By Mark Ackerman

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Do you ever have that sinking feeling that your boss isn’t seeing your contribution at work? If so, Raphael Crawford-Marks of Boulder County knows what you are going through.

“My co-founder and I had been in jobs as individual contributors where we felt like our contributions were totally missed,” he said.

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Raphael Crawford-Marks with Bonusly (credit: CBS)

“Then as managers, we were the sole people who were empowered to give recognition. We didn’t want it to be that way.”

So, Crawford-Marks set out to improve morale in the modern workplace with his company, Bonusly.

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(credit: CBS)

Here’s how it works: every employee is given a monthly allowance of “Bonusly points” which at any given time the employee can turn around and give to a co-worker for a job well done.

The points actually have value. Once employees collect enough, the points can be redeemed for gift cards or donated to charity.

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(credit: CBS)

Major employers like Oracle, Zip Recruiter, and Chobani are now using Bonusly.

So is the tech company Levels Beyond in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood.

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(credit: CBS)

“We make sure people know that they are appreciated,” said lead engineer Colleen Smith. “Every single person in the company has the ability to tell people they’ve done a good job.”

Smith’s co-worker Matthew Lane said receiving Bonusly points can make his day.

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Matthew Lane (credit: CBS)

“It’s great,” he said. “My phone will vibrate and I look and see that apparently I did something worthy of recognition.”

Lane said Bonusly has “taken on a life of its own” becoming a workplace currency where points can be handed out for grabbing lunch, an apology or even for telling a funny joke.

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(credit: CBS)

But, through Bonusly analytic tools, the peer-to-peer recognition also provides insight for the boss.

“I have nearly 30 people on my team,” said Levels Beyond manager Lucas Whitman. “I don’t necessarily get to see what they are doing every day.”

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Levels Beyond manager Lucas Whitman (credit: CBS)

The stream of bonuses are made public so everyone can see which employees are being recognized and why.

“It makes it a lot easier to see those moments,” said Whitman.

According to Bonusly’s founder, when employees feel like their work is recognized, that’s good for business.

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(credit: CBS)

“When people are recognized they are much less likely to quit,” said Crawford-Marks. “But, recognition also has a cascade effects for the company and can impact the bottom line.”

The payouts aren’t always very big. Ten Bonusly points equals $1. But most importantly to employees like Colleen Smith, it shows they are appreciated.

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(credit: CBS)

“I feel just as committed to work because I love that I do,” she said. “But, I feel more committed to ensuring people know that they are appreciated.”

Mark Ackerman is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. Follow him on Twitter @ackermanmark

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