The days of big-budget office parties and bonuses to match are behind most of us in these lean times, but that doesn’t mean you can’t motivate your employees through a strategic reward system. John Bisnar, Esq, an attorney and founder of California personal injury law firm Bisnar Chase, provides 10 tips for rewarding your employees without breaking the bank:

  1. Say Thanks: Whether you approach your employees personally, send them a note, or praise them in a staff meeting – it’s important to express your gratitude whenever they’ve done a good job. Saying thanks is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to make your employees feel appreciated.
  2. Lunch Meetings: Nobody will turn down a free meal – and a lunch meeting gives you the opportunity to reward your staff with great food while also bringing everybody together to share their successes, stories and struggles.
  3. Focus on the Family: Each of your employees has family members they love and care about. By showing that you value their families, you can cultivate a deeper sense of loyalty with your employees. Some family-based rewards can be as simple as a “free night at the movies” or an all-expenses paid dinner.
  4. Change Job Titles: Believe it or not, the more inflated the job title the more your employees will work to live up to it. If you hire somebody as a “janitor” he will pick up your trash. But if you hire somebody as a “workplace environmental consultant”, he will keep your office clean and provide insight on how to make things more efficient.
  5. Staff Newsletter: Newsletters are a great way to highlight individual performances as well as birthdays and other events. It is also a great way to help your employees get to know each other better through surveys, spotlights, and news sections.
  6. Book Bonuses: Instead of paying for your employees to attend an expensive seminar or workshop, you can purchase relevant and worthwhile books for your best performing staff members each month.
  7. Dress Down: Yes, you run a professional law firm that fights hard to maintain a certain image – but that doesn’t mean your employees can’t have a casual day once every quarter. Doing something different is a great way to get your staff excited.
  8. Friendly Perks: Flowers, in-office massages, or gym passes can be a great way to reward employees for great work.
  9. Upgraded Office: Is there any way you can improve your employee’s office area? A new computer monitor, chair, or printer would go a long way in reminding your employees that they are valuable to your law firm.
  10. Flexible Hours: Providing a bit of flexibility is often greeted with increased productivity. Whenever possible, see if you can let your employees tweak their schedule to meet their specific needs – whether it’s a longer lunch or mid-day break to go the gym.


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