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How to reward your employees

How to reward your employees

Starting a new financial year is a great time to reflect and think about the value and contribution your employees have made in your business.  Rewarding your employees for their efforts over the past year is not only a good strategy to make them feel appreciated, but can be a great retention strategy for keeping them as a long-term employee.

There are a number of ways you can reward your employees, and what motivates one employee may not be the right type of reward for someone else in your team.

However, taking the time to make your employees feel valued and rewarded is a great strategy to use in your business.

The importance of rewarding employees

As a business owner, it can be easy to overlook the importance of rewarding employees. You get caught up in doing the day-to-day tasks, bringing in new business, looking after your clients or selling more products. You are so busy that you forget the real impact rewarding your employees can have on your business.

It is important to acknowledge your employees for their hard work, their ideas and innovation. Everyone loves to feel appreciated, and tapping into what that means for each employee is an important step in the process of rewarding your employees.

How to reward employees for a job well done

Everyone is motivated by different things. Often business owners are quick to assume that money or a bonus structure is the ultimate reward.  For some employees, this may be the perfect way to be rewarded. However, for many others, money doesn’t mean they will feel valued and want to work harder. Money cannot guarantee that your employees are motivated, and stay motivated.

When considering how to reward your employees for a job well done, you need to get a good understanding of what drives each team member’s motivation and performance.  Doing this early can save you considerable time and money, and lead to increased productivity for your business.

So how do you find out what drives or motivates your employees?

  • Observe their behaviour
  • Send a staff survey
  • Sit down and ask them at their monthly check-in or annual performance review

Employee reward and recognition ideas

After understanding what motivates and drives your employees, you can then choose the most appropriate types of employee rewards and ideas to recognise their hard work and dedication.

For some employees, they just want to have a meaningful purpose.  So by sharing the vision of the business and communicating how every employee fits into that vision, can create value, appreciation and a sense of purpose.

Another option is to only randomly recognise or reward employees. By knowing that their efforts may be recognised at different times throughout the year, can be more effective than simply rewarding or recognising them at the end of a financial year, or calendar year.

Ideas to recognise or reward your employees can include:

  • Monetary bonus
  • Flexible work hours
  • Development opportunities - attending courses, seminars, workshops
  • Volunteering for charity during work hours
  • Opportunity to work in a different area of the business

Many of these reward ideas cost considerably less than hefty bonus programs and often lead to increased performance.  Many studies show that engaged employees significantly outperform those that aren't engaged.

How to reward your employees without money

Although some people find it hard to believe, not every employee is motivated by money.  So when you’re working out what rewards to offer or provide to your employees you may need to consider some options that aren’t money related.

Here are some ideas on how to reward your employees without money:

  • A handwritten thank you card/note
  • Use of the boss’s car park for a week
  • Flexible time/monthly RDO
  • Social event at company expense
  • A surprise hamper/personalised gift
  • Lunch or dinner (individually or as a team)
  • Gym membership at company expense

For some more creative employee reward ideas, check out this list.

How rewarding your employees also benefit your business

One of the most overlooked elements of rewarding your employees is how it also benefits your business.  By thanking your employees for their hard work, perseverance and dedication to your business, they are more likely to be loyal and to become advocates for how amazing your workplace is.

Getting creative when setting up rewards can also improve the culture within your business.  And a great culture, together with happy employees who feel valued and appreciated, is a combination for business success.

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