20 Informal Ways to Reward Individuals
The following memos and advice outline various ways of recognizing individuals with both formal and informal rewards. They can be used for everything from a quick pat on the back for a job well done, to recognition of individual or group efforts that have made a significant contribution to goals and objectives.
"Pat on the back" awards:
- Send the employee a recognition memo from the Manager's Resource Center.
- Pop in spontaneously with the CEO or other high-level executive to thank the employee in person.
- Hold up an applause sign at the next staff meeting after you mention your employee's successes.
- Send out a weekly "Great Achievement E-mail Award" to the entire company acknowledging one outstanding employee.
- Award the employee with a "plum assignment"- their choice of what they want to work on for their next project.
- Send flowers to one of the less recognized "behind the scenes" individuals.
- Create a "Hall of Fame" in the lobby. Put up a picture of each employee of the month, and engrave their name on a master plaque with words of recognition.
- Hand out the "Bright Ideas" award for innovative thinking. The winner gets a free dinner, tickets to the movies, etc.
- Give the "High Five" award. Pick five people in the department and have them go up to an employee and say "I heard that you did a great job at . . . Good work!"
- Give the "Mint Condition" award of silver dollars to all who had perfect attendance at the end of the year.
- Offer employees something that complements their favorite hobby (a fishing pole, a golf club, sunglasses).
- Pay for your employee to go through a local car wash and get a tank of full serve gas.
Outstanding, above and beyond awards:
- Give out the "Golden (symbol of your company or department)" award that outstanding employees of the month can pass off to one another each month.
- After an employee has finished a project involving long hours at the office, send their significant other a letter of appreciation and a gift certificate for two at a quiet restaurant.
- Hold a monthly "Queen/ King of the Hill" day where the outstanding employee is given the closest parking spot, treated to lunch, and let off early with a gift certificate to the movies.
- Pay for the employee and a friend to go to a local all-you-can-eat restaurant, offering them the "Above and Beyond" award for extra long hours on the job.
- Offer a "Squeaky Clean Quality Service Award" where one outstanding employee in quality service gets free dry cleaning.
- Award the "Lean and Mean" award for cost effective work, within or under the expected budget. Give the recipient a 3 month membership to the nearest gym.
- Give an employee the "Gracefully Handled" award when they help the company pull through a sticky situation. Offer tickets for two to the symphony or ballet.
- Give an employee the "Golden Research Award" for detailed research they conducted to make a project successful. Offer them a subscription to their magazine of choice.
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