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10 Ideas to Reward Your Employees

Where would your business be without your employees? Not nearly as successful as it is today, that’s for sure. If you haven’t thanked your staff lately, check out these 10 ideas for ways to reward them for all the hard work.

  1. Help them learn. Employees welcome the chance to enhance their skills. Sign your employees up for industry associations and send them to conferences to keep up to speed with industry developments. Look into classes offered by local economic development departments and community colleges in topics that can help your team. Pay for them to obtain professional certifications.
  2. Give the gift of time. Time off is a great reward. Consider closing your business an hour early, or closing at noon one Friday a month. Reward your team for completing big projects or working extra hours by giving them a comp day, an afternoon off or the chance to come in late the next day.
  3. Feed them. Let’s face it: Everyone loves it when there’s free food in the office. Provide donuts and coffee on Monday mornings. Cater a fancy lunch, or take the team out for lunch on the company.
  4. Surprise them. Small surprise rewards can be extremely effective. When you catch an employee doing something great, give them a small cash bonus or a gift card to one of their favorite stores or restaurants. (Not sure what they like? Just about everyone loves Amazon and Starbucks).
  5. Pamper them. Hire a massage therapist to come in and provide your team with 15-minute massages at their desks. Bring in a manicurist to give free manicures or foot rubs.
  6. Make work fun. Hold contests, birthday celebrations or potluck lunches to help build team bonds. You can even set up after-work events like company cookouts, bowling nights or happy hour meetups.  
  7. Offer flexible work options. Remote work is a great perk that employees universally love. If it suits your business, try letting employees work from home one day a week. If not, try offering flexible schedules, such as letting employees choose a 7-4 or 9-6 shift.
  8. Make a fuss over them. Create an Employee of the Month program and honor the winner with a trophy, prize and perk like a day off or a prime parking spot. Be sure to provide plenty of praise in front of the rest of the team. Highlight employees’ accomplishments in your company’s email newsletter or on your business website.
  9. Celebrate. Throw a party and bring in cake or ice cream for employee birthdays, anniversaries and promotions. Decorate the person’s desk or office so everyone knows who to congratulate.
  10. Consider cold, hard cash. The majority of U.S. workers would choose additional pay over additional vacation time, a poll last year reported. If employees deserve it and you can afford it, a pay raise would most likely be appreciated. Can’t commit to a permanent salary increase? Then offer employees bonuses for meeting goals you set.