By Kate Merrill

BOSTON (CBS) — At the downtown Boston tech firm Acquia, any employee, at any moment, can reward a co-worker.

“You can’t always walk around and shake everyone’s hand. But it is really easy to give them points to say, ‘thank you,’ ” explained Lynne Capozzi, the Chief Marketing Officer.

“You’ve got a way to not just say ‘thank you’ to someone directly, but to let everybody in the whole company know that they did something awesome,” echoed Beth Linker, Director of Product Management.

And that “thank you” comes with a little bit of cash.

bonusly2 Online Service Turns Employee Appreciation Into Cash

A bonus.ly account (WBZ-TV)

“Bonus.ly is awesome,” reinforced Beth.

Bonus.ly is a bonus, but on a much smaller scale. At Acquia, they’ve been using the online service for more than a year.

Every employee is given 100 points every month. It’s use it or lose it.  And everyone can see who is giving and getting the rewards.

While it may seem like more on the work-day to-do list, the idea has taken off.

“Over 90% of our employees use it,” said Amy Hughes, the Senior Talent Operations Partner.

bonusly Online Service Turns Employee Appreciation Into Cash

Bonus.ly animations (WBZ-TV)

Beth Linker and her team are among that 90%. They build Bonusly points into many of their projects. “What I’ve seen is that it’s not about cash, it’s about recognition.”

Good thing because it’s not a lot of money. The monthly balance of 100 points is equal to $10. Those points can be cashed in for a variety of gift cards, more points to give away, or donated to charity.  There is a bigger cost to the company. Management pays a fee to use the Bonusly service. And it also covers the cost of those gift cards or donations when workers cash in their points.

“It’s very much part of our culture. People will say ‘Bonusly Points’ if someone did something great,” said Amy. “So, it’s very fun.”  It’s the power of positive reinforcement at work — no official job title required.

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