30 Awesome Ways To Reward Employees & Boost Productivity

This is a quote by renowned writer and leadership training guru Dale Carnegie, which a lot of people might recognize. Dale understood that feeling genuinely appreciated lifts people up. For employees it makes them feel safe at the most basic level, which encourages them to put in their best work.

When employees start to feel as though they are not doing enough, it creates an environment which drains and diverts energy away from creating value. An environment in which productivity cannot thrive.

Rewarding and recognizing excellent service from your employees not only boosts productivity, it reinforces the actions of the employee and makes it even more likely that they will do it again. The Positive reinforcement sets an example for everyone in your organization and helps them understand the kind of work you value most

Here are 30 ways you can reward employees & boost productivity

1. Lunch With The CEO

Let the Boss take the employees out for lunch, they can even be allowed to choose the location. This will boost moral & provides the opportunity for the CEO to get direct feedback from the employees.

2. House & Car Cleaning Services

Image: motorama.com.au

Partner with cleaning companies to provide a thorough house cleaning service for the busy productive employees and have their car professionally detailed while they’re at work. Trust me they will appreciate it,

3. Friday Happy Hour (team celebration)

Senior staff spends time with the performing team outside the office environment on a Friday. It can be at the mall, a fancy restaurant or the beach, The goal is to provide a fun atmosphere that encourages team bonding and boosts team morale.

4. Time Off

Who doesn’t love a little extra time to themselves? Reward performers with time off, it could be in the form of – a day off, early closure, late resumption, extra lunch or work from home (depending on job role).

5. Gift Cards

Reward employees with gift cards to popular retail stores. They will feel special knowing their awesome pair of shoes, watch handbag or smartphone was treated to them by the company. The key here is to ensure the gifts are not ‘cheap’.
Online retailers like Amazon have gift cards that have a minimum value of $10 & a maximum of $2k (the value can be customized). It also comes with free 2-day shipping once redeemed. Check it out here

6. Tickets to Social Events

Is Beyonce or the Red Hot Chilli Peppers coming to town? Are there events team members would love to attend, tickets to that buzz concert would be a good way to give them a pat on the back for a job well done.

7. Meal Vouchers For Two

There are a whole lot of great local spots that performing employees can be treated to, giving them meal tickets which they share with loved ones is a great way to boost the employees’ social lives. Locations should be central and carefully chosen.

8. Travel Subsidy

Is it Xmas season? Offer outstanding employees first-class return air/train tickets to any city of their choice in reward for their great performance.

9. Cash-Equivalent

Sometimes the best way to pick the right reward is to allow the employees choose. A cash equivalent for the options should be presented, this gives staff the choice to pick which option would be most valuable to them.

10. Quarterly Draws

Image: unitedwaywinnipeg.ca

At the end of a quarter, top performing employees are picked for a draw, where they could win mouth-watering gifts like iPhones, Laptops, Weekend getaways for 2, Washing machines, $200 Shopping vouchers. The prizes must be of value for this to have the desired effect.

11. Recognition

Not everyone will be globally famous, but everyone desires to be known locally for doing or achieving something important. Use staff photos in marketing campaigns. Take professional photos of performing employees & make them a little famous. This also encourages such employees to share the content, promoting, even more, brand awareness.

12. Create Award Plaques

People love to show off their achievements, especially when it has to do with something that portrays them as being smart or good at something. Create award certificates for the employee(s) detailing what they are being recognized for.
You can be as creative with these awards as you want. Hell you can design your own certificates with Canva, then print and frame it before handing it to the employee

13. Training

Why not reward them with more knowledge? Sponsor them for their next certification, enroll them for an online course or that conference. The knowledge they gain will enhance and improve the work they do, and also add value to their careers.

14. Favorite Liquor (Age restriction 21+)

Depending on the employee, if they have a favorite brand of beer, whiskey or wine, reward them with a bottle or two of the good stuff.

15. Movie Tickets

Gift employees with movie tickets (you should also throw in free popcorn) to see that new movie with a loved one. It would help in creating fun memories with important people in their lives, courtesy of their employer

16. Create a Wall of Fame

Create a wall of fame and reward outstanding employees with a spot. Put their picture on the wall and below it, give details of why they got the spot on the wall.

17. Pay For a Subscription

Pay for their cable TV or Internet subscription for the next month(s). This is a simple reward that the employee is very likely to use and value. Pay for an unlimited internet data plan for a month or two and the employee will be sure to surf the net, download movies and watch youtube videos. They might even learn a thing or two that impacts positively on their performance on the job.

18. Boss For a Day

Reward employeesReward your best-performing employee by letting him use the boss’s office for a day.  Not only will it be fun, it is also an inexpensive way to reward and recognize employees. The employee gets a feel of what it’s like to be boss and feels motivated to perform

19. The Champion Belt

Image: Michael Fabiano via twitter

Make the best employee the office champion. Create a Championship Belt (Something like the WWE belt), and hand it to the employee in the presence of everyone. The championship tenure can be yearly or half yearly before the next ‘battle finale’

20. Afternoon At a Spa

Nothing like a good spa treatment, after some hard work. Providing excellent employees with a good way to relax is surely one way to say ‘well-done’

21. Name Product After Employee

Naming a product after a great employee who invents it, or contributed greatly to its success is one hell of a way to eternalize the employee’s contribution and boost morale.

Fun fact: Shakey’s Pizza in San Angelo Texas named it's famous 'Mad Mike' Pizza after Mike Rowden - the employee who created it

22. Handwritten Letter of Recognition

The power of handwritten letters is almost lost in this age of digital communication, but a well crafted hand-written letter of appreciation from someone who the employee holds in high esteem (such as the Boss) will have a powerful impact on them. Expect reactions ranging from tears to framing the letters.

23. Engraved pen set

I am yet to meet anyone who has achieved being 100% paperless. Reward employees with a personalized engraved pen, it is one they are likely to treasure. Nothing spells class like a good pen with your name on it. Check out this Laser Engraved Ballpoint Pen (personalized with your text) on Amazon.

24. Night In a Luxury Hotel

How about rewarding the employee with a company sponsored night or weekend in a luxury hotel like The Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons? It a great way to provide relaxation and fun. Besides, the employee will get a taste of what excellent service is all about.

25. Free Hair Cut/Styling

This is an inexpensive way to show performing employees appreciation. Get that popular barber or hair stylist in your town to come to the office on a Friday and treat the employee with a great look, courtesy of the company. This not only boosts morale but also self-esteem

26. Gasoline Gift Card

Everyone still needs gasoline for a thing or two, especially in countries where green energy is very expensive. Reward the performing employee with free gas for a week or month.

27. Public Billboard Commendation

Reward Employees
You’d like that, wouldn’t you? Image was created via photofunia.com

Has the employee really gone out of his/her to help the company reach a certain goal? Or has their action brought about a windfall of good PR for the brand? why not in addition to any of these forms of reward, take out a Billboard to recognize and show appreciation to the employee.

This is guaranteed to make the employee a local celebrity for a few weeks or months, and also give them a memory they would never forget.

28. Write Them Linkedin Recommendations

Reward outstanding employees by having their bosses or senior colleagues write them Linkedin recommendations.
Writing a recommendation on LinkedIn for such employees is one of the most powerful signs of approval you can bestow on them. Not only are you recognizing the employee, you are equally endorsing their qualities and skills in a forum of over 120 million professionals. (Check out this Hubspot guide on writing Linkedin recommendations)

29. Work Desk Upgrade

Replacing that squeaky chair or worn desk the employee sits on every day to accomplish their task. If they own an office, consider throwing in some artwork or uplifting decor. 

Don’t stop there, upgrade the work tools; new LCD monitors, comfort-designed keyboards, and mouse pads etc. These make great rewards and shows the employee that you care.

30. Promotion

Reward EmployeesPromotion will drive employees to exceed themselves. In addition to the monetary increment that comes with it, the added responsibilities will give the employee the opportunity to further develop their skills and abilities.

Happy employees = Happy customers.
You can use one or as much as many of these ideas to reward employees & boost productivity. It’s all about making them feel appreciated and valued.


Free bonus: You can download this guide as PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or printing it out to share with others in your team -
30 Awesome Ways To Reward Employees & Boost Productivity.pdf

Kelechi Okeke



  • Nancy

    This is awesome!

  • Saima Nehale

    Wow,so inspiring,I will definitely have to act fast.I have been neglecting a high performing team.Thank you for sharing.

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