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13 Alternative Ways to Reward and Recognize Your Employees

Posted on June 11, 2014

There are many benefits to recognizing your employees beyond just a paycheck. It shows that you appreciate them for their efforts and gives them motivation to maintain and exceed their current performance goals.

As a manager, you should be giving just as much dedication to managing as your team does in their day to day. Nobody likes an aloof grump in the corner office.

Here are some great (and simple) ways to recognize and reward your team:

1. The Power of “Thank You.” Often over-looked but always appreciated: saying thank you is one of the most effective ways to show your employees that they are valued. Bonus! It will cost you approximately nothing.

2. Saying Thank You in Public. At the beginning of a weekly staff meeting, feel free to recognize an employee or employees that went above and beyond normal efforts. This shows everyone what good work looks like.

3. Make an Example Out of Them. When giving assignments provide examples of past successful projects and recognize your employee’s great work. This is an inspiration to your team and shows everyone that great effort is appreciated and remembered.

4. Create a Wall of Fame. Post awesome contributions and ideas to a wall with the employee(s) responsible attributed.

5. Gift Them Something Small. If you know your employee is a Starbucks addict give them a gift card when recognition is in order. You don’t have to break the bank when showing employees your appreciation.

6. Vacation Days. Who doesn’t like extra vacation days? If you feel a team member has really been putting in their hours lately, why not reward them with an extra day or two off this year. It’s great incentive to keep up the job well done.

7. Encourage Lunch Breaks and Breaks in General. Many of us are guilty of sitting at our desk through lunch. Encourage your employees to take breaks to refresh. Maybe even have a monthly or bi-monthly lunch on the company.

8. Create Special Opportunities. Whether this is sending them off to a business conference or providing them with further learning or educational opportunities—this is a great way to show your employees that they are valued by the organization.

9. A Personal Note. Nothing says “I put thought into this” like writing a personal thank you note. Keeping it simple like this can mean a lot to your team.

10. Shout out in the company newsletter. Most larger organizations have a weekly or monthly newsletter with company updates. Use this to recognize your top performing employees in a special section. If you don’t have a newsletter you can always utilize an office-wide email.

11. Casual Fridays. After a long week at work casual Fridays can be a great pick-me-up for hardworking employees. This doesn’t necessarily have to be on Fridays either; it can be for special holidays like Employee Appreciation Day (March 1st.)

12. Hold Office Awards. As cheesy as it sounds, holding awards at the office can increase employee morale as well as recognize everyone for achievements they have made throughout the year.

13. Provide Growth Opportunities. Do you see team members that can be successful at your organization long term? Tell them that—and better yet mentor them along the way.

There’s no better time to start recognizing your employees than the present. Little efforts like this can truly benefit your organization and increase employee engagement.

Surveys conducted by Sirota Consulting have revealed that only 51% of workers were satisfied with the recognition they received after a job well done. We think these numbers can go way up.


What’s your favorite way to recognize employees? Tweet to us @_Vocoli
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