Tips to Reward and Motivate Your Employees in these Tough Economic Times

Even though the economic times are tough, you need to continue to reward and motivate your employees. People are working harder than ever, and there are lots of ways to acknowledge their contributions, to make the work environment more friendly and positive, and to motivate them to continue their efforts towards reaching your company’s goals. Here are a few ideas to help you reward your employees for a job well done!

  1. Send a handwritten note. Take time to create a handwritten thank-you to an employee who has gone out of his/her way to attain a goal, to meet a deadline, to solve a problem, or to take care of a customer. Deliver that note to your employee in person and let them know how happy you are with their performance. Make a note of this also in their personnel file so their contribution is noted when performance reviews are being given.
  2. Create a fun activity. Create regular fun activities that engage your employees. For example, have a “match the employee to their baby picture” contest and award a prize to the person who has the most correct matches. Let your employees generate ideas for these kinds of activities. As an added bonus, it encourages personal connections between your employees.
  3. Treat your employees. As in, give them a treat. Have a monthly birthday party for every employee with a birthday in that month. Treat them to cake, ice cream and time with the CEO. Knowing that top management cares about them is a great way to motivate your team!
  4. Hall of Fame. Create a space where you can post pictures and short stories of employees who have been recognized for outstanding service or effort. Create a nomination process and a regular recognition process. Have it be in a public area where not only employees—but your customers—can see the great accomplishments of the people in your company.
  5. Reward effort with Awards or Trophies. While success is important, ideas and innovation are just as important. Make sure you  reward ideas and innovation as well concrete results. Create an “innovation award” as part of your recognition system. It will encourage your employees to think outside the box.
  6. A little food goes a long way. As a special reward, bring in coffee and breakfast breads to recognize a milestone, a job well done, a large customer win, etc.
  7. Create an outside recognition system. Your customers, partners, suppliers and visitors are a great source of reward and recognition. Give them an opportunity to fill out a recognition form for someone in your company who has gone out of their way to help them. Make these forms available in person, online and in other ways to ensure an easy process. Share the comments with the employee and the HR department.
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