8 Reasons to Reward Employees and Ideas on How to Reward Them


Incentives will retain more quality employees than penalties. Old systems of employee retention would include penalty points for things like tardiness or poor work performance.

Ultimately, though, penalties do not result in productive workers. They result in anxious workers, those who work to keep their job rather than to advance their careers.

When you reward employees, you create a positive work culture and environment where people want to come to work, contribute, and build the company with you. You create a team and sometimes even a family.

But how do you create this positive work culture? Do you just reward employees at random? By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll have some great ways so to incentivize your employees and methods for how to do this.

1. Celebrate Milestones

When your employees pass a milestone, recognize them. Celebrating births, weddings, retirements, and milestone birthdays will create a positive company culture. Decorate the break room and bring in food and a cake for that person.

Then give your employees some time to mingle for an hour or so. You’ll see productivity increase with their positive attitudes.

Decide where you want to spend your money on such celebrations. Do you want it on the cake? The food? The decorations? The small gift of recognition?

Think about what would boost the employee response the most, and then go with that idea.

When you take time to celebrate milestones, you build a positive company culture and create a place where people want to be. If you have a negative culture, people won’t come to any type of celebrations outside of work. They’ll look at company picnics and parties as one more obligation to be with the people they work with.

2. Handwritten Note

Take time to write a handwritten note. Doing so costs you nothing but time. However, the employee receiving the note will recognize the time and effort you took to pen a few kind words.

In the note, acknowledge the individual. Make a personal comment about their work, and be specific. Do not use general comments, but truly think about what you’re going to say before you write it.

3. Early Out With Fun

It’s always nice to have a little extra time off. But you can take the time off even better by planning a company barbecue for your employees. Let them off at noon on a Friday, and have the grill cooking burgers and brats just outside the office.

Set up a picnic area for them either in your parking lot or at a local park. Then invite employees to have lunch and kick off their weekend with lunch with the bosses that are cooking for them. They can spend time unwinding with colleagues over some cold drinks.

This is a simple, cost-effective gesture that rewards employees and makes them feel valued.

4. Bonuses and Gifts

Financial incentives are always a great reward. Time your financial incentives with when you think employees will need the money the most. Right before or after Christmas is usually ideal as that’s when expenses are the most.

Look into valuable collectibles as well such as coins at places like customchallengecoins.net. Little valuable trinkets such as these can gain value over time.

5. Field Trips

Instead of making your employees work on their final day of the year, take them on a field trip. Take them somewhere that they’ve never seen before and would enjoy as a group such as a distillery or a rock-climbing wall.

Think about your group and the things they enjoy. Then plan the field trip accordingly. Maybe they’d like a day at the beach or a hike at a local state park.

Perhaps you have a less adventurous group but more academic that would enjoy a tour of bigger monuments nearby. Whatever the case, include comfortable travel accommodations and good food and drinks. Remember your final goal of building a positive work culture and community.

Putting the field trip at the end of the year will boost the possibility of a positive kickoff for the start of a new year.

6. Time Off

Give your employees extra days off around the holidays. These are already stressful times. Families are preparing to gather, and many are getting ready to travel.

When you work right up until the moment the holiday happens, your work suffers. Give your employees time off both before and after the holiday. You’ll see their productivity go up and their stress go down.

Best of all, you’ll show them that you value them.

7. Event Tickets

Many times businesses can score special seats at sporting or musical events. They use them to woo clients that come into town. Imagine what would happen, though, if you used those tickets to reward your employees instead of attracting clients?

Tickets don’t have to be expensive, and they will show your employees how much you care about them.

8. Cover Commuting Costs

Commuting is an expensive venture these days. If your employees pay for their public transportation or parking, offer them a month of free parking or a bus pass. You could also purchase gas cards and use them as incentives for your employees.

Setting Up an Incentive Program

You can motivate your employees with reward systems that have these types of rewards. But how do you set up an employee reward policy?

Begin with the employees themselves. Start by surveying them to see what they’d like to see for rewards and what tasks they believe are worth the reward. Then begin to work with your human resource staff to build an effective program.

Reward Employees Today

Regardless of how you do it, begin to reward employees today. If you want to retain good workers, you’ll first make them feel like they’re a part of the company and not just an employee at the company. You’ll call them team members and not workers or employees.

You’ll also recognize them as human beings by recognizing the milestones in their lives. Then you’ll set up an effective reward system, and you’ll see your company grow.

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