How many times have you bumped into a team member who is always polite and respectful and felt an urge to pat him or her on the back - but couldn’t quite follow through on the feeling because it would be ‘too abrupt, context-less or awkward’? You’re not alone. Every day comes loaded with similar moments - let’s call them opportunities - to say ‘You Rock.’ And we overlook them every day. They don’t always carry the evident, larger-than-life glory of a trophy drumroll on annual R&R night.

And therein lies the irony - for these ‘little, unsung and unheralded moments’ are no less potent when it comes to sparking happiness hormones, strengthening bonds, and turning work into what it should be: Uninterrupted joy and a stage to shine. The amazing part? Celebrating these occasions don’t need elaborate preparation: All you have to do is stay alert for the instant to happen and respond immediately, spontaneously, and creatively.

The operative word here is ‘creatively’.

According to a Survey:

➼ 38% of employees want to receive rewards in exchange for good work.

➼ 47% of employees want to receive a personalized reward spontaneously.

➼ 65% of employees strongly agree that both travel and merchandise awards are remembered longer than cash payments.

Yes, we’re talking about rewards in their broadest sense, but that doesn’t mean we’re talking about pennies and greenbacks. The non-cash variety can often leave a more profound impression, simply because they tell the recipient that the giver has gone out of the way to do the homework, trawl the trenches and pull out rewards that feel ‘just right.’ It’s the difference between an email and a note painstakingly hand-written on a beautiful piece of paper. As always, it’s the thought that counts. A memorable reward - something that provides prestige quotient, luxurious indulgence, or utility value - is the icing.

It’s time to look at rewards in a fresh new light. And realize that they are just like money, our go-to ‘Thank You, Kit.’ It never fails to create a ‘ding’ in the heart. We (think we) can never have too much of it either. Only, it’s a million times more versatile when it comes to avatar, application, and impact.

So your mission today - should you choose to accept it - is a game that can prove the above theory right. Let’s unlock the magic of rewards by making a list of souls and tribes who deserve to be recognized and applauded. Let’s sidestep the standard KPIs we are all aware of (and regularly get their due anyway), such as revenue generation, customer acquisition, leads, demos, on-boarding, and referrals. Remember, the idea is to explore new applications for a concept that’s as old as the hills, so feel free to be as unconventional as you can, add the quirk in generous doses and bend a few rules.

We invented the game, so we’ll go first if that’s okay! :)

Repurposing Employee Rewarding Ideas & Occasions

Uncovering hidden occasions and identifying new heroes to hail every day!

1. Team members who are always on time for the Zoom meeting.

2. While we are on Zoom, how about the creative minds who have the most innovative backgrounds?

3. And finally, how can you not reward the dude/dudette with the least number of “Am I on MUTE”s in a week?

4. Moving on, let’s reward customers who skip the Wish-List and ‘Buy NOW.’ Decisiveness deserves to be congratulated.

5. Anyone who plays ambassador and spreads brand love on social media.

6. And conversely, those who privately message you, drawing attention to something amiss - like the wrong logo, a misspelled word, or an incorrect attribution. They’re sharing brand love too but being thoughtfully discreet, so a bear hug, um, reward, please.

7. Samaritans who share your content always deserve an extra pat on the back. Replace ‘pat’ with ‘reward.’

8. Do-Gooders who tag your brand and teams on social media (in a positive context). Go ahead, make them feel like royalty.

9. Customers who never default an EMI. Good habits are rare – acknowledge them with an equally exclusive reward.

10. Folks who make it a point to give the COD delivery guy the exact change. Small things matter big: Cue the applause.

11. Curious souls who sign up for your newsletter. Or demo. On the very first visit. Something to make their effort worth its while.

12. If you’re a new joiner and can make friends super quick (nevermind philosophy gurus who offer a million definitions of ‘friendship’ - in our book, sharing a croissant qualifies just fine!), make room in your desk - something nice is on its way.

13. Sharing ‘real’ (and ‘real-time’) tips and strategies on the company intranet to help out peers is a high-value gesture. Reciprocate, with an equally high-value lead.

14. ‘Insane’ digital marketers who are never satisfied and keep A/B testing (more like A/B/C/D/E/F/G/H, really!) till they scale the next level – the one we all thought unscalable. Let unboxing follow.

15. Copywriters who can make even error messages go viral with a touch of quirk. Hint: A digital reader like Kindle makes for a cool way to say “Neat!”

16. UX rockstars who can make visitors hang around for that all-important extra couple of seconds! Let their jaw hang lower when they unwrap their richly deserved prize.

17. Sales rockstars who can call truce and jam with their Marketing peers - and vice versa! They are trend-buckers, and you know how that tribe needs treating (yes, with a tangible tribute)!

18. Leaders who make an effort to break the ice with juniors and rookies - like taking them out for pizza! Sharing a fancy buffet voucher with these folks - who come factory-fitted with XXL-sized hearts - is the least you can do!

19. Employees who ‘cover’ for colleagues when the latter has a family emergency or bad hair day. ‘Thank you’ in a way they’ll remember.

20. ‘First Mover’ adventurists who adopt tech & trends before others, but most importantly, don’t stop there - passing the magic onto the team and building an overall business edge! Reward material in our books!

21. Folks who are natural cross sellers and up sellers. Show them how grateful you are for a gorgeous giveaway!

22. Whistleblowers who bring anomalies to your attention. Nurture these batman/Catwoman-like vigilantes with something as ‘awesome’ as their invisible capes!

23. ‘Culture Mulch-er’s who always tip the canteen guy, never forget birthdays, and are the first to congratulate peers for good work! Shower ‘Les Adorables’ with charming rewards, no less.

24. Optimists treat a dressing down by the boss or client rejection as mere milestones on the learning curve. Add a smiley to their face, with goodies they’ll dig.

25. Teamsters who never book the meeting room if an email will do. Quid pro quo. They saved your time and productivity hours - balance that with an early bonus!

26. Whoever has the guts to look beyond data and go with their gut. Bring on the carrots!

27. Everyone who aces a brand quiz. Yes, it’s bigger than you think: After all, the first step towards being a champion is to know what you are championing. Gotta honor that kind of attachment with something la-di-da!

28. Players who carry the efficiency and conviction to check-out BEFORE time consistently (working late is oh-so-2019!): Ensure the reward comes BEFORE long.

29. Guys who never take their mask off AND carry their own sanitizers. You’ve got 1 hour to figure out their Wish-List: chop, chop, chop!

30. Performers who possess the ultimate ‘Burnout Buffer’ - a side hobby! Wouldn’t a reward that resonates with that side-passion be just peachy? Bonus for you - it’ll whet their intrinsic motivational triggers, and the euphoria will spill over into work.

31. Be it customers or teams, spontaneous participation in polls and surveys beg a warm “Thank You!” - in kind.

32. Reward top talent for considering your job offers and showing up for the interview (remember, ghosting is becoming increasingly common). Even if you don’t eventually onboard them, you’re probably assured of an awesome review on online glassdoor-like review sites. In today’s highly competitive talent-wars, that’s a huge advantage.  

33. Winners of the monthly Growth Hackathon (yes, you must host one regularly and no, it’s not just for coders - sales, marketing, strategy, operations and support often come up with cool breakthroughs). Ask them what their definition of a ‘victory lap’ is - then make that happen!

34. Folks that have broken through the monk like defenses of a stubborn, high-value VIP client and secured a pitch meeting. Something nice from you is definitely in order.

35. Guest contributors to your blog. They may be unpaid sometimes (especially if there’s goodwill involved or when the VIP is ‘too big for cash’), but make sure their gracious gesture doesn’t go un-noticed!

36. Folks who can make you LOL in your tensest hour. Chances are, it’ll be the same guys who regularly lift workplace mood with their unique insights and refreshing takes on work and life. Sure, they already come ‘gifted’ (with a sense of both humor and perception), but that’s no excuse to skip the reward : It’s got their name written all over it!

You get the drift.

There are a million ways to say “I dig you” if you really want to. Start by digging into Xoxoday's endless universe of gift cards, branded currencies, perks, discounts, merchandize, utilities, indulgences, luxuries, bespoke catalogs, and personalized experiences. Then find an act, gesture, or accomplishment that makes a perfect match!

Turn Everyday and Everything Rewarding...With Xoxoday

Xoxoday - the digital way to hug special people and salute extraordinary efforts - is easy to implement, integrating effortlessly with your current technologies and systems like CRM, HRMS, PRM, Surveys, and more. And apart from breezy customizability and deep personalizability, Xoxoday’s omnichannel nature makes it compatible with any delivery medium your systems are comfortable with, such as On-Screen, SMS, Email, WhatsApp, QR Codes, Notifications, and several others.

Finally, Xoxoday’s data-rich reports and analytics bring you never-before visibility and insights into every aspect of your incentive eco-system (usage patterns, spending patterns, ROI) so that you can keep optimizing and improving it.

Book a demo for Xoxoday and explore the digital way of rewarding.
Mohit Bansal

Mohit Bansal

Mohit Bansal has 6 years of experience in solving early product and product marketing problems. In his last stint, he along with his co-founders bootstrapped a profitable startup.