5 Great ways to reward & appreciate your staff

AppreciationWhat do you do when you know a staff member is terribly resentful that he or she did not get the pay rise they were looking forward to? There is no doubt that in tough economic times, it is difficult to give your staff the salary increases they might want or expect. Disappointment is inevitable.

How do you ensure you retain your best performers in a tough market and where top performers will be in demand, and at risk of leaving or being poached?


Most importantly don’t ignore the problem.  Most problems are, if not solved, then lessened, by communication. Explain the decision, the reasons for it, and what the future holds. Ask for their feedback. Ask what motivates them. Rewards can be fashioned around what motivates individuals.

Here are some options:


Bonuses can take a number of forms. Performance bonuses based on meeting set criteria (and not just financial) are a good way to motivate. Don’t leave it 12 months after the event – try breaking the bonus up into two parts, payable six-monthly.

Retention bonuses are paid, regardless of performance to encourage staff to stay for a period of time.  Some call it a golden handcuff – but if a staff member is at risk of departure, keeping them with you for a set period of time with a reward at the end may be enough to see the tough times through.

A holiday bonus is a great way to reward your staff before they go on leave – and a great surprise for them if not linked to any event other than wishing them a happy holiday.

Some organisations pay a loyalty leave bonus which pays staff a small bonus with an extra week’s leave after five years’ service.

Time and flexibility

Does you staff member have child or eldercare responsibilities?  Offer time – either in blocks, or shorter days when work is light on. If work is full on and long hours are worked, offer a day or afternoon off at an appropriate time.


Buy a few gift vouchers to have in your top drawer – and vary them. Grocery store vouchers may not float the boat of someone who is into cars. Movie vouchers, massages, and other experiences are all good rewards and these should be given out at a time close to an event worth rewarding.


Create a greater sense of team. Bring in a cake for your team meetings. Take the team out for lunch for no reason. There are a myriad number of ways to do this.


Staff who feel appreciated are more likely to go the extra mile for you. Say thank you and express appreciation on a regular basis.

What are your favourite ways to reward your staff?