The Great Resignation is upon us and employee retention has become an important topic for businesses, for good reason. Now more than ever, it’s essential to focus on looking after your workforce and keeping them happy.
Rewarding employees when they go above and beyond for your company is the best way to promote employee engagement and keep people motivated. You want to show those who do well that they are seen, heard, and appreciated. You also want to show everyone in the business that they’ll be rewarded for hard work.
Here are some great ways to do this in 2022:
1. Personalize The Gift
Personalization is a big deal in the 2020s. We expect it from everywhere, including the display ads we’re served up on Facebook and any other website we visit. If you want to show an employee that you appreciate their great work, then get them something personal. A leather diary with their name embossed on it, gift cards for their favorite store, or a laptop bag that suits their style are just a few ideas.
2. Create A Dedicated Day For Employee Appreciation
It’s important to prioritize employee appreciation, and scheduling a special day into your calendar is a good way to ensure that you do so. It’s also fun for employees because they know that this day will include rewards, announcements, and treats for them. It gives everyone a day to look forward to that’s all about them. If you host a day in the office, just be sure to enlist the help of a cleaning service so that your employees don't end up having to work in other ways.
3. Don’t Forget Their Anniversaries
As with any relationship that you want to last, remembering the anniversaries of the big events is a big deal. Start with the employees’ birthdays and the days they started working for the company. You can also go the extra mile and celebrate the other big milestones in their lives—their wedding anniversaries, kids’ birthdays or even their pets’ birthdays. You can celebrate by sending them an email, a handwritten card signed by everyone, or in person, during a team meeting.
4. Invest In Interesting Company Swag
Company swag is a great way to show off your brand and can make a lovely gift for employees too. However, this is only true if the merchandise is good quality and something that people want to wear or use in public. If you’re going to design a T-shirt, sweater, tote or cap with your branding on it, get a design that people in the business will like. Make the company swag something that your employees will be excited about receiving as a reward.
5. Take Professional Photos
Great, professional pictures are so important in the digital age, especially if you want to show off your team members on your company website or social media. Instead of asking the employees that you want to reward to provide a photograph, take the pressure off and organize a photoshoot. This isn’t something that most people will do on their own and it's often loads of fun when done in a work environment too.
6. Institute Lunches With Company Leaders
This works really well for employees who are hoping to climb the corporate ladder. As motivation to do well, you can offer them individual sit-downs with leaders in the company as a way to mentor them. Every week or month, they can learn valuable insights into how to keep going on their career trajectory, and the company leaders can get to know those who are excelling in the business. It could be a serious win-win for everyone involved.
7. Get Active With Outings
Team building so often elicits a groan from employees. It won’t if you plan active outings that people really want to go on. When you do this, team-building outings become excellent employee incentives for good performance.
On the topic of thinking about everyone in your office, you should consider personality types when focusing on rewards for great work. Introverts and extroverts behave very differently and often like to get different presents or rewards. Introverts might prefer a quiet space to get work done or may want to work from home. In contrast, an extrovert will thrive in a busy office with a shared workspace. Think about how you can provide this with the rewards you offer to motivate your employees.
9. Support The Causes Employees Care About
Rewarding employees doesn’t have to be about giving them something. Showing you care about what they care about can have a major impact on how employees feel in the workplace. Consider making a donation to their chosen charity on their behalf, or organize a day out to the charity to offer help alongside your employee. You can include these details in your company newsletter to highlight your commitment to the causes they care about.
10. Have Events In Their Honor
When an employee really goes to the limit with their work, only something truly special will show just how much you appreciate them. You can host an event in honor of the employee or team that did more than was expected.
Again, remember to personalize the event—a family picnic appeals to some more than happy hour at a bar. Just make sure that the event suits the person or people you’re honoring and is suitable for everyone to attend.
11. Give Them The Power To Make Decisions
Empowering an employee with more responsibility is a great reward. This doesn’t mean giving them a promotion, it just means that you recognize your employee's contribution and give them a bit more control and authority in their work lives. You’re showing that you now trust the employee to run with projects and to help contribute to the growth and development of the company.
This will make them feel good and like they’re part of the solution; not simply a drone or a cog in the machine. It’s all about encouraging the natural leaders within your business to shine and take their places at the top.
12. Provide Options For Continuous Education
Opportunities to learn new tech skills or having the time for additional training is not always easy to come by. When you offer a course as a reward, employees will know that you care about their abilities. You’re also providing them with the space they need to do the course and take on what they’re learning, rather than them having to fit it in around their work.
Rewarding employees who go the extra mile is a great retention strategy. Plus, it helps to build a happy and productive workforce and an excellent company culture.
Use these 12 tips to reward your employees and you’ll ensure that they feel recognized and respected.
Albert Smith is digital marketing manager at Hidden Brains, a leading mobile & web application development company specializing in mobile & web applications. He provides innovative ways to help tech companies, startups and large enterprises build their brand.