“As your staff feels, so will your customers. If your staff don't feel valued, neither will your customers." - Sybil F. Stershic

Just picture entering your favorite coffee shop with the barista smiling warmly. Your well prepared coffee is served with a pleasant "Have a fantastic day!" You leave with more than coffee, feeling respected and appreciated.

Now replace this with an office setting. Your coworkers and supervisors welcome you as you enter the workplace. How does this make you feel? Do you feel respected and driven, or like a cog in the corporate machine? To retain and motivate employees in today's competitive work environment, make them feel valued and their accomplishments celebrated. Because happy employees create a happy company.

Top 25 Ways to Reward Your Employees

Rather than just sticking to the old ways of employee rewards and recognition, start thinking outside the box. Here are 25 unique and personalised ways in which you can reward your valued employees.

1. Customized 'Thank You' cards

Thank-you cards are more than words—they motivate. Gallup says honored employees are more engaged and productive. In a thank-you message, describe particular accomplishments or acts to make it more memorable. Example: "Dear Sarah, your guidance on our innovative software development project increased client satisfaction by 30%. Our achievement is due to your effort and detail."

Discover how ThriveSparrow promotes peer-to-peer recognition through customizable Kudos Cards. Simply express your gratitude, mention your co-workers, and send them Kudos. The icing on the cake is that everyone in the organization gets to join the celebration and extend congratulations!

A screenshot of ThriveSparrow's Kudos Card

2. Flexible work hours

Flexible work hours are valued by employees.

According to FlexJobs, 74% of workers find flexible schedules most appealing.

Allowing employees to modify hours improves work-life balance and job satisfaction. Working parents can start and leave early to spend more time with their families.

3. Career development

Employee growth is crucial and pays well.

LinkedIn's 2020 Workforce Learning Report found that 94% of employees would remain longer if a firm invested in their careers.

By covering training or certification costs, you boost employee abilities and retain top personnel. For example, your marketing team attends a comprehensive SEO session, and as a result, they increased website traffic by 20%, and conversions by 5%.

4. Recognition by peers

Employee morale is greatly affected by peer recognition.

Globoforce reported that 72% of peer-recognized employees love their employment.

Globoforce reported that 72% of peer-recognized employees love their employment.

Establish a program where employees nominate coworkers for outstanding performance. Give the winners diplomas or prizes and share their tales. This recognizes their work and motivates others.

5. Dress casually

Casual wear days boost workplace comfort rather than just fashion.

Casual attire boosts productivity for 81% of employees, according to SHRM research.

Introduce themed casual days like "Superhero Day," to increase team spirit and enjoyment at work. Aon Hewitt found that this increases employee engagement by 15%.

6. Employee of the month

Employee of the Month honors are significant.

Forbes found that 94% of employees would remain longer if acknowledged for their work.

Consider a monthly celebration with trophies, certificates, and special parking for the winner. According to a University of Warwick research, acknowledgment enhances morale and productivity by 23%.

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7. Wellness programs

Wellness programs pay off.

The American Psychological Association reports a 7.5% productivity boost in organizations using wellness initiatives.

Offer gym memberships or yoga lessons to enhance fitness. Wellness initiatives improve work satisfaction for 80% of employees, supporting them and your company's performance.

8. Adjustable vacation time

Flexible vacation plans are prized by employees.

Harvard Business Review showed that 80% of employees value vacation flexibility in their jobs.

Provide extra paid time off for weddings and births. BambooHR found that this boosts employee loyalty and minimizes fatigue, increasing retention by 25%.

9. Company swag

Company swag promotes belonging. Consider giving branded t-shirts, mugs, or backpacks as thanks.

PPAI Research found that employees who openly use or wear these things become brand ambassadors, improving brand visibility by 500%.

10. Team-building exercises

Team building is essential for employee bonding.

Gallup found that positive and collaborative work connections increase employee happiness by 50%.

Team-building activities and trips enhance connections. This increases team productivity by 30%, according to a Harvard Business Review research. For example, an escape room challenge can boost teamwork and problem-solving.

11. CEO lunch

Lunch with executives connects leaders and employees.

Quantum Workplace found that 85% of employees are inspired to achieve better after meetings with CEOs.

Interactions can spark new ideas and boost business culture. By addressing workplace issues and promoting positive change, a casual lunch chat will raise employee happiness by 20%.

12. Money bonuses

Financial bonuses motivate.

Deloitte reported that 60% of employees would consider a higher-paying job.

Year-end or performance-based incentives recognize and reward outstanding work. For instance, a salesman who earns a 10% bonus on their annual salary for achieving objectives is likely to strive for more, increasing sales by 15%.

13. Extra paid time off

Giving extra paid time off for major life events shows sensitivity.

Glassdoor found that 79% of employees prefer time off to financial bonuses.

Offering extra paid vacation, like a week off for a milestone birthday, shows you care about your staff. This can boost job satisfaction and reduce absenteeism.

14. Employee wellness days

Employee wellness days improve workplace health.

Workplace wellness initiatives reduce absenteeism by 22%, according to the American Psychological Association.

Offering wellness days helps staff focus on self-care, lowering stress and burnout. Virgin Pulse found this increases employee satisfaction by 10%.

15. Professional memberships

Covering professional memberships helps employees and the firm.

60% of professional development recipients stay with their firm for over three years.

- The National Business Research Institute

Sponsoring appropriate organization memberships can increase staff knowledge and encourage continual learning. Supporting an employee's tech organization participation gives them industry knowledge, which can enhance project innovation by 15%.

16. Mentorship programs

Employee growth is greatly impacted by mentoring programs.

A Deloitte research found that mentored employees advance 130% faster.

Junior employees learn faster, gain confidence, and receive help from experienced mentors. An employee coached by a seasoned leader can develop 25% in leadership abilities in a year.

17. Unexpected gift cards

Surprise gift cards personalize recognition.

Blackhawk Network found that 77% of employees regard gift cards as rewards.

Gift cards should reflect individual preferences. Giving a gift card to a preferred restaurant or online shop links the award with the recipient's interests, increasing its perceived value by 40%.

18. Travel rewards

Travel incentives will boost motivation.

Travel incentives can increase performance by 18%, according to the Incentive Research Foundation.

Reward outstanding performers with all-inclusive holidays or travel vouchers. After returning from a week-long incentive trip to a scenic region, a high-performing team can boost sales by 25%.

19. Customized workspace

Workplace customization promotes morale and productivity.

Personalizing workplaces increases employee happiness by 32%, according to the British Psychological Society.

Give staff a yearly stipend to buy ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and personalized artwork. The American Psychological Association reports a 20% reduction in workplace stress due to this sense of responsibility.

20. Honor wall

A acknowledgment wall keeps employees' accomplishments in mind.

The OC Tanner analysis found that organizations with recognition programs have 31% reduced employee turnover.

Make a place in the office for employees to exhibit their accomplishments. Visibility of these accomplishments promotes gratitude and can boost employee engagement by 15%.

21. Employee-designed projects

Letting workers drive their passions encourages ownership and creativity.

Harvard Business Review reports 21% increased profitability for organizations that encourage employee-led initiatives.

If an employee is passionate about sustainability, allowing them to manage a company-wide recycling program can reduce the company's environmental impact by 40% and enhance employee happiness.

22. Unplanned celebrations

Celebrate spontaneously to create a lively workplace.

SurveyMonkey found that 82% of employees are motivated by minor wins.

Celebrate milestones, birthdays, and successes with impromptu workplace parties, snacks, or surprises. Unexpected delight boosts team bonding and cooperation by 20%.

23. Tech gear

Tech devices boost productivity and work happiness.

Staples discovered that 70% of employees felt valued when given new technology.

Gift staff noise-canceling headphones for a quieter workplace or iPads for mobility. This technological investment can boost productivity by 15%.

24. Family events

Family-friendly events build community.

The Families and Work Institute found that 89% of employees favor family-friendly perks.

Picnics, game evenings, and holiday parties allow employees to expose their families to the office culture. Employee morale and loyalty will rise by 25% after such activities.

25. Profit-sharing

Profit-sharing schemes link employees to corporate success.

Willis Towers Watson found that profit-sharing agreements boost employee retention by 21%.

Give employees a share of annual revenues through a profit-sharing scheme. This recognizes their contribution in producing profits and gives them a clear financial interest in the company's progress, which can boost employee engagement by 20%.

Incorporate these Rewards at your Workplace

An important part of corporate success is often overlooked: employees.

They are the essence of every organization, propelling its success and preserving its culture. These amazing methods to reward employees demonstrate the transformative impact of gratitude and acknowledgment. It's a reminder that your staff are your company's heartbeats, not just gears.

These awards also aren't just for your staff; they're for a future of respect, creativity, and extraordinary achievement. It's time to reinvent your workplace and leave a legacy of brilliance that fulfills the dreams of your employees.


1. How can I reward my staff?

There are many ways that you can reward your employees. For example, personalized 'Thank You' cards that highlight specific achievements to gift cards or a day-off. All these are suitable ways to appreciate and reward your employees. But more than monetary value, ensure it is thoughtful and from the heart.

2. What is an employee reward system?

An employee reward system is a recognition approach incorporated to acknowledge employee efforts and achievements through a range of incentives, bonuses, or wellness programs.

3. Why is it good to reward employees?

Rewarding employees helps,

  1. Foster a positive work culture.
  2. Enhance employee engagement.
  3. Boost morale and job satisfaction.
  4. Retain top talent.