Easy ways to reward your team members

In our ongoing quest to promote and help facilitate better collaboration, one of the recurring themes is that any collaboration solution is only as good as the people using it. You obviously want your employees and collaborators feeling properly appreciated and motivated; few things are less fun (or less productive) than collaborating with an apathetic Eeyore with one eye and one foot out the door.

The time-honored tradition of giving raises and promotions to those who’ve earned them remains highly effective. Ideally, though, appreciation isn’t only doled out at an annual review. Here are a few easy, low-cost ways you can show your appreciation and help retain your talent.

Know your personalities

When it comes to receiving pats on the back, people are like plants; some require constant attention like orchids, others are more like a hearty desert cactus. Don’t overwater your cactus.

Encourage recognition from every level, not just top-down

At my last company, every employee had the power to bestow several gift cards upon coworkers during the course of the year. When you selected a winner, you simply sent an email to the company explaining why you’d chosen the person – which often put a spotlight on cross-departmental collaborations or late hours spent toiling on unglamorous but critical tasks. Bonus tip on gift cards: offer a variety.

Be flexible

An unexpected evacuation at Central Desktop HQ recently gave us an excellent reminder that it’s easier than ever to work around the traditional 9-to-5. ‘

Give a break from the grind

Hackathons and so-called FedEx/ShipIt days would have received attention just by virtue of sounding buzzy, but the only reason they’ve received sustained attention is because they’ve proved to be fertile ground for effective ideas (Facebook’s Like button, etc.). Setting aside time to pursue those rainy day ideas – which would otherwise likely remain neglected or half-baked – can lead to big wins. This lesson can be taken beyond the coding team, too.


Don’t wait for a formal occasion – or an earth-shaking event or million dollar sale – to appreciate a job well done.

Don’t overdo it

Most people on the receiving end of tough love will say that tough love is vastly overrated (take it from a former high school football player who still has anxiety dreams about practice) – but a constant barrage of gold stars will run the risk of becoming hollow praise.

Let them eat cake

There is such a thing as free lunch – and people go crazy for it. (Related: there is also such a thing as a free happy hour.)

Has your business found a unique way to express appreciation for its team? We’d love to hear about it. 

Post by Adam McKibbin

Adam McKibbin is the content marketing manager for iMeet Central. His writing has been featured in Adweek, the Chicago Tribune and The Nation, and he’s produced content for some of the leading tech brands on the Fortune 500.