8 Great Ways to Reward Your Best Employees

For an employer, you need to find different ways to reward your best employees. Not only for good work, but for celebratory events such as birthdays, anniversaries and the new year.

To have a reward system in place, the employer has to have done some strategic thinking, as to properly appreciate the event. However, many companies don’t do this, let alone celebrate such events.

It’s easy to see why some businesses wouldn’t celebrate events such as the coming in of the New Year. Being potentially costly and time consuming, some businesses don’t see the point. Instead, merely saying happy New Year to their team.

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with that. Yet something more could be done. Not only to reward your best employees, but to show them your appreciation and recognition.

Where a lot of places go wrong is what they believe the ‘end game’ to be the expense of the gesture. Believing it has to be big, extravagant and expensive. If you believe this, you’ll be happy to know that you can reward your office, cost effectively. All the while, being just a sincere as something massive.

There’s a lot of good reasons businesses should be rewarding their best employees. For an improved office culture, better engagement or to reduce employee turnover. There’s loads of reasons you should show appreciation for your team.

Since you know all the reasons, you now need to find something the reward. So, here are eight effective ways to reward your employees that’ll show your team you care, this New Year.

Handwritten thank you note

A handwritten note can go a long way, especially when it’s written by the boss. It’s free (if you don’t count the cost of the paper and ink) while only costing time. Writing a hand written note does a few things, really well. It acknowledges the individual, shows you care and lets them know you’re willing to put in some time for them.

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Sure, it’s only a small gesture, but by itself or coupled with something else. This gesture speaks louder than words.


When celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another, an office party can be a great reward option.

Office parties are great because it gives people the opportunity to feel valued and let their hair down, doing it. Two good consequences for a gesture. It might cost a little bit more money than the handwritten note, but your employees will thank you for it.


Photo: GotCredit, Flickr

Photo: GotCredit, Flickr


Office BBQ

Similar to the office party, having an office BBQ is also a nice idea. Perhaps on the Friday before the big day, have a BBQ for a few hours that you’re supposed to be working. This works really well because it allows for the team to take some time off while at work, spending time bonding with colleagues and having a few drinks.

Showing you care by BBQing meat, mixing up some salad and drinking some nice drinks has never been better than when you’re supposed to be working.

It’s a simple gesture, cost effective and will get the staff merry and motivated for months afterwards.


Money is great, everyone loves it. However, it’s not always that great of a motivator. At least not for prolonged motivation.

However, there is an exception. And that’s a New Year bonus. Getting recognition for your work via a bonus, something you’ve earned can be much more validating than merely getting handed money. This would work for most people, as they would feel they deserve it. Especially being a time of year where there’re many expenses, the bonus would be appreciated.

Time off

A week or two off for New Year is also one of the more effective ways to reward your best employees. Giving time to spend with family, or to fly to their home city without encroaching on their annual leave would be a welcome gesture to most people.

As the employer is most likely taking a bit of time off, it’s nice to let some employees have the same luxury.

Magazine subscription

Is it a coincidence that around the time magazines turnover is the time of the New Year? Maybe. Yet, it can be a good excuse to reward your team with a gift they’ll be receiving for the next 12 months.

Because many magazines offer special deals around this time of year, it can be as little as $60 for a subscription. Present your team with the options and let them decide what they want. It’ll make you the number one boss!

Tickets to an event

There are lots of events going on, all year round. From sports to concerts and everything in between. Tickets can be cheap and they can be a lot of fun for the team or individual members.

Regardless, who ever said getting tickets to the football was only reserved for getting new clients?

Field trip

Much like the ‘Tickets to an event’, a good field trip can go a long way when you’re figuring out ways to reward your best employees. Instead of the final day of work for the year, take the team somewhere!

The odds are, you’re not the only business in the area. Maybe there’s a football game on, or a distillery, or a rock-climbing wall (not all at once, though). Reward the team with a fun activity that everyone can participate in and you’ll be sure to improve your already great office culture for the following year.



Effective Ways to Reward Your Employees in the New Year

Photo: reynermedia, Flickr

In Summary

The work to reward your best employees doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it can be great fun for them and you. It can be as little as giving them a high five, a nice note or calling them into the office for a congratulations. However, for New Years, perhaps something a little more, or a combination of ideas.

When attempting to improve office culture, morale and the employee turnover rate, don’t look past a good New Year reward schema. Now that you know that it’s not only beneficial to your office to do so, and that you know some effective ways to reward your employees. There’s no reason why you can’t save money, appreciate your staff and meet all your goals.

To conclude, to reward your best employees can be easy. They’ll look forward to the coming year and you’ll get some more dedicated and engaged work. Just like investing, if you put a little in, you’ll get more back.

Glenn Symmons

Glenn Symmons