8 Simple Ways to Reward and Recognize High Performing Employees

As the so-called “Great Resignation” is upon us it may be worthwhile to find out how to keep your high-performing employees happy. According to the Pew Research Center, over half of the people who left their jobs in 2021 did so because of either a lack of advancement opportunities or feeling a lack of respect in the workplace.

So how do you fix that? And how do you let your best people know you appreciate them?

Read on to find out!

Praise Their Wins (Big and Small)

It can be easy to remember to praise your employees for the big, obvious wins but it’s important to do more than that.

Start by trying to recognize all of the smaller parts that add up to the big accomplishments! Successful projects don’t happen overnight and your employees will feel more supported and see if you are willing to notice the hard work they put in along the way to making the big picture happen.

Invest in High Performing Employees

As mentioned above, one of the biggest factors that have pushed people to leave their jobs in the last year is a lack of growth opportunities.

A proven way to reward your high-performing employees is to invest in their continued learning and personal development. This strategy is good for business too! Continuing to increase the value of your current workforce can ultimately lead to an increase in the overall success of the business.

Consider offering tuition reimbursement for continued education relating to an employee’s career. You could also sponsor certification courses or pay for your high performers to attend conferences.

Offer Rewards That Are Unique

You know your people best and simple shoutouts or gift cards may not cut it for everyone! It’s important to find out what your team values the most and provide incentives that match that.

It may be helpful to put employee recognition programs in place with set milestones that your employees are made aware of and can work toward. One idea for this is to provide employees with custom pins to recognize each of their major anniversaries with the company.

Other ideas for rewards outside of financial incentives are company-sponsored social outings, catered meals in the office, and tickets to movies or local sporting events.

Give Public Recognition

Use spaces such as weekly or monthly team check-ins, newsletters, or public forums to publicly recognize your high-performing employees.

Giving praises quietly only goes so far and your team members will surely appreciate the recognition in front of their peers. This will also set up your high performers to ‘lead by example and make them feel like their hard work is worthwhile.

You can take this one step further by encouraging regular peer-to-peer shoutouts to be given within your team! Doing so will help increase employee morale and a sense that your team members are a part of something bigger than themselves.

Allow for Flexible Work Schedules

Having a proper work-life balance is essential to maintaining a happy, healthy, productive workforce. A flexible schedule is something that everyone wants, so why not make it an incentive?

Set clear expectations and goals and allow those who meet them to choose their own schedule. If this model doesn’t work for your team, you could also consider allowing for late arrivals or early leave times. This is a great way to reward your employees who are proving their ability to excel in their work.

Offer an Increase in Responsibilities

In a similar vein, offering more responsibilities to those employees who are excelling can add value for the business and the employee! For those team members looking to grow their careers and level up, there’s nothing more valuable than experience.

In delegating more, or increasingly important, responsibilities to your high performers you are conveying to them that you see their potential and want to encourage more from them.

Pay for Performance with Above Average Merit Increases

It’s easy to say that you don’t come to work for the paycheck, but if we’re being frank compensation always matters. In fact, it’s one of the most important factors in guaranteeing employee satisfaction and engagement.

Long gone are the days where a standard raise across the board is going to cut it. Instead, employee performance should be evaluated on a person-by-person basis and merit increases should be given accordingly.

If a high performer is consistently going above and beyond in their role and is then rewarded a subpar increase then it is likely you will see a drop in quality and commitment from that employee. Pay your people what they’re worth!

Gamify Your Day-to-Day

Want a great way to add some excitement and engagement across the board? Consider gamification of day-to-day tasks. This will help your employees to break out of the monotony and have some fun at work!

You can do this by setting up small rewards your employees can earn along the way. Another option is setting one large reward the whole team will receive once a particular goal is met.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t be gratifying recognition. Let people compete for rewards, but don’t make your high performers feel like they have to compete for their efforts to be recognized! Continue to offer praise even while these competitions are going on.

Your High Performing Employees Deserve to Be Noticed

Now that you have some fresh ideas you can get to work rewarding and recognizing your high-performing employees!

If you’re looking for more advice or just want to continue learning, check out our site’s business section for additional content.

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