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It’s National High Five day, so we’re talking praise.

It’s National High Five day, so we’re talking praise. As a kid, the kudos you received from family and loved ones may have come in the form of desserts, getting to stay up late, atta-boys and even high fives. With grown-ups, rewards like these give us something to look forward to, as well as a sense of accomplishment and appreciation—they can even lower employee turnover. Studies show that receiving praise results in the release of endorphins (a.k.a. “feel-good hormones”), easing stress and anxiety. Companies don’t need to break the bank to give their employees a high five for a job well-done. We’ve searched high and low for some creative ways for companies and managers to thank their employees. Here are a few of our favorites!

Company goodies and perks
Company swag bags are an easy way to congratulate an employee with items most offices already have. Good quality t-shirts, travel mugs, backpacks and similar items are the perfect way to promote your company while praising an employee. Extra kudos if the items are “limited edition.” You don’t have to stop with material gifts—lunch with the CEO or other company leader can be just as rewarding. You can also offer extra PTO days, half-days or work-from-home days for employees who deserve it. 

Team rewards
An entire department’s often responsible for helping a company reach significant milestones. Rather than calling out an individual, host a team happy hour or treat them all to a long lunch at a nearby restaurant. If you want to get creative, have a “dog day” at the office. Invite employees to bring their well-behaved pooches or contact a local shelter about hosting a couple furry friends for a few hours. There’s no better break than a puppy break.

Fun, helpful and goofy
Looking to have a little more fun? Pick up some tiny trophies from the dollar store (or make your own!) and label them with various achievements. These can range from “Best Excuse for Leaving Early” to “Most Likely to Help Out.” Redistribute (or award new) trophies as often as you’d like and let employees vote to determine deserving winners. 

Many parking garages are now employing car wash and detailing services within them. Buy a bundle of gift certificates so hard-working employees can have their cars cleaned while they work! Companies can also enroll in a unique subscription service (like SnackNation or Sock of the Month Club) and leave items at the desk of the employee of the week/month. Now that’s something to look forward to!

These are just a few suggestions for rewarding employees but there are hundreds more! Consider taking a poll in the office to find out what type of rewards your employees prefer. Give your office a morale boost and make your employees feel important. People feel inclined to stay at a place they feel challenged and appreciated.