Rewarding Great Employees

John Krautzel
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Employee morale is a crucial consideration for businesses of all sizes, as it can impact everything from turnover to corporate culture. One way to boost morale is to celebrate employees for a job well done. Rewarding great employees can help build loyalty and improve the office environment.

Many professionals work long hours, often going the extra mile for the client or the company. When those efforts are not recognized and rewarded, the employee may feel slightly less motivated to do the same on the next task. Over time, a lack of recognition can lead to apathy and early departure from the company. Since a high turnover rate leads to higher hiring costs and less-consistent work, it pays for companies to create performance-based incentives. When employees feel that their work is valued, they are more likely to work harder and to create innovative solutions that benefit the business.

Rewarding great employees does not have to be a time-consuming or costly endeavor. In many cases, a genuine "thank you" goes a long way. When you notice that an employee has put in extra effort or spent long hours on a project, take the time to thank them personally. Send a personal note, take the employee out for lunch or make an announcement in a staff meeting. In doing so, you'll let your staff know that you are paying attention and that you value their contributions to the company.

The options for rewarding great employees depend on your resources and your employees' preferences. If the budget does not allow for financial rewards or expensive gifts, consider offering extra vacation or personal days to high-performing employees. You might also give out use of the company box at sporting or performing arts events, a weekend at the corporate retreat property or access to the executive dining room. Ask your CEO to give up his prime parking spot for a month as a reward for the top employee, or hand out the best office spots to your high performers.

For small businesses, managers often need to get creative when rewarding great employees. Include a profile of the employee in the company newsletter or feature the profile on your business website. Give a shoutout to great employees on your social media platforms. For a fun surprise, allow the employee a special privilege: bringing a pet to work, wearing casual clothes for a day, using the boss' office or working from home. Other small activities, like filling the employee's office with balloons or baking a special cake, can also go a long way in making a staff member feel valued.

In some cases, cash is the most effective option for rewarding great employees. When the budget allows, design an employee incentive program that fits with your business. Choose incentives that reward specific behaviors that help advance the company's goals, and make them available to everyone in the company.

Rewarding great employees takes time and creativity, but the payoff can be considerable. Whether your budget allows for personal thank-you notes or a complex employee incentive program, the process of recognizing employees can inspire lasting loyalty that will carry the company through tough times.


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