The Best Ideas to Reward Your Employees in 2020

Best ideas to reward employees

Countless studies have shown that recognising and rewarding your employees is critical for engagement. So we’ve compiled a list of the best ideas to reward employees with in 2020.

It’s a fact. Companies aim to make the most out of their employees and employees aim to make the most out of their companies. It’s only natural. 

The secret to a successful company with happy employees is to find a balance. How can we align business goals with the employees’ needs?

Hilton

The solution found by Chris Nassetta, Hilton’s CEO, is quite simple. Nasseta implemented several employee-focused changes within the company, creating a culture of recognition and making their employees feel rewarded by their hard work.

Taking care of employees and rewarding them in meaningful ways fixed multiple issues inside the American hospitality company. It also put the organization at the top of the “Best 100 companies to work for in 2019”, according to Fortune magazine.

Employees’ receiving constant motivation and recognition is so important at Hilton that they now have an annual recognition calendar. This way, managers can get no-cost or low-cost easy ideas to show gratitude and appreciation to their teams, 365 days a year. Simple and effective.

Rewards don’t need to be expensive to bring positive emotions. In fact, happiness over material items tends to fade quickly. According to psychologists, the hedonic adaptation is the phenomenon responsible for that. 

It Works Like This

When we get a bonus or a new car, we are naturally excited. As soon as it becomes part of our daily routine, though, we get used to it: we simply adapt, and, suddenly, these costly rewards lose their initial charms.

But if expensive rewards are not lasting, then what makes people’s happiness last?

Variety. Appreciation. Experiences. Let’s call it the big VAE.

With the big VAE in mind, we created the best ideas to boost and reward your employee’s hard work, effort, and dedication this year. Here you will be able to browse through dozens of ideas, internal and external rewards for your team.

Let’s get started?

In this article, you will learn how to implement easy and affordable ideas to make your employees feel appreciated – sometimes as easy as choosing a plant for the hallway, or calling someone to your office to say thanks.

Table of Contents


H

Home Office Day

Remote work provides the employees with more control over their immediate environment. They can take breaks at any moment, eat lunch at unusual times, and can even work in pajamas if they want to. But the benefits don’t stop there:

  •   No commuting
  •   No office distractions
  •   Saving money
  •   Increased focus
  •   Reduced stress and burnout
  •   No office politics

According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work report in 2019, 99% of interviewed people confirmed that they would like to work remotely at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers. And when asked what location they would primarily work from… Guess what? The majority of employees responded they prefer their own homes!

T

Time-Off Coupons

It’s almost impossible to find someone who doesn’t like some time off from work. You can bet even the most motivated employee would be enthusiastic about getting time-off coupons. Basically, these coupons are valid for 15 mins or 30 mins off work. Employees can then collect coupons and use 1 hour to:

  •  Start later at work 
  •  Have an extra hour during lunchtime
  • Leave earlier
F

Flexible Vacation Time

Empowered employees are loyal, motivated and potentially more productive. And here’s one important drive to support employee empowerment: PTO policies. If you implement a paid time off (PTO) policy, you trust employees to decide when is the most appropriate time for them to take vacation, sick time or personal time. It works like a bank of time that employees can use when they want to take paid time off.

F

Free Time

If you want to see employees experiencing better work-life balance, just reward them with free time. In August 2019, the giant Microsoft made an interesting experiment in Japan called “Work-Life Choice Challenge Summer 2019”. In this project, 2,300 employees received 5 Fridays off in a row with no change in their salaries. The results? Not only were the meetings more efficient and the workers happier but productivity was also increased by a staggering 40%.

S

Sabbaticals

In Sweden, a period of time off is a statutory right and has a name: tjänstledighet. In this leave of absence, employees can take up to 6 months off (usually without salary) to start their own business, which obviously can’t compete with their employer’s business. There’s another type of sabbatical called “föräldraledighet”, which allows both parents to have up to 480 days off for parental leave with 80% of their salary. However, if the employee doesn’t feel the calling for entrepreneurship nor for parenting, but instead wants to take some time off to invest in their studies.. Guess what? It’s totally possible with the “ employee’s right to educational leave act ”. But the reality is, although it’s quite hard to follow Swedish thoughts and laws, there are some real benefits from sabbaticals that we can learn from. Whatever the reason why your employees might need some time off – to try something new, study, parenting, or simply recharge energy – they will keep their job status and security. In addition, your employees will be grateful and fully motivated when coming back. Retaining talent is also more cost effective than going through the process of hiring.

H

Half Day Fridays

Burn out is on the rise. Long hours and heavy workloads are compromising the workflow due to stressed employees. Stress is serious. And there’s a series of bitter complications that employees can experience like: 

  •   Fatigue
  •   Mood swings and Irritability
  •   Discouragement
  •   Drop in work performance
  •   Cognitive difficulties, such as a reduced ability to concentrate or make decisions.
  •   Anxiety and sleep difficulties
  •   Physical health problems – muscular tension, headaches, heart palpitations, dermatological disorders, gastrointestinal upsets
  •   Withdrawal

Not to mention more serious problems like depression, or even self-medication with alcohol and drug use. That’s why many global companies decided to help their employees by giving what we also know as summer Fridays – half day Fridays in summertime.

In 2019, surprisingly more than half the companies in the US offered summer Fridays. Buffer was one of these companies who secured 65% of their employees with less stress.

Since then their employees reported increased focus and ability to get more work done in a shorter amount of time. So, even if it might sound counter intuitive, reducing the amount of work time can be beneficial for the company!

When asking their employees how their productivity was during the half-day on Fridays, their results were very inspiring. With the majority of employees (55.8%) saying they were able to do the same amount of work as in the full day. While 34.9% reported they actually produced more.

Source: Buffer

C

Casual Dress Code Day

Do you need employees to feel relaxed and comfortable, spending zero from your budget? Why not allow them to go to the office in casual clothes? It is less stressful to go through a morning routine when you don’t have to worry about getting all dressed up looking professional. Besides, it allows space for employees to express their individualities, creating a comfortable office mood, while also being cheaper not having to worry about having a dry cleaned full formal wardrobe.

L

Lunch with the boss

Providing employees with the chance to interact with the boss in a casual setting can bring great benefits to all parties involved. The boss gets to show a more human side, while employees have the chance to connect and develop a sense of belonging with the company culture. In addition to establishing a strong relationship, the aim is to give everybody a chance to speak and expose their own experiences and ideas in a warm and informal atmosphere.

A

Appreciation Letter

Not long ago, my father found an old appreciation letter from the company he worked for his whole life. What’s surprising is, even though this handwritten letter was dated more than 25 years ago, it still made my father feel good about his time and dedication to this company. Today, instead of writing a letter, you can write an email. Just keep in mind that the principle is the same: express thanks and gratitude to someone that helped your company’s growth. I’m not going to say that this recognition letter made my father retire in this company, but it certainly made a difference to have his efforts and productivity recognized.

I

International Lunch

No, this is not about booking the 3-star Michelin restaurant in your city to all of your employees. Here’s the actually very affordable idea: an international food tasting in the office by having each employee bring a dish from a country of their choice for lunchtime. In this relaxed and fun environment, connections are strengthened, feedback is welcome, and creative ideas can magically show up!

P

Pets on Board

There’s no better way to increase communication and encourage team building than having a dog at the office. Wait – you’re not a dog owner? It’s alright to bring your turtle or your chinchilla: all pets are welcome, as it’s proven that they can lower stress levels and improve employee job satisfaction.

H

Helping a Charity

When a company decides to give back to the community, everybody wins. From the company perspective, supporting a charity means:

  •   Improved brand image: that can naturally attract new clients, business partners and top talent employees.
  •   Strengthened team connection: having employees work towards the same noble mission can promote a great sense of team spirit.
  •   Increased employee loyalty: if employees are proud of themselves and their company, chances are they will remain in their jobs for longer.

When it comes to supporting people in need, donating money is the first thing that may come to your mind. However, the most precious gift to give to people can also be your time. Maybe organising a day for employees to share their time and skills with the community is something your team could really use!

D

Discounts

As your employee base grows, it’s easier to arrange employee discount partnerships with various local businesses. From the health sector to the retail industry, it will be easy to find companies interested in giving away some discounts for new referrals, and employees will certainly love the perks.

F

Fitness Classes

Any idea of how to prevent sick days and lower your company’s insurance costs? Installing an on-site gym can be a great solution! You don’t have any extra space for a gym? No worries: a personal trainer for fitness sessions or yoga classes ran in the office space are also fun solutions, as well as rewarding gym memberships.

P

Plaques

A custom plaque can be a memorable and lasting token of appreciation and recognition for your employees. If you need some ideas for plaques, just look at websites like Amazon and Alibaba:

T

Thank You Appointment

It’s simple, but very effective: reserve some time to meet the employee at your office so you can point out the excellent job performance they’ve had and just say how grateful you are. The words you speak to employees can have a huge impact and create a lasting memory!

S

Standing Desks

According to Harvard, there are many potential health benefits of rewarding employees with standing desks, since long hours of sitting are linked with a higher risk of:

  •   Obesity
  •   Diabetes
  •   Cardiovascular disease
  •   Cancer (especially cancers of the colon or breast)
  •   Premature death
V

VIP Parking Pass

If your employees’ commutes usually involve driving and traffic, you can reward your best employee with a privileged parking spot for a week or more. It will have an effect on how they feel appreciated, as they will remember this every time they arrive and leave the office.

P

Plants

Some scientists suggest that humans have an innate need to connect with nature and other forms of life (biophilia hypothesis). Some studies show the positive impact on health and stress levels of having plants at the workspace. Basically, people love plants. Gifting plants for employees to take care of will usually make them more physically, cognitively and emotionally involved in their jobs thanks to the fact that plants are usually associated with connection and nurturing.

M

Monthly Birthday Cake

If you have a small company, it’s easy to have individual birthday celebrations – but what if you don’t? Arranging all employee birthdays by month is a great solution. Just make sure to include all employees whose birthdays are in that month. Failing to recognize what might be a personal important day for an employee may also work negatively as a demotivator.

T

Traveling Trophy

Creating a nomadic trophy is quite fun. First, you have to select your trophy. You can then customize it with your logo, the award, and a personalized message. Next, you have to determine the program criteria. For example, what are the KPIs or metric goals? It’s also important to identify the program frequency, like when the traveling trophy needs to hit the road and go to the next top performer: Weekly? Monthly? Finally, you can present the rules of the program to the team and motivate their participation.

F

Free Healthy Foods

Remember the old saying about finding the way to someone’s heart through their stomach? Treating your employees with healthy delicious food is definitely something that will be appreciated.Just imagine finding a stocked refrigerator or cabinet full of organic fruits, fresh vegetables, low carb bread, nuts, and seeds, at your disposal. Employees can focus more on their work than on being grumpy because they are hungry. Choosing healthy snacks instead of unhealthy ones is also a wise decision in the long run if you consider everyone’s health plays an important part of how they feel and present at work. Also, the psychology of having something offered for free makes anyone feel good.

D

Decorated Desks

Injecting some simple fun and festivity into important dates like employees’ birthdays or work anniversaries can deepen relationships and increase employee retention rates. For this, you can prepare balloons, banners, flowers, a handwritten card from the team and a symbolic gift like chocolates from a local shop.

B

Books

Reading is leading. Unless you help employees with the keys to learn and grow, they will never have the conditions required to be good leaders. For this reason, offering specific books about leadership, communications management or interpersonal skills can be a great reward for employees. You can also give ebooks and audiobooks.

T

Training & Courses

Here’s one important factor in making employees enjoy their work and keep their jobs for longer: educational investment. But why? Because every time you strategically invest in employees’ education, you are investing in their skill development, in their professional growth. There are a considerable amount of online courses out there. Just have a look on platforms like Udemy or Coursera, which have plenty of affordable options to choose from.

O

One-on-one Mentoring

When you reward employees with supportive and inspiring one-on-one mentoring, you are allowing an employee to share advice or expertise with a colleague from a different generation, hierarchical level, or area of the business. In other words, you are encouraging retention, reducing turnover costs and increasing performance.



T

Ticket for Events

What’s going on in your city this month? There are probably so many things happening around that it’s worth a look into platforms like ticketmaster, eventbrite or stubhub. You’’ quickly discover all upcoming events and be able to delight your employees with tickets to live concerts, sporting events, exhibitions, theaters, etc.

M

Memberships

If you want to reward your employees once, but ensure they remember it for months, then giving memberships is the perfect reward. Why? For the simple reason that a membership is a gift that keeps on giving! There are plenty of memberships to offer: from gyms to museums, aquariums or cinemas. Plus, there are also some corporate memberships that extend their benefits to the employee’s family or even friends.

V

Vacation Getaways

This doesn’t sound as costly as you might think. With this incentive you will pay a certain proportion towards a vacation of choice for your employee. It could be anything from an Airbnb voucher to a discount code and more. Such a great incentive for employees to keep them motivated throughout the year.

C

Custom T-Shirts/Mugs/Stickers

Why not surprise your employees with custom t-shirts, mugs or stickers printed with a humorous or personalized design? Stickers make great additions to the workstation and mugs are a hugely practical item. Custom t-shirts are also great too. Any of these items make welcome and appreciated little addition to the workplace.

T

Thank you Video

This can be one of the most thoughtful incentives that you can provide. Most employees just want to feel like they are valued, and their work appreciated so with a personalized thank you video you can really show them how much you value their contribution to your business. Recognition is a powerful tool for increased employee engagement.

T

Team Happy Hour

Downtime is important for any team. Why not take the team out for a drink and appetizers and pick up the bill at the end of the night? This not only serves as an excellent reward, it also allows your employees to get to know each other outside of work in a more relaxed atmosphere.

W

Wine/Brewery Tasting

For the wine lovers and beer enthusiasts this would make the ultimate incentive. If you are near a vineyard or a brewery, vouchers or a tasting day would be very much appreciated by your employees. It’s the perfect opportunity for your employees to take a break, relax and unwind from the stresses of every day life.

E

Employee of the Month

While this is one of the oldest incentives in the book, it’s also one that proves really effective if you approach it in the right way. You can feature the employee on a noticeboard, post a story of who they are and why they made employee of the month in your internal newsletter or on your website. Recognition is one of the most powerful techniques to boost motivation amongst your employees.

H

Haircuts / Manicure

Everyone loves to feel their best. So why not treat your staff to a well-earned haircut or manicure at a salon of their choice. Whether you have a nail technician or hair stylist on site for a day or you offer your employees vouchers, reward them for their continued effort and hard work.

G

Gift cards

You don’t just need to limit your incentives to physical products. You can offer your employees gift cards for magazine subscriptions, car detailing, books, concert and theatre tickets, house cleaning or maid service at home, a training course or a membership that they want to join. These are all effective incentives.

C

Conferences

Every single employee in your workplace will want to be the best they can be in their job. Mastering their craft is important for many, so why not give your employees a helping hand by investing in them on a personal and professional level, paying for attendance at a development conference. It will not only benefit the employee but the business too.

U

Upgraded or Premium Office Products

Your staff will spend a lot of time at work so make their life easier. This can be achieved through upgraded desks and chairs, advanced computer monitors or other forms of technology that will make their work easier and more effective. Inform your employees that you want to know if they need anything upgrading or they need new technology to make their work easier.

L

Local Dinner Experience for Groups

For the wine lovers and beer dinner on the house. Everyone loves to eat out at their favorite restaurant. It will be even more enjoyable if it’s paid for by the boss.

S

Your employees may have a diverse range of interests, so why not help them by sponsoring them in something they love. Whether it’s a sport or a charity, sponsorships are an excellent incentive and if you publicize their good work this also makes them feel valued too.

S

Swap Jobs

Why not mix things up once in a while and let your employees switch jobs? Make the workplace fun. They will not only have a good time, but it will also give your employees a greater perspective into the work their fellow colleagues do. Many organizations offer regular job swaps and it’s a great way for your employees to get to know the basics of other roles in the business.

C

CEO for the Day

Nothing says reward more than a promotion, even if it’s only temporary. Reward your top performing employees by letting them use the CEO’s office for the day and take advantage of all the advanced technology, space or view. It’ll be a fun experience and it will give employees a taste of what it’s like to be at the top.

V

VIP Parking Spot

Public recognition is one of the best ways to reward employees. There is no better incentive. You are telling them that you appreciate them, but you are also letting all other employees know how thankful you are for every member of your team. Convenient parking is a convenient way for employees to park, particularly if they get priority parking, close to the building or in a favorable place.

W

Walking Tour / History Tour

Your employees will have so many different interests. For those who are walking or history enthusiasts, one of your incentives could be a voucher to a popular walking or history tour where they can take in the sights and sounds of their favorite places, all paid for by the company.

P

Photo Shoot in the City

Some employees like to dress up once in a while. So why not treat your employees to a photo shoot in the city with a professional photographer? This type of incentive provides an excellent memento for the future and it makes things a little more fun too.

J

Jazz Crawl

Musicians who love Jazz will be incredibly appreciative of this incentive. Treat your employees to their very own jazz crawl where they can enjoy the hugely popular sound of Jazz music at some of the top music venues.

C

Champagne Boat Cruise

For an elegant and relaxing afternoon out, a champagne boat cruise could be just what your employees’ need. It’s a little luxury that they will enjoy talking about for many days, weeks and months after. Help your employees make some memories with their friends, family or even work colleagues.

F

Food Tour / Ice Cream Tour

For the wine lovers and beer enthusiasts this would make the ultimate incentive. If you are near a vineyard or a brewery, vouchers or a tasting day would be very much appreciated by your employees. It’s the perfect opportunity for your employees to take a break, relax and unwind from the stresses of every day life.

M

Master Pour Over Coffee Like a Pro

If there’s that one employee who can’t start their day without a coffee, this experience is for them. At the home of coffee, treat your employee with a lesson on how to pour coffee like a pro. Check out local cafes or coffee specialists who may offer this as a service.

F

Farm Experience

For a fun day out, farm experiences are perfect for animal lovers. Not only will the employee get to experience farm life, they may even be able to sample some of the produce, whether its milk, cheese or homemade bread from the flour mill. This experience will keep them entertained for hours.

S

Secret Rooftop of the Month

Rooftop spaces including restaurants, pools and bars are becoming more popular. If you’re near a rooftop hot spot, why not organise a monthly get together in different rooftop spaces across the city. If you’re not near a rooftop hot spot, then switch the monthly rooftop into something interesting to do in your area.

H

Helicopter Tour

Let your employees sample a life of luxury with a helicopter ride to take in the sights of a place of interest. It could be a city, a natural landmark or anywhere that requires a bird’s eye view. This will be an unforgettable experience that your employee will remember.

S

Sunset Electric Biking Tour

Enjoy the great outdoors on a number of carefully selected routes. Take in stunning scenery, explore villages, woodlands, vineyards or the countryside. The options are endless. It’s a great way to get away from the everyday grind and do something fun and different. This is perfect for those long summer evenings.

S

Shiatsu

What better way to boost the wellbeing of your employees than through a relaxing, non-invasive therapy massage such as Shiatsu. Bringing both remedial and preventative effects, this therapy is a relaxing, calming and revitalizing experience that will optimize physical and mental health. Combining acupressure, stretches and joint mobilizations, it will apply some of the most effective techniques to combat stress and feel more relaxed.

T

Tennis Lesson

Do you have an employee who has always expressed an interest in learning to play tennis? Or are they an avid tennis follower? New players or seasoned tennis enthusiasts will always welcome their very own tennis lesson. Join a tennis community and let them learn how to improve their tennis skills.

A

Art walk for groups

Suitable for those employees who love and appreciate art, why not arrange for them to go on an art walk in a group of likeminded. You can even throw in an art lesson too. Let your employees exercise their creativity and artistic flair while learning more about the art world.

B

Bar Crawl

There’s nothing that can rival a bar crawl. It’s one of the best ways to celebrate. With hundreds of bars to choose from you really can make the most out of this unique and fun experience. Whether you are in a city such as London or Newcastle, there are plenty of bars to choose from, guaranteeing a great night for everyone.

D

Dance Lesson

Help your employees learn to dance. You can offer dance lessons in the office conference room or set them up with a local studio for a great night or afternoon out. It’s a great way to stay fit, it will add a bit of fun and it keeps the mind and the body healthy.

E

Escape Room

An increasingly popular choice are escape rooms that give you the ultimate challenge. Pair up with a colleague or a friend and you have sixty minutes to see if you can escape. No matter what the outcome, your employee will have a fun story to tell and a memorable experience to share. This will be an adventure filled with mystery, intrigue and challenges. Who will escape first?


G

Game Night (Pub Quiz)

There’s always someone in the office that is great at general knowledge. A pub quiz game night is always a favorite activity. It’s a great team bonding exercise too if you want to get everyone involved. Or you can give your team some vouchers to enjoy their own game nights with friends or family.

M

Magic Lesson

If your employees are interested in magic tricks or learning the tricks of the trade, then a magic lesson is an awesome experience. This is great as an alternative event for corporate team building too.

P

Painting Class

Who wouldn’t want to learn the basics of painting a masterpiece, be it an oil or watercolor painting? Incentives that you offer your employees should appeal to all interests and tastes and a dedicated painting class could prove really popular for the creative types.

V

Vintage Sidecar Motorcycle Tour

Experience the great outdoors with a difference. Tour around the countryside, picturesque villages and quaint fishing towns and stop by to sample some of the delicacies along the way. Your employees will certainly appreciate this as an incentive for their continued hard work and dedication.

T

Their Favorite Wine

When you appreciate your employees, you can show this in so many ways, including something as simple as buying them a bottle of their favorite wine. It’s a really great bonus for employees and one that will be much appreciated by those who appreciate wine.

C

Car Wash

Employees may spend a lot of time commuting to and from work, but may not have the time to take their car to the car wash. Why not treat them to a gift card for a luxury car wash and even arrange a valet too. Arrangements could even be made for the car wash to arrive at your office car park for added convenience.

C

Cooking Lessons

Most people love to cook, even if their attempts are less than satisfactory. Incentivize your employees or teams with cooking lessons during their lunch hour, after work or on an evening. Your employees will learn a lot and get to sample some tasty meals and desserts that they will learn to create.

U

Uber Credits/Lift Tickets

Everyone needs to take an Uber now and again, whether it’s for a night out or a work meeting, treat your employees to an Uber/Lyft gift card, taking the hassle out of getting to where they need to be. A convenient and practical incentive that always proves popular.

F

Fitbits

The health and wellbeing of your employees is paramount. Days spent at the office desk with very little movement can have a negative impact, but with a Fitbit, you will allow your employees to stay motivated with their fitness goals. You could even set up competitions and have prizes for something a little more fun.

N

Nap rooms

With more employees working longer hours than ever before, we all need some downtime now and again. Nap areas can boost productivity and have a huge impact on overall performance. Give your employees some time to take a welcome rest and you will soon see the benefits.

S

Spas or Massage Rooms/Massage Chairs

Rest, relaxation and optimum wellbeing is important for your employees. Why not treat them to a relaxing space with a massage chair or treat them to some vouchers for a spa experience or massage of their choice? Let your employees take some time out from their hectic schedules where they can recharge and relax.

G

Game Rooms

What could be more rewarding than a workplace where employees look forward to going to work? Boost morale, increase productivity and add a little fun to the everyday grind with game rooms in your workplace. You could include all kinds of games from board games to a games console.

M

Meditation Room

Don’t just give your employees breaks; give them a tool, a resource or a place that shows them that you genuinely care about their emotional and mental wellbeing. This could be a subscription to a mindfulness product, or it could be a room in your workplace where employees can go to meditate.

C

Coffee Garden

Sample some of the great coffee delights and treat your employees to a visit to a coffee garden. This is a hugely popular incentive because everyone loves coffee. It can be a great way to show your employees that you are interested in making their lives a little easier and more comfortable.

S

Shuffleboard - Ping Pong

For a fun filled game, why not let your employees try their hand at shuffleboard. This is a fun, exciting and competitive game. Who will be the most competitive? Games will break down barriers, encourage teamwork and build rapport amongst your team.

A

A Rock Wall

There are always people in your workplace who will love anything adventurous such as climbing. If they do, why not treat them to a rock wall climbing voucher or even a starter lesson where they can learn the basics? Depending on your workplace and the suitability you could even have one installed in your building.

W

Indoor Food Truck/Catered Lunch

Some of the most innovative and creative businesses provide their employees with a catered lunch. Filled with delicious local produce, these lunches aim to foster positive relations between the company and employees. The lunches can be based on themes or specific menu items and they cater for all needs and tastes.

P

Peer Recognition

Recognising employee contributions is a great way to motivate your team. With a peer recognition incentive, all employees can be invited to recognise their colleagues. This can be done using pen and paper or using a application such as Mambo’s to help you out.

If you want to find out more about Mambo’s gamification platform, take a look at our product page.

F

Friendly Competitions

There’s always competition in the workplace. So why not make it fun and run competitions for your employees. You could even offer a prize for the winner which will incentivize more employees to join in and give it their all.

P

Post Team Achievements in Break Rooms

Nothing says achievement more than public announcements in the workplace. In the break room, why not post team achievements in a positive way so everyone can see and congratulate employees on their achievements. It gives a great little boost in terms of morale and productivity and is a welcome incentive for employees

M

Meal Delivery

Remove the burden of cooking for a week and treat your employees to some tempting takeaway food. You can arrange a local delivery service to deliver their favorite meals for lunch or dinner over the course of a week. From sandwiches and snacks to main meals and desserts, meals are taken care of.

N

New Office Decoration

Employees will spend a lot of their time in the office, so make their environment and workstation more appealing by allowing them to decorate their corner of the office in whatever way they like. Be creative, be bold and let your employees create a unique and tailored space just for them.

N

New Office Equipment

Some new equipment around the office can go a long way. Upgrade to a standing desk, purchase a new, state of the art monitor or executive chair, invest in an ergonomic keyboard or more comfortable mouse pad. All of these things are excellent rewards and they are an excellent reward for your employees.

D

Dream Car Rental

While you probably can’t afford to give your employees a pay rise to buy their dream sports car or a supercar, you can pay to rent a luxury car for a week. There are some great companies out there where you can rent high end cars. Let your employees drive to work in style.

N

New Job Title

Reward your employees and their hard work with a new job title. This incentive will cost you nothing, but it will mean a lot to your employees. When an employee gets to choose their job title, they feel more connected to the business and appreciate the recognition. This will only serve to boost morale and motivation which can only be a good thing.

R

Real-time Congratulation Messages

While a handwritten note is a great little touch, there is something about a real time, congratulation message that means so much more. You can do this by sending a company wide email, acknowledging, thanking and congratulating your employee, sharing their accomplishments and showing how much you value their work. You could also use software like Mambo’s gamification platform to help you out with this 🙂

C

Company Stock

If your business sells physical products to customers, why not share some of this stock with your number one fans – your employees. Not only is this rewarding for your employees, but it keeps them invested in the company and shows that you appreciate what they do for your organization. You could offer jewelry, clothing, homeware or even food items depending on what you sell.

If on the other hand your company actually has stock options, that would also be a nice way to reward your employees.

N

New Backpacks

Backpacks are a useful and practical way for your employees to carry all of their work equipment, from laptops to files and other equipment required for field visits. Give your employees a free backpack with your logo embroidered on and their initials to show your appreciation. You choose from a range of designs including a briefcase type bag or a more casual backpack.

H

Headphones

Whether your employees love music, audiobooks or watching YouTube videos, headphones are an excellent device that will always prove useful, particularly when employees are on the move. They would also make a great addition to an office team who specialize in audio typing, providing greater comfort and convenience.

W

Journal/Magazine Subscription

There are hundreds, if not thousands of magazines out there, so why not treat your employees to their very own magazine subscription for a year. The most difficult part will be choosing which magazine to subscribe to. From crafts through to home and garden, trains through to history, this is an incentive that will appeal to so many.

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Portable Chargers

Incentives don’t have to be costly. All they need to do is to add value for your employees. This is why a device such as a portable charger would prove so useful for your team. Smaller sizes that they keep in a pocket, bag or briefcase are perfect for those who are often travelling to clients or on the road.

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Website or Newsletter Feature

As an extra incentive for your employees, you can even feature them on your website or in a company newsletter. You could run a regular employee of the month feature where you promote a top performing employee or someone who has gone the extra mile for a customer or the business. Focus on rewarding specific behaviors, characteristics and achievements that other employees will want to emulate.


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Cookies

Tasty treats are always welcomed by employees. Partner up with a local bakery and have them cook a batch of cookies. You can even have branded cookies made or specific types of cookie that you think your employees will love.

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Dinner with a Colleague from the Company

A personal chef to cook a tasty meal served to an employee and a colleague of their choice is a great way to build teams and rapport in the workplace. It will take the stress out of cooking and give them a memorable experience where they can sample some fine dining at one of the top establishments in your local area.

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If your employee has done some really great work, and your business specializes in content creation or information of any kind, why not have their work promoted through sponsored content on one of the top platforms such as Forbes, Medium or LinkedIn.

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Points Reward System

What better way to maintain performance and productivity than with a points based reward system? When employees reach certain targets, achieve something or do something positive for the team or business, they will be awarded with points. These points can accrue over time and then serve as tiered rewards depending on the number of points that the employee collects.

At times your metrics are simple and you can manage the information manually, maybe using Excel to keep your point ledgers on. Other times this data is already available in your existing software and all you need to do is export it and join it together. Other times you need a software that can do that for you and just let you lay out the rules for the points distribution (in those cases you can call on us).

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Fly in Remote Team Members

There may be employees who very rarely come into the office, perhaps because they are located far away. For an unforgettable trip, why not fly in your remote team members for an important meeting or conference?

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Music Lessons

Help your employees learn a new musical skill that they have always wanted to master. You can bring a teacher into the office to do group sessions or offer vouchers to let your employees attend a paid for class with a professional instructor

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Car Maintenance

The maintenance of a car is important, even more so if it’s used every day to commute to and from work. Give your employees a gift card for some routine maintenance or treat them to a professional detail from a master detailer. They will have your employee’s car looking pristine and well maintained in no time at all.

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Bikes

If your employees live and work in the city, bike rental is a popular choice and could be a great incentive to get them from A to B. Not only does it make moving around easier it also benefits their health too. There are always bike share services that you can explore or rental services that you can purchase for your employees.

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Pizza Party

Why not throw a pizza party for your employees? Everyone loves pizza, so why not hold a regular pizza party, every month to recognize and reward their achievements or to celebrate something notable. It could take place in the office with a pizza delivery service or you could take the team out to a pizza restaurant.

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Write About Them in a Company-Wide Email

While this is one of the more traditional incentives it is one that works very well and it is virtually no cost to you, but the benefits of doing something like this are significant. Feature an employee who has gone the extra mile for a customer or really excelled in some area of their work, writing about them in a company email that you send ou

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Card with Lottery Tickets Inside

Thank you cards are a great little touch to show your employees that you value what they do, but a thank you card with a lottery ticket inside or a scratch card takes this a step further. It’s an added surprise that will be welcomed by your employees. When they feel valued and appreciated their performance and productivity will increase.

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Framed Photo

To show an employee how much you value their contribution to the business, an incentive could be a signed, framed photograph, particularly if you work in an industry that assists high profile or celebrity clients. It will be a valuable memento that your staff member will appreciate.

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Thank You Card or Gift Basket to their Spouses

This is one of the most thoughtful incentives that you can give an employee. It is an amazing idea that makes the process of rewarding your employees’ super special. It will allow you to create your very own thank you note or gift basket which can combine a whole range of items from skincare through to confectionery, coffee or even some hot beverages.

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Home Cleaning

The last thing that an employee wants when they have finished a long week at work is to go home and have to spend the weekend cleaning, so why not take the hassle away and pay for a home cleaner to transform their home every week? It will be a welcome and appreciated incentive, particularly for busy families.

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Something Unique

This one is a little different than the rest and it involves placing an unusual or funny object on the desk of an employee. It could for example be some gadget, new piece of technology or something that they will find fun and practical. The possibilities are endless, but it adds a little interest to the office. You can be as adventurous as you want to be

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Standing Ovation

A standing ovation from the team when someone has done something remarkable can be a really effective way to show employees that you value them and show the support that every employee has from their team. It can be a great way to boost morale and build camaraderie throughout teams or even entire workforces.

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Project Delegation

Allow an employee to release one project that they have but they like the least to another team member. Reward employees by giving them more time to spend on the work that they love, and you will have more satisfied, engaged and motivated team members who are more committed to their work.

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Boss Office for a Day

The president of a company usually has one of the most advanced and state of the art offices with little luxuries and features that make their time in the office more comfortable. Allow your employees to spend a day using the president’s office so they can see how it’s really like to be at the top of a company

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Named Room

Conference rooms or lounges in large buildings could be named after your employees. This serves as a great incentive that will last for as long as the employee is with the company. Not only will they gain recognition, but everyone will know who they are and what they did to get the recognition.

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Family Lunch

For something a little different and a surprise, why not invite the family of the employee such as their spouse and/or children to join them for a specially made lunch. Whether this is provided in the office or at a venue of their choice, it’s a thoughtful incentive which will give the employee some quality time with their family..

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Bouquet of flowers

Show your appreciation with a bouquet of flowers sent to your employee, whether it’s for outstanding work, consistently meeting targets or something else that that team member has done that deserves recognition and reward.

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Birthday Card

Remembering those special occasions can really make an impact with employees. Sending them a birthday card to their home address will show that rather than just being another anonymous member of the workforce, they are valued as individuals. Personalized cards will really add impact and are an excellent personal touch and incentive for employees

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Collector Items

Find something that your employees love to collect, whether this is stamps or coins and buy them one for their own personal collection. There are so many collectors’ items and it’s a great little incentive that you can add into your list of ideas for employees.

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Camping for their Child

Sometimes employees can’t always afford everything that their child wants. Missing out on camp can be a huge disappointment for children, so why not offer to pay for their child to attend camp over the summer months?

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Outdoor Catered Picnic

Perfect for the spring and summer, an outdoor catered picnic can be just the relaxing break that employees need to get away from everything, relax and unwind. Treat them to a variety of tasty food and drinks that they can enjoy at their leisure while enjoying the great outdoors.

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Staff Appreciation Day Once a Month

Once a month, hold a staff appreciation day. You could mix this up with a variety of activities, something fun such as games and quizzes, treat the employees to a lunch or run a schedule of things for the employee that they can do throughout the day.

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Catered Breakfast

Why not cater or bring breakfast for your employees as a way to reward their continued hard work and dedication. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether it’s something traditional or more continental, set your employees up for the day ahead with a selection of delicious food and drink items delivered to the office.

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Institute Play Times

All work and no play isn’t fun for anyone. Employers can institute ‘play times’ where employees can participate in a variety of fun things such as games, relaxation or anything that will give them a little downtime for a short period during the day. It will hugely boost productivity over the long term.

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Annual Award Ceremony

Hold an annual awards ceremony like the Oscars, but for your employees. Recognize different achievements, the work that employees have done and those people who have gone the extra mile to over deliver for clients and the business. You can even combine the award ceremony with a huge after party, whether this is in the office or at another venue.

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Celebrating Work-Versaries

When employees have been at a company for a long period of time, or even for a short while, they will look forward to work anniversaries. Acknowledge these anniversaries by doing something special for them. Employees like to feel appreciated and by recognizing their anniversaries this will show them that you genuinely care about your employees.

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Gas Card

Help your employees with the ever increasing cost of gas. Give them a gas card so they can make some savings as they travel to and from work, take children to school or go on an outing, with gas in the car completely taken care of.

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DJ Day

For the wine lovers and beer Do your employees like music playing in the office to keep them entertained while they work? Why not treat them and have their own DJ for the day where they can make music requests and enjoy some of the latest sounds played by the DJ. Reward your employees in the right way and their motivation will increase.

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Bonuses

Bonuses are a great incentive that you can add as a reward for employees. They don’t have to be monetary either. They can include a small but thoughtful gift, a gift card, a voucher or a food or drink item that employees will welcome as an incentive for their continued efforts at work.

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Mystery Prize in a Box

Another fun incentive is to fill a tub or a box with a series of fun prizes such as tickets to events or gift cards or it could be something such as taking a longer lunch break, an early finish or job swap. Employees choose a mystery prize from the box when they reach a certain milestone which is a great incentive to keep them motivated over the long term.

Conclusion

When it comes to incentivizing employees, the most important thing to remember is to find out something that is interesting to your team. Find out what they are passionate about, things they enjoy, leisure activities that they participate in and then tailor your incentives around these. You can also ask employees themselves how they wish to be recognized and what incentives they would most value. You can then use this to build your incentive initiative to create some great rewards that employees will not only benefit from but appreciate too.



About Marcia Kanazawa

Marcia is a results-driven marketing leader, known for innovation and a unique mix of strategic, creative, operational and technical abilities.

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