Gold Star Success – How to Reward Your Employees and … Yourself

Nowadays some companies are experimenting with novel methods on how to motivate and reward their staffs which heuristics thrive and are highly motivated. One that is particularly interesting that Pink discusses is letting employees spend 20% of their time working on projects that the employee develops on their own. This allows for greater creativity and is more of an intrinsic reward which brings greater meaning to the individual. He cites several examples of how this has been successful including the introduction of Google Mail.

Regardless of which incentive/motivation plan a company implements, it is recommended to start off small and see what the responses are from employees. Instant gratification is always welcomed but that only has a short-term effect (this can also apply to individuals i.e. losing weight for a particular event and then gaining it back). Constant monitoring will be needed but the payoffs can be substantial. Companies should also consider “who” is offering the rewards. Conventional wisdom was that the boss and senior management offered these rewards but a more modern concept would be to consider having peers make recommendations too. This fosters more team unity and loyalty as well.

Although work is a four letter word that most would like to avoid, it can also bring a real sense of accomplishment for the individual and ultimately for the organization if implemented correctly. Listed below are some recognition ideas that companies can easily execute if they do not have the inclination or ability to institute a larger scale program now. The key thing is to develop a program where the employee receives some kind of gold star.

Here is a list of recognition ideas —

  • Achievement certificate
  • Article in company newsletter
  • Work area upgrade
  • Temporary help for a day
  • Special parking space
  • Attend a conference
  • Work at home option
  • Clothing item (i.e. sweatshirt, T-shirt, baseball cap)
  • Pen
  • Training opportunities
  • Cake or homemade cookies
  • Pick a special project
  • Flowers
  • Gift card
  • Party
  • Bigger office
  • Handwritten note or call
  • Flex hours or time off
  • Dress down time
  • Meeting with President
  • Wall of Fame
  • Bring your child/pet to work

And of course, gold star!

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