đŸ”„ Recently Launched : AON, SHRM and Vantage Circle Partnered Annual Rewards and Recognition Report 2024-25

Points Based Rewards System: A Complete Guide For HRs

12 min read   |  
Last Updated on

A points based rewards system is one of the most powerful and effective ways to motivate and recognize employees. They work well in driving organizational outcomes like engagement, productivity, and retention.

But why do they work? And how to build a points-based rewards program?

In an attempt to answer these questions, this blog dives deeper into:

  • What a points based rewards system is,
  • Why it is effective in helping employees to reach their full potential,
  • And how you can go on about it.

Let’s start.

What Is A Points Based Rewards System?

What is a points based rewards system

A points-based rewards system allows you to show your appreciation for someone by offering them reward points. It is a tangible form of acknowledgment where points have a monetary value attached to them. That’s why employees feel great when they receive such rewards.

But say, you have accumulated points for your exemplary performance at work.

What are you going to do with the points?

Let’s have a look.

Examples of Points-based Employee Recognition and Rewards

Examples of Points Based Rewards

Below is a list of examples that fall under point-based employee recognition which will help an organization in the long run.

1. Milestone Magic Rewards:

Hitting major career milestones like work anniversaries or successfully delivering on massive projects deserves special recognition. With milestone rewards, employees can cash in their well-earned points for extraordinarily indulgent experiences that create lasting memories. This will give them the option to redeem-

  • A luxurious multi-course dining extravaganza at the city's trendiest hot spot.

  • A rejuvenating spa escape complete with massages, hydrotherapy, and every amenity under the sun.

  • Personalized rewarding experience to their specific passion like a trekking adventure or a bucket-list concert ticket.

This will help them fulfill their wishes and enjoy it without stressing about their finances.

2. Mastery Scholarships:

True workforce development means continuously upskilling and nurturing your employee's professional growth. Mastery Scholarship rewards incentivize that journey of employees. It allows employees to use their reward points towards any educational opportunity that will take their expertise to soaring new heights. They could enroll in comprehensive coding bootcamps to become programming wizards.

Moreover, they can renew certifications to remain cutting-edge in their field, or even master a new language through intensive e-courses. The options are limitless - and the benefits extend far beyond individual mastery, as you'll gain teams operating with truly game-changing skills and capabilities.

3. Green Rewards:

Green rewards are a powerful way to incentivize sustainable behavior within the organization. This especially helps companies that emphasize being environmentally friendly and its social impact. Employees could earn green points by-

  • Biking or taking public transit to reduce emissions.

  • Spearheading recycling initiatives.

  • Developing proposals for eco-friendly operational movements and more.

This will help them in treating themselves to rewards aligned with an eco-conscious mindset. Moreover, it will help them earn a significant amount of redeemable green points. In the long run, it will foster green habits and help the environment as well.

Read more: 9 Sustainable Workplace Ideas that You can Adopt

4. Peer-to-Peer Appreciation:

The bonds between colleagues are what bring company culture to life and allow teams to operate as finely tuned units. Peer-to-peer recognition is a great way to enhance this effort of the organization. Through this, employees can appreciate and reward fellow peers for-

  • Exceptional teamwork.

  • Creativity in problem-solving.

  • Providing a helping hand and going the extra mile to achieve the targets.

Employee badges.png

(Source: Vantage Rewards)

Employees can gift points as a tangible “thank you” for uplifting team dynamics. This gives them a sense of empowerment and creates a sense of value. It also reinforces morale and strengthens team bonding in the long run.

5. You-Pick-Your-Perk Catalog:

Instead of a fixed set of pre-determined rewards, you can provide a flexible reward catalog. Providing this will align with the workforce’s diverse array of interests and personalities. For example, tech enthusiasts can redeem points for the latest must-have gadgets. Or book lovers can indulge in book subscriptions or e-reader libraries. The options can be endless for people with different interests.

As a leader you can explore your options and include them in your system. With this approach, you can celebrate your people as the unique individuals they are.

6. The Office Fitness Challenge:

Physical and mental well-being directly impacts employee productivity, engagement and overall work satisfaction. So why not make prioritizing health goals fun with gamified fitness challenges? Employees could earn points based on-

  • Step counts.

  • Logged gym hours.

  • Specific workout sessions.

  • Nutrition tracking, or even meditation and mindfulness streaks.

Vantage Fit Homescreen Mobile

(Source: Vantage Fit)

The employees can then cash in for the rewards earned and gift themselves. It can include things like high-tech fitness wearables, gym membership or a yoga escape. It is a good way to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to employees’ holistic well-being.

7. Family Adventure Rewards:

We know how our work culture has changed over time. It is all about the hustle and results in the present time. And in between all this, making quality time for your family and friends has become challenging. Hence, it is critical to offer family-oriented rewards to show that you understand work-life harmony.

The employees can use their reward points to redeem unforgettable experiences. It can include things like-

  • Theme Park or vacation packages.

  • Epic movie night or game nights.

  • Gifting subscriptions to educational tools and enriching content for the employees’ kids.

These are just a few ideas for a head start. You can explore a wide range of experiences that suit best for the employees. It is a simple yet powerful signal that their lives outside offices walls matter.

8. The Creative Genius Grants:

Creative Genius Grant rewards are an extraordinary way to nurture out-of-the-box thinkers. These employees are geniuses and work with groundbreaking creativity each day. They could use their earned points to invest in numerous things. It can include things like:

  • Premium art supplies and instruments.

  • Powerful creative technology like video editing suites etc.

Not only does it help them perform better but also automates their approach towards solving a problem. It also sends a message to the workforce that creativity will always be appreciated.

9. Customer Satisfaction Champions

In customer-facing roles, exceptional service can significantly impact business success. A points-based system recognizing customer satisfaction efforts encourages employees to:

  • Exceed customer expectations and deliver outstanding service.

  • Resolve customer issues in an exemplary manner.

  • Contribute to projects or initiatives that enhance the customer experience.

Points earned can be redeemed for perks such as additional vacation days, exclusive company merchandise, or special recognition events. This program highlights the importance of customer satisfaction and rewards those dedicated to creating positive customer experiences.

10. Surprise and Delight:

The element of surprise can transform a good rewards program into an unforgettable one. By incorporating unexpected and delightful rewards, companies can deeply engage employees and align with the organization's unique mission and values. Through the Surprise and Delight initiative, employees can experience:

  • Unexpected bonus perks following significant company achievements.

  • Whimsical, temporary reward categories designed to bring joy and excitement.

  • Exclusive, co-created experiences with well-loved brands, offering something truly unique.

Additionally, a philanthropic angle allows employees to use their points collectively, supporting causes that resonate with the company’s values and making a meaningful impact. These surprise elements not only celebrate milestones and foster a fun, engaging workplace culture but also:

  • Reinforce the company's commitment to its employees' growth and well-being.

  • Create lasting memories that employees talk about long after the moment has passed.

  • Illustrate the organization's dedication to going beyond the conventional to recognize and reward its people.

In the long run, it cultivates an environment where employees feel genuinely valued and motivated.

7 Benefits Of Points Based Rewards System


When it comes to effective employee appreciation, point-based rewards are highly recommended for companies with a global workforce.

There are many advantages of including points based rewards in your rewards and recognition strategy. These include:

1. Higher Engagement

Since the reward points hold monetary value, employees feel great when they receive them. It gamifies the recognition process which keeps them engaged, happy, motivated, and productive.

Whether they are working against a deadline or toward a goal, recognition will offer employees a sense of accomplishment. They’ll try to find ways to earn and accumulate more points so that they can redeem higher value awards of their choice.

2. Easy To Recognize Global Workforce

Today, many companies have employees sitting in different corners of the world and coordinating together. It is nearly impossible to recognize such employees in an in-house recognition program.

A digital points-based reward solution makes it easier and faster to appreciate global employees working in different countries.

Recognize your global workforce with Vantage Rewards

Solutions like Vantage Rewards can adjust the rewards as per the standard of living of the country employees live in. It uses the SOLI (Standard of Living Index) framework to do this.

3. Flexible In Nature

Points based programs can adapt quickly to changing company needs, program objectives, and employee preferences.

Here’s how:

  • You can award different employee behaviors important to your company, like innovation, achieving targets, great customer service, commitment to work, and so on.
  • Also, employees have the freedom to decide how they would like to spend their points.
  • You need not limit your program to a “one size fits all” approach of simply giving gift cards. You can explore other options like offering redeemable merchandise or experiences.
  • If you’ve a global, diverse workforce, SOLI based rewards programs can help you adjust points against major currencies.

4. Easy To Understand By Employees

Another benefit of points based recognition programs is they are readily understood by employees.

Most people are already familiar with getting points from online shopping sites, credit cards, or stores. Thus, you won’t need to give a substantial amount of training to explain the concept to them.

5. Enables Frequent Recognition

A point-based reward system makes frequent employee recognition truly effortless. You can give rewards points to employees throughout the year for showing desired behaviors.

Also, points-based rewards help give timely recognition. It might not be fruitful to recognize an employee for something they did months ago. This is because recognition is most effective when it immediately follows the behavior you want to reinforce

6. Measure Impact And Track Metrics

Aside from motivating employees, most reward points systems help you track productivity and performance metrics. The data on the usage of points offers wonderful insight into employee engagement.

You can get insights into:

  • Who’s getting rewarded the most?
  • Who’s not giving or getting rewards points?
  • If the budget you’re spending is getting used efficiently and so on.

And take steps accordingly.

7. Points Add Value To Recognition

81% of people in Glassdoor's Employee Appreciation Survey say they’d be motivated to work harder if their boss showed appreciation. But adding monetary incentives to that appreciation helps recognition go the extra mile. Think of it as extrinsic motivation where employees focus on the reward that comes with completing a task.

How to Create a Point System for Employees

Delivering meaningful points based rewards

1. Set A Clear Goal And Roadmap

Points-based recognition programs can motivate employees to perform specific actions that align with the company mission. But for it to be successful, you need to be clear on some basic things like:

  • What’s the goal of your program? What do you want to achieve with it?
  • Who’s it that you want to motivate? Top-performers, fast learners, or high-potential employees?
  • And who can give out points? And how?

A guideline outlining the company values will help employees understand the company’s expectations for them to work towards it.

Be specific about the work process. Delegate the responsibilities of who will be in charge of coordinating and managing the data. Set the behaviors and values you want to recognize. Ensure they align with your organizational values.

Also, automating the process using digital recognition tools will help reduce the time spent on repetitive tasks and increase efficiency.

2. Make Rewards Meaningful

A reward point is only valuable if it can be used to get the employee something they really want.

So try to meet employees’ needs by ensuring they can redeem points for items that are meaningful to them. The reasoning here is that even the most choosy person should also be able to find something that excites them.

Provide them with many options like vouchers, merchandise, travel experiences, event tickets, etc.

Vantage Rewards come with a Global Catalog that provides a wide range of gift cards from top brands and retailers worldwide. It even comes with lifetime validity of points so that employees can accumulate points for a bigger reward later.

3. Make The Program User Friendly

One way to make the points program attractive to employees is to make it easy to use and access. Employees should be able to see their point balances, have a clear redemption process, and be able to get help when required.

User-friendliness will not only make the rewarding process more effective but also inspire employees to show desired behaviors at work.

4. Keep Scope For Flexibility In The Structure

Point-based reward programs are quite flexible. They can readily adjust to your company’s changing needs and objectives.

You can tweak any of the following according to your needs:

  • Program’s timeline
  • Target groups
  • Redemption modules and offers
  • Desired behaviors that will attract recognition
  • Roles and permissions
  • Budgetary allocations

5. Use Digital Rewards And Recognition Tools

It may be impossible for you to go up to each employee and reward them for their daily efforts. And with more people working remotely, companies are looking for ways to engage employees. They need digital tools that enable recognition in the flow of work.

In 2021, we conducted a study on R&R trends for remote working taking 248 responses from industry experts. 79% of respondents said they wanted an agile R&R platform for remote employees.

Digital R&R tools can play a crucial role in ensuring your points-based rewards system works seamlessly.

Here’s how:

  • Digital tools make the task of allocating points very easy. You don’t need to tally up points, shop for gifts, or spend hours distributing them.

  • When new employees join the company, they’ll receive access to the digital R&R platform. When they achieve certain goals, you can directly reward them with points.

  • The platform can provide each employee with an online wallet for their accumulated points.

  • You can also keep an eye on the usage of points, enhancing transparency. A digital recognition and rewards platform is a crucial tool for measuring your program’s progress. When you tie the reward points to a core value, you can track the number of times employees get recognized for that value.

  • You can also track the relationship between the amount you spend on rewards and key metrics like engagement, absenteeism, or productivity. This helps you see the impact of your program.

Delivering Impactful Points Based Rewards With Vantage Rewards

Points based rewards with Vantage Circle

Digital R & R tool Vantage Rewards uses gamification techniques in the rewarding process to ensure your employees are always engaged.

Employees can easily redeem reward points as Gift Cards from our Global Catalog. This catalog includes a wide range of online stores and in-store channel partners, including groceries, entertainment, travel, apparel, and more. They can redeem points for merchandise items and booking adventure trips, events, and experiences. All redemption details are instantly sent to their registered emails after they redeem their points.

Employee preferences matter when you want to show authentic and impactful recognition. Each employee is unique. What might motivate one won’t necessarily motivate others. So it is necessary to take into account what they put value in.

With points-based rewards, Vantage Rewards give employees the choice to get the things they wish to buy. Thus, it becomes an ideal rewards platform for the modern, diverse workforce.


Q1. How does reward points work?

A. Employees accumulate points based on their performance, achievements, or participation in company initiatives. These points act as a virtual currency that can be redeemed for a wide range of rewards, from gift cards and merchandise to experiences and personal development opportunities.

Q2. How do you reward employees with points?

A. Employers can set up a points system that aligns with their organizational goals and values. Points are awarded to employees for meeting specific criteria, such as completing projects, demonstrating exceptional customer service, or exhibiting company values. Managers or peers can also nominate employees for point rewards.

Q3. How does the point system work?

A. A point system typically involves employees earning points based on predetermined criteria set by the employer. These points accumulate in an online account or platform, where employees can track their progress and redeem their points for rewards from a customized catalog or menu of options.

Mrinmoy Rabha is a content writer and digital marketer at Vantage Circle. He is an avid follower of football and passionate about singing. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

Book My 30-min Demo
Join us in driving a
Culture of Employee Appreciation Globally!
Vantage Rewards
Celebrating 2M+ Happy Corporate Employees
Elevating Company Culture Across

Know More
Not Interested

The Ultimate Guide to Employee Rewards and Recognition

The Ultimate Guide to Employee Rewards and Recognition