Reward Ideas (Individual, Team, Monetary, Non-monetary, Launch strategy)


Monetary rewards like gift cards are easy, but financial rewards can change the giving behavior towards a transactional behavior and less genuine appreciation. If peer recognition is transactional, it's not authentic. And if it's not authentic, it's not effective. Experience-based rewards (like a team taco party), specifically for team rewards, work much better as they encourage people to collaborate and connect to redeem rewards together. 

Individual Reward Ideas (Monetary)

  1. Coffee anyone?  - Expense a meetup over beverages of your choice. Bonus points if it's with someone new. ($5-$10)
  2. Company Swag - Get stickers, socks, bag, shirt, hat, and mug shipped to you ($50) 
  3. Mystery Box - Redeem your tacos for a surprise box. Each box is tailored to the specific person redeeming the reward ($25-$100) 
  4. Raffle Entry for a < Reward > - Each taco gets you one entry into the raffle to win a  reward (like a PS5, surf lesson, etc.) on us ($100-$300) 
  5. Learn something new (Airbnb Experiences). - It's your chance to learn something new. Redeem your tacos, and feel free to pick from Airbnb experiences such as learning how to paint, surf, cook, anything! ($50-$150)
  6. Spa treatment/day! - Good for expensing an hour of massage in your local area ($50-$150)
  7. House Cleaning - Expense up to $150 towards house cleaning from a provider in your local area ($150)
  8. Movie or Music Subscription for a Year - Get one of the movie subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, etc.) or a music subscription (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.). ($100-$150)
  9. Fitness/Gym Subscription for six months - Get six months on us for a fitness/gym subscription of your choice ($100-$500) 
  10. Meal Subscription - Get a free month of meals from HelloFresh or Freshly ($150-$300)
  11. Tacos for Dinner Get a taco dinner for you +1 from a place of your choice ($20-$30)
  12. Daycare/Pet Stipend Get $100 towards a daycare or pet care from us ($100) 
  13. Adventure time—oh boy! - Good for expensing a new adventure; make sure you return friendly and safe :). ($25-$50)
  14. 2 movie tickets - Go to a flick with whoever you'd like and share your review with the team. No SPOILERS! ($10-$20)
  15. 2 Courtside tickets, anyone? - Redeem your tacos to get up close and personal at an event of your choosing like a concert, sports game, etc.. ($50-$150)

Individual Reward Ideas (Non-Monetary)

  1. Fun day! - Take a day off to have some fun and recharge your batteries :) ($0 usually) 
  2. Taco Trophy - The winner gets a taco trophy, hat, and pin for the month  ($0 usually) 
  3. 1:1 with CEO/Leadership Team Get an hour with anyone on the leadership team to talk about anything you like, want to learn more about or share your thoughts. ($0 usually) 
  4. Emcee one All Hands Meeting - Lead, get everyone excited, and emcee an all-hands meeting. ($0 usually) 
  5. Engineering 1-1 Class - Get a class on how things work from the head of engineering, or learn a specific tool of your choice with the help. ($0 usually) 
  6. Color of the Day - You get to pick your favorite color for everyone on the team to wear on one Friday ($0 usually) 
  7. Pet of the week - Your pet becomes the "pet of the week" across the company's internal pages. ($0 usually) 
  8. Front-row parking spot for a month! - No more struggling to get a good spot; redeem your tacos for a month of front-row parking. ($0 usually) 

Group Reward Ideas (Monetary)

  1. Tacos for Pizza = Delicious! - Redeem your tacos to get pizza for the entire office. Maybe we'll be able to order a taco pizza! ($50-$250) 
  2. Taco Tuesday - Redeem your tacos for some tasty lunch tacos for the office. ($50-$250) 
  3. Small group lunch - Expense up to $100 for a group lunch. We'll pick a contributor to give the lunch $$ $'s to and organize your outing. ($100)
  4. Mystery Room - Do a live or a virtual mystery room with a group. ($100-$250) 
  5. Sponsor your meetup - For those who like to meet up at the office for knitting, board games, wine clubs, or anything. Once you redeem this reward, we'll give $150 to a contributor to organize and have a fantastic meetup. ($150) 
  6. Tacos for Charity - Once we get enough tacos, we'll donate to our favorite charities. ($100-$500)
  7. Head to a sporting event. We'll send 20 lucky people to a sporting event. The first tickets go to contributors, and we'll randomly draw from a hat. If more than 20 people contribute, pick who goes. ($200-$500) 

Group Reward Ideas (Non-Monetary)

  • Rally for a cause - Once we get enough tacos, we'll take the day or half the day off to volunteer together. ($0 usually) 
  • Game Night - Get the team together for a live or virtual game night ($0 usually) 

Launch Strategy

  1. Use HeyTaco for at least one month to determine the number of redeemable tacos available. 
  2. Come up with a budget (usually $100-$500) for the first month of rewards.
  3. Start with setting up two individual rewards (1 monetary reward & 1 non-monetary reward)
  4. Start with setting up 2 group rewards (1 monetary reward & 1 non-monetary reward)
  5. Set a limit on the quantity of each reward to help keep within budget

In general, great experience-based rewards consist of one or more of the following attributes: 

  • Meaningful (feel-good) These rewards check the "feel-good" box, such as charity donations, pay it forward, or personal experiences. For example, a one-on-one with leadership can be a meaningful experience for someone. 
  • Amusing (fun) These rewards bring people joy. I've seen examples as simple and silly as a high five from the CEO. These fun and light-hearted rewards put a smile on people's faces.  
  • Collective (purpose) These rewards bring people together around a shared goal. Examples include rewards for you and your colleagues to do something together, either virtually or in person. 

If you want to include rewards in your recognition program, I recommend waiting. After a month or two, you'll have engagement data to look at, making it easier to price your rewards. But more importantly, people engaging without rewards is a good sign. It means they're giving for the intrinsic value—how it feels to give and receive recognition. When you decide to add rewards, it will be like icing on the cake. 25-50 tacos for individual rewards and 50-100 tacos for group rewards are good starting points, and based on how many and how fast the rewards are redeemed, you can adjust the amounts higher or lower. 

We recommend staying away from directly valuing one taco to a dollar value, but we understand that for budgeting purposes, it is necessary to have a ratio; hence we recommend that any dollar value under $1 is excellent per taco valuation. You don't need rewards for your recognition program to be successful. And if you do rewards poorly, they can have adverse effects and cause your recognition program to fail. See the "The surprising truth why most peer recognition programs fail" article here.

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