A key to employee satisfaction and retention is recognizing them for a job well done. When a simple kudos or mention just is not going to be enough for the fantastic job they have done in a level that meets or exceeds expectations, an employer needs to be more creative in modes of recognition. There are several ways to do this, and a big fat cash bonus is NOT a creative way to say "great job!” One way to give an employee a reward for doing an excellent job on beating a goal or landing a big account is to swap roles with them. Let them be your boss for the week, take on their day to day "mundane" tasks and allow them to feel what it is like to be you. This will give them incentive to continue to work hard, because they will develop a deeper understanding and respect for what you do, as well as see what possibly could lay ahead for them if they continue to excel and move forward. This also shows all employees that you are not afraid to work and "get your hands dirty", and that a bit of competition can be healthy and fun. Another reward for a job well done can be to give an experience. While having a little extra cash at hand is always nice, gifting your top achievers' with once-in-a-lifetime experiences that they would never give themselves can be even more special. Allow them to utilize the company suite at a big sporting event, take them on a balloon or helicopter ride around the city, or even a vacation (depending on the value of the reward of course). This way, they don't feel obligated to pocket the cash and use it for something practical that will degrade the value of the work they put in to earning the recognition. A final, creative and effective way to reward your hardworking employees is to allow their input in creating the common work spaces. Whether you name an area such as a conference or meeting room after them, put their name on the product they have helped to design, or allow them to choose artwork that goes in the lobby; by giving them major and permanent input, you are showing that they are valued and appreciated. By using your creativity in developing employee recognition programs, you can see dramatic results that are sustainable. Please contact us for more tips on creating winning employee recognition programs for your organization.