Ideas for rewarding your staff and supporting their mental wellbeing

Business Insights

By Craig Bulow, founder of Corporate Away Days

It is a truism to say that a company’s staff is its biggest asset and that someone who feels appreciated will ALWAYS do more than expected.

Rewarding your staff is a sure way to improve employee motivation, create an appreciative culture and an atmosphere which improves company productivity and employee mental health and overall wellbeing.

If you care about your staff here are some proven strategies for rewarding them and boosting their wellbeing:

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.

A Big Trophy

Fun, laughter and recognition. 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 may be surprised by how many things can stick to a trophy.) 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. Start a new trophy every year. (The previous year’s can go in your reception area).

Flexible Hours and Flexible Working

Let your team work when and where they want. The flexibility can be worth a lot more than cash. Maybe they won’t need day care 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 travelling and less stress.

Corporate Away Days

A corporate away day for individuals across the workplace, from different departments, instils 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 which 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’.

Time Off

A few extra days off at Christmas or New Year to enable them to extend their holidays. As the employer is probably taking a bit of time off, it’s nice to let some employees have the same luxury. You could also give them their birthday off or a duvet-day – these are effective ways to reward your best employees. The gift of time is a welcome gesture to most people.

Founder’s Wall

Instead of a wall of fame for employee photos, create a wall that not only recognises 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.

Office Party

When celebrating the end of one year and the beginning of another, an office party can be an effective reward option. Office parties are great because they give people the opportunity to feel valued and let their hair down; two good consequences of the gesture.


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, or it may be for a sustained period of great work, or going the extra mile. Whatever the reason, cash bonuses offer a quick and easy way to show appreciation and reward your staff.

Giving bonuses is one of the simplest rewards to manage as it is easily monitored and given to multiple employees in privacy. There is a downside; the reward is usually short lived. Once it’s expected/received, in the mind of the employee its as if its already spent, so it loses the reward value.


Rewarding your staff is a great way to show your appreciation for their hard work. Knowing that we are appreciated means that we feel better, and our mental health is generally improved. As a business owner you can have the satisfaction of giving well earned rewards and have a healthy and happy team

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.