If you own a company, it can be hard to think of creative ways to reward employees or show them kindness. And it can be a little too predetermined--you only give employees a gift on their birthday or when they finish a major project. Random acts of kindness work better. By showing kindness on a Thursday at 10:30 a.m. when there is absolutely no reason to give out a gift or reward to anyone, you are showing that the workplace is not that predictable after all. In fact, it's a fun place to be.
1. Bring everyone on your team a coffee
Just do it. Stop off at the corner coffee shop and get everyone a favorite drink. This will be easier in a smaller company, or you can just get drinks for those on your team. One of the reasons buying coffee for everyone works so well is that it's a bit of a pain to wait in line, get your drink, and carry it back to the office. This way, you are doing the legwork yourself.
2. Give everyone a small bitcoin donation
Bitcoins don't seem to be making headlines, but they do serve one important purpose. They are really fun to use for online shopping. When you gift someone a small portion of a bitcoin through a service like Coinbase, the employee can then go shopping on sites like BeefJerky.com or Overstock.com and purchase small items. It's a unique experience.
3. Use Gyft to send a gift card by email
Gyft is one of those spur-of-the-moment services that's remarkably easy to use. Once you register, you can buy gift cards for low amounts (like $10) for restaurants like Applebee's or stores like Target and Amazon. Then, you send the gift card through email. An employee can use the gift card via an app when shopping. It's super easy.
4. Buy a huge pack of caramel apples
When Betty from accounting gets back to her desk, what if there is a luscious caramel apple waiting there for her? Everyone likes these treats (it's just an apple with caramel and chocolate) even if they don't come in a colorful and ornamental gift box. I like the Mrs. Prindables brand, which you can order online, but you can find them at many grocery stores too.
5. Say it with a cheese tray
That's right, this one is a bit cheesy (sorry). Go ahead and spring for a really eclectic cheese tray, and let everyone know about the surprise you have waiting in the break room. I like a company called Formaggio Kitchen that chooses fine imported cheeses. It's less about having a healthy snack and more about these unique delicacies and taste-testing.
6. Let someone use a fancy conference room chair for a month
OK, that expensive productivity chair in the meeting room might be too expensive for everyone to have at his or her desk. But maybe you can let someone use it for a month, right? You could hold a fun lottery, and let people pick a number or a color, and then the winner gets to use the chair. One fewer chair in a meeting room won't make a huge difference anyway. Or, just spring for an extra that everyone shares each month.