2023 Do’s and Don’ts of Employee Reward and Recognition

Among the benefits of employee recognition, attracting and retaining talent remains at the top of organizational priorities for companies in 2023. Between “quiet quitting” and The Great Resignation, employees are making themselves heard: they’re not happy, and it’s your problem, not theirs. It comes as no surprise: one study by the American Psychological Association shows that more than half of all employees say they do not feel valued at work and intend to look for a new job. 

It’s not just employees who are feeling the pain. When people disengage due to feeling undervalued, productivity and culture suffers. Employee reward and recognition is a key lever for KPIs and broken systems have been negatively impacting bottom lines for too long. And though many have recognized the benefits of employee recognition, it’s important to do it the right way.

Exploring the Benefits of Employee Recognition Technology

How can companies improve their employee reward and recognition systems to deliver on key KPIs including retention and engagement, while creating a culture people feel valued and committed to? Rallyware has been researching workforce productivity and employee incentives for over a decade. Below, do’s and don’ts of employee reward and recognition for 2023: 

Make Employee Incentives Make Sense

Don’t: Offer arbitrary awards that have no clear connection to company mission. 

Do: Align rewards with company values and individual goals. 

Research shows that a feeling of purpose and connection is key to employee satisfaction. Effective employee reward and recognition programs aren’t one-off side shows but an extension of everyday culture and work. Great employee reward and recognition programs reinforce both the collective goals of the company and the individual goals of employees. Employees want to feel that they’re contributing both to the team effort and to their own development. The benefits of employee recognition include employees that are more autonomous and self-motivated.

How can companies ensure alignment with company values and individual goals in their employee reward and recognition systems? Performance enablement platforms (PEP) automate personalized employee incentives at scale, while keeping larger company vision and KPIs front and center. 

Offering employees the ability to determine their own goals within the context of company vision boosts engagement and productivity exponentially. Crucially, PEP doesn’t just create a space for employees to articulate their goals but actively supports them in meeting those goals day by day with personalized activity triggers that take the guesswork out of employee incentives. The result? Employees feel both valued and motivated to continue on their personalized journeys. 

Continuous Rewards Are the Best Rewards

Don’t: Roll out big rewards sporadically for big accomplishments. 

Do: Use a consistent system that rewards employees frequently for daily tasks. 

Employees need constant feedback to make sure they feel valued and to stay on track. Many companies are underestimating the quantity and frequency of feedback required to realize the benefits of employee recognition, relying on quarterly or annual company-wide initiatives that feel overwhelming and anonymous. 

Of course, it’s impossible to manually check in with individual members of large, distributed workforces each day. Luckily, this isn’t necessary to create a consistent, high-frequency employee incentives system. PEP automates personalized feedback via smart notifications and activity triggers. The best part? The feedback is personalized, specific, and relevant to the entirety of an employee’s work flow. As a result, employee incentives optimize not just one initiative or goal, but every part of the work day. Reward and recognition isn’t siloed to one function, but enriches the totality of work across the entire workforce.

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Transparency Is the Name Of the Game

Don’t: Deliberate behind closed doors about who gets what. 

Do: Make employee reward and recognition transparent and fair. 

Employees want to feel that the systems governing employee reward and recognition are fair, but many companies take a closed-door approach to employee evaluations and progress. Not only does this feel exclusionary, delays and inefficiencies plague workforces when reward and recognition is driven by subjective analyses of a handful of managers. It can even create disagreement among those managers, creating the conditions for further disengagement. 

PEP solves this problem by offering 360-degree visibility to all relevant stakeholders about where they are in their journeys. Not only do visualizations and leaderboards create a culture of transparency, they have the added benefit of increasing engagement. When employees can see exactly where they are and where they need to go, they’re motivated to continue, and the benefits of employee recognition get realized organically. Plus, the gamification of leaderboards and badges cultivates the social aspect of work and authentic community building. Employees can see plainly where they’re situated in the context of their team and the wider organization, further boosting engagement and purpose.

Summing Up Employee Reward and Recognition for 2023


To create truly effective employee reward and recognition systems in 2023, organizations harnessing the power of PEP are: 

  • Contextualizing individual goals within larger company values and KPIs
  • Automating personalized pathways to success
  • Providing consistent, high-frequency, personalized feedback at scale 
  • Cultivating a culture of trust and community with 360 visibility into employee progress
  • Building lasting connections among employees with social learning and gamification 
  • Fully realizing the benefits of employee recognition

Organizations without effective employee reward and recognition systems are falling behind in the war for talent. Click here to see Rallyware in action or read more about our performance enablement suite.