Variety is the Spice of Employee Reward Programs
By Alisa

In today’s work force, there are all kinds of people – with all kinds of different backgrounds, experiences, and expectations. Having a variety of awards in your employee recognition program will help to make sure the employee is truly motivated by receiving an award.
Many studies show that, for example, younger workers tend to value schedule flexibility, volunteerism and ongoing career development. Older workers may prefer extra time off, or a gift card to a nice restaurant. Some great ideas include:
* an array of gift cards to local restaurants, theme parks, and places like Starbucks and Amazon.com
* a preferred parking place for a month (close to the front door, for example)
* membership to a gym for a period of time
* an extra vacation or sick day
* attendance at a technical conference or seminar of interest
* being entered into a drawing for a big prize, like a one-week vacation trip to Hawai’i
* the ability to choose the next project or special work assignment
* the ability to be mentored (or be a mentor)
* a fixed-dollar donation to the employee’s favorite charity
* a day off to attend a volunteer activity of the employee’s choice
With a group of employees, you can decide what sorts of things will appeal to your own workers. Consider surveying your team to ask them what they’d like! You may be surprised at some of the great ideas a survey can generate. Having choices is the most empowering thing of all- not only getting an award, but being able to pick from a selection, really says “you matter to us”.

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