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7 Creative Ideas for Employee Rewards Programs

October 10, 2023

Categorised in: Employee Benefits, Employee Engagement

Staff reward programs are becoming more important than ever when it comes to attracting and retaining the best talent. Indeed, a good employee perks program can be essential to boosting employee engagement and increasing productivity. But how do you create one of the best employee rewards programs and make your benefits strategy stand out from the rest?

Here’s a breakdown of what the best employee rewards programs all have in common and some creative ideas for your own staff reward programs.

Travel Opportunities

Offering travel opportunities as a result of good work can be a great way of keeping things fresh for your staff. Short-term business trips to clients or other branches can be a hugely positive experience. Meanwhile, long-term staff reward programs such as sabbaticals or options to move abroad if you’re a multinational corporation can also significantly impact employee retention.

Family Benefits

Family-focused benefits are an excellent addition to your staff reward programs, boosting employee wellbeing and supporting them through big changes in their personal life. Some creative benefits that you can add to your staff reward programs include:

  • Going beyond statutory parental leave by offering extended time off, as well as a baby bonus.
  • Offering extra days off when staff members add a new puppy or kitten to the family.
  • Providing on-site childcare or vouchers for external nursery facilities.
  • Offering benefits in the form of extra time off or access to services to help employees care for ageing relatives.

Discount Systems

Many companies with the best employee rewards programs offer discounts to employees, so how can you reinvent this aspect of a staff rewards program? Some creative solutions could include a mystery reward each month for staff to work towards or offering tangible items from your discount program, such as movie tickets or day activities.

Other creative discounts you could offer as part of your staff reward programs include:

  • Company products: If you sell products, you could offer discounts or limited edition products only available to staff.
  • Event tickets: Encourage employees to make the most of their work-life balance by partnering with event organisers and offering discounted sport, concert or theatre tickets.
  • Home cleaning services: After a long day at the office, employees probably aren’t going to want to do the hoovering. Offering discounts on home cleaning not only takes a chore off their to-do list but also enhances their work-life balance, giving them more time to relax and recharge for another productive day.

It’s important to note that not all of these discounts will be relevant to every organisation; the best employee rewards programs are tailored to the needs and interests of their staff. Of course, another option could be expanding your system with access to the largest employee discount scheme in the world.

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Flexible Working

The pandemic opened the floodgates to a remote working revolution. While many couldn’t wait to get back into the office, some may prefer doing their job from home — while others are looking for a hybrid balance between the two.

Thus, having flexible working programs as part of your staff reward program will likely be an innovative step moving forward. We’ve even argued that it’s part of the future of employee benefits, highlighting how significant it could be for your company.

Reinvent Recognition

It’s easy to overlook this, but employee recognition can greatly impact staff wellbeing and the effectiveness of an employee rewards program. So, getting creative with how you reward teams can seriously improve company morale.

You could set up an e-card recognition system to say thank you to employees, and you can show appreciation for good work by rewarding a whole department or team as opposed to individuals. This should encourage cooperation within your company whilst also creating a feeling of value amongst employees.

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Office Rewards

Some of the most creative ideas from the best employee rewards programs are centred around the office environment. There are many ways that your staff rewards program can benefit employee life in the office and lead to more productive, engaged staff.

Some employee rewards ideas include:

  • Desk customisation budget: Allow employees to personalise their workspace within a set budget.
  • Bring your pets to work: Allow well-behaved pets into the office to boost staff morale and cut down on their pet sitter costs.
  • Gourmet coffee machine and meal allowances: Upgrade the office coffee game with a high-end machine and offer meal allowances or a stocked pantry.


Employee training is a crucial component of any effective rewards program. Offering educational opportunities can provide multiple benefits, from exposing staff to new experiences and helping them feel valued within the company to boosting overall productivity and engagement.

Implementing an in-house promotion system can be an excellent way to reward and motivate employees. Alongside this, leveraging skills academy platforms can expand the range of accessible training options — the broader and more accessible your training offerings are, the more they will enhance the impact of your staff reward programs.

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Offer The Best Employee Rewards Program With HIVE360

Check out HIVE360’s employee app, provided as standard with our PAYE payroll solutions, to see what it could do for your staff rewards program! And to ask us any questions, feel free to contact us here.