the ideas, let’s talk about best practices for Custom Rewards. 

Best practices

What does a good Custom Reward look like?

  • Affordable 
  • Desirable and exciting 
  • Aligned with your culture

How many points should Custom Rewards cost employees?

As a best practice, the price of your least expensive Custom Rewards should be less than the employee's monthly allowance. So if your employees receive 100 points per month to give out, price your least expensive tier of Custom Rewards at 100 points or less. You can also offer aspirational rewards that are more expensive, but you want to make sure that employees feel like rewards are attainable in a reasonable amount of time.

Another approach to Custom Rewards is to incentivize employees to purchase certain rewards, like wellness or professional development rewards, by subsidizing their price. 

How much will Custom Rewards cost the company? 

The option to have Custom Rewards is included with your Bonusly subscription. The only expense you’ll have to consider is the reward itself. Since it’s customizable, you can get as creative as you’d like with what rewards you want to offer.

Adding Custom Rewards will take some administrator time to setup, but management and maintenance is minimal. More than two thirds of Bonusly admins report that they spend less than two hours per month maintaining Bonusly. 

Every company is different, so we encourage you to put your own spin on Custom Rewards, the key is to ensure that they fit within your company culture and support your company values. Without further ado, let’s get into some Custom Reward ideas that have proven effective for some of our customers. 

Creative Custom Employee Reward Ideas

1. Lunch with CEO

The CEO can often feel unapproachable for many employees, especially newer or lower level employees. If your CEO is willing to host a once-per-month or once-per-quarter open lunch for employees who purchase this reward, it can be a great way for employees to build trust with the leadership team and ask the CEO questions about the organization. 

2. Local experiences

There’s likely plenty to celebrate about your company’s home-city. Do you have an award-winning zoo, a happening coffee scene, or a performing arts center that rivals Broadway? If you have a local employee base, you can offer these experiences as Custom Rewards. Bonus points for the employees who coordinate with a coworker and partake in local activities together! 👯‍♀️

3. Game tickets

Is your organization ready to root, root, root for the home team? You can offer game seats as Custom Rewards in Bonusly. 

4. Extra day of vacation  

Let’s be honest, maybe the most valuable reward is time spent rejuvenating and relaxing. So consider offering your employees an extra break from the stress of work.

5. Custom donations

Though Bonusly has over 50+ donation options built into our platform, we know there are likely unique causes that are meaningful to your team. Whether it’s a local animal shelter, or a fund to help pay for a team member’s personal cause, Custom Rewards can help! 

6. Casual dress day

Though we can totally appreciate wanting to represent your organization in style, sometimes your employees just want a break from suits and dresses in exchange for jeans and T-shirts. That’s where a casual dress day Custom Reward can come in handy.

7. Work-from-home day

If working from home is a rarity for your organization, you can offer it as a reward. Sometimes a day of working next to a furry friend is the ultimate motivator. 

8. Local coffee shop gift card

You know that coffee shop down the block from your office? Why not offer your employees the reward of java. You’ll fuel your employees’ productivity and support local business, too! 

9. Meditation subscription

Prioritize your wellness program by offering opportunities for employees to relax and unwind with a meditation subscription, like Headspace.

10. Local classes 

If your team is always looking for ways to develop new skills in (and out) of the workplace, think about offering rewards like pottery, cooking, and woodworking classes.

11. House cleaning

When work gets busy, the house gets dirty. Offering your employees an opportunity to take a week off from cleaning their home is the ultimate reward. 

12. Stand up desk

A stand up desk or a desk treadmill are great aspirational rewards for those who like to work in motion. 

13. Local gym membership

Staying physically healthy is a big contributor to feeling mentally and emotionally healthy. Reward your employees with a membership to a gym or, if they like variety, a program like ClassPass. Employees who prioritize their physical health outside of work can bring their best selves to work every day! 

14. Reserved parking spot 

A parking spot with our name on it for a month? Sign us up!

15. Desk plant

For the green thumbs on your team, a desk plant is a great reward to keep the inspiration (and extra oxygen) flowing! 

What’s next? 

When it comes to Custom Rewards, the sky is your limit, the only requirement is to have fun! Your recognition program can and should be just as unique as your company. If you’re looking for more reward ideas, download these 65 creative reward ideas

Want the #1 employee recognition solution? Get a demo or try it for free!

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