Everyone wants recognition; whether its on the job, at home, or on the sports field. *Research over the past few years shows managers or bosses that provide recognition to their employees or teams can increase shareholder return 63% because these employees are more engaged on the job. But first, you have to know what motivates your employees. We recommend simply asking them how they would like to be rewarded and what it would take to keep them with the organization for the long term.
Try some of these ideas to recognize and reward your employees so everyone is happy. Including you.
- Alternative Rewards. If your organization has had big budget in the past, due to the economy you may have had to scale back. Don’t cut your programs altogether but find alternative ways such as gift cards to favorite coffee shops or restaurants. Even a simple phone call of appreciation from the executive of the department or the president of the company can be a boost to employee morale.
- Casual or Fun Fridays. This could be for the whole organization or a department that happened to beat their numbers for the month or quarter. You could be like Zappos and implement a little fun and weirdness on a specific Friday. Let your employees come up with the ideas and execute.
- Extra Development Opportunities. You may not have a large budget, but your employees still want to learn and grow. You could sponsor a series of “lunch and learns” either by department or function or for the whole company. There are lots of great speakers in your communities back yard if you just start asking around for recommendations. Your local Chamber of Commerce is a good place to start.
- Food. Yes, food. Bring in healthy snacks for people to access during the day for an energy boost on certain days or holidays. Let your employees pull together a monthly, quarterly, or holiday pot-luck. These types of rewards get people out of their office or cubical and interacting with one another.
- Lunch with the Executive Team. Some companies have bi-monthly newsletters where they share a profile of one employee. That person gets to have lunch with the executive team. The employee chooses the restaurant. This gives the executive team an opportunity to get to know the employee and hear their impressions about the organization. The employee also gets to discuss things they like to do, share about their family, etc.
- Philanthropy. Several of our clients have a culture of giving back to non-profits. One of our clients provides employees two full days of paid leave for the employee to volunteer at the non-profit of their choice.
- Peer to Peer. Allow any employee the freedom to give a “shout out” to another employee that went above and beyond what was expected. This could be done in a newsletter, on the company intranet or even via social media.
- Cash. Everyone likes cash. This could be given in the form of a special bonus or to a team for coming under time and budget. A fun way to pull this one off is to decide on a specific amount of money you want to give to each team member. Put the cash into individual envelopes. Take your team to one of the upscale malls in your area and pass out the envelopes. Tell them how much cash they have received and they have one hour to spend it on themselves. The one caveat is they have to spend the entire amount. If any money is left over at the end of the hour, they give what’s left back to you. Now that’s an incentive to spend it all!
- Time Off. This would be extra time off in addition to their regular two to four weeks or whatever they currently get.
- Shrink Big Parties. If your organization has put together large holiday parties in the past, you can still provide the party. Just scale it back.
These are just ten ways to show some love and recognition to your employees. If you search the internet you can find so many more, these are just the tip of the iceberg. You already know the bottom line is that your employees want to be recognized for a job well done.