7 Ways to Use Rewards Programs to Boost Employee Morale
Your employees likely work hard and strive for excellence. They are making an effort to reach their goals and make you proud. However, the day to day grind can get tiring, leaving employees in need of a necessary boost. Your workplace morale has a huge impact on performance. By making sure employees are enjoying the time with their coworkers, you can promote stronger teamwork. Creating an environment that employees love to come to each day can reduce turnover and burnout. There are some creative ways to increase morale in your workplace. Reward program is a tremendous example of employee recognition and a powerful tool in fostering both teamwork and friendly competition. They can add a little fun and celebratory environment to the work environment.
1. Performance-Based Incentives
Performance-based reward programs are very common and for good reason. By incentivizing higher performance, you drive employees to increase sales or production. It creates healthy competition and can motivate employees to work harder.
Rewarding top performers is important to show that a stellar performance is appreciated. However, it can be discouraging for lower-performing employees to see the same people get rewarded every time. It’s also important to create opportunities for growth and improvement. Consider ways to add incentives for individual increased production or smaller goals set for employees to gradually improve.
Friendly competition is a big driver of performance. Keep your performance-based reward system fun and interactive. Engaging visuals that track progress can encourage competition and motivate employees to work harder to bypass coworkers. A fun way to celebrate and announce the winners gets everyone involved and looking forward to the next phase.
2. Team Rewards
Team-based rewards encourage better cooperation. When team members work together towards a common goal, they find new ways to improve their collaboration. This improves morale among the team for better long-term relationships.
Working to earn a reward as a team makes the process of teamwork more exciting. Plus, winning the reward is a great shared experience to bring the team together. This strategy can benefit all sizes of groups from small teams to large departments. Teams can even be formed by mixing up different groups so employees can get to know others that they don’t typically work with.
You can provide the traditional monetary bonus to each team member. However, the reward you choose can also further boost morale. A ping pong table for the winning department’s break room can make downtime more fun. Catering a meal or hosting a happy hour to celebrate the winning team will bring them even closer together to form stronger relationships.
3. Rewards for Volunteering
Giving back to the community can cause a surge of feel-good endorphins. When employees contribute their time together, they form a stronger bond and improve morale. Providing rewards for volunteer hours is a great way to encourage this activity.
Encourage employees to track their volunteer hours. Teams can even come together to decide to work with an organization that aligns with their jobs or that they have a personal connection to. This gives team members a sense of purpose and something to work towards together.
Make it simple for employees to volunteer by allowing them to be flexible with their schedules when possible. Visibly track employee volunteer hours to motivate other teams to increase their time spent giving back. Reward teams for reaching a certain number of hours or for being at the top of the chart. Not only is this great PR for your company, but the act of volunteering will benefit the work environment.
4. Peer Choice Rewards
Many times, the feelings of their peers are extremely valuable and motivating. Allowing peers to choose reward recipients can be very meaningful. It gives employees the chance to come together and recognize the excellence of others.
Allow employees to vote on a Co-Worker of the Month to show that their hard work is valued by everyone. Give workers an outlet to publicly recognize each other for being great team members. This culture of appreciation and gratitude can provide a huge boost in morale.
5. Unique Reward Choices
Sure, monetary compensation is the most traditional way to show appreciation. However, unique reward choices can also be a good way to boost morale. Think outside the box and about the needs of your employees when deciding on an award.
Create a system for employees to earn casual days where the workplace dress code is relaxed. Give workers a chance to earn extra vacation time or catered lunches. A spontaneous early release day can be a perfect reward for meeting a big goal.
6. Wellness Rewards
A wellness reward program can be an effective way to boost both employee health and morale. By encouraging healthy eating and increased activity, employees will see both mental and physical benefits. Working together or competing against each other to reach goals can be fun and rewarding.
Have a competitive pot luck where co-workers vote on each others favorite healthy recipes. Form teams and a step goal to see who can reach it first. Encourage groups to participate in walks and runs outside of the workplace and give them incentive to do so.
Through your reward program, your employees can encourage each other to live healthier lives. They will likely become more efficient and attentive workers as they focus on improving their wellness. Plus, they will become closer coworkers as they strive for a common goal.
7. Spontaneous Reward Giving
One of the best ways to both celebrate employees and keep them on their toes is by having a spontaneous reward program. This allows you to immediately recognize employees that you catch doing exceptional work. By providing immediate incentive, you encourage employees to work harder while making the workplace more fun.
Keep a stash of gift cards and reward an employee working exceptionally hard. Surprise a team that’s doing great things with afternoon coffee. Making a big deal of celebrating these little events can drastically boost the morale of the workplace.
Think about your unique situation and your employees when implementing your rewards programs. You can even ask employees for feedback and ideas on what systems they would prefer. The right program, or a combination of a few, can make a huge impact.
By positively affecting the culture of your workplace, you’ll make it more fun and enjoyable. Employees will love coming to the office and see their work as more than just a job. By boosting morale, you’ll create happy coworkers that are more engaged, efficient, and productive.
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