When employers and managers typically think of rewarding their team (or employees) the first few ideas that typically come to mind are:
Money in the form of pay rises or bonuses
Incentives such as gifts
Praise, recognition and compliments
When next discussing your staff rewards I challenge you not to stop at just those three ideas. As an example, a few years back my team and I at our real estate agency were able to work a little magic that had so many different benefits one of them being a form of staff reward. We had three main departments: sales, property management and administration. Real estate is a tough industry and each of those three departments had their own challenges to face daily, however sales not only had the lows in the forms of challenges to overcome, but it also had the amazing highs. These highs were so obvious any time a happy client who had just bought or sold met their agent in our office after the sale had gone through.
Funnily enough, it was while looking for a new way to reward our clients that I accidentally stumbled across an innovative staff reward. I explained to my sales team that I had an idea to change the way we gave gifts to our clients after their sale or purchase had gone through. Rather than telling the sales team about the idea, I set up a demonstration and lead them downstairs as an elderly female client who had just sold her home was waiting in reception. I gathered not only the sales team, but also anyone from administration and property management who was in the office at that time and we all gathered behind our reception wall. I placed a gift basket and flowers with balloons in the hands of two sales people and we rang a gong. From there I asked everyone to head into reception clapping and cheering, as we did so our front office staff also stood up and cheered. Our client was greeted by a barrage of happy people celebrating her sale with joy (and a gift.) It was an experience she wouldnt soon forget.
Our clients loved this sort of attention even if quite a few were very overwhelmed at first (yes, there were some tears of joy!) The prolific marketer in me also loved this idea as it meant that we got to take a photo of our happy client with their gift and real estate agent which we could use later on.
What I didnt expect was that after that first experience I would have two of my administration staff come to me later that day to tell me how the experience had almost brought them to tears. They expressed that they loved being part of the high of selling a home that until they only the sales team had really experienced.
It wasnt a reward that could be quantified as an increase in money or anything tangible for the people that participated in it. It was however able to increase their motivation and their understanding of why their job was such a vital one to these people. Most of our team got to participate in this experience 2 or 3 times a week and taking up about 5 minutes of their day at a time. In my opinion a dollar value cant be placed on a reward like that to both the company and those who work there.