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Making the gems shine brighter: How employee recognition awards help retailers




By recognizing and rewarding the performance of deserving employees, retailers have created motivated staff, giving a boost to their productivity, customer engagement and overall business growth

In today’s competitive landscape, every business is constantly seeking innovative strategies to enhance employee morale and motivation, ultimately leading to increased productivity and sales. Of them, in-house awards that hold up the best performers in an organization stand out as one of the best ways to make employees feel rewarded and encouraged to perform even better. Within the gems and jewellery industry, several retailers have recognized the importance of acknowledging and lauding their employees’ achievements internally. These retailers have implemented performance-oriented awards and recognition programmes, turning their employees into partners in their business and offering high incentives for top achievers.

Talking about the importance of employee recognition in the jewellery industry, Bramhanand Meher, Managing Director of Arundhati Jewellers says, “We have always been focusing on employee welfare. We value our resources’ hard work and dedication. Because of these awards, we have seen a growth of 32% in sales since the inception of the awards in 2000, and this number is with reference to the HR Awards only.”


Emphasizing the importance of recognizing employee performance beyond sales metrics, Kiran Shinde, CFO of PMJ Jewels, says, “The company conducts monthly assessments based on surveys, customer experience and overall sales. Along with other awards, we also offer an ownership incentive programme which gives a certain part of the annual revenue to the best employees, making them partners of the firm. This evaluation allows us to acknowledge them and make them a direct part of the profit.”


PMJ’s ownership model, introduced in 2021, takes employee recognition to a whole new level as the brand believes in investing in people. This unique programme shares the store’s profits with deserving managerial-level employees, fostering a sense of ownership and partnership. “Our dependency on our people for their selling and relationship management capability and other skills is very high, so we thought spending on our people is very important,” states Shinde.

Other than this, PMJ also felicitates employees monthly based on parameters like achieving outstanding sales, customer satisfaction, etc., and plays up their accomplishments within the store as well as on social media. These recognitions eventually add up to their key performance indicators (KPIs), lining them up for a better appraisal

Chirag Porwal, Partner at Kalamandir Jewellers, emphasizes the importance of employees growing alongside the brand. Kalamandir’s commitment to employee welfare has manifested through substantial incentives, with employees earning a record-breaking Rs 8 crore in cash prizes in the last year alone. Porwal believes that nurturing employees is essential, saying, “Today’s sales team members can be tomorrow’s managers, regional managers, or heads of some departments. Hence, it is important to keep them motivated.”

We always value our resources’ hard work and dedication. Because of these awards, we have experienced a hike of 32% sales growth since the inception of the awards, and this number is with reference to the HR Awards only

Bramhananda Meher Managing Director Arundhati Jewellers Odisha

With the first small-scale awards instituted in 2012 and the second one in 2014, Kalamandir Jewellers has been hosting employee recognition awards for a long time. In 2020, the Kalamandir Platinum Champion Awards were started in association with the Platinum Guild International-India, to assess and acknowledge achievers in the platinum category – a thrust area for the brand. Since 2021, the brand has been hosting the Kalamandir Golden Awards, recognizing the sales achievers for their outstanding contributions. While sales teams often steal the spotlight, Porwal recognizes the significance of back-office staff too in the matter of awards. Unique award categories such as ‘One Man Army,’ ‘Transformation Award,’ ‘Rising Star Award’, ‘Brand Ambassador’, ‘Game Changer Team’, ‘Everyday Heroes’, ‘Early Rockstars’ amongst many others are a testimony to this recognition.

The brand has seen a great outcome from this employee recognition programme, including attracting the best talent for work, increased employee morale, engaged employees, strengthened workplace relationships and higher employee retention.


The impact of employee recognition initiatives goes beyond boosting morale – they heighten productivity to a great degree. Apart from instant gratification, they form the foundation of long-term engagement and productivity. Retailers agree that with recognition, productivity increases in multiple aspects, including improved conversions, increased ticket sizes and enhanced customer satisfaction.

At PMJ, retention rates have soared, to the extent that past employees have returned to excel in sales roles. The incentives, monetary and non-monetary, have made the team more cohesive, emphasizing that they are partners in the brand’s success. Shinde explains, “Because of these awards, our team is motivated, and this is also helping in meeting our short-term targets in solitaires and other product lines.”

The retention rate at Arundhati Jewellers also says a lot about the impact of the awards. Meher says, “The brand gained 34% more customers, and retaintion rate rose to 22% since the inception of these awards.”


The foundation of PMJ’s ownership awards lies in a performance-based incentive structure. Store managers and regional managers set annual sales targets known as Annual Operating Plans (AOPs). These targets are the sole criteria for eligibility to receive a share of the profit. This decentralized approach empowers store leaders to take control of their respective stores, understand the local customer demand and make informed decisions to boost sales.

PMJ’s incentive structure is rigorously tied to performance metrics such as conversions, average ticket size, and walk-in traffic. A minimum of 80% achievement of the AOP is required for employees to be eligible for incentives, reinforcing the importance of sales growth. The company’s CRM system provides crucial data for monitoring these retail parameters. Shinde says, “We have given cheques of Rs 8-10 lakh to employees as incentives. Every year, our payout in terms of incentives is anywhere between Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 2 crore per month.”

Porwal says, “It’s all about how extraordinarily they work.” The back-office staff is evaluated on a monthly basis, covering various departments like accounting and tagging. This evaluation process not only helps maintain high standards but also ensures that every team member contributes effectively to the company’s growth.

Along with other awards, we also offer an ownership incentive program which gives a certain part of the annual revenue to the best employees rendering them partners of the firm. This evaluation allows us to acknowledge them and make them a direct part of the profit

Kiran Shinde
PMJ Jewels


Meher believes happy and satisfied employees can work effectively and be associated with the company for a longer time. He says, “In FY 23-24, the company had a Rs 5-crore budget for employee sales/performance incentives, employee engagement, employee welfare, on training and development which is a 30% increase over the previous year’s budget. Just like our employees, we need to go that extra mile for them.” Kalamandir Jewellers too offers high incentives, including significant cash rewards and international trips for exceptional performance. “We have given Rs 8 crore to employees as incentives at our 4th annual HR Awards, and this includes even the housekeeping staff. Along with incentives, we also offer international trips to certain employees who have exceeded our expectations,” says Porwal

Today’s sales team
people can be tomorrow’s managers, regional managers, or heads of some departments. Hence it is important to keep them motivated

Chirag Porwal Partner Kalamandir Jewellers Gujarat


Shinde emphasises that PMJ believes in ‘Your town, your business’ reflecting the company’s trust in its store leaders’ ability to drive results. The more profitable the store becomes, the larger the share of the profit allocated to the managers. This structure encourages cost-effective management and a heightened sense of responsibility, ensuring that every aspect of the business is managed diligently. Kalamandir’s commitment to recognizing employees’ efforts has translated into tangible business growth. Porwal notes, “After we started doing awards, we have seen an increase of 25-30% in sales

Arundhati Jewellers too has a sales incentive structure in place, with both individual and group incentives. Recognizing that achieving individual sales goals positively impacts the overall group budget, there’s a clear understanding of the entire chain.

As the jewellery retail industry continues to evolve, retailers are constantly striving to enhance their employee recognition platforms and make them more standardized and transparent. While PMJ Jewels is working on leveraging its HRMS software to provide employees with real-time updates on their incentives, Kalamandir is working on introducing more categories. “We aim to introduce new categories to recognize the efforts of back-office employees and ensure that every achiever is felicitated,” says Chirag Porwal, commenting on their vision for the awards. Arundhati Jewellers, on the other hand, wants to come up with more innovative ideas to retain employees in this era of rapid attrition. Employee recognition programmes have emerged as a crucial tool for all companies; and some retailers have successfully implemented employee engagement and reward initiatives, turning their employees into partners and offering high incentives to acknowledge their contributions. As the industry continues to evolve, employee recognition holds the promise of driving business outcomes in a big way

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