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When was the last time you helped someone out and got a heartfelt appreciation? Didn't it make it feel like your efforts were worth it, and you'd do it again? Well, it's the same with employees and recognition. While they get paid for their job, a little word of appreciation and recognition can go a long way in keeping them motivated. 

In fact, 79 percent of employees quit because of a "lack of appreciation," according to one report from 2019. 30-45 percent of call center employees also leave their jobs because of the lack of appreciation. With the kind of demanding job that call center agents have, it's essential that you go all the way to increase engagement and retain your best resources. 

In this article, we discuss call center rewards and recognition ideas that are sure to work in all settings to boost agent morale and motivation.

Why is reward and recognition important in call center industry

The BPO sector is known for its strong customer focus. As a company's customer base expands, so does the demand for customer service representatives. However, not everyone finds employment in a call center suitable for their preferences.

The demanding shift schedules, continuous interactions with numerous customers, the necessity to maintain a polite demeanor even with rude or loud customers, and a lack of scheduled breaks all contribute to decreased employee satisfaction and higher turnover rates within the organization. 

This, in turn, can negatively impact an agent's productivity. Implementing rewards and recognition can have an impact on the call center by: 

1.  Creating a positive work culture 

Rewards and recognition play a crucial role in nurturing a positive work culture. By acknowledging and appreciating employees' contributions, it instills a sense of value and belonging. They motivate employees, fostering a strong sense of purpose and dedication to their roles. Moreover, rewards and recognition promote healthy competition and collaboration, driving improved performance and teamwork. 

For instance, according to Surveymonkey, 32 percent of employees think that interaction with colleagues improves after public recognition. Employees who are publically appreciated are respected by others as competent and useful members of the team.

2.  Controlling attrition 

Implementing robust rewards and recognition programs is a critical strategy to combat high attrition rates in call centers. While traditional rewards like goodies, certificates, and gift cards are appreciated, thinking outside the box with activities such as featuring employees in short films or announcing their achievements in large town hall meetings adds a more personal touch. 

Encouraging peer-to-peer recognition and sending appreciation emails also contribute to a supportive and motivational environment. These initiatives collectively inspire employee loyalty, reduce attrition, and foster a more gratifying workplace. 

3. Boosting team productivity 

When call center agents are acknowledged for their dedication and performance, they become more motivated to excel in their roles. This motivation spills over into the team, creating a culture of collaboration and shared goals.

Recognizing both individual and collective achievements boosts morale and encourages agents to consistently deliver their best, resulting in improved call center productivity and more happy customers.

Further, it fosters a supportive work environment where agents inspire each other, contributing to the success of the team and the overall efficiency of the call center operations.

4. Increasing agent satisfaction

In high-pressure call center settings where advisors often face irate customers and experience mental and physical fatigue, rewards and recognition programs provide a much-needed breather. They act as a source of motivation, validating the tireless efforts of employees.

Moreover, rewards and recognition foster a sense of belonging and appreciation, boosting morale. They create a supportive work culture where employees feel valued, leading to higher job satisfaction.

When employees are recognized for their hard work and dedication, they become more engaged and content, ultimately feeling more satisfied.

8 ways to creatively reward and recognize your employees 

Here are eight call center rewards and recognition ideas that are known to work: 

1. Treat them outside the office periodically 

Team lunches at the local favorite restaurant are a common thing in companies. To make it special, treat employees to off-beat places that they are least likely to expect. A one or two-day retreat with camping and fun activities once or twice a year can also help agents unwind and appreciate their workplace.

Hubspot is known for its employee-focused culture and often organizes team-building events and outings for employees. They also have an authoritative guide to employee outing ideas followed by many big companies.

2. Share positive feedback for everyone to see 

Positive feedback from customers is a badge of honor employees would love to wear regardless of what organization they are in. Make it a habit to share positive reviews and feedback from important customers on the company's Slack or other media for everyone else to see. You can also include that in round-up emails and all-hands meetings every week.

Salesforce is a fine example of a company known for employee recognition. Salesforce uses a peer recognition platform to encourage employees to give shout-outs and share positive feedback on a public platform, recognizing the contributions of their colleagues.

3. Gamification of rewards and recognition 

Gamification is the secret sauce used by many companies to keep their employees highly engaged. Gamifying works add the element of playfulness and fun to work, boosting participation. The immediate feedback and features such as leaderboards, goals, badges, points, competition, and community all foster engagement.

Xoxoday has a gamified recognition program, complete with points, badges, and leaderboard rankings to motivate employees and celebrate their achievements.
Take employee recognition to the next level and experience a 90% surge in Employee Engagement!  

4. Offer non-cash rewards frequently 

Non-cash rewards for call center agents include gift cards, extra paid time off, recognition awards, and experiential incentives. You can also look into offering professional development and wellness benefits such as gym memberships and discounts to encourage professional growth and employee health.

Zappos is known for its extensive rewards programs. Employees earn "Zappos Dollars" for various activities that are redeemable in the company's vending machines.

5. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition 

In peer-to-peer recognition, employees recognize each other's contribution, talent, skills, and good work publically. It fosters a positive workplace culture where colleagues acknowledge each other's contributions and strengthen teamwork and morale. It's a powerful tool for reinforcing desired behaviors and motivating employees, creating a more collaborative and appreciative work environment.

Microsoft has a peer-to-peer recognition system called "Bonusly" that allows employees to recognize and reward their peers for outstanding contributions.

6. Give them a surprise time-off 

Surprise time off is a cherished gift for call center employees, providing a welcomed break from the high-pressure environment.

You can come up with creative ways to time the surprise so as to coincide with long weekends, festivals, and other holidays that make it worth it. Personalizing it to suit individual agents can also make it extra special.

Apple knows how to get it right with surprise time off, and they also make it paid. They customize the rewards as per the requirements of employees in different locations and job roles.

7. Offer them work perks they can pick 

Most, if not all, call center agents would appreciate the ability to choose work perks tailored to their needs. Options can include flexible schedules, remote work, wellness programs, professional development opportunities, or even customizing their workstations with ergonomic equipment. Offering choice is subtly empowering and contributes to enhancing job satisfaction and work-life balance.

Dropbox offers employees a "Dropbox Perks Allowance" budget that they can use to customize their work perks and benefits, such as gym memberships, home office equipment, or personal development courses.

8. Personalize their rewards 

Personalization of rewards is a tailored approach to recognizing and motivating agents. It involves understanding individual preferences and needs and then offering incentives that resonate with each person, such as electronics, gift cards, ergonomic office furniture, paid vacation, etc.

However, personalized rewards don't always have to come with a monetary value. Sometimes, it can be simple gifts that act as small gestures.

Two Rivers Marketing, for instance, celebrated its anniversary by giving employees a caricature drawing of themselves.


Call center rewards and recognition are crucial in high-pressure workplaces like call centers to enhance employee satisfaction, motivation, and teamwork. They validate the tireless efforts of individuals and foster a positive work culture.

However, striking a balance in the implementation of discussed ideas is essential to prevent potential downsides. When executed thoughtfully, they have the capacity to improve workplace dynamics and instill a profound sense of value and belonging among employees.

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