appreciation, recognition, bots, slack, microsoft teams,

How to use Karma Rewards for a productive workplace

Stas Kulesh
Stas Kulesh Follow
Nov 24, 2020 · 7 mins read
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Karma is a tool that integrates with Slack and MS Teams to provide classes and workplaces with the ability to build happier, more engaged teams. One of the key features of Karma is the ability to incentivise employees by offering a variety of reward types.

With the right system in place, motivation can cause a huge number of positive changes in the team: reduced presenteeism and absenteeism, improved retention rates, better quality work, passionate employees, and the list goes on. The short of it is, a motivated workplace means money saved and happy customers.

Rewards, rewards, rewards

Manually setting up a reward system can be a time-consuming, messy process that is often limited to rewarding number goals only. With Karma Rewards, employees can be easily rewarded for all of the good work they do in a way that takes management only minutes each day.

How do Karma Rewards work?

Management and team members can quickly award Karma by typing Karma, the employee’s name, and a message directly into the Slack or MS Teams chat.

Karma** @Adrian Thanks for handling that extra ticket!

Providing regular positive feedback like in this way is excellent for keeping up team morale while reinforcing the behaviour you want to be repeated.

Individual rewards

The recipient of the recognition receives Karma points, which are tallied forever in the team member’s profile as a type of reputation, and Karma coins, which can be redeemed for rewards that have been set up by the team leaders.

Individual rewards

Each team can have up to 96 rewards that are completely customizable — we have found teams set an average of 12 options. It is fully up to the management to decide on what rewards they want to offer, and how many Karma coins each will cost. So far, the most expensive reward we have seen was a Mercedes Maybach S 650 Sedan for 950,000. That is a lot of pats on the back! We dare you to set a reward that will beat it.

When an employee has enough coins, they can cash in for a gift card, half-day, yoga class…whatever will make them happiest.

Crowdfunded rewards

Team rewards

This is a fun option for taking team-building to the next level. An employee can choose from a list of proposed rewards and contribute as many Karma coins as they would like to the cause. Once the Karma goal is reached, the prize is redeemed for all those contributed.

Bonus rewards

A team bonus can be set to redeemed at the end of a calendar period (day, week, month, etc.). Karma is awarded to the employee as the prize, so each employee can decide how to spend their coins as they choose.

You have three options when deciding who is rewarded and how they are rewarded once the goal is reached.

Loyalty bonus: Each team member gets a predetermined, equal amount of Karm

Team bonus with an even split: When the period comes to an end and the goal is met, the bonus Karma is divided equally among alteam members.

Team bonus based on Karma share: The Karma reward is split among the team members depending on their share of Karma earned durinthe period.

Ideas for Karma Rewards to motivate your team

We understand that deciding what rewards to set for your team and how many Karma coins each should cost is not as easy as it sounds. That is why we have analyzed over 100 teams successfully using Karma to bring you some creative, exciting, and occasionally wild suggestions (aeroplane ticket to anywhere, perhaps?).

We have broken ideas into categories to help get you thinking about what is most relevant to your business and team.


No-budget options can be just as rewarding as getting a Mercedes (well, almost). How many coins will it take to pie a manager in the face? Offer up the in-house designer to create a portrait or custom meme.

Even with a small reward budget, there is still plenty you can offer your team if you’re willing to get creative, and maybe a little messy.

Goods and experiences

This is by far the largest category with the most variety and plenty of opportunities to find something that will enthuse even the pickiest on your team.

Of the 100+ teams we analyzed, we found that groceries and coffee make up 23.2% of the category, with gadgets close behind 21.3%. Restaurants, travel, clothes, culture, and more made an appearance, with flowers getting the smallest piece of the pie at 1.1%.

You could offer a 5lb bag of gummy bears, concert tickets, or a sushi dinner. You probably won’t get many complaints if you add a liquor option, especially during busy periods. Hard-working employees frequently have a terrible habit of neglecting their self-care, so why not take this opportunity to promote it. Adding a few pamper rewards is great for de-stressing the team: massages, manicures, or a new hairdo.

Another idea for a win-win is throwing in educational rewards like books, courses, and conferences.

Here are some of our favourites from the category to get you thinking about your rewards.

  • 1,500 karma: Asia Trip (budget $860)
  • 9,999 karma: Motorcycle
  • 15,000 karma: Macbook Pro
  • 30 karma Get a small beehive for your garden
  • 3 karma: Pay someone to make the next pot of coffee
  • 2 karma: Lockdown champion medal (because pandemics are hard)
  • 2 karma: Uber ride (reimbursed up to $40)


A great way for the business and employee to give to the community is by adding in charity options as rewards.

Some of the interesting ones we’ve seen include sponsoring an animal at the zoo, donating to a local food drive, and a day off for the employee to volunteer at a charity of their choice. If you don’t want to put a limitation on causes, a simple $20 donation to the charity of your choice is a great reward option.


From swag bags to individual shirts, mugs, stickers, and more.

Some businesses add their own products to the list of rewards too, which is perfect for a high value/low-cost option for some teams.

Work perks

Say goodbye to the dress code tomorrow for 5 coins and hello to bunny slippers in the office. Think people will be extra driven if you put an early weekend on the table? Offer up a Friday afternoon off. You could throw in an extended lunch for a couple of coins, work-from-home days, vacation time, or an option for coming in an hour late each day for a week.

It’s all up to what your team can manage and what kind of break they could use more of.

Group activities

Time to break out the karaoke machine because John is spending 40 coins to watch everyone embarrass themselves. Not an office of singers? How about a pizza party, office drinks, or axe throwing?

Offering up group activities as rewards is an excellent way to develop bonds in the office that provide people with a sense of belonging. People will feel warmly towards the employee that spent their hard-earned coins on an experience for the whole team, while everyone gets to enjoy a team-building exercise (just don’t call it that).

Money and gift cards

This one is as loved as it is self-explanatory. Offer up a $20 gift card or $20 note; either way, you will have a slightly richer and happier employee on your team. All you have to decide is the exchange rate. Does 3 karma points = $10? Does 10?

We found that teams using Karma massively prefer gift cards at 95.5% of the category, with only 5.5% going to good ol’ cash.

For teams already using Slack or MS Teams, adding Karma into their day-to-day life takes almost no time at all and can make a world of difference. When employees are frequently being recognized and rewarded for the work they are doing, they become more loyal, productive, and connected.

Need more data?

Download full Karma Rewards Guide here

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Stas Kulesh
Stas Kulesh
Written by Stas Kulesh
Karma bot founder. I blog, play fretless guitar, watch Peep Show and run a digital design/dev shop in Auckland, New Zealand. Parenting too.