There are many reasons to recognize outstanding employees. And there are many ways to honor them. A gift is always appreciated, but even more so when you put some thought into it. Even if you have too many employees to know about each one's interests and personalities, you can still give out-of-the-ordinary gifts that will make them feel appreciated and special.
Give gifts that reflect the personality of each employee. Do some snooping to see what kinds of things she has at her work space. Or, ask her close co-workers for some ideas of things to add to her collection of favorite things. For example, if she collects Raggedy Ann dolls, give her a figurine, desk calendar or even a dated retro Raggedy Ann doll. For a male worker, find something that suits his personality as well. If he is known for wearing flag print, superhero or comic strip ties, he will love wearing an unusual one you have chosen just for him.
Work-Life Balance Gifts
The Business and Professional Women's Foundation believes that one of the qualities of a successful workplace is the recognition of work-life balance. Your employees will feel especially appreciated by gifts that let them know you understand this concept. The uniqueness of the reward comes with the fact that your employee will realize that you put some thought into the timing of the gift. A one- or two-day "extended weekend" certificate will allow her to attend a cousin or friend's wedding or have a special getaway with family or friends. Prepaid hotel or spa certificates will let her know you understand the importance of some "me time." Male employees appreciate extended weekends to spend time with family or friends, too!
Take one or a small group of employees out to lunch. Treat them to a meal at an elegant, upscale restaurant. Make it even more special with a limo ride to your destination. For larger groups, have a local caterer bring in some foods that are not the ordinary lunch foods like sandwiches or pizza ... perhaps a seafood feast or an Italian pasta bar. Even better, have a chef come to your business and involve the honorees in creating a gourmet meal for themselves. You can also book a morning or afternoon cooking class away from the workplace. Women and men alike will love getting paid to attend a session to learn to make everyday meals or create fantastic holiday foods.
Respect Their Space
When it comes time to reward an employee or a whole department, look at the space where each person works. In fact, you might ask each employee to write a note about something they would change in their workspace. Cubicles might be an issue for some -- put a taller divider around the space of someone who works near a high-traffic, noisy area to block out some of the noise and the distraction of people walking by often. The statement "I hate my drapes!" isn't a challenge for you. Easy-fix it with new drapes to eliminate someone's pet peeve. Remedy a drab office with a fresh coat of paint or a bright picture on the wall. Take time to "walk in someone else's moccasins" or sit in their chair for a few minutes to help understand why they would like something changed.
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