Being recognized at work makes employees happy—and happy employees are more loyal employees. Here’s proof: 82% of employees consider recognition an important part of their happiness at work and 63% who are recognized are very unlikely to look for a new job. (SurveyMonkey, Bonusly)
We can all agree that making happy happen at work looks very different right now, with some companies working remotely while others have started transitioning back to the workplace. In either scenario, revving up your employee recognition and incentive program is smart for your business. Here are a few ideas for both WFH and in-office incentives:
Shout out. So often we forget that the most obvious answer is right in front of us: Recognizing employees for a job well done can be as simple as calling them out on a team Zoom call, a hand-written note, or a personal call.
Buy them lunch. If your employees are working remotely, in the office, or a mix of both, organize a lunchtime e-conference call to gather your team around the digital table. Consider buying gift cards from local eateries that have been struggling due to COVID-19 and use meal delivery services like Postmates and Doordash to make meal management simple.
Digital gift cards. Employees like the freedom to choose the perks that best suit them: While someone might not need earbuds, he or she might want a digital assistant like an Amazon Echo instead—gift cards make it easy to give employees the perfect gift.
Travel incentives. Eventually, travel will resume. In the meantime, offer staycation options for employees at local resorts or provide vouchers for future air travel and/or hotel stays.
Self-improvement classes. Offer tuition reimbursement for professional development programs and required ongoing education classes, or even for extracurricular interests like photography or scuba diving.
Welcome back kits. When employees do return to the office, ease the transition with thoughtful (and functional) gift items like reusable/sustainable food storage containers for packing lunch, insulated drinkware, tote bags, notepads, and even PPE; and tech items like earbuds, web cameras and charging stations.
Developing an online company store as part of your employee incentive program is an efficient way to manage it: you distribute digital gift credits and employees to use their “points” to purchase the branded swag and apparel or name-brand gifts they want—and it’s all managed virtually, which is a great fit for our current workplace situation.
If you’re interested in brainstorming ideas for your incentive
or back-to-work welcome program, connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.