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Reward your team all year long 🎁 📅 🎁

You need to be giving your team rewards all year long. It translates to greater employee happiness, motivation and team connection. It’s something every startup needs to be doing.

Set a rewards budget

First off, regardless of how big your startup is or how much funding you have in the bank set an annual rewards budget for every employee. Even if it’s $500 per employee, set aside a budget for each employee. As an early-stage startup, you’re likely not paying the highest salaries in the market (if you’ve got funding then you actually should be. Perhaps a future post). Regular rewards are one key way to uplift the spirit and keep employees dedicated and passionate to your company.

When to give a reward

It’s been a corporate tradition as old as time to give a year-end bonus or gift. All your work and efforts through the year are worth { }. This is horrible and do not ever use this method. Why? If you happen to have met the employee’s expectation, they are happy and motivated for a few weeks going into the new year. If not, January 1st they are on Linkedin and every recruitment site looking for a new job. I know, I’ve personally have been in this situation. It’s extremely rare that company leadership will ever value an employee’s time as much as they do. So most likely you’ll fall short of expectations.

Instead, what you should do is spread the reward out throughout the year. Whether a work anniversary, hitting a major milestone, or about any reason will work. Each reward will increase happiness and motivation until you’ve hit the next reward date. So rewarding multiple times through the year should help maintain employee happiness.

What to give

First off, get to know your employee and what they like (post coming about this). The rewards you give to each employee should be customized. Just imagine this.

Option 1: You give an employee a $500 Amazon gift card for hitting a major milestone.

Option 2: You know your employee loves classical music and is a foodie. You spend $200 on opening night, center row seats for the symphony. $250 for the hottest new restaurant in town, and $50 for an UBER to/from.

Option 1 is nice for the first few days of use of the ordered items. It’s impersonal, but a gift.

Option 2 shows the employee the company knows who they are, and helps builds a much stronger connection with the team. I’ve done this with a bunch of startups and the results speak from themselves.

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