End of year reward and recogntion plans are in full swing at the moment and are a great way to boost employee engagement. But we also need to think about how the impact soon dissipates when employees return to business as usual in the new year. What’s really needed is a sustained effort that will address known phenomena such as the mid-year slump and keep the fires burning.

With this in mind, here’s our list of the top ten moments to thank staff and keep them motivated throughout the year.

1. Recruitment Referral: In a competitive recruitment market encouraging employees to refer potential candidates is a win-win situation that can save employers a significant amount of money in recruitment agency fees.  On the appointment of a suggested candidate, employers can show their gratitude for the recommendation with vouchers and social recognition.  In turn this motivates other employees to actively participate in the recruitment process.

2. Long-Service Awards: At a time when retention and recruitment is a challenge for most employers, holding on to good stuff is imperative.  Longer serving staff have critical skills, experience and knowledge to share with newer staff. By signalling the value leaders place on the retention of experience, other staff are motivated others to aspire to long-term service.

3. Suggestion Schemes: Employees often have valuable insights and suggestions for improving company processes. Implementing their ideas and acknowledging their contributions not only fosters a sense of belonging and motivation but keeps the ideas flowing.

4. Monthly/Quarterly/Annual Employee Awards: Roll out the red carpet and regularly celebrate employees’ achievements through awards and recognition ceremonies.

5. Financial Support Payments: During the cost of living crisis employees really appreciate their employer providing financial assistance for everyday purchases such as lunch, groceries, energy bills as well as big ticket items such as personal development, health and wellbeing, can be a powerful way to motivate employees. It not only helps them achieve personal health goals but also shows the company’s commitment to their well-being.

6. Christmas Gifts and Bonuses: Encourage staff to finish the year strong and make a fast start in the New Year.  Staff will leave a traditional office party on a high, for a longer lasting impact, give staff a thoughtful gift or voucher that enables them to choose something they really want and can look forward to spending.  

7. Sales Incentives: Get a bit of healthy competition going among sales teams and encourage them to hit targets with performance-based rewards. Done well, a sales incentive scheme reminds staff of their hard work each time they redeem their reward.

8. Employee Rewards: A reward system for achieving a specific target or milestone significantly boosts employee motivation. Here the trick is to offer rewards that cater to as wide a range of employee preferences as possible.

9. Recognition Programs: Encourage staff to repeat behaviour known to result in successful business outcomes with a formal recognition program linked to specific values and behaviours.  The discipline of giving daily, weekly, monthly recognition helps to nurture a culture of appreciation that motivates staff to perform.

10. Personal Milestones: celebrating birthdays and life events such as becoming new parents, or weddings creates a sense of belonging. Thoughtful gifts or gestures during these special moments show that the company cares about the individuals behind the job titles.


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