University of Reading recognises employees with gift cards and vouchers


The University of Reading awards vouchers or gift case to staff in recognition of a job well done.

Its online recognition scheme, Celebrating Success, was introduced in 2012 as a means for managers to offer employees an immediate reward, as opposed to waiting for the annual pay review or payroll cycle. It was also introduced to increase employees’ awareness of how staff are recognised and rewarded at the university.

A manager will award an employee points, which can then be redeemed through an online catalogue for gift cards or vouchers from a retailer of their choice. The award ranges from £25 to £100.

The scheme rewards employees who demonstrate the university’s professional behaviours. When completing a nomination form, the manager will select which behaviour the individual has demonstrated, for example, achieving results, working together, or embracing and enabling change.

Claire Eckett, HR manager, reward and benefits, says: “Within the system there is the Hall of Fame, so [employees] can see who has received an award and what they’ve done. We hope that will act as a bit of an inspiration.

“Even though it’s not very much, it is a little thank you, and because [employees] are redeeming [points] for vouchers, they can buy something they want.

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“With vouchers, the perceived value is greater than the face value. It’s become very popular with staff, it’s achieved a lot of good will on quite a small budget, and people can get what they want.”

Since the scheme was launched, the number of employees receiving an award has increased year-on-year; in the last financial year, 650 of the university’s almost 4,000 employees received an award.