Top 3 Ways for Leaders to Reward Your Employees

Three affordable and easy ways to reward your employees and say thank you in the era of social distancing.

To reward and recognise your employees, we have to be a lot smarter in how we go about it, given the days of unlimited corporate card budgets to pay for celebrity chef dinners or to drink entire bars dry are long behind us. It's especially difficult now that we are living in an era of social distancing and the closest you can get to your reports is through a webcam.

Although saying thank you is a good start, there are more ways to reward without breaking the corporate credit limit. Starting from free:

1) Public displays of appreciation

Cost: Free!

Money doesn’t always buy happiness and it certainly isn’t needed to show gratitude. Try some of these:
  • Include a column in the corporate newsletter calling out great behaviours or actions which have gone above-and-beyond
  • Create a wall showing successful initiatives and projects and the people responsible for them
  • Create an award which people can nominate others for, such as when someone demonstrates clear behaviours aligned to your corporate values.

2) Personal thank you notes

Cost: $1-5

Take a cue from talk show host Jimmy Fallon and write (not type!) personal thank you notes on real card. Research indicates that we often underestimate how pleasantly surprised recipients are when they receive a thank you note.

Ironically, many people are afraid to write thank you notes because they “overestimated the potential awkwardness that someone receiving a heartfelt thank-you note would experience.” (source:

3) Fooooooooood

Cost: $20-50

There’s no better way to bond but through a shared meal. Take your people out for a nice lunch when they’ve done something especially good. It's a good chance to have a chat outside work and really get to know your employees personally, to connect and build trust.

Of course in the era of social distancing, a gift card at a nice restaurant doing take out and shared drinks via video conferencing could be good way to keep the personal touch while staying safe.

Just don’t forget to post the food photos on Instagram!

* * *

Do you have any favourite ways to reward your people? What are some of them?

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels



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K Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Top 3 Ways for Leaders to Reward Your Employees
Top 3 Ways for Leaders to Reward Your Employees
Three affordable and easy ways to reward your employees and say thank you in the era of social distancing.
K Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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