How to appreciate and reward your staff and support mental wellbeing
By Craig Bulow, founder of Corporate Away Days
Knowing that your staff are your most important business asset means that it’s imperative to show that you appreciate them.
Rewarding your staff is a sure way to improve employee motivation, create an appreciative working culture and an atmosphere which improves overall company productivity and employee wellbeing. Employees who feels appreciated will ALWAYS do more than is expected of them
The culture of business is beginning to change where business owners recognise the need to implement wellbeing initiatives. And this is not just about mindfulness and health, it is also about recognition and reward,
What types of rewards can you use in your business that will boost employees’ overall wellbeing? Here are some well-proven ideas:
Flexible Hours and Flexible Working
Let your team do their work when and where they want. The flexibility can be worth a lot more than cash. Maybe they won’t need day care services for their child, for example, if they can make their own schedule. Perhaps reducing the commute into the office can pay for better productivity i.e. time not spent travelling and less stress on the employee.
A few extra days off at either Christmas or New Year to enable them to extend their holidays. Or give them their birthday off or a duvet-day – these are effective ways to reward your best employees. The gift of time, which can be spent with family, or enjoying a mini break without encroaching on annual leave is a welcome gesture to most people. As the employer is most likely taking a bit of time off, it’s nice to let some employees have the same luxury.
Corporate Away Days
A corporate away day for individuals across the workplace, from different departments, instils trust, improves connections and communication, and brings individuals together. Mixing different departments is great, or you can reward a specific team if you prefer.
If the away day is exciting, engaging, inspiring and fun the collective experience and memories created will create a new buzz in the office which will spread.
Other employees will want to meet their work targets to be included on the next one. Video’s and pictures from the day, shown in the office, create great discussions other than ‘work in progress’.
Thank You Note
Saying thanks for something specific may be the ultimate reward. If you do it selectively yet authentically, not on an email, a thank you note may be pinned above your employee’s desk for years. They won’t forget it and will tell others, creating a rewarding and appreciative working culture that pushes others to receive a personal note.
Instead of a wall of fame for employee photos, create a wall that not only recognises employees with a photo, but with a short description and timeline of how they have contributed to where the company is today. Make sure you can add to their accomplishments as they keep succeeding.
Appreciate Personal Wins
Don’t just appreciate employees for what they do for you – appreciate them beyond their work as well. If they’ve achieved a milestone in their lives outside the office, celebrate with them in the office. Decorate their cubicle with balloons and cards when they achieve a personal win, like completing a marathon, winning a tournament, losing weight (if they’ve been public with their diet), having a baby, buying a new home or graduating from a class.
Money is the number one satisfier, but appreciation is the number one motivator.
A financial bonus might be given to reward hard work, or for completing a project on time, within budget, and to a high standard, or it may be for a sustained period of great work, or going the extra mile outside of their responsibilities. Whatever the reason, cash bonuses are great. They offer a quick and easy way to reward your staff. In addition, a bonus is
one of the simplest rewards to manage as it can be easily monitored and given to multiple employees in privacy.
However, there is a downside; the reward is usually short lived. Once negotiated and is expected/received, in the mind of the employee it becomes already spent and loses the reward value.
Let’s end with some fun and laughter. Get a big trophy and give it to the employee you are recognizing for the month. At the end of the month, they must return the trophy – but they need to add one thing to it. (You would be shocked how many things can stick to a trophy.) Then next month give it to the next winner. At the end of the year, you’ll have a trophy with 52 things stuck to it. It looks hysterical and has lots of memories. Retire the trophy and put it in your reception area. Start a new trophy and do it every year.
Find rewards that will work for your staff and use them to demonstrate your appreciation of the work they do in your business. Feeling appreciated is a positive experience. It makes people feel better and contributes to a general improvement in mental health. That’s a win-win for everyone involved.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Craig Bulow is the founder of Corporate Away Days, a corporate wellbeing events company delivering engaging, inspiring and exciting events focussed on Mindfulness / Wellbeing and Reward / Recognition activities. Corporate Away Days also creates, designs and builds corporate wellbeing policies and provides leading experts for interactive workshops, seminars and talks on improving mental health and overall wellbeing.
Every Corporate Away Days event and activity is chosen with wellbeing as its focus, helping to encourage employee engagement, foster connections and build relationships within the business.