10 Easy Ways to Reward Your Top Employees

on March 18, 2013 in ABR Blog, HR and Workforce Tips


Every company wants a happy workforce. Offering rewards is just one way to turn those frowns upside down – and one way to motivate employees to do their best work. When it comes to rewards, compensation, benefits, recognition, and appreciation come into play. Companies often forget the importance employees place on those last two items: recognition and appreciation. We’ve come up with 10 easy ways to reward employees who are deserving of a special something. The best part? It comes at little or no cost to you.

Reward Top Employees

The following ideas show off your gratitude, make an employee feel appreciated, and encourage others to aim high:

1. Handwritten Notes

A thank you note from a supervisor is unexpected and oh so flattering. Feeling valued is seriously important to your employees. When they know their work is recognized, they’ll be more likely to work harder the next time around.

2. Make Introductions
Reward top performers with a chance to eat lunch with the CEO or to grab coffee with the director. Or send them to a meeting with a big client or to an important convention.

 3. Praise Personal Achievements

Is one of your employees expecting a baby, planning a wedding, or running a marathon? Don’t let personal achievements go unrecognized. A verbal or written acknowledgement is all you need.

4. Acknowledge Promotions
Hold a company-wide meeting or send out a company-wide email to announce any promotions or big accomplishments that occurred over the past month. The applause – digital or actual – will put your employees on cloud nine.

5. Reserve Parking Spots

Especially in the winter months, a front-row parking spot is worth more than gold. Section off an area in your parking lot for employees who’ve done their best work this month.

6. Give a Day Off

Vacation time is a great reward for a great achievement. Even the option to telecommute for a day could be motivation enough for employees to put their best foot forward.

7. Give Them First Choice
Reward an outstanding employee for a job well done with “first dibs” on the next schedule or the next project assignments. The power to choose is something worth fighting for and may inspire others to pick up their game.

8. Recognize Dedication

Here’s something to remember: great effort is worth a reward as much as great success. Reward long-term achievements like five years spent with a company or perfect yearly attendance. It can be anything from a certificate to a gift card to a bouquet of flowers.

9. Let Them Go

Not permanently – just early. If they’ve just sealed a huge deal, completed an amazing project, or found a surprising new solution, give them the afternoon off. They’ll feel like a king with their new found free time.

10. Don’t Forget Those Two Little Words

Honestly, sometimes a “thank you” for doing what you do is all employees want to hear. Those two words don’t need to be reserved for top performers. Show your gratitude to all of your employees whenever you can.

Looking to add employees to your happy workforce?

Whether you need to hire entry-level light industrial employees or a professional to manage your call center team, our team of recruiters are here to support your workforce hiring needs. Contact any ABR location to get started.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March, 2013 and updated in December, 2019.