It’s been a great year, and you really want to reward your employees for everything they’ve done. You could go the “holiday party and cash bonus” route—or you could do something different, and let’s be honest, more special.
We’ve got ideas for every organization, whether you’ve got a remote team, a traditional one, a small budget, or a big one.
1. Offer Flex-Time
The holiday season is the perfect time to offer temporary telecommute and flex work policies. After all, the weather is bad, people are traveling or receiving guests, and everyone wants to spend more time with their families.
(If you’re thinking about implementing a permanent flex work policy, check out our guide to choosing the best one.)
2. Have a “Milestones” Event
To motivate your employees while you reward them, have a “milestones” event. You’ll need the traditional party ingredients: food, alcohol, decorations, a nice venue, etc.
However, you’ll also need a huge strip of poster paper and colored markers. At the party, stretch the paper out, draw a timeline of the year on it, and ask your team members to add in their accomplishments. Invite them to write down their coworker’s successes as well.
3. Have a Skype Party
If you’ve got a remote team, it’s probably not possible to get everyone under the same roof. But you can still have a party over Skype.
First, find a date and time that works with your team’s schedules. Then, send every employee a party kit. We suggest including a mini bottle of champagne, “hors d’ouevres” such as candied nuts and gourmet popcorn, and something festive, like a sparkler or party hat.
Plan activities for the party to make sure there’s no dead air. For example, you could have everyone share their favorite moments, biggest takeaway, or most valuable experience from the past 12 months.
4. Give Personalized Gifts
Everyone knows that when it comes to gift-giving, it’s the thought that counts. Sure, you could give all of your employees Starbucks gift cards—but to really show your appreciation, personalize your presents.
Let’s say one of your reports loves to travel. Enroll her in a subscription box featuring gourmet foods from around the world. Maybe another employee loves to read the New Yorker. Get him a T-shirt from their online shop.
Getting something unique will definitely prove to your reports that you know and care about them.
5. Announce a New Perk
If you’ve got the money, implementing a new office perk is a great way to reward your employees on a recurring basis.
And there’s definitely a perk for every budget.
On the low end, we love in-office exercise classes, community service days, subsidized public transport passes, free gym memberships, and “bagel Fridays.”
For a little more, offer professional development options, more generous vacation policies, or computer and desk upgrades.
Or, splurge on weekly (or daily!) catered meals, team-wide retreats, or allowances for outside hobbies.
6. Pick a Charity
Giving back is hugely important in the modern workplace. Not only will your employees appreciate this chance to help others, but it’ll also foster unity and goodwill among the team.
There are a couple different ways you can contribute to a charity. You could offer your employees a paid volunteer day (which doubles as a great team-building opportunity.)
Alternatively, commit to donating a set amount and use a platform like co.tribute to allow employees to decide where it goes.
Lastly, consider hosting a book or toys drive and telling employees you’ll match their donations.
About The Author
Aja Frost is a freelance writer who covers career, lifestyle, current events, and social justice. Say hi to her on Twitter.