7 Employee Reward Ideas

Try These 8 Employee Rewards to Close Out the Year

Posted December 18, 2019 by Justworks in Benefits and Perks
It's important to reward your employees for their dedication. Here are some ideas that won't break the bank.

It’s the end of a long year of hard work, and your employees are tired and ready for a break. Turn to year-end employee rewards to show your appreciation for all of their efforts.

While it’s a good idea to show employee appreciation all year long, now’s the time to really make your team feel recognized, appreciated, and happy. Doing so will boost morale and make them happy to come back after New Year's Day.

Here are eight wonderful ways to reward your employees at the end of the year.

1. Have an Office Party (that's actually fun)

How better to give your employees a break then to plan a year-end of holiday office party? Just make sure it’s not the same old, stale breakroom party we’ve all grown accostummed to.  

There are so many creative options for office parties.  Whether it’s a holiday-themed potluck, a gift exchange using innovative sites like Elfster, or going all out at a fancy dining establishment, as long as you put a little thought into it, your employees will appreciate it.

2. Give a Thoughtful Gift at Whatever Budget

All of us appreciate treats around the holidays. You don’t need to shell out the big bucks to show your appreciation for your employees. Just make sure it’s something they’ll actually use. A simple gift card to a local coffee shop or bookstore are both good ideas.

Looking for lots of employee appreciation ideas? Download our free guide on 109 Ways to Appreciate Employees on a Budget.

3. Announce a New Flexible Schedule

If at all possible for your type of business, reward your employees with a new option for the new year: having flexible schedules. Studies show that breaks throughout the day help to boost employee productivity.  

So, it might be worth seriously considering allowing employees to make their own schedules, as long as they meet their hours and achieve their goals. Your employees will love this new option. When productivity soars, you’ll love it too.

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4. Give Treats All Month Long

Everybody loves free treats! To say a special thanks to your employees, try having baked pastries available to the team on specific days throughout the month. You could even take it up a notch and try providing breakfast a couple of days throughout the week.

5. Bring in a Special Guest

Bring in a special guest at the end of the year who will make your employees feel amazing! Consider hiring a masseuse. Employees can sign up for 30-minute sessions throughout the day. Or how about a yoga instructor? Getting some yoga in during the day is a nice employee perk, especially during the holiday season.

You don’t have to stick to employee wellness, either. How about bringing in an inspirational speaker or a comedian to liven up your afternoon? It’s a different and fun employee appreciation idea.

6. Take Them Out

Reward your employees with an afternoon off of work doing something that’s actually fun. The options are endless, especially if you live in a big city. You could take your team to lunch, go ice skating at the local outdoor rink, or even go to a comedy show.

Or what about taking them for a stroll around a holiday market, sipping hot cider? Who says you can’t do something radical like an Escape Room? Brainstorm different fun ideas — you just might think of a unique outing that your team would love.

7. Let Them Go Home

What says “thank you” to your employees better than giving them a free afternoon off? Just be sure to give them a little bit of notice — you don’t want to derail any meetings or deadlines. The day before a holiday — or a holiday eve — is a great time to do this, because business is usually slow (depending on your company).

8. Consider Giving out a Bonus

Although it's perhaps the most cliche of employee rewards, it has to be said: consider giving your employees an end of year bonus. The holiday season always incurs extra costs, and your employees will be grateful you thought of them and shared as generously as you could.

If the budget is tight, reward employees with an additional day of paid vacation for the next year. They might appreciate it even more than cash. Gestures like these will go a long way and act as employee incentives in the long-run.

While these are great ways to reward your employees at year’s end, don’t stop at this list! Think of some of the unique ways to say “thanks” to your hard-working team.