How to run a rewards and recognition program in your hotel (when you don’t want to spend much)

A well executed rewards and recognition program will help you to keep your employees happy and willing to come to work. In a study done in Australia, researchers found 4 key ways to keep employees happy including a rewards and recognition program.

A well run rewards and recognition program can help in lowering attrition, improving morale, building teams and improving customer satisfaction.

A rewards and recognition program need not be expensive. With direct and indirect labour cost touching 29 – 35 % of revenue in some markets, there is always a push to reduce labour cost.

However you can run a reward and recognition program without breaking the bank. Here are a few ideas

Instant Gratification

One of the simplest recognition program is a simple acknowledgement. Walk around the property and say thank you and congratulate people on a job well done. Spend 15 seconds asking them about their day.

Your employees run a stressful day and a quick walk to their department and a pep talk during the day can work wonders in lifting employees morale and spirit

Champion of the Department/ Month/ Year

Programs like this can be efficiently run with a simple event every month, where you bring out cake and coffee, put on some music, announce the champion of a department and distribute a certificate.

If you have the budget, the certificate can be accompanied by a voucher for a small amount of money.

Even if you don’t have the budget, by recognizing the employees, you will be able to generate a positive boost in morale


A great example of a rewards program is how the tech companies have recognized the power of cafeteria to their organisations.

In hotels, we have the power to make space a core feature of the employee perks. Hotel cafeteria food is a given. However the difference between great food in cafeteria and mediocre food is just to care about what we put out. A revamp of the menu, an addition of a salad, asking people what they would like to have, potluck lunches, theme lunches etc can be executed with existing resources that you will find in the banquet stores.

Self Funded incentives

Self funded incentives are a great way of running an incentive program. If you structure the program to pay out an incentive to the employees on achieving a revenue milestone, it can be a cost of doing business.

Various upsell program, like front office upsell program, beverage upsell program etc usually pay out on the basis of increased revenue. This helps the hotel increase revenue and also the employee make some money.

Vendor funded initiatives

Often from time to time, your vendors may be inclined to run some promotions for the line staff. They may offer incentives, merchandise etc for promoting their products. Some hotels execute this program really well, helping employees make some extra benefits. This mutually helps the team, the vendor and the hotel at almost zero cost. There may be some administrative paperwork that may need to be done however it is a great tool to motivate your employees

Train your team

If your team is young, they will have aspirations to grow in their career. A good training program can address your immediate need to improve your standards and their future need to grow in their career. By providing access to an online content library, you can provide them with the tools to develop their career.

Commitment to developing their career can be the greater reward and recognition of all since it helps the employee develop in life and fulfill their dream of moving up the ladder

In conclusion

A well run rewards and recognition program can help you to retain employees that has immediate and long term benefit.

You can do that effectively by running a program like

  • Providing Perks
  • Running a Champion of the Department program
  • Self funded incentive program
  • Vendor funded incentive program
  • Training your team

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