How to Show Appreciation, Reward Staff, and Support Mental Well-being

Created: Monday, December 9, 2019, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

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By Craig Bulow, founder of Corporate Away Days

Rewarding your staff is an excellent way to improve employee motivation, create an appreciative working culture and an atmosphere which improves overall company productivity and employee well-being. Employees who feel appreciated will ALWAYS do more than is expected of them.

The culture of business is beginning to change where business owners recognize the need to implement well-being initiatives. This is not just about mindfulness and health, it is also about recognition and reward.

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Image: Pixabay

Let me share some examples of rewards you can use in your business and that can have a positive impact on mental well-being:

Flexible Working

Let your team do their work when and where they want. The flexibility can be worth a lot more than cash. Maybe they won’t need daycare services for their child, for example, if they can make their own schedule. Perhaps reducing the commute into the office can pay for better productivity i.e. time not spent traveling and less stress on the employee.

Founder’s Wall

Instead of a wall of fame for employee photos, create a wall that not only recognizes employees with a photo but with a short description and timeline of how they have contributed to where the company is today. Make sure you can add to their accomplishments as they keep succeeding.

Thank You Note

Saying thanks for something specific may be the ultimate reward. If you do it selectively yet authentically, not on an email, a thank you note may be pinned above your employee’s desk for years. They won’t forget it and will tell others, creating a rewarding and appreciative working culture that pushes others to receive a personal note.

Corporate Away Days

A corporate away day for individuals across the workplace, from different departments, instills trust, improves connections and communication, and brings individuals together. Mixing different departments is great, or you can reward a specific team if you prefer.

If the away day is exciting, engaging, inspiring and fun the collective experience and memories created will create a new buzz in the office that will spread.

Other employees will want to meet their work targets to be included on the next one. Video’s and pictures from the day, shown in the office, create great discussions other than ‘work in progress’.

Monthly Recognition

Let’s have some fun and laughter. Get a big trophy and give it to the employee you are recognizing for the month. At the end of the month, they must return the trophy – but they need to add one thing to it. (You would be shocked how many things can stick to a trophy.) Then next month give it to the next winner. At the end of the year, you’ll have a trophy with 52 things stuck to it. It looks hysterical and has lots of memories. Retire the trophy and put it in your reception area. Start a new trophy and do it every year.

Appreciate Personal Wins

Don’t just appreciate employees for what they do for you – appreciate them beyond their work as well.  If they’ve achieved a milestone in their lives outside the office, celebrate with them in the office. Decorate their cubicle with balloons and cards when they achieve a personal win, like completing a marathon, winning a tournament, losing weight (if they’ve been public with their diet), having a baby, buying a new home or graduating from a class.


Money is the number one satisfier, but appreciation is the number one motivator.

A financial bonus might be given to reward hard work, or for completing a project on time, within budget, and to a high standard, etc. Whatever the reason, cash bonuses offer a quick and easy way to reward your staff. In addition, a bonus is one of the simplest rewards to manage as it can be easily monitored and given to multiple employees in privacy.

However, there is a downside; the reward is usually short-lived. Once negotiated and is expected/received, in the mind of the employee it becomes already spent and loses the reward value.

Why not review the rewards you currently give?  Are there other rewards you can introduce that will demonstrate your appreciation of the work your employees do? Feeling appreciated is a positive experience. It makes people feel better and contributes to a general improvement in mental health.  That has to be good for your staff and their overall well-being.

Craig Bulow
Craig Bulow is the founder of Corporate Away Days, a corporate wellbeing events company delivering engaging, inspiring and exciting events focussed on Mindfulness / Wellbeing and Reward / Recognition activities. Corporate Away Days also creates, designs and builds corporate wellbeing policies and provides leading experts for interactive workshops, seminars and talks on improving mental health and overall wellbeing.

Every Corporate Away Days event and activity is chosen with wellbeing as its focus, helping to encourage employee engagement, foster connections and build relationships within the business.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.

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