It’s every employer’s dream, right? To have happy, positive, and productive employees. In 2013, a study conducted by Make Their Day (a company that analyzes employee motivation) revealed that recognition does not come in any dollar amount, but through a more unique reward system. To summarize, 90% of the 1,200 employees surveyed stated that having a fun work environment was a huge motivator. And a whopping 83% stated that recognition was far better than receiving any monetary gifts.
So it seems like it is all about the warm and fuzzies. And if you think it is, too, then check out some of the best (and most unique) ways to reward your employees and keep them motivated.
1. Themed Team Lunches
Breaks throughout the workday is a proven way to keep productivity up. For a job well done, try hosting something like a midday barbecue, or potluck. You can even do what we did: have a company lunch midweek where we wore shirts with our favorite superheroes.
Sidebar: Having breakfast brought in is also a fun (and equally effective) alternative.
2. Emphasize Health
Sometimes you may hear employees say they don’t have enough time to work out or exercise. But if employees are performing above and beyond, think of offering exercise options throughout the week such as a yoga or pilates session. Add in some fun with a Fitbit or Apple Watch competition to see who can max out their activity goals.
3. Prime Parking
This is especially important for commuters. Offer an awesome employee a parking spot for a week or a month. This will relieve stress for the incredible worker-bee and make it that much easier for them to get to the office on time.
4. A Day Off
Pretty simple: if the shoe fits, give the employee an extra vacation day as a thank you.
Sidebar: If not an entire day off, try a work from home day as an alternative. This will convey to the employee that you trust them – this is a huge bonus for your working relationship.
5. Flowers, Flowers, Flowers
In comparison to items like candles or fruit baskets, a study showed that receiving flowers creates an uplift in mood. Aka – blooms make people happy. And they smell nice. And look nice, too.
6. Subscription to a Magazine
Provide an employee with an annual subscription to their favorite magazine. Subscriptions typically fall by the wayside since people often forget to renew. This shows that you’re interested in investing in their interests, not just interests that benefit the company. It’s about supporting the whole person.
7. Food Trucks
This option is great for teams that are hitting their goals. Bring in a food truck (or multiple trucks) to break up the day and provide a fun lunch – street tacos, ice cream, lobster rolls – that many employees would not typically get.
8. Happy Birthdays
Make it a habit to remember employees’ birthdays. It is just the thing to make their birthday, a happy day. Whether it’s cupcakes or simply saying “happy birthday,” view an employee as more – it’s an easy way to show that you care.
Sidebar: The same goes for work anniversaries, too. At Decisely, we keep a companywide calendar marking our employees’ big days.
9. Bring Your Pet to Work Day
If you don’t have a pet-friendly policy in place, that’s more than okay. But depending on other employees’ allergies as well as your office setup, it might be nice to allow an employee to bring their fluffy friend in for a day or two. It has the ability to boost morale and provide a little something new to the space.
10. Handwritten Notes
This one is quite simple, but overlooked. A handwritten note from a manager praising an employee for a job well done has been shown to do more than the trick. In fact, 88% of employees say that is one of the most motivating factors to continue working hard.