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7 Simple Ways to Reward & Recognize Your Employees

Thank you card with orange watercolor circleDo you have your finger on the pulse of what makes your employees happy? Back in the day, rewarding employees with cold, hard cash in the form of bonuses and annual raises was the thing to do. Today, all the talk about money being the best way to reward employees and keep them happy has been kicked to the curb.

According to the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) website, the use of non-cash rewards for employees, customers and partners is big, big business. In just a decade, non-cash reward spending has grown from $22 billion to over $46 billion here in the United States. And there’s no sign that the practice of rewarding employees in creative, non-monetary ways is going away any time soon.

We put our thinking caps on here at A.R. Mazzotta and came up with 7 simple ways employers can reward and recognize their employees. These acts of appreciation won’t break the bank – but they could cause your employees to break out in a happy dance.

#1 – Gift Cards
What easier way to show employee appreciation than with a gift card? These plastic, prepaid rays of sunshine aren’t just for friends and family anymore. IRF shares that gift cards are the ‘tool of choice’ for businesses looking to motivate their employees and customers. The great thing about gift cards is they’re available practically everywhere and for every product you can think of. That makes it super easy for employers to purchase cards based on an employee’s personal interests.

#2 – Munchies
Unless you work at a gym, you can do no wrong if you reward your employees with food. The options are endless with this one – you can host an employee appreciation breakfast, arrange a catered lunch from one of the trendiest restaurants in town or have a food truck brought on site to your office. There are also snack delivery services like SnackNation that will deliver healthy snacks to your office all year long.

 #3 – Puppies
More and more businesses are embracing bring-your-pet-to-work policies, as research shows that having pets in the workplace can help decrease stress levels and increase productivity and creativity. According to a Virginia Commonwealth University study, dogs in the workplace can have a positive impact – the differences in perceived stress between the days that the dog was present and not present were significant.

#4 – Field Trips
A day or even just a few hours away from the office to do something fun with your employees can be a nice departure from the daily work grind. Make your field trip as simple or as extravagant as you want. Visit a local museum, volunteer at a food bank, or plan a trip to the big city to take in a play or do some unique teambuilding activity.

#5 – Educational Opportunities
For some industries, opportunities for formal work training and continuing education aren’t as plentiful as they once were. Budget constraints, fewer staff resources and the ease and availability of online courses are some of the reasons employees don’t take as much time away from the office for training and education. Show employees that they’re appreciated by sending them to your industry’s big annual conference to take in some networking events and educational sessions.

#6 – Time Off
Surprise employees with a day off, just because. And make sure you have their workload covered back at the ranch so they’re not checking in by email or text on their day of relaxation.

#7 – A Thank You
Here’s the easiest way of all to reward and recognize your employees – say thank you for a job well done. Deliver your message of gratitude in a hand-written note, a short email or a face-to-face conversation. Your appreciation will not go unnoticed and it can have a long-lasting positive impact on the employer-employee relationship.

At A.R. Mazzotta, we really appreciate our team of wonderful employees. Get to know us!