Keeping employees motivated and engaged is the key to high levels of productivity. As the end of the year draws closer, what can you do to keep those productivity levels up and reward employees?
As the work year wraps up and employers count their wins and losses, the question often arises on how to reward company employees for their wins. Rewarding employees not only makes workers feel appreciated, but also makes them feel encouraged and inspired to work harder. Showing that you reward your employees is also an important factor in the recruitment process, helping to demonstrate to new employees that the business cares for them and their hard work. This, in turn, helps to attract the best workers and ensure that you retain them.
Below are some short suggestions on how businesses can reward their employees.
1. Give an end of year bonus
Research by incentives business Xactly found that over a quarter of UK employees have linked financial incentives to motivation at work. Yet often when you hear talk of workplace bonuses, it’s mostly linked to large multinational companies such as banks, tech firms and retail companies.
Bonuses are a great incentive to include in an end of year package for your employees, and although cash is often the main way of awarding bonuses, it is not the only way employers can give rewards. Physical gifts are less likely to be taxed and experiences such as a paid/partly paid holiday or fun days out can also be considered.
Cash bonuses can either be rewarded individually based on personal performance, or a lump sum of money split between a team. As higher-level employees may feel it is unfair that less senior workers get the same amount, it is probably best to split the bonuses into tiers, giving workers of the same tier an equal amount, but a higher or lower amount depending upon their seniority.
2. Organize a team event
An end of year team event is the best way to gather everyone together to celebrate the company’s achievements in a relaxed and fun environment. It’s also a great opportunity for everyone to socialize. Whether it’s a small office lunch, or a large corporate-sized party with fountains of champagne, your employees will appreciate some downtime.
You can even do something a bit different than the usual corporate parties. Giant inflatable water obstacle courses are always fun, or even an arena filled with bouncy castles. What’s the best way to unwind than becoming a big kid for the day?
3. Offer peer to peer prizes
The end of the year is also a fantastic time to get your employees to award each other with a peer to peer prize. Everybody likes to feel appreciated and show appreciation to others. A congeniality prize that encourages employees to vote for one of their peers is a fun and interactive way of getting employees to interact with each other. It may also be a nice touch to announce the winner at an event like an end of year party.
4. Allow employees to relax the body and mind
Most people enjoy a good massage and this can be teamed up with a group yoga class to get everyone totally relaxed, perfect right before the festive break. Employers can get masseurs and masseuses in for their team to physically relieve stress and provide something a bit different. When the stress of family and end of year deadline looms, letting your employees take a half hour break with an expert might be the perfect mental boost they need to start the New Year.
5. Let everyone dress down
A smart suit may look sharp, but does the way you dress really affect the way you work? Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s signature look compromised of a casual hoodie and canvas sneakers, changing the perception of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, as well as making him more relatable to a generation of social media users who would eventually flood his online network.
The end of year holiday season is a great time to let people dress down and get in the holiday mood. The shops are littered with ghastly seasonal jumpers, so give your workers a free pass to get into the festive season and have a more casual sense of dress during the last month of the year.
6. Introduce flexible working
The current system of modern day work currently mandates a standard Monday to Friday, 9-5 work week. But research shows that longer hours don’t actually increase productivity. Sarah Green Carmichael of the Harvard Business Review found that not only do longer hours not increase productivity, it can backfire, creating a workforce that is more stressed and less creative.
A study of consultants by Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, found that managers could not tell the difference between employees who actually worked 80 hours a week and those who just pretended to. It begs the question, why was there such little difference between the two?
An increasing number of companies are testing new and innovative ways of making their staff more productive. One of the many ways some organizations are challenging current work trends is by changing the standard days and work hours, and they’re seeing interesting results.
Perpetual Guardian, a trustee company based in New Zealand, told employees that they would work for 4 days, but get paid for 5. Staff reported a 7% decrease in stress levels, while a sense of empowerment at work and stimulation increased, as well as overall life satisfaction which went up by 5%.
The end of the year tends to be a very busy time for most people. To allow people keep their affairs in order and spend more time with their families, employers should consider more flexible working hours, or even consider working from home where possible.
Rewards big or small are appreciated by most people, and companies should look at how they can implement them for employees. Let workers know they’re in for a treat at the end of the year and they’ll make sure to pull their weight until then.
Author: Nimesh Shah is MD of contact lens supplier Feel Good Contacts