By Tami Siewruk Multifamilypro

Building and maintaining a great team is the key to your community’s or company’s success. Putting that fact aside, building and maintaining a happy motivated team is KEY to YOUR SUCCESS. Today I am sharing with you  No-Cost and Low-Cost Ways For Management to Reward Your Employees.

There’s no time like the present to reward and recognize our employees for dedication and hard work.  Believe me; I know that the apartment management budget for such employee recognition is usually slim to non-existent.  Of course it’s always preferable to offer a “cost” reward to our hard-working achievers when it’s appropriate and feasible to do so; but if you’re faced with the need to get creative with your employee recognition programs, there are plenty of low- to no-cost ways to say thanks for a job well done.  Low- and no-cost rewards are a great way to build and maintain morale throughout the year.  Here are just a few of my favorites.

·  Put it in writing.  Instead of just handing out paychecks and mumbling “thanks”, try to take a few minutes to reflect back on the week first.  Recall something each employee did and write a quick note of thanks.  You can even simply jot something nice on the check stub or envelope that recognizes an employee’s special accomplishments for the week.  My notes are usually no more than five to ten words. I made this a habit every week I was a n Apartment Community, Property Manager.

·  Call an employee into your office just to say thanks.  Don’t discuss anything else.  It takes two minutes or less.  If you have a little extra time on your hands, and if it’s appropriate, it’s a nice gesture to ask the employee if there’s anything specific they’d like to discuss while they have your undivided attention.  The first time you call them in they may be a little nervous 🙂

·  Post a thank-you note on the employee’s office door, desk, or general work area for everyone else to see.  Leaving flowers or a plant on a valued employee’s desk are also nice ways to say thanks in front of everyone. You’ll be surprised at how the rest of the team will continue the good will.

·  Have your company President call the employee to personally thank him or her for a job well done.  “Just for being a valued employee” is reason enough, but this would be an even more special reward if you’ve taken the time to first brief the President on the employee’s outstanding performance in a particular area or task.  Everyone loves it when their special efforts receive VIP attention.

·  Have the employee’s car washed in the parking lot during lunch.  Leave a brief note under a windshield wiper that reads “A sparkling car for a sparkling performer!  Thanks for a job well done!” I used the teenagers who lived in the community.

·  Honor “The Employee of the Month” with a highlight in your newsletter, private parking space, and/or a public thank-you during your next team meeting.  Create a “hall of fame” to post photos of your awardees.  Do everything you can to bring their special performance to everyone’s attention. This will also help you lease more apartments. People want to know the service is outstanding in your community.

·  Create a card that reads “Bravo!”, “Wonderful!”, “Job Well Done!” etc.  When you’d like to reward an exceptional employee, have all of his/her supervisors sign the card and present it in front of the whole office.

·  Order a small “Special Performer” trophy to pass from employee to employee.  Each recipient keeps the trophy until he or she finds someone else worthy to pass it on to.  One company in San Jose, California purchased and ugly old bowling trophy to use as their “pass around.”  It made passing on the reward a fun office gag as well!

·  Create a “Year Book” that contains everybody’s photograph along with each employee’s best achievements of the year.  You can make it fun and personal by providing a blank page next to each entry for other employees on the team to jot notes to/about the employee.  You’ll end up with a permanent record of the year’s special achievements, along with some very special thanks and insights from other team members.

·  Declare “Thank You” Day or Week.  Encourage all team members to go out of their way to thank one special employee for the special things they do for everyone else – or just encourage everyone to thank each other whenever someone’s special efforts make a difference – even for the little things – for the entire day or week.  Making a conscious effort to say thanks, even for only one day, easily becomes a habit and generates loads of long-lasting good will!

·  Write five or more “post-its” thanking the employee and hid them among the work on his or her desk/workspace; or leave a trail of post-it notes that leads to a cold soda or snack.

·  Develop a “Behind the Scenes Award” just for those whose actions are not usually in the limelight.  Present it at a staff meeting, and explain to the group what the person does and why their efforts make a difference.

·  Buy the employee something for his or her child.  Everyone loves passing on neat stuff to their kids.  This is an especially nice gesture to single parents.  It’s a great opportunity to acknowledge that being an outstanding performer at work while meeting the challenge of caring for a family is no easy task.

·  Tape a candy bar in the middle of a large filing project or report with a note that reads:  “Thanks for getting us half-way there – here’s a little sugar boost to help you make it through!”  Perfect when you know a service tech is having a tough day.

Recognition isn’t trivial when it comes to job satisfaction.  In fact, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently conducted a survey on the subject.  Sixty-eight percent of the respondents said it’s important to them that their work is appreciated by others; sixty-three percent agreed that most people would like more recognition; and sixty-seven percent said that most people need appreciation for their work.  Isn’t it time to thank your employees for their dedication and support?  There’s no reason not to – now that you can do it without breaking your budget!

When I was a manager my company did not offer the training that provided me with ideas to create and maintain a motivated team. My hopes are that this email will give you some ideas on how to reward your team on a weekly basis. Rewarding behavior that you want repeated is the secret, be sincere and only reward those that deserve the recognition.


1.   Select one of the above ways to recognize an employee.
2.  As a manger I recommend that you automatically try to take a few minutes to reflect back on the week first.  Recall something each employee did and write a quick note of thanks.  You can even simply jot something nice on the check stub or envelope that recognizes an employee’s special accomplishments for the week.  My notes are usually no more than five to ten words, a favorite quote is another way to say thank you.

Warm regards


P.S. A favorite Quote:  “Think life is always that fast. Some days you just participate more.” Isn’t that a great quote? I like the perspective!  So, if ever you feel your day is really dragging at any time, just jump in and participate more!

Star Thank You Card  

Happy team members are some of our best performers, and recognition for a job well done plays a major role in our employees’ job satisfaction. Use this colorful card to let your star performers know how well they’re appreciated. The card reads: “Thank You For being Service-minded, Talented, and Always Ready to get the job done! You’re a true STAR!”, and offers plenty of room for you to
add your own personalized message of appreciation. (Envelopes Provided)

Star Thank You Card (50 Cards – Item 391) Price: $7.00
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