Who doesn’t love to be on the receiving end of appreciation for a job well-done? And in the workplace, it’s especially gratifying to see your hard work recognized. Even with companies keeping a sharp eye on the bottom line, reward programs can be effective. Meaningful doesn’t have to equal extravagant. Don’t get me wrong – a nice Hawaiian vacation could be extremely motivating! But if your budget doesn’t quite accommodate such largesse, consider these no- and low-cost employee recognition ideas:
- A hand-written note from a supervisor, with specific, relevant details about the employee’s outstanding contribution
- A hand-written note about them sent to their family
- On-the-spot verbal praise, within hearing of co-workers
- A designated parking spot for the employee of the month
- Leave early on a day of their choice
- Allow them to work from home one day of their choice
- Have each employee contribute a lovely comment about the person on a sticky note, collect and stick them all over the person’s desk as a surprise
- An article in the company newsletter
- Lunch with the boss
- Lunch with the boss – and a key client
- Invitation to sit on a panel discussion
- Opportunity to mentor another employee
- Crazy trophy that gets passed around from person to person
- Name the break or conference room after them for a year
- Start an employee bulletin board where you rotate who is featured. Have individual bring in family photos or favorite places. Have others post nice notes about person.
Even better, rather than guess what would motivate another, ASK your staff or co-workers to fill out a short form with questions such as:
- If you weren’t being practical (cheap!), what would you order from Starbucks?
- What is your favorite fast food menu item?
- If you could only eat one type of candy the rest of your life, what would it be?
- Favorite musical groups?
- Best local restaurant of choice?
This will allow you to customize the gift and make it even more rewarding.
If you have a budget for employee recognition, consider offering:
16. Gift cards ranging from $5 – $10 for things like coffee, car washes or movies, handed out by supervisors on the spot for a job well-done
17. Tickets to movie theater, sporting event or even the lottery
18. Mobile car washing service visit
20. Lunch – for an individual or department
21. A department- or company-wide pizza party
22. Round of golf
23. Spa day – or bring in a masseuse to the office for neck rubs
24. Magazine subscription
25. Helium balloon bouquet
26. Groupon they would enjoy
28. Buy extra Girl Scout cookies from their child
30. Bottle of wine/six pack of choice
31. Brand new desk chair or office item
32. Pay for a fun class like cooking or sailing.
Most importantly, your company can show that an employee is valued by entrusting them with more challenging work. I didn’t say more work, but more challenging work, which recognizes that they’re an integral part of the company.
Now go reward!
What are some of the ways your company singles out employees for their efforts?