9 ways to reward team members

“I’m in charge of coming up with ‘rewards’ for employees who’ve helped our department achieve certain milestones. What sorts of ideas have worked for others?” asks one administrative professional.

In Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton’s book The Orange Revolution, they offer low-cost ideas for sparking or rewarding employee engagement:

1.  Find an inexpensive but meaningful item to hand out for the on-the-spot recognition. For example, one manager at Madison Square Gar­­den uses dimes as a symbol of teamwork. (When a basketball player assists another, it’s called a dime.) Employees proudly stack their dimes on their desks.

2.  Add the name of the reward to the employee’s business card.

3.  Have gourmet coffee and tea waiting for employees every morning for a week.

MGR Handbook D

4.  Recruit the person’s best friend at work to help plan recognition, asking for his or her ideas.

5.  Arrange for the CEO to meet with the team member for a few minutes. Face time with leadership is a great way to help a person move up the ladder.

6.  Create a large banner saying “Congratulations to (individuals or team name)!” Ask top leaders to stand at the entry with the banner as employees arrive for work.

7.  Hold a breakfast for a team that has reached a milestone.

8.  Set up a quick recognition ceremony at the end of the day and end with pizza.

9.  Rent a Wii for the day and set it up in the conference room, then set aside afternoon time for team members to play in a Wii tennis or bowling tournament.

— Adapted from The Orange Revolution, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton.