Cash Tips or Unforgettable Trips? Micro bonuses vs MyRewards

5 June 2019

Recognising and rewarding great performance is the number one way to inspire engagement, boost morale and drive improved results across your organisation. Research shows conclusively that the best way to formalise a culture of recognition and reward is with a structured rewards programme.

Rewards and recognition programmes can take different forms – and the BBC recently reported on one of the newest and most controversial.

Peer-to-Peer Micro-Bonuses

‘Peer-to-peer micro-bonuses’ are a system that effectively allows employees to give each other small cash tips for a job well done. The tips, generally of £2 - £5, come from a specially allocated budget.

But while this may feel like a quick win, business psychologists and incentives professionals have raised concerns about the system. Let’s take a closer look at the relative merits of micro-bonuses versus a more structured, rewards-based programme.    

Micro-Bonuses vs Inconnection's MyRewards


Despite the immediate financial and social appeal of being given a small cash bonus by a colleague, the broader implications of the system are concerning.

  • Cash Doesn’t Incentivise: The industry generally recognises cash as a poor motivator. This is due in part to extra money getting quickly absorbed into day-to-day costs, as well as an increase of experience-hungry millennials in the workforce.
  • Popularity & Isolation: With some employers displaying charts showing how much each employee has received in 'tips', the system risks becoming a popularity contest – or even undermining interpersonal relationships and encouraging workplace bullying.

Business Psychologist Julie Wacker, of wellness consultancy Robertson Cooper, says:

"If it's not set around a work culture with good values in place, it could end up being cliquey, it could be quite negative. The intention is no doubt good, it's to motivate people and give instant feedback. […] But there are risks it's just a popularity contest."

Refinery29 report that Martha Nahar, an internal communications officer, thinks that tipping culture "should be left as something that happens in a restaurant". Her reasons? The impact on workplace cultures and morale:

"Peer-to-peer tipping would fuel negativity, jealousy and unnecessary competitiveness in a world that's already very dog-eat-dog. I think any kind of financial incentives should be given to teams, and not specifically to individuals.”

Inconnection's MyRewards

MyRewards is a system offering broader, more valuable and more strategically integrated rewards across a range of modules:

  • Recognition module – The MyRewards recognition module enables companies to reward individuals, whilst increasing employee engagement and communicating successes.

    We believe that acknowledging things like work anniversaries, offering long service awards and the opportunity for peer-to-peer recognition feels more genuine and meaningful than a monetary reward from a colleague. MyRewards is geared towards long-term goals that will have lasting benefits for the company as a whole, not just individuals.
  • Incentives module – The incentives module is designed for rewarding both individual and team performance when sales targets are achieved.

    Rewarding team performance over the medium-long term (rather than an individual’s performance on any given day) allows your rewards platform to encourage team work, strengthen key relationships, and be truly strategic.  

  • Training & Development modules – These modules are educational, designed to develop brand ambassadors through interactive courses, quizzes and resources.

    Instead of only rewarding those top performers each time, a training and development module helps to encourage a sense of your organisation investing in everyone and incentivises colleagues regardless of performance.
  • Customer loyalty – A module designed to inspire brand ambassadors, new customer referrals, feedback and testimonials, all by managing customer relationships.

    For a rewards platform to be beneficial to the company’s wider objectives, employees need to be focused on business objectives, not office politics. We believe that rewarding staff for providing good customer service keeps employees focused on what’s important.

MyRewards is a flexible, scalable and customisable modular rewards platform, built to target your key business objectives or team goals. It encourages team work and engagement, stops your rewards programme feeling like a popularity contest and keeps your people focused on key objectives.

Contact Us About Your Rewards Programme

If you’re looking to move platform, or introduce or scale a rewards programme, we would love to talk to you about how MyRewards could help your business. Click the button above or call 0161 498 3311 to speak to a member of the Inconnection team now.