Your business needs happy, healthy employees who enjoy their work. They are your greatest business asset while for the individual their greatest asset is their health and mental wellbeing. A person who feels appreciated will ALWAYS do more than expected.
Rewarding your staff is a sure way to improve employee motivation, create an appreciative working culture and an atmosphere which improves both company productivity and employee wellbeing.
Our current Prime Minister is pledging to offer businesses a Tax Relief for companies which have wellbeing initiatives. Already, there are the beginnings of a cultural shift in organisations where leaders are understanding the need to implement wellbeing initiatives.
Let’s consider some well-supported strategies for providing meaningful reward with positive benefits for mental welling as told by Craig Bulow from Corporate Away Days.
A founder’s wall
Instead of a wall of fame for employee photos, create a wall that not only recognises employees with a photo but with a short description and timeline of how they have contributed to where the company is today. Make sure you can add to their accomplishments as they keep succeeding.
Providing flexible hours and flexible working
Let your teamwork when and where they want. The flexibility can be worth a lot more than cash. Maybe they won’t need daycare services for their child, for example, if they can make their own schedule. Perhaps reducing the commute into the office can pay for better productivity, for example, time not spent travelling and less stress on the employee.
Extra time off
A few extra days off at either Christmas or New Year to enable them to extend their holidays. Or give them their birthday off or a duvet-day – these are effective ways to reward your best employees. The gift of time, which can be spent with family, or enjoying a mini-break without encroaching on annual leave is a welcome gesture to most people. As the employer is most likely taking a bit of time off, it’s nice to let some employees have the same luxury.
The trophy with added extras
Fun, laughter and recognition. Get a big trophy and give it to the employee you are recognising for the week. At the end of the week, they must return the trophy – but they need to add one thing to it. (You would be shocked how many things can stick to a trophy.) Then next week give it to the next winner. At the end of the year, you’ll have a trophy with 52 things stuck to it. It looks hysterical and has lots of memories. Retire the trophy and display it. Start a new trophy and do it every year.
Arrange corporate away days
A corporate away day for individuals across the workplace, from different departments, instils trust, improves connections and communication, and brings individuals together. Mixing different departments is great, or you can reward a specific team if you prefer.
If the away day is exciting, engaging, inspiring and fun the collective experience and memories created will create a new buzz in the office which will spread.
Other employees will want to meet their work targets to be included in the next one. Videos and pictures from the day, shown in the office, create great discussions other than ‘work in progress’.
Write a thank-you note
Saying thanks for something specific may be the ultimate reward. If you do it selectively yet authentically, not on an email, a thank you note may be pinned above your employee’s desk for years. They won’t forget it and will tell others, creating a rewarding and appreciative working culture that pushes others to receive a personal note.
Hold an office party
When celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another, an office party can be an effective reward option. Office parties are great because they give people the opportunity to feel valued and let their hair down; two good consequences of the gesture. It might cost a little bit more money than the handwritten note, but your employees will thank you for it.
Take time to appreciate personal wins
Don’t just appreciate employees for what they do for you – appreciate them beyond their work as well. If they’ve achieved a milestone in their lives outside the office, celebrate with them in the office. Decorate their cubicle with balloons and cards when they achieve a personal win, like completing a marathon, winning a tournament, losing weight (if they’ve been public with their diet), having a baby, buying a new home or graduating from a class.
Financial rewards such as bonuses can be given to reward, for example, a sustained period of excellent work. However, it’s important to remember that money is the number one satisfier, but appreciation is the number one motivator.
Giving bonuses is one of the simplest rewards to manage as it can be easily monitored and given to multiple employees in privacy. However, there is a downside; the reward is usually short-lived. Once negotiated and is expected/received, in the mind of the employee it becomes already spent and loses the reward value.
However, the types of rewards we have discussed here help you make your team members feel truly appreciated. When we feel appreciated, we feel better, and our mental health is generally improved. This makes for happier more productive employees and a genuine win-win.