How to reward employees
to inspire growth and loyalty.
Everyone likes to be appreciated.
But have you ever wondered how to reward employees in a way that will not only give them well-deserved recognition, but drive profit to your bottom line?
If there is one thing I’ve learned in my 30-plus years as an employee, a manager, a director, and an executive, it’s that there is tremendous power in praise and recognition when it comes to motivating employees. After all, a
is a happy employee. And a happy employee is an employee who will do his or her best at whatever job or task is assigned.
How to Reward Employees Tip #1: When to recognize.
There are a few rules as to how to reward and recognizing employees. One of the first and most important is to develop a consistent program. This sends a message to your employees that you value them and are aware when they do a good job.
Secondly, you need to make sure your reward and recognition system is available to all employees, not just a select few. Any program that smacks of favoritism will not be taken seriously by your employees.
Third, make sure the recognition or reward occurs as closely to the time of the occurrence as possible. This will more effectively reinforce the behavior that you want to encourage.
Lastly, make sure the performance you’re rewarding is worthy of recognition. Establish a list of criteria that is open and available for viewing, and make it an absolute to reward for real behaviors that reinforce your company’s mission, goals, or vision.
How to Reward Employees Tip #2:
We’re all human. And as part of the human race, most of like to be rewarded in front of our peers. There are a few extremely shy people for whom this rule doesn’t apply, but for the majority of us, the more people around when we are applauded, the better. A quick and easy way to do this is to send out a company-wide email recognizing the employee for a job well done. Another way is to establish an “awards ceremony” that occurs during your company meeting. This does a couple of things: 1) It gives credit where credit is due, and 2) It motivates other employees to do a good job in hopes of being publicly recognized.
How to Reward Employees Tip #3: Reward company-wide.
Although it is important to give individual recognition, it is also important to establish a reward system that motivates all your employees. This type of rewarding done consistently, helps establish a warm, positive work environment that helps keep morale – and productivity – high.
For example, when I was an executive creative director, one of the small ways I rewarded my hard-working creative department was to bring donuts in on Friday. Now this may seem like a small thing, but I can tell you it was much appreciated! The point is, it doesn’t have to be a big, elaborate event to get the point across, but it does need to be consistent.
If you're stuck for an idea...when in doubt, give chocolate! Just click on the graphic below to go to the Chocolate.com website. I can personally state for a fact that nothing says "Thank you!" like chocolate!
How to Reward Employees Tip #4: Be creative.
Think of fun ways to reward your employees! Don’t be afraid that being playful will encourage employees to goof off. Just the opposite is true! A work environment that remains fun and high energy is much more productive. Morale is higher, employees are happier, more gets done. One of the things I used to do was to take my department to a local track to race go-carts. Another was to take my department on a yearly retreat where we could relax and have fun, but also work on next year’s goals. Another still was to have a masseuse come in to give 10-minute neck massages. The possibilities are limitless if you use your imagination. A resource I have always found indispensable is the book 1001 Ways to Reward Employees
by Bob Nelson. It gives you a lot of ideas on how to reward employees, low-cost, no-cost, and much more.
One note before I go, you really should never underestimate the power of food! In fact, we can rewrite the old adage to read "The way to an employee's heart is through his/her stomach!" Whether it's cookies, chocolate, a meal out, etc., food is a great way to say thanks. One of the more creative ways I like to say thanks is to send them a gift basket. I can combine food with small gift items to really give a one-two punch. One of the better sites I have found is 1-800baskets.com. If you'd like to check them out, just click on the banner below.
Give yourself a pat on the back.
Realizing that employees need more than just a paycheck to stay happy and productive is the first step toward making your company more profitable. Establishing a consistent rewards and recognition program is a win-win situation for both your employees and your company.
Personal Productivity Tools
Learn how to do more and be more in both your professional and personal life with these helpful tips.
Why is employee motivation important?
Click here to learn the answer to this question, and to read some great ways to motivate and inspire your workforce.
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