Rewards and Recognition Market Intelligence

Table of Content

  1. Category Intelligence Summary
  2. Market Overview of Rewards and Recognition
  3. Market  & Buyer-Supplier Trends of Global Rewards and Recognition Programs
  4. Growth Drivers and Constraints
  5. Engagement Models
  6. Sourcing Models & Sourcing Strategy
  7. Pricing Models
  8. Spend Analysis
  9. Cost Saving Opportunity Globally & Negotiation Levers
  10. Case Studies
  11. Supplier Shortlisting Criteria and Profiles
  12. Ranking order of Primary Suppliers
  13. Detailed Supplier Profiles

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Regional Market Outlook on Rewards and Recognition

Non-cash awards are expected to grow as the focus on brand, culture, and innovation  becomes more critical for business success. Gift cards will gain momentum in 2018. Mid-sized firms spend an average of nearly $500,000 annually on gift cards across all programs, whilst Fortune 500 companies spend over $1 Million annually. Top-performing companies feature higher non-cash incentive payouts annually for the average employee.

In the US, 84% of organizations use tangible non-cash rewards . This represents more than a three-fold increase from 20 years.


Reason for the shift from Cash to Non-cash rewards:

  • This gain in popularity and use of non-cash, tangible rewards is due to a growing understanding of the advantages accompanying tangible non-cash rewards.
  • There are psychological mechanisms underlying these benefits.

Market Trends of Global Rewards and Recognition Programs 

Professionals in the non-cash rewards industry keep undergoing a large amount of transformation.  From cultural changes to technical developments to an enhanced emphasis on risk and safety

Developing a brand-asset culture is a corporate necessity

  • Non-cash awards to increase as organizations concentrate on brand, philosophy, and modernization.
  • Companies with non-cash award programs must guarantee these programs are recompensing in several parts, brand-centric actions, flexibility, and revolution.

Social Recognition becomes a necessity

  • Almost 40% of programs are now using social recognition.
  • Employee engagement sponsors demand for social recognition benefits/value.
  • Technological advancement, cloud computing, social media proliferation, and a wide array of automation tools have made social recognition a reality.


  • Programs' power increases when they are integrated with other platforms such as SaaS, VR technology, AI etc.
  • 34% of program owners have expressed, they are now integrating their programs with their sales force system

Growing capacity with progressively predicative analytics and intelligent technology

  • Using predicative analytics, meeting planners can collect data throughout many events.
  • They have a valued solution to uncover current in-house corporate data, forecast broader individual company patterns etc.

Gift cards continue to increase

  • Employee reward programs are the largest category for R&R programs and the average spend will maintain and improve.
  • The simplicity to obtain gift cards has influenced employees use in non-cash awards programs.

Products shifting to organic, local-sourced and custom-made

  • Employees obtaining awards look for a profound reason for choosing a product, which has shifted the goal for products to be sourced locally, and simple to tailor.
  • Rewards matter to employees when it has an individual significance and a customized distribution accompanying it.

Growth Drivers & Constraints  

The increase in 22% of Gen X, Y, and millennial workers have changed the whole landscape of the R&R offerings. High attrition rate and turnover also fostered the growth of the industry. Recession and economic slowdown along with the risk of data pose a threat to the industry.

Growth Factor

  • Talent Management - Due to the shortage of skilled and efficient manpower, organizations are increasingly adopting R&R programs for better human capital management.
  • Better Employee Engagement - It is estimated that about 75% of employees in an organization feel that R&R programs of any type boosts the morale of employees, thus, resulting in enhanced job satisfaction and improved motivation.
  • Shift of HR from Technical to Strategic Model - Organizations expect HR employees to undertake strategic activities from regular tactical activities.


  • Budget Constraints in Implementation - R&R programs involve HR and finance departments to allocate budget appropriately, but during financial crunch, organizations impose budgetary constraints.
  • Time Constraint to Implement Recognition Ceremony - Time constraint is a challenging factor, as HR employees and mangers have to manage the R&R programs in-house. 

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