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20 Ways to Reward Your Employees

When was the last time someone told you what a great job you were doing? You probably remember exactly who it was, what you were doing, and how wonderful it made you feel. Just a few simple words can have a lasting impression. That’s why it’s imperative that you make time to recognize your employees for a job well done. Your employees are your company's most important assets. They are the face of your company, and positive reinforcement helps create a happy, hard-working atmosphere. Make sure you add a few of these ideas to your Internal Marketing Plan!

1. Lunch with the boss

Take your employees out to lunch! Instead of talking about work, use this time to get to know your employees on a personal level. When you know your employees well, it's easier to motivate them.

2. Themed team lunch

Host a cookout or picnic for your employees on their lunch break. Employees will love the free lunch and the bonding opportunity it provides!

3. Provide company “swag”

Who doesn’t like free merchandise? Providing t-shirts, hats, bags, or other branded merchandise is a great way to promote company pride.

4. Service projects

Get involved in your community! Participating in a service project is a great team-building experience. Let your employees choose the event that you will take part in.

5. Thank you meetings

Call an employee into your office just to say thank you! Thank the employee for a particular job or task that they did exceptionally well on. Make sure that you use this only for thanking the employee and don’t use the meeting to segue into a discussion about the areas that they need to improve. The employee will remember the negative feedback over the positive if the information is presented at the same time.

6. Certificate of achievement

When an employee goes above and beyond and a simple thank you isn’t enough, get them a certificate for a job well done. It is tangible recognition that they can display and be proud of for years to come.

7. Recognition in front of coworkers

Spotlight your star employees by recognizing them in a team meeting, a newsletter, website, or social media.

8. Have a casual day

The casual Friday tradition has stuck around for a reason, let your employees have a day where they can dress more comfortably!

9. Employee parking spot

Having a dedicated parking spot for a star employee is an excellent motivational tool, just make sure it’s close to the building!

10. Give them a hand-written note

Writing a thank you note or recognition letter by hand is so much more meaningful than just writing an email. It adds a personal touch, and the employee will feel flattered that you took the time to write it yourself. 

11. Time off coupons

Time off coupons are an excellent motivator! Give out coupons for 15-30 minutes of time off. Employees can collect them to add up to leaving early one day or coming in late. These are great for on-the-spot rewards or prizes in a contest.

12. Breakfast treats

Show up with your employee’s favorite breakfast treat! It’s a great way to start any day on a positive note.

13. Birthdays and work anniversaries

There are a ton of ways to make your employees feel recognized on their special day. You can throw a small party, pass out cupcakes, or have a team lunch! If you have a lot of employees and feel overwhelmed with the idea of throwing a party for each one, a small monthly party or event might be easier. Make sure you do the same thing for each employee.

14. Points reward system

Develop a points system for a reward program. Employees can receive points for each task that they excel at and after collecting a certain amount, they can trade them in for a prize.

15. Coffee shop meetings

Hold one-on-one meetings at a local coffee shop, it will feel more casual and put the employee at ease. Make sure you pay for the employee’s drink!

16. Employee competitions

Not all contests need to be work related! Fun, friendly competitions such as college football team brackets are a great morale booster.

17. Revolving rewards

Create a trophy or another type of reward that moves from employee to employee.

18. Recognition bulletin board

Recognize a different department each month. Create a bulletin board that highlights their contributions to the organization. Spotlight employees and their accomplishments as well.

19. Team trips

Arrange an off-site event for your employees such as bowling or another activity, this is great for team building!

20. Post-it Praise

​Randomly post a small note on your employee's door, desk, or equipment to let them know that you appreciate their hard work! 

Written by: Stephanie Eckler

CEO & Founder

Stephanie has over 20 years of management and marketing experience, and 12 years of consulting experience. She has received many awards for marketing efforts and has a proven track record of being very successful. Stephanie has experience working with small and large companies. She has held many marketing titles and has worked in the corporate world. She continues to take marketing classes and keep up with marketing trends so that she can share the knowledge with her clients.

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