How to Reward Your Employees for Hard Work

Posted 2 years ago in BUSINESS.

Here are the best ways to show your appreciation to your employees and create a positive working environment at the office.

How to Reward Your Employees for Hard Work

You may have heard of Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments CEO who did an unorthodox grand gesture for his employees in 2015. Namely, he raised employees' salaries by decreasing his own to reward them for their dedication and hard work. In turn, his staff was able to pay off debts and buy their first homes, while the company tripled its revenue and doubled its customers.

The truth is, you don't have to copy the actions of Mr Price, just his intentions — to let your employees know they’re valuable assets to the company. Here are the best ways to show your appreciation to your employees and create a positive working environment at the office.


  • Introduce Employee of the Month


An employee of the Month award is a motivational incentive that will show those who achieved great results that you and the whole company know about it. To make things fairer, choose an employee of the month for each department, even the maintenance, and janitorial staff. 

You can go a step further and celebrate Collaboration of the Month for teamwork and projects that include more people. Also, introducing peer-to-peer recognition on monthly basis can have a positive impact on the company since it means a lot for an employee to be valued by their colleague. 


  • Celebrate important dates


Birthdays and job anniversaries fall under a different category and this one is reserved for being even more involved in your employees' personal life. For example, you can keep track of their kids' birthdays or organize Christmas parties for their families with presents and Santa. You can add some humor and mark the start and the end of retrograde Mercury or decorate the office for Halloween.   


  • Ask for suggestions on how to be better


Employees want to be included in decisions, changes, and ideas, so allow them to do so. You can place a box for anonymous suggestions on what to change and improve. To suggest new projects, set one day in the month when they can pitch their ideas and hold presentations.

Although managers and other higher-ups have their share of work, see if you can squeeze in time to hear them out one-on-one. Even if you have to reject their proposal, always commend them on their efforts and enthusiasm, and invite them to continue with suggestions.


  • Have after-work drinks with them


At work, you are their boss, but in the pub, you can still be their boss and get to know them better personally. There is always that divide in the company where bosses keep their distance from the employees and vice versa. So, go have a drink with them after work and talk to them about mundane things, play darts, and have a laugh. This can boost morale, build loyalty, increase productivity, as well as create a positive workspace. 


  • Provide necessities in the kitchen


Nowadays, companies like to point out that they offer foods and beverages for their employees. Depending on your finances, the least you can do is invest in a coffee maker and a fridge so employees can store their lunch there. Stock your kitchen with a kettle and varieties of teas, water dispensers, milk, and other necessities.  

However, you can set aside a budget that will cover more than this. For example, have fruits catered to the office every Tuesday or arrange for food trucks to come to the front of the building. Even keeping cereals for breakfast is a nice way to show you care if they had eaten before starting to work.


  • Organize activities for the whole company


Team building activities are a great way for employees to meet each other and you out of the office. This can be anything, from cruising the local river to going away for the weekend — lots of options that can be inclusive and fun. Always take into consideration that not everyone is good at sports, comfortable in their own body, or has money for additional costs. For example, book a whole theatre for the premiere of the newest movie that is yet to be shown to the general public. 


  • Support their activities and causes


Some employees may have personal activities that are successful, like being writers or painters. In that case, inform everyone about the promotion and publish their achievements on the company's website and social media accounts. If they participate in humanitarian work, ask how you can help and contribute to these efforts. 

While many companies participate in humanitarian efforts on their own, there may be some issues you are unaware of. Moreover, give your employees paid days off for volunteer work and join them by collecting clothes, food, and other necessities and organizing a transport to the location.


  • Congratulate them on important events


There are two dates you should always remember: 

  • Employee’s birthday, and
  • Employees’ work anniversary.

Forget organizing personalized gifts to avoid envy among the staff about whose present is better or more expensive. Instead, get them gourmet gift hampers with, for example, fruits, vegetables, a bottle of wine, flowers, sweets, olives, nuts, and a bunch of balloons. However, don’t give them the same type of gift for anniversary and birthday, because that’s just lazy. A live plant, a cup with a funny message, or a tee-shirt may be perfect gifts for an anniversary followed by a light party in the break room.


  • Respect their free time


Once your employee's shift is over, they are on private time and you should respect that. No after-work calls, assignments, or any other engagements they didn't agree to when hired. Sometimes, an emergency may come up and they will have to put in long hours, but other than that, let them have their time off. One of the most annoying habits that can create a negative work environment is taking away from them their free time. 


  • Prepare a wellness program


Wellness is not only trendy today but also recognized as an important factor in everyone's life to control stress. As a company, you can make arrangements with a spa center or resort for discounts on their packages for your employees. At the very least, you can have a masseur, yoga trainer, therapist, and meditation guide in the office. Creating a green area, like a Zen garden, you will provide a spot where employees can come to unwind and lose anxiety. 


  • Praise them publicly


Everyone should know when an employee did something great. To commend their good work, praise them publicly at meetings, in an internal newsletter, and other means to give them recognition. Other employees will see this as inspiration to be more productive and dedicated. Public praise is also a way to show the collective that it's not invisible, that you know they are all there, and work to improve your company. 


  • Give a warm welcome to new employee


It’s hard being a new kid on the block. To help the new employee feel comfortable and less anxious on their first day, invite them to your office before they go to their workplace. Appoint a colleague from their future department to show them around and meet them with others. 

Instead of putting them on public display, all new employees are welcome via internal newsletter and social media. As a kind gesture, leave a small gift on their desks and a handwritten personal note. 


  • Show off your employees on your website and social media


Being proud of your employees is something a lot of companies like to express publicly. You can do this on your website, but social media is even better since more people come there and other employees can share it. 

Write something nice and funny, that will show how much you care and appreciate they are part of your team. While this is an excellent way to show appreciation, it’s also a great display of how you treat your employees, something that will make you a popular place for job seekers.


  • Support their continuing education


Getting a job shouldn’t be the end of education. Organize professional courses where employees can learn new skills and languages. Send them to conferences to see what’s new in their field of work and even encourage them to go back to college for additional degrees. Set aside a budget for continuing education to cover all or part of the costs so every employee, regardless of their financial status, can improve their skills.


  • Help out with commute


Commuting to work is not necessarily cheap and you covering a portion of it can be helpful. For example, you can pay parking spaces for those who come by car, or cover expenses for train or bus fares. Even better, you can organize group transportation in those areas where lots of employees live relatively close to each other. For those who live close by, to promote healthy living, you can buy your employees bicycles or good walking shoes so they can go on foot.

The bottom line

Everyone likes to know that they have value in this world, and the same applies when you are a boss. There are many more ways to show appreciation to your employees out there, but these are a good start toward building a healthy working environment at the office.

Tags: work, employees,

Nina Simons

Living in Australia