The best employee engagement awards to gift your team

Is your company looking for ways to improve employee engagement, reduce churn, and increase happiness?

You might need to focus on building a culture of appreciation. One way you can do this is by focusing on employee engagement awards.

Why you should reward your employees for being engaged

Management should look beyond giving rewards in exchange for typical milestones and anniversaries and reward employee engagement instead.

Rewarding employee engagement and recognizing connection efforts can reduce employee turnover, and 58% of employees believe that more recognition would improve their relationship with their management team.

[Related: Team-building painting activities your coworkers will love]

Why experiences are better rewards than purchases

Monetary compensation is usually a welcome gift, but it doesn’t necessarily affect your employees’ need to feel respected and appreciated. According to a study by Harris Group, over 75% of millennial employees value experiences over material goods. About half of our workforce is poised to be millennials in a few years, so it makes sense to focus on experiential rewards.

Plus, experiences have a distinct effect. Experiential awards contribute to an employee’s growth and create long-lasting memories. When your employees associate their workplace with the happiness they feel from a work-led experience, they feel more motivated to stick around and keep reaching for their goals.

How to tell who deserves an employee engagement award

So, how can you decide who deserves an employee engagement award?

Here are some indicators that your employee is due for a little recognition:

  • Consistently participates in team-building activities
  • Spearheads employee connection efforts
  • Provides and solicits feedback
  • Always fills out employee surveys
  • Makes effort to connect and engage with virtual or remote employees
  • Suggests strategies for better collaboration and teamwork

[Related: Guide to engaging employees at every phase of their work journey]

10 employee engagement award ideas

“But purchasing a gift card or simply writing a shout-out on Slack is so easy,” you might be thinking. Choosing memorable experiential rewards for employee engagement doesn’t have to be rocket science.

Let us help. If you’re stuck trying to think of fun and unique employee engagement award ideas, don’t worry—Mystery has your back. From giving the gift of rest and relaxation to diving into sweet and savory snack activities, here are 10 of our favorite employee engagement award ideas.

Employee appreciation parties

Official Employee Appreciation Day is in March, but that shouldn’t stop you from throwing your own virtual employee appreciation parties at any time of year.

Order food and a bottle of wine to your teams’ residences, and engage in some unusual and fun team-building activities. Top it off by giving each employee a personal shout-out for what they’ve contributed to the company.

An extra day off

No one’s going to complain about extra time off, so give your employees a day to tend to their personal lives and do your part to prevent employee burnout. For company-wide rewards, send out a survey so you can all choose a date that works for everyone. Add to their vacation day with a spa or restaurant certificate for them to enjoy with a loved one.

[Related: How to welcome new employees: Your complete guide]

Dessert delivery

Go ahead and spoil your dinner! Reward an extra-engaged employee with some well-deserved sweet treats. Order ice cream delivery or send over pie ingredients so they can have fun and make their own mouthwatering dessert.

Social media shout-out

Show off your employee to the whole world! Post a photo and a note of appreciation to your company’s Instagram,Twitter, or LinkedIn page. This will also show clients and the public that you’re not just bots behind a screen—you’re an organization full of real people who care about fellow employees.

Pizza party

With so many options and toppings to choose from, who’d say no to a pizza party? Throw a virtual pizza party in honor of your recognized employee. Vote on toppings or give your honored employee final veto action, then order personal pies for delivery. Gather on Zoom, throw on some music or screen a movie, and enjoy the simplicity of a cheesy slice.

Thank-you video

Put together a special thank-you video for your colleague. Have each member of your team record a short message to the celebrated employee, edit it together to the tune of some of their favorite tracks, and send it over. This idea is personal and memorable—and an especially easy way for virtual or hybrid teams to show appreciation.

[Related: Our tried and true virtual event favorites]

Virtual wine tasting

Bring wine country to your employees’ computer screens with a virtual wine-tasting event. Send bottles of wine to your team and hire a professional wine expert to educate them on all the delicious ways to swirl, sniff, and sip.

Private jazz show

There’s nothing more relaxing than enjoying live music. Reward your employees with a private jazz concert featuring award-winning musicians.

Chef-led cooking class

Hire a master chef to teach your team the ins and outs of a great meal. An interactive cooking class will give everyone the ingredients and tools they need to dish up a tasty five-star meal.

Night at the casino

This employee engagement award gives your team the green light to let loose and roll the dice! Online casino hosts make sure your team experiences the most luxurious virtual casino experience possible.

[Related: 5 reasons your team isn’t loving virtual happy hours]

Give your team the gift of Mystery

The way your work rewards employee engagement can really make or break your team’s happiness and satisfaction. In fact, lack of recognition is the third leading cause of employees leaving their workplace.

Don’t become another boring workplace statistic! Celebrate your employees’ hard work in the name of engagement and connection with Mystery’s wide variety of team-building events.

Learn more about how Mystery works, or book an event with us today!

Featured image via Pexels.