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Clinical Solutions Blog

28 Ways to Reward Your Employees Without a Raise

Posted by Rick Lau on Aug 28, 2019 11:17:38 AM

How to reward your staff v2

Managing employees and keeping them engaged is more difficult now than it ever has been. In the past, employers used financial rewards like performance based raises or bonuses as motivators. Now, however, employees, especially millennials want more. They value recognition and being part of something.

Many clinic owners struggle when hiring millennials because they don’t understand this one essential, key fact . According to the 2019 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 49% would quit their current job in the next two years if they had a choice. That’s frustrating considering how much time and effort goes in to recruiting staff. 

In this blog post, I’ll share with you the best 28 reward strategies I have learned from my work with hundreds of clinic owners. These strategies can go a long way towards rewarding staff and achieving their best efforts at the clinic, regardless of role.

Giving your employees an incredible "staff experience" builds loyalty. The same Deloitte survey found that millennials prefer employers who share their values. The most powerful way to motivate and engage your staff is to have a compelling purpose and aligning them with your vision. 

This will motivate them far more than any financial reward or perk. Financial rewards are only temporary, whereas having a compelling purpose and vision will pick them on up on Mondays and pull them through difficult times. And when a competitor comes trying to steal them away... they'll stay even if they are offered more money.

A powerful purpose is an unbeatable force that can drive you and your team so you can have massive impact in your communities.



It pulls them toward your goal instead of you having to push and bribe them. A powerful purpose and vision is what separates good companies from great companies from legacy companies.

Here are a few examples: 

  • Google: Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."
  • Amazon: “To be earth's most customer-centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
  • A clinic owner I am coaching right now: Impact 30,000 lives and help them avoid pills and surgery AND to donate $100,000 to charity (Women's Transition House)

Plus, a powerful purpose attracts top staff and keeps them. As I mentioned earlier, research shows that it's not the money that millennials seek, it is purpose. Being a part of something bigger than themselves. That's how you motivate and inspire, not just millennials, but all employees.

This is something I talk about all the time in my #clinicboss community. We tie this purpose with everything we do at the clinic from the very first phone call with the patient to asking for a google review or recruitment. 

Once you have engaged employees with a powerful purpose for your clinic, you will want to give them the recognition they deserve. Here’s how to reward your staff to keep them on board, loyal and doing great work.

Select the most appropriate rewards for your employees from this list: 

1.) Recognition in front of peers. People love to be recognized and appreciated. One way to do this is to recognize your employee’s achievements during a company meeting, newsletter, or on your company wall. This will make them want to keep doing great work.

2.)  Spot awards. Have some gift cards on hand – then when you see an employee doing something well, give them one. It doesn’t have to be much - $25-$50 is enough. Or give tickets to a sporting event or a play. You can find discount gift cards at sites like Groupon.

3.)  Give a hand-written note - A handwritten note can be a powerful, personal way to recognize an employee’s contribution - it shows you have taken time to think about them. Just make sure it’s sincere and specific.

4.)  Impromptu time off - Let office staff leave early or arrive late. For example, send a quick email saying “It’s a beautiful afternoon - go enjoy it!”

5.)  Breakfast Treat Learn your employees favourite break treat. Then bring it in one day.

6.) If appropriate, organize a team spa, or pedicure and manicure day.

7.) Give tickets for a movie – and include the baby sitter fees!

8.) Pay for gas for a month - I was able to hire great physiotherapists just from this one perk.

9.)  Provide Costco membership.

10.) Pay for bus passes for a month – or more!

11.) Pay for their annual gym membership or bootcamps.

12.) Give a free trip to Hawaii – or a nearby weekend B and B during a festival. 

13.) Celebrate team birthdays and work anniversaries.

Other great ones:

14.) Family invites.  Especially for clinic Christmas parties.  This is an opportunity for employees to show their family the clinic and the people they work with - it may help for those times when the clinic needs staff support.

15.) Bring-your-dog day

16.) Cover a major expense. If an employee really goes above and beyond, give them the funds to make one car payment, mortgage payment, insurance payment or a major home appliance. It’s not inexpensive but it is powerful.

17.) “Cookies for a cause” - if an employee is an active volunteer, give them a cookie shaped like their charity’s logo with a thank you note.

18.) Make a donation in their name to the charity of their choice.

19.) Institute a “Traveling Trophy’ that goes to the employee who has done something outstanding. The trophy can be a figurine, a hat, a medal or something that identifies the clinic, but it travels around the clinic to deserving employees. 

20.) Change the dress code occasionally – staff can come to work in jeans.

21.) Post team achievements in the break room, or in the reception area - people love to be recognized.

22.) Secret Santa-style appreciation - Put slips of paper with everyone’s name in a bucket. Each staff member draws one, and then writes down one of that person’s achievements. Gather the completed papers and send them - secret Santa style.

23.)  T-Shirt design contest - hold a contest to design the coolest shirt with your company logo on it. The winning design goes on a T-shirt and is used for a special day or event.

24.)  Educational investment - pay their registration for a course in their practice area or office responsibility. This shows you value professional development.

25.)  Every time a patient says something good about your staff, share it with them. Or have a message board where current patients can write a note of appreciation.

26.) Have coffee shop meetings - a great way to change things up in a relaxed environment. Buy them coffee.

27.) Hidden praise - hide notes of appreciation in their workspace. Be specific.

28.) Have an Indoor “food truck” day – for example, on a hot day wheel around a cart of ice cream and hand it out to everyone. Or, on a cold day push around a "Cocoa Cart" of Hot Chocolate.

Try implementing some of these rewards in your clinic today –  and watch your employee productivity skyrocket.

Topics: Clinic Culture

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