What Rewards Can You Give?
Typical rewards given in conjunction with employee recognition are:
- trophies or ribbons
- jewelry (pins, pendants)
- pens or desk accessories
- watches and clocks
- cash bonuses
- savings bonds
- tickets to sporting or cultural events
- vacation trips
Recognition on a shoestring budget. Even if your small business can't
afford to go all out due to budget constraints, recognition is one case where
the thought does count. If you can't afford something expensive, consider a nice
card and a gift certificate to a restaurant. Or, consider taking the employee to
lunch or just having an informal "thank you" party with punch and
cookies for the employee or group of employees you want to reward.
Here are some other more inexpensive forms of recognition suggested by
Rosalind Jeffries and Kathryn Wall, in "Recognition Secrets: A Succinct
System for Organizational Success," Best of America HR Conference
" Expo, Tampa, Florida, February 11, 1991:
- Write personal notes to employees. Jot down a message to one of
your employees, recognizing him or her for better performance on the job, or
write a thank you note to an employee for putting in extra time in the
workplace. Use your personal stationery.
- Create a "year in review" booklet. Have a year-in-review
booklet with pictures or a celebration highlighting your employees' proudest
achievements of the year.
- Give courtesy time off. Grant employees an afternoon off, or even a
day or two of leave for special, personal events in their lives.
- Give credit when credit is due. Remember to give credit to those
who have introduced great ideas and completed special projects.
- Put up a bulletin board. Construct a bulletin board at your place
of business to recognize employees through letters, memos, pictures, thank
you cards, and other methods.
- Have a "Friday surprise." Surprise your staff with
something nice on Friday, recognizing them for working hard or just hanging
- Get a traveling trophy. Establish a trophy that goes each month to
the employee exhibiting the greatest overall performance — behaviors and
results — in the business.
Many word processing programs have built in templates that
can help you create an award certificate from your printer in a
matter of minutes. For example, Microsoft Word has several
different styles of award certificates. All you have to do is
fill in the information.
Don't give awards out every day or else they will lose their
meaning. Be especially careful not to give them to everyone, but
only to those people whose work really stands out. Giving out
awards just to give them out is a de-motivator. Use them
sparingly and when deserved.