How to Reward Your Employees this Holiday SeasonHoliday season is almost here. It's that time of the year when everybody rushes from one place to another, business is growing, and there is so much to do. But it is also that time of the year when you want to reward your employees for their hard work during the entire year.

As you know, money is not always the best motivator, and most of the time, people just want to be recognized.

Let's take a look at some innovative ways to reward your employees this holiday season, absent of cold, hard cash.


10 Ways to Reward Your Team this Holiday Season

  1. Flexible work hours. As more millennials enter the workforce, this has become more important. Young professionals don't mind working long hours as long as they do it on their terms. This means being flexible for daycare and soccer games, but also for oil changes and dental appointments.
  2. Go virtual. More businesses are finding technology allows for people to work anywhere. They don't need to be in the office every day. If you have star team members who have long commutes or pay a few hundred bucks a month for parking or the train, consider letting them work remotely.
  3. Rock star parking. If you have an office with its own parking lot, consider giving your rock star team members prime parking spots. You know, like the employee of the month parking that so many big box stores have.
  4. Reward effort. This one is hard because, as business leaders, we want to reward for results. But sometimes the economy, Mother Nature, or other factors affect results. So reward the effort you know typically drives results.
  5. Free personal time off. I have a friend who began doing this when the economy was down a few years ago, and she couldn't afford to give raises and bonuses like she had in the past. For her business, it's been more effective than monetary rewards.
  6. Throw a party. Schedule a two-hour offsite meeting and don't let on that you're actually throwing a party. It can include bowling and drinks, a movie, or just a fun lunch.
  7. Treat team members to lunch. Make reservations at a fancy restaurant and give the restaurant manager your credit card number. Then let your star team member invite four or five colleagues to come along. A leisurely lunch with work friends is a fun and inexpensive reward.
  8. Host a weekly happy hour. Every Friday, at 4:30, have a staff meeting that includes adult beverages. This gets the weekend started off right, allows the team to socialize together, and gets some work done, as well.
  9. Treat them to the things they like. Treat your team by gifting them movie passes or restaurant gift cards or books or spa services, etc., etc. Even Starbucks cards (with $25 or $50 on them) work really well.
  10. Send handwritten notes or holiday cards. Thank you goes a long way, especially when you write it in a handwritten note or card that is mailed to their homes. This gesture goes a long way to making team members feel appreciated.

What ways do you reward your team during the holidays?