10 Ways to motivate and reward employees

Updated: 02/11/2023

Employees are the heart and soul of businesses, which is why it is imperative that they feel motivated and are rewarded for their successes. Studies have shown that employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies if they feel motivated in their jobs. You may have a great team, but a bad work environment can have a negative impact on the level and quantity of work that is produced.

Having a motivated team can boost output, increase engagement and encourage employees to stay longer at your company. A good way to motivate your employees is to offer rewards and incentives in response to their good work.

10 ways to motivate and reward employees

We’ve compiled a list of the best ways to motivate and reward employees in the workplace to help you create a happy and active work environment.

1. Create a pleasant environment

You want your employees to look forward to clocking on every day. One of the best ways to achieve this is to create a workspace with lots of natural lighting and up-to-date technology. Natural lighting can improve your employees’ mood, as well as top up their vitamin D, which will improve their physical health. State of the art technology can also make your employees’ work easier and more enjoyable too.

Providing a spacious office is also a good way to keep your employees’ moods lifted. Cluttered rooms and desks can distract your employees and keep them from completing tasks properly. It can be incredibly frustrating if you can’t find a particular file or post-it note that you are looking for, which is why a tidy working environment is extremely beneficial.

Other ways to improve the workspace include investing in comfortable chairs that won’t ruin your employees’ posture, or placing plants around the room. There are many advantages to having plants in an office. Plants can liven up a room and add personality to an otherwise dull environment. They can also help to improve the smell of a room and make it look inviting.

2. Offer incentives

A great way to motivate employees and encourage team members to consistently perform well is through company incentives. You can offer rewards such as bonuses or virtual gift cards if employees reach set targets. These types of gifts are extremely popular because they make the employee feel valued and appreciated.

You can also give rewards that have no monetary value. For example, some companies allow their staff to finish early on a Friday if they have completed their targets for the week. You could also offer gifts such as catered lunches and gadgets if an employee has performed exceptionally well one month.

3. Recognise achievements

There are plenty of achievements that you can publically recognise in the workplace. From small successes such as dealing with a difficult client to large achievements like closing an expensive deal, there are plenty of things to celebrate. However, you don’t want to draw attention to every little thing as it won’t make your employees feel as special when they make a big triumph.

You can choose a few achievements each week or each month to comment on and draw attention to as a way to boost employee morale without diminishing the larger successes. This could be in the form of a comment on the company newsletter or a verbal congratulations in person.

4. Celebrate personal events

Whether it be a birthday, work anniversary or personal milestone, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate employees’ personal achievements. You could organise a committee within the company to decorate the workspace with balloons and banners when employees celebrate a special birthday.

It’s also a nice gesture to make a post on social media to mark the anniversary of an employee joining the company. Employee recognition can make your staff feel as if they are genuinely valued as an individual and that their achievements are recognised.

5. Encourage career progression

Career progression is an important part of maintaining employee motivation. You can encourage professional development by offering promotions in recognition of excellent work, as well as providing training opportunities that will expand the skill set of your staff. Not only will this make employees feel as if you value their personal development, but it will also help internal business success as your staff will be better equipped for more responsibility.

Supporting your employees with their career development is beneficial to maintaining positive company culture because other staff members will see the progression of other staff members and push themselves to achieve the same. This will encourage innovation as your staff look at ways to forward their career and learn new skills and knowledge.

6. Organise team bonding activities

Working as part of a team is an important foundation of any company. You should encourage team members to participate in group activities so that they can learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This can then translate into the working environment and can help your employees to trust each other and gel on a personal level.

Team bonding activities could involve outward bound trips or tasks within the office such as trivia and scavenger hunts. This can help improve employee productivity as your staff will feel part of a team, rather than as an individual amongst strangers.

7. Provide flexible schedules sustainable office

Everyone has their personal preference over working in the morning or later in the day. Our productivity levels can vary depending on our body clocks, which is why it seems strange that most workplaces work a basic nine to five schedule. To make the most of your employees’ productivity, you could give them free rein over their work schedule. This could mean giving them a window of time that they have to work in, or allowing them complete control over the distribution of their working hours.

There are a variety of benefits to offering flexible schedules, such as an improvement in mental health, as well as finding the best people for each role as they can be hired on their skills, not their availability.

8. Create a fitness scheme

According to studies, one in four people are physically inactive in the UK. Physical activity is crucial to maintaining good health and wellbeing, which is why you should encourage your employees to exercise regularly. Sports and other activities can help your staff to fall into better sleeping habits which will leave them feeling refreshed and energised each day.

Healthier staff are also less likely to take sick leave, which will mean that your workforce is at its optimum strength throughout the year. You won’t have to ask your staff to take on extra tasks to counterbalance the employees that are off ill. Staff will also feel more motivated after physical exercise as they will have better circulation and blood flow.

9. Provide food in the workplace

People can often lose their temper or suffer from mood swings when they are hungry. This can lead to arguments and a hostile atmosphere in the workplace. The easiest way to combat this is to provide food in the workplace. It could be something as simple as a fruit bowl or providing lunch for your staff.

Working on a full stomach can lead to more motivated employees and better work production. You can also supply employees with drink facilities such as coffee and tea in the office to minimise breaks throughout the day.

10. Ask employees what they want

Finally, the best way to ensure you are motivating employees is to ask how you can help them find job satisfaction. You could ask your staff how they would like to be rewarded and then implement these strategies over the coming weeks to see how effective the schemes are. Your staff will feel that they are being listened to and they will appreciate the effort you have made to understand what makes them tick.