Custom reward best practices

Learn how to add meaningful and valuable rewards to your custom catalog that your users will want

Updated over a week ago

Best practices for custom rewards

What does a good custom reward look like?

  • Affordable 

  • Desirable and Exciting 

  • Aligned with your culture

How many points should rewards cost employees?

As a best practice, the price of your least expensive custom rewards should be less than the 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.

If you have rewards that cost more than the monthly allowance, your employees will need to save up multiple months for them. Including a few expensive rewards is okay, if 1) there are also more attainable rewards in your catalog and 2) the reward is desirable enough that it’s worth saving points.

Another approach to custom rewards is to incentivize employees to get certain rewards, like wellness or professional development rewards. You can create rewards that you want employees to get and make them inexpensive. 

How much will custom rewards cost the company? 

Though you won’t be billed through Bonusly for custom rewards, custom rewards aren’t “free”. Keep in mind that custom rewards require administrator time to fulfill and maybe funding from other budgets.

Pro-tip: Be realistic about the time you can put into custom rewards. If administration time is a concern, it's usually best to start off with only gift cards, which require no administration time. Though custom rewards can be exciting, waiting for a busy administrator to fulfill isn't a great experience for employees. 

Ideas for custom rewards

Brainstorming questions

  • What can you offer that money can't buy? -- You can offer time with leadership, company discounts, or office specific rewards and events. 

  • What is something relevant to just your company? -- You can offer donations to a company charity, or vouchers to local businesses and events. 

  • What would you like to promote in your culture? -- You can offer rewards to promote healthy living or professional development. 

Specific ideas


  • Choose the theme for the next company meeting

  • Design and run a bracket challenge (think March Madness)

  • CEO wears a costume for a video call or online meeting

  • Earn VIP status or employee of the month with a badge to display on your company site and social networks. 

Low-Cost Ideas

  • Inspirational/motivational card sent from the CEO

  • Sleep-in day (a chance to sleep in without affecting PTO)

  • Special treat sent directly to your house (like cookies or ice cream, yum!)

  • Choose your own custom reward

Fitness Classes & Gym memberships

  • Offer reimbursements or subsidies

  • Organize in-office classes

Healthy eating

  • In-office healthy lunches

  • Gift cards to local healthy restaurants

  • Bring a nutritionist in for a day

  • Weekly fresh produce delivery

  • Cooking classes reimbursement 

 Workshops & Speakers

  • Invite speakers to come to your office. Topics could be personal skills (public speaking, goal setting, personal finances, etc.) or industry specific knowledge (new skills, industry trends, etc.)

  • Offer subsidies for outside training and conferences

Charity Work

Other Ideas

  • Flowers or a plant for your desk

  • Company gear (t-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, mugs etc.)

  • Reserved parking spot

  • Time off (long lunch, PTO, early release, “sleep in” day, work from home, etc.) 

  • Local businesses/attractions/events

  • Lunch with a leader 

Want to learn more? Check out these related articles: 

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