Job satisfaction and workplace wellness are more than just buzzwords to attract talent when you have a job opening. Nowadays, if employees are unhappy with their job it shows in the company’s ROI and productivity metrics.

As a new generation takes over the workforce (millennials and Gen-Zers) and there are more opportunities with the option for remote work, employees need better financial rewards and job security.

According to a job satisfaction survey, around 83% of employees would rather receive recognition for their contribution to projects than get meaningless rewards or gifts. Therefore, today we are going to look at a few ways to celebrate your employees’ achievements and make them feel seen even when you’re not a big corporation with lots of money to spend. 

Public Recognition

This can be a literal celebration (party or dinner with the team) where you all gather together to celebrate that one or two colleagues whose incredible efforts made the success of your project a possibility.

But it can also be a company newsletter shoutout of their achievements and efforts (just make sure it’s visible). If the company is bigger than just the team that completed the project, the newsletter will do a better job at spreading the word.

Regardless of the method, public recognition is crucial for job satisfaction because it makes the person being celebrated feel seen and praised.

Meaningful Awards

Awards that represent your hard work and time dedication to a cause or project are incredibly meaningful. For instance, anyone would appreciate an award representing their years of service because it provides them with a physical representation of colleagues’ opinions and appreciation. 

Plus, an award doesn’t necessarily have to be a statuette or something an employee can place on a shelf; it can also come as a certificate of recognition that states some of the awardee’s best achievements. 

A certificate is a bit more discrete and can be sent via post if the person doesn’t like being in the spotlight.

A Coveted Parking Lot

If your company has a dedicated parking space, there may be some that are covered by everyone (closer to the building, larger, safer, and so on). Usually, these are reserved for the VIPs of the company, but you can also have one reserved for exceptional employees and assign it using a rotation system.

After all, everyone will be watching that space so it’s an easy and low-cost way to show your recognition to people who give their best to the company. 

Encourage Personal Growth Experiences

If you’ve worked for at least a couple of years, you know even the most exciting of projects can turn boring after a while. Whether it’s the routine of daily work life or administrative tasks, each amazing project has a dull side to it. 

But you can go through these times if an interesting reward awaits you at the end. So, as a team manager or business owner, you could create a reward system that encourages personal growth. Plus, the awardees get to decide what personal growth means to them (it can be anything from enrolling in a web design online class to paragliding). 

For the system to be even more effective, the beneficiary of this reward has to share their experience and what they learned with the team. This way, other employees will be inspired to work harder and make their dreams a reality. 

Vouchers for Quality Time with Loved Ones

Not everyone can afford to take their family out for dinner to the new restaurant in town. Similarly, a day with the kids at Disneyland can put quite a strain on someone’s budget and time availability. 

Of course, it doesn’t have to be time spent with the family or kids; it can also be something for a fun day with friends. Or something they can do by themselves and for themselves. The idea is to offer vouchers that fit the employee’s personal needs. 

This will also allow you (as the manager), to get to know the best-performing employees at a deeper level. 

A Night Out with the Team

When you want to celebrate the entire team for their amazing work and results, a night out may be the best option. 

Whether it’s going out for pizza, going to a fancy dinner, or just having a few beers (or any other beverage), this type of get-together helps team members relax and connect. Just make sure it’s at a location you can hear each other over the music. 

Wrap Up

In a nutshell, employees need to be celebrated more often – if nothing else comes out of it, at least it will make work a lot more fun!

All jokes aside, rewards (of any type) help improve productivity and motivation as long as they are meaningful. Also, you don’t need a big budget to make your employees feel appreciated – a bit of creative thinking and care for your people’s needs will bring forth a lot of cool ideas.