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Celebrate Your Team with the ‘Finish the Year Strong’ Recognition Plan

Updated: May 19

Reward great performance with fun, themed ideas for the remainder of the year



Generally speaking, leaders know that formalized and consistent recognition is key to driving employee performance and making individual team members feel valued – especially after the complex professional challenges of the last two years. Still, understanding recognition’s importance and enacting an effective recognition plan are two different animals.


Everyday duties often take priority over employee appreciation, but most employers can’t afford to neglect rewards and incentives. An estimated 44% of employees are likely to leave their jobs because they haven’t been recognized. That’s a costly loss that can certainly be avoided.


In establishing a culture of recognition, you can get over the initial hurdle by following some basic principles – make rewards specific and relevant, issue them in a timely fashion, honor employees’ different preferences, and never underestimate the power of simple perks like free coffee or an email of praise.


Then, with these guidelines in place, check out our Finish the Year Strong checklist to celebrate and uplift your team every month, for the remainder of the year.






The Finish the Year Strong Recognition Plan

No matter your budget, the size of your team, or your past recognition efforts, there’s something for everyone in the Finish the Year Strong Plan. Pull from each month’s theme to build a memorable strategy that resonates with your team. There’s no right or wrong way to apply these ideas – go big, small, or somewhere in-between – but in using this plan each month, you’ll ensure that rewards and incentives, and thus higher engagement and productivity, become a permanent part of the company culture.


June – Lunch on You

Friday, June 17 marks National Take Back the Lunch Break Day, during which employees are encouraged to use their meal hours for R&R, instead of more work. Make it a special day by catering lunch for everyone, extending the lunch break to two hours, or handing out gift cards to employees’ favorite restaurants.


July – Midyear Celebration

With the fiscal year half over, it’s a great time to recognize year-to-date top performers and overall employee performance. Craft a VIP event experience for workers in the top percentile, and provide additional gift options for on-target employees, such as extra days off for their summer vacations.


August – Outdoor Fun for All

National Play Outside Day falls on August 6. It’s a Saturday holiday in which everyone’s encouraged to get active outdoors. Support your employees’ wellness and work-life balance off the clock with recreational games and sports equipment from Escalade Sports.



September – Small Acts, Big Results

The National Day of Encouragement falls on September 12 and serves as the perfect time to roll out small incentives or acts of kindness, the impacts of which will last for months to come. Maybe it’s Free Coffee Fridays, which save employees time and money, or home meal kits to make family dinners easier, or a public recognition wall where everyone can celebrate each other. These ideas aren’t necessarily flashy, but they can go a long way in improving lives in and out of the office.


October – Reonboard & Refresh

As Q3 comes to an end and one of the busiest periods of the year begins, it’s the perfect time to remind existing employees just how important they are to the business. Think of the enthusiasm and care that goes into a new hire’s first few weeks; then bring that same freshness and excitement to your current team with special recognition gifts or themed events. Perhaps it’s a fall fashion event with styles from Cashmere Counter and kate spade new york. Or a wellness-centered gift assortment from brands like Human Touch, Hyperice, and Lifeline Fitness, to assist as activities move back indoors. No matter the selection, the late-year refresh will be more than welcome.



November – Pre-Holiday Home Goods

The holidays will be in full swing by month’s end, with many of your employees hosting friends, family, and neighbors for countless get-togethers. Run a performance-based contest with cooking and baking rewards from Magic Chef and Nordic Ware, to make holiday hosting seamless.


December – Year-End Appreciation for Everyone

Close out the year on a high note by showing the entire team some appreciation. Rewards like Incentive Concepts’ Event Card give employees the gift of choice. They can t through a curated selection of products across brands and interests, and have their picks shipped right to their door.


There’s no shortage of ways to celebrate your team’s contributions and successes, and whittling down the options can be daunting. With the Six-Month Recognition Plan, however, gift selection becomes much simpler, helping you strengthen engagement and connection, and fortify a culture of positivity. Download your free Six-Month Recognition Plan checklist here.


For help pulling all your incentives together, book a personal consultation with an Incentive Concepts gift advisor today.

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