Ask a random set of workers what motivates them the most and the top answer you’ll invariably get is money. But is cash really the best employee motivator?
A 2017 study of 600 salespeople found that when a mixed cash and prize incentive scheme was replaced by a cash package of equivalent value, motivation actually plummeted. Certainly, in some cases, then, it’s best to reward workers with non-cash equivalents that they’ll enjoy.
People don’t like to feel their employers are simply waving carrots in front of them to get them to work harder. Rewards should attempt to recognize the individual and the unique things that they’ve done to benefit the company. They should highlight how the worker has been a team player and make them feel proud of what they’ve done.
1 – Tickets to an event
Instead of a cash reward, which can feel impersonal, consider offering tickets to an event as a thank you to employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. 72% of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences than material items.
If you’re rewarding an individual, be sure to think of an event they’ll actually enjoy and consider whether they’ll need additional tickets for their spouse and/or family.
You can reward a team by giving them event tickets, too. Not only does this show your appreciation for the team, but it’s also an opportunity for them to bond outside of work.
2 – Time off
Offering the best players in your company some well-earned time off can let them recharge and come back even stronger. It signals to the team that you care about the well-being of your staff, too, helping to create a more productive and happy work culture.
3 – A dinner with the boss
Employees who work extremely hard often have excellent ideas on how to improve the business. An opportunity to discuss their thoughts with a decision-maker or the boss at a meeting or dinner can build loyalty and show the employee you value their input. You may even get some good ideas for how to change business processes for the better.
4 – A handwritten thank you note
A great free reward is a note from the boss that’s handwritten and highly personalized. Including all the details of where the employee excelled in their duties really hammers home how the company is very aware of the specific skills, the individual has brought to the table. It shows you’re willing to spend time simply to acknowledge the individual.
Depending on the occasion, you may want to include a small gift alongside the note to further cement how important the employee is to the company.
5 – Office party or barbecue
If circumstances allow, when the team’s successfully worked together to achieve something awesome, an office get-together is a great way to celebrate.
Not only does it feel great to have some fun beverages and canapés when you should be working, but it’s also another opportunity for team members to bond together outside of their usual duties.
Showing your company cares about the personal wellbeing of its staff can go a long way to improve the day-to-day atmosphere of the office.