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How to reward your staff and boost their mental wellbeing


Jun 1, 2020

By Craig Bulow, founder of Corporate Away Days

The pandemic has focused our thinking on health and mental wellbeing, for our teams as well for ourselves as business owners.

Employee wellbeing is supported by reward and recognition so particularly as businesses in some sectors are bringing people back to the workplace it is a good time to review your approach. It is also important for staff who may be continuing to work from home where a feeling of isolation can be problematic.

Here are a few proven strategies for rewarding your staff and boosting their overall wellbeing:

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.  You can also put all the images online/on your intranet to share with your employees who are working from home.

Flexible Hours and Flexible Working

You may have learned some useful thing about flexible working since the start of lockdown.

It can be highly motivational to let your team members work when and where they want. For some people, 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 on the employee.

The 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. Then next month give it a good clean and 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. Retire the trophy and put it in your reception area. Start a new trophy and do it every year.

Corporate Away Days

Of course, a great thing to build team spirit is an away day together. As impossible as this sounds, you may be able to replicate it and give your team some fun to take their minds off everything. It will take some creative thinking but perhaps they could all go fishing at their own local catch-and-return lake and have a competition to see who can catch the biggest. Or, instead of go-karting, they could play online karting games together. What about a day at the races? Your team could dress up, get the prosecco on ice and bet on races being run abroad. You know your team. This is a good time to get creative and give them a treat!

You could also consider planning a real corporate away day for the time when people are able to get together.

Giving your team something to look forward to, something exciting, would be a perfect way to show appreciation.

For example, an away day out of the office with a wellbeing theme, an activity that is inspiring and engaging that allows individuals to reconnect and rebuild connections after a long period of isolation. www.corporate-away-days.co.uk offer 27 live wellbeing events that aim to connected individuals from all corners of the workplace, at all levels.

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.

Appreciate Personal Wins

Don’t just appreciate employees for what they do for you – appreciate them beyond their work as well.  If they’ve achieved a milestone in their lives outside the office, celebrate with them in the office. Decorate their cubicle with balloons and cards when they achieve a personal win, like completing a marathon, winning a tournament, losing weight (if they’ve been public with their diet), having a baby, buying a new home or graduating from a class.


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 outside of their responsibilities. Whatever the reason, cash bonuses are great, they offer a quick and easy way to reward your staff giving them the freedom to splurge on whatever they like.

It is an instant reward which can give the employee a sense of achievement and appreciation for their good work. Giving bonuses is one of the simplest rewards to manage as it can be easily monitored and given to multiple employees in privacy.

However, there is a downside; the reward is usually short lived. Once negotiated and is expected/received, in the mind of the employee it becomes already spent and loses the reward value.


Rewarding your staff in a variety of ways will show your appreciation for the work they do. When we feel appreciated, we feel better, and our mental health is generally improved. Overall, we have a greater sense of wellbeing. As we know the pandemic has highlighted these issues.  Let’s all take what we have learned, show appreciation and support our team members’ mental health and overall wellbeing.

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.

Web: http://www.corporate-away-days.co.uk/

Instagram: corporateawaydays

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/craig-bulow-3b227721/ and https://www.linkedin.com/company/corporate-away-days/

By mac