Business is all about people, and the people that make up your own business are largely responsible for its success. When employees perform especially well, you have the chance not only to reinforce a positive relationship with them but to encourage a culture of exceptional performance in the workplace. The following ideas will help as you consider what to do for your employees.
Write a Thank You Letter
Simple is sometimes better. A simple written affirmation letting an employee know that their work is noticed and appreciated can go a long way towards enforcing the belief that their future efforts are also important to you. While a business-wide email is still better than nothing, the more personal you are the more effective this will be—writing an email and personalizing it for each employee or even using the time-proven method of a handwritten note. However, you send it, however, make sure your words are genuine and it will be received that way.
Give Out Performance Bonuses
A more substantial form of reward for employees, of course, is giving them a bonus. Business owners often forget or discard this seemingly shallow form of thanks. In actuality, there is nothing shallow to an employee about their employer adding to their paycheck after they’ve worked hard and accomplished something. One of the tried-and-true ways of doing this is by offering a bonus program of some kind, to incentivize employees beforehand and to motivate them towards goals they might not otherwise try to achieve. A great benefit of this is its long-game strategy, meaning employees are less likely to leave or be uninvested in their work if they have an actual reason to invest in it.
Go Out for Lunch or Dinner
For both a tangible as well as affirmational reward, taking the entire company out for lunch or dinner after a large group achievement is a great idea. This tactic has multiple benefits, the first being that it’s likely less expensive than giving a performance bonus, but still shows employees that you are willing to celebrate their achievement in a substantial way. Another benefit is that the experience will be a great memory to associate with their work in your company and, especially, the product of their good performance. For smaller, personal rewards, taking an employee out one-on-one is also a great idea and can encourage overall workplace relationship development.
Throw a Party
Want to go all out? Throw your employees a party to celebrate company-wide performance. What this looks like may be dependent on the size of your company, its brand, and what your employees desire—but if the food is delicious and the presentation fun, it will be worth the effort. Bamboo skewers help enhance the presentation of food at a party and make food easy to stick in fondue. In general, transportable food or finger food can keep the atmosphere social and allow for you to spread your gratitude more easily to employees than in a more formal setting.
Add to the Workplace
Though office supplies and general resources should be available and updated for employees regardless, one way to really reward your employees is by gifting their workplace with something everyone can enjoy. Comfier chairs, a toaster oven in the break room, or just fun decorations to add to the space, shows employees that you not only value their good performance but that you want them to enjoy their work in general. To make this very effective, ask for suggestions and then have your employees vote in a poll to determine the final decision of what will be added to the office.
Go Public with Gratitude
A personal thank you letter is nice, but a call-out can be even more encouraging. If your company has any kind of social media or space online, broadcasting your appreciation for your employees shows that you take pride in them and acknowledge the important part they play in making your company thrive. It can also involve their family and social circle in reinforcing such congratulations. If you don’t have an online following to show them off to, you can also take this more literally. You can post your thanks in the front office of your company or some public space people will see it in person, prompting others to congratulate the employee as well.
Present an Award
Recognition feels good, and sometimes it’s easier to boost confidence and future desire to perform by articulating to an employee what exactly they did right. There are multiple different kinds of awards, but whether it’s a trophy or a certificate, rewarding an employee this way can also communicate to those around them what made them exceptional and encourage similar behavior throughout the workplace. Some give out awards for everyone to make them feel included, but whether you do or not, make sure that the actual name or description of the award is personalized and specific to what that employee achieved.
Give Them a Raise
For the biggest achievements, the best way to show your gratitude is by investing in achieving your employee’s future in your company. By giving them a raise, you cement in their eyes the value of what they’ve accomplished and how much it is appreciated. Plus, an employee who is motivated to continue giving their best performance will be invaluable to the future of your company and much more of an asset than one that does the minimum. As this is a more long-term reward and commitment for you, knowing when to give a raise is important and should be determined in a way that can be consistent in the future for other employees as well.
Figuring out how to reward your employees for good performance is a great problem to have. Companies that struggle to keep their employees long-term or to reach company-wide goals might benefit as well from rewarding the little things, building up enthusiasm and motivation in the workplace that can lead to amazing accomplishments worthy of great gratitude. In your company, always err on the side of showing too much appreciation rather than less.
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