8 ways to reward your team this year

Praise is essential in any working environment. Receiving praise assures employees that their work is not only exceptional within their team but also important in their perception of themselves. Acknowledging the good work of individuals should not be reserved for yearly performance reviews, it should be a consistent, natural part of your working environment. At the end of the year, however, you should reward your team that little bit more! Not only have they done a year of hard work for the company but they are also about to take some holiday time and you want them coming back to work happy and refreshed. While a nice cash bonus is always welcome, it has been proven that money gifts are not as effective or long lasting as more personalised rewards in engaging your staff.

The Importance of Employee Engagement

colleagues working together
reward your team with a Christmas team building activity

Employee engagement is essential for staff retention and productivity. Engaged staff are more motivated, produce higher quality work, will put in extra effort for your company and most importantly are happy. In contrast, disengaged employees are more likely to produce uninspiring work, show up late, leave early and feel unhappy in their workplace. As a leader it is your responsibility to make your team motivated. Check out these fantastic, cheap ways to reward your team at the end of the year.

1. Give everyone a personalised note/card

It may seem small but a personal message from the boss can have a profound effect. Notes of appreciation have been known to stay pinned to employee’s cubicle walls for years. Make sure to handwrite your note, it has to be from the heart and it guarantees you didn’t just copy-paste it.

2. Have a small awards ceremony

Don’t be afraid of being a little cheesy with this one. Call everyone over to the conference room and host an office Oscars rewarding everyone individually for their fantastic work. Go all out! Get little trophies and prizes (chocolates and roses always work a treat). You can choose to do this one based on their actual work e.g. Award Kevin from HR for hiring 2 excellent new staff, or you can make them silly e.g. Messiest desk or Most boring lunch award. Have fun with it but also make sure to congratulate them on their actual title while they are up there.

3. Give the gift of free time

Offer a half or full day off leading up to Christmas so your team can do all of their Christmas shopping. It shows you understand that work isn’t the only part of their life and allows them a bit of respite in such a busy time.

4. Take them out!
reward you team with time out of the office
Take your team out for drinks as a staff reward

Go out for a long lunch. If that’s too pricy then how about after work drinks on you, of course!). Keep in mind that your staff will be seeing what other companies were doing for Christmas on social media, so make sure you take them somewhere nice and make it a fun night. Did anyone say karaoke?!

6. Have a Christmas party!

We can’t recommend this enough! Christmas parties should be an annual event that everyone looks forward to. Think about it, you and your employees spend the majority of your waking hours together being (relatively) serious; you deserve to have some fun! Combine your Christmas party with some team building activities and you and your team will feel closer than ever, ready to take on the New Year.

7. Have a team building day
group enjoying a bubble soccer team building activity
bubble soccer team building activity

Have an adventurous team building day. Play bubble soccer or do an amazing race. Do something silly, fun and cooperative. While you shouldn’t limit the activities to just a once-a-year affair, Christmas is always a good time to get the whole team together, bonding, problem solving and laughing with one another.

8. Always reward your team

Be the leader you would want to have. Be respectful, encouraging, motivating and easy to talk to. Don’t just do it when holidays are fast approaching and you’re seeing the office with a rosy glow Do it all the time. You have the power to make your employees time with you enjoyable and engaging. The workforce needs more kind, emotionally intelligent leaders. It’s your turn.

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