By all accounts, recognizing employees with recognition rewards has become an instrumental method of boosting motivation and increasing productivity in the workplace.  In years gone by, managers and CEOs paid scant attention to a healthy working environment. They understood the bottom line to be the result of worker ability and hours devoted to the job. They spent thousands of dollars properly setting up their business while ignoring the impact of employee satisfaction on their success.

It is only recently that managers and office leaders have begun focusing on employee gratification and how to retain it. The key in most cases is, of course, rewards. The more rewards, the better. In an analysis of 437 companies, those with rewards programs had greater employee productivity, higher profits, better cash flow, stronger stock market performance and a greater stock value than companies without rewards systems.

Reward programs have a positive effect not only on employee performance, but on company performance as well. Business owners can be extremely creative in their choice of rewards but using standard recognition programs can be just as worthwhile.

Try a few of these reward suggestions and you should see some positive results from your employees.

1. The easiest means of rewarding your employee or team is with sincere praise. A heartfelt ‘thank you,’ a warm smile or a shoulder hug can often be as effective a cash gift.

2. Offering positive feedback can go long way in creating a sense of concern and caring between you and your employee.

3. Announce your appreciation out loud for a job well done so everyone in the office can hear it.

4. Monetary rewards are usually an effective way to increase employee performance.Studies have shown that even rewards as low as 3% of the employee’s total pay had a direct impact on his/her performance and that the impact was found to be long lasting.

5. Offer monthly bonuses. While annual bonuses have always been offered as a way to reward a worker, waiting an entire year to feel the boss’s appreciation can be frustrating and may end up demotivating your employee. Monthly bonuses are timelier and can more easily be attained.

6. Give appreciation gifts. Make them personal and relevant to the project successfully completed. Fit Small Business has compiled some brilliant employee appreciation gift ideas which are worth a look.

7. Offer a competitive goal-reaching contest with a weekend in a 4-star hotel as the winning prize.

8. Lighten up the office atmosphere by bringing in a breakfast of bagels, lox and cream cheese or a sushi lunch for the entire office staff. Whoever finds the tiny post-it on the bottom of his plate wins a special prize.

9. Celebrate important events and holidays in the office with balloons and a luscious cake.

10. Invite speakers such as a local librarian to discuss the latest book on the NY Times Best Seller list or hire an historian to take you and your staff on a tour of the city so you get a better picture of where you are living.

11. Set aside a health day. Bring in health specialists such as yoga instructors, massage therapists and nutritionists that can provide tips and advice on healthier living.

12. Organize an office outing to a local art exhibit or musical event.

13. Announce an employee’s successful completion of a project on the office email. Send out a WhatsApp with a hearty ‘congratulations.’

14. Keep a generous supply of treats available in the office kitchen—healthy fruits and sometimes yummy (unhealthy) donuts…..

15. Decorate the office with bright colorful accessories that keepeveryone in a good mood.

16. Order new posture-pleasing desk chairs for all the techie people.

17. Pipe in soothing music.

18. Set up employee appreciation barbeques and picnics.