What are some ways to be creative when rewarding employees?

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One of the major reasons to reward employees is to motivate them to continue to perform well or to perform even better.  In other words, rewards are not just about recognizing what employees have already done.  Instead, they are about making sure that the employees continue to work hard and perform well in the future.

To do this, you need to reward both the people who do as well as expected and the people who go above and beyond.  While money can be a good way of doing this, studies have shown that it is only a short-term motivator.  Other sorts of rewards are needed if you really want to maintain worker enthusiasm.  Some possible rewards include:

  • Providing prizes for weight loss competitions.  This is something that is not just for the highest performers.  It can increase worker morale because it shows that management cares about them.  It can also be good for the firm if it results in healthier workers.
  • Give extra lunch time to people who will walk to get lunch (this will only work in certain areas).  Again, this is a sort of perk that will make employees feel that their firm is unique and a perk that can increase worker health.
  • Allow flexible work hours.  This can be something you allow everyone to do or it may just be something that you give as a reward to your best workers.
  • An extra day off for the employee of the month.
  • Fun ways of acknowledging an outstanding employee or team.  These could be things like a team pizza party or ice cream party.  It could be something like allowing the employee of the month to work in a special (really fancy) office for the next month. 

All of these are things that make workers feel special and can be good ways to maintain and improve worker performance.

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