How do you reward your employees? How do you express your appreciation for their hard work? Rewards are a powerful tool used for employee engagement. The most common form of reward is through cash. But, money is not everything. We list down 15 creative ways you could use to show your gratitude to your employees. After all, without people, there’s no business.

15 Creative Ways to Reward Your Employees

1. A Note. 

The simplest things go a long way. A sticky note on your employee’s computer saying “Thank you!” or “Good job!” really help to show that you appreciate them.

2. Pizza Party.

Who doesn’t love free food, especially if it’s pizza? Treating your employees to pizza allows them to relax for a while in a very casual setting. You could also use this time to communicate with them more. (And, if they don’t like pizza, well any other food would be good.)

3. Wall of Fame.

The wall of fame is where you could showcase your outstanding employees, as a reward for the employee and an inspiration to others. You could post in this wall the picture (with the name) of the employee, along with their achievement(s).

4. Appreciate Personal Wins.

What your employees do for you is important, however, you should remember that they have a life outside of work, too. These experiences also contribute on how they perform in the workplace. Instead of just thinking of work, work, and work, you could commend your employees on their achievements outside of it!

5. Celebrate Birthdays.

Celebrate someone’s special day! You could bring a cake, a simple present, or a short celebration.

6. Acknowledge Employees in Meetings.

When an employee has a good idea, performs above and beyond, secures a big win or account, or does something worthy, acknowledge him or her by name in meetings. Recognition also prevents employee burnout and boosts their morale.

7. Training and Conferences.

Invest in your employee’s development! Employee development is one of the top three non-financial motivators, and 76 percent of employees want opportunities for career growth. Send your employees to training, seminars, conferences, etc. that they want to attend or that you know will help them with their career.

8. Know Everyone’s Name.

Learn everyone’s name and use it often. Say “Thank you, Susan”, or “Good job, Juan”. Acknowledging someone using their name makes them feel your sincerity.

9. Tuition.

If an employee wants to go back to studying (may it be that Master’s that they’ve postponed for too long to get or another course entirely), encourage them by offering to pay for a part of their tuition or their books and supplies.

10. Show Respect in Everything You Do and Say.

People are often like this: in the hundred things that you do, they forget the 99 good things as long as you do 1 bad thing. The same goes in the workplace. You could show your employees that you appreciate them, but all your hard work would crumble in an instant if you yell at them, disrespect or belittle them in private or public. Bite your tongue, smile, and always show respect regardless of your personal feelings.

11. Gift Cards.

Ah, gift cards! Did you know that according to a study by Incentives Magazine, 8 out of 10 employees report that they prefer gift cards over other incentives? Gift cards give employees options on what they buy and when they buy it. As an employee, isn’t it good to think that the dinner, spa or the coffee you treat yourself to is actually a gift?

12. End of year party with awards.

Why not end the year with a bang? Organize a party for your organization and have some awards to give. It could be your own version of Oscar’s or Grammy’s!

13. Company Offsite.

A change of scenery could do you and the other members of your organization good. Leave the confines of your office! You don’t have to go very far or be so extravagant. An offsite is a great reward that also promotes team building and helps strengthen your company culture.

14. One-on-one mentoring.

Share your expertise! An employee who wants to improve will cherish this experience. Share to them what you know and what they could do in situations. In turn, you could also learn from your employee.

15. Just Say it.

The words “thank you” are powerful. Just say it, with the right amount of sincerity.

Employee engagement is the key to employee performance. Showing your appreciation of your employees is just one way to make sure that they are engaged, and in turn, they work harder. Isn’t it a win-win situation?