Low-Cost Ways to Reward Employees
- Publicly recognize extra effort by implementing a rotating award (a trophy, for example) given weekly. Then allow each successive winner to adorn the trophy in her own way. This serves to prolong the benefit of winning the award, as each addition "marks" that week's winner. Posting a sticky note on the door or other public viewing place thanking an employee for a great job, or extra effort, allows her peers to compliment her as well. Using part of a company meeting to praise an employee, creating a wall of fame or assigning a reserved parking spot are other ways to publicly acknowledge great work.
- Privately rewarding outstanding employees can make a strong impact on your employees. This type of recognition can be particularly impactful when it is given spontaneously. For example, calling an employee into the president's or owner's office to acknowledge his effort on a recent project will make a strong statement. Taking an employee out to lunch with senior management is another way to quietly, and relatively inexpensively, reward staff. Providing employees with hobby- or family-related small tokens is also appreciated. For example, purchasing a small gift for the child of an employee after completing an important project will not be forgotten.
Gift of Time
- Providing employees with an afternoon, or full day if appropriate, of paid time off after completing a large project will almost certainly be appreciated. This can also take the form of simply rewarding an employee by spontaneously letting her know she can leave early on a Friday to get their weekend started. Employees will find this to be a nice surprise. Also, you can reward employees, and confirm your belief that their opinion is valued, by allow them to share an innovative idea at the next company meeting. Spending time at company picnics and other sponsored functions is also a way to say thanks.
- Making food available to employees as a result of their efforts is a surefire means of rewarding them. Providing lunch for the office, with the theme chosen by the honoree if appropriate, is an option. Food rewards can also take the form of homemade desserts or cookies given to a targeted person or group of people in recognition of a good job. A large bowl of candy, for example, will almost certainly grab the attention of the office, who will then want to know what the person did to earn such a reward. This allows the chosen individual to share their outstanding work with others in the office.