How to set up Manual Awards

Manual awards are a customizable feature for recognizing employees for specific contributions and events

Adrianne Hipsher avatar
Written by Adrianne Hipsher
Updated over a week ago

Manual Awards help streamline management of company-to-employee bonuses and recognition! With fixed or customizable bonus reasons and amounts, shared budgets, and budget periods, companies can increase recognition for initiatives and company events with ease! 🎉

You can use Manual Awards to standardize and facilitate many types of recognition, including:

  • Referral bonuses

  • Wellness programs

  • Training incentives

  • Customer feedback

  • Adding new clients

  • Employee milestones: marriage, new family member, buying a house, etc.

  • ... and more!

Who can manage this feature?

🧑‍🔧 Global admins

💼 Pro and Custom customers

To upgrade your account to Pro, go to your billing page and view your subscription plan. Once you've upgraded, you'll be ready to set up your own Manual Awards!

Setting up a new Manual Award

First, head to the Admin > Recognition > Awards page. You’ll see a list of your account’s active and inactive Manual Awards.

To create a new Manual Award, click the "+ Create new Award" button at the top right corner of the page underneath the “PENDING AWARDS” notification button.

A Create an Award screen will appear with steps to create your award.

Next, fill in the provided sections in each step:

Basic Settings

  • Award Name: Name of the award

  • Avatar: (Optional) Add an icon of your choice

  • Budget: (Optional) Set the point budget for this award. You can use your total awards budget to help with book-keeping and budget planning.
    - If: No budget is set, it will default to infinite
    - If: A budget is set, a drop-down will appear for Budget Period

  • Budget Period: (Optional) Set a budget for Weekly/Monthly/Quarterly/Annual spending from this award. All budgets refresh on a calendar schedule. For example, if you set a budget period to Annual, the refresh will occur on January 1st of the next year.

  • Use bonus template: Allows you to use a template to standardize your Award

Pro tip: You can keep track of your Budgets and Budget periods on the Awards Overview page. 📊

Creating an award and adding an award name, avatar, budget, and budget period.

Use the toggle button to choose if you'd like to use a bonus template. Green means that the template on.

  • Awards with templates have a pre-set bonus reason and bonus amount to standardize recognition for specific amounts and events. You won’t need to customize the message each time making it quick and easy to recognize company-wide initiatives.

  • Awards without templates allow you to customize the message each time new recognition is given. Both the bonus reason and bonus amount can be edited by the giver of the award. 

Click the "Next" button to move on to step 2.

Bonus Template

If you have the bonus template turned on, your next step is to fill out the pre-set bonus reason and amount. If you are not using a template, you can skip to the Award Givers section below.

On the "Bonus Template" screen, both the bonus amount and bonus text boxes are customizable.

  • Bonus amount is the number of points a user will receive when the earn the Award. Pro tip: Bonusly will automatically calculate the number of awards that can be given during your specified budget period to help with budgeting! 🎉

  • Bonus text is the message included in the recognition post. This will be the standard message every time this Award is used and cannot be edited by the giver. The "Award bonus preview" shows you what the recognition will look like on the home feed.

Once the award budget and content is correct, select "Next".

Award Givers

Now you can decide who is able to give out this Award by selecting conditions for the Award Givers. Anyone at your organization can be designated to give out Awards, not just admins! 🙌

On the "Award Givers" screen, first select either Match Any or Match All of your set conditions.

  • Match Any: If users match any of the criteria listed, they will be able to give the award.

For example, if a user is in the chosen Location or a Department, then they will

be able to give this award. 

  • Match All: Users must match all conditions in order to give the award.

For example, a user must be in the chosen Location and Department in order to

give the award. 

Once your give parameters have been set, select "Next" to move on to Award Approvers.

Award Approvers

All Manual Awards will default to automatically approve an award, but with a quick toggle you can set any any user to approve an award. This is useful for spot bonuses, sales awards, or large one-time bonuses that require multiple levels of approval.

If you'd like to include approvers, toggle the automatic button off to gray. Then select the approvers who you'd like to review first in Level 1. When there are multiple approvers in a level, only one person has to review the request in order for it to be approved.

You can add additional approval levels by clicking on the gray "Add Approval Level" button. An email notification will be sent to each designated approver requesting them to review. The user who gave the award will also get a notification with the status of approval.

Once you have selected your approvers, click "Create Award" to activate your new award! 🎉  

Your Manual Award is now available to give out to your team! 👏 Check out our article "How to give an Award" to see how easy it is to give out Manual Awards. 👀

Check out this Reviewing pending Awards article to learn how to review awards pending approval.


Where do the points from a Manual Award bonus come from? 

Manual Award points come directly from the company, not an individual user’s allowance balance.

How do I pay for these points?

Just like other allowance points, companies only pay for rewards when they're redeemed, never any unused points. 

Questions? Send us a note to [email protected]; we'd be happy to help!

Was this article helpful? Let us know by rating it below with an emoji and sharing your feedback!

Did this answer your question?