The “Christmas Bonus” is a thing of the past… but THIS will never be.

It’s that time of year. It may be cold outside, but everyone around you is starting to feel warm and fuzzy inside: the holidays. When expectations are high, but energy and coffers are low. Yes, gone are the days of the big “Christmas bonus”, but showing appreciation to your team members is something that should never go out of style. Many Business Owners are already overrun this time of year, but regardless of how much you have on your plate, we URGE you to take a moment to plan and show appreciation for your team.


Why is this so essential? Well… what’s one of the BIGGEST CHALLENGES to small businesses of almost EVERY KIND right now? Staffing and labor cost inflation. That means its more important than ever to retain your current team members, and the upcoming holiday season gives you the perfect opportunity to focus on how that looks in your business. 

The Company "Award" Ceremony

For many years, our Royalty Rewards® Christmas Party included an award ceremony. Using a simple voting ballot, each team member nominated their co-workers for a “prestigious” award (all coordinated in advance). But these were not boring, stuffy awards. Yes, this should recognize each team member for their unique contributions, but it should also be FUN. Here are some examples of the company awards you can ‘bestow’ to both show appreciation and create fun in your business.


Little Miss Sunshine

For always being chipper! 

Duct Tape

For being able to fix just about anything!

Boarder Patrol

For your watchful (and helpful) eye!

Mama/Papa Bear

For always looking out for all of us!

Human Wikipedia

For ALWAYS having the answer!

Rubber Ball

For always being able to bounce ideas of off

Busy Bee

For not even having time for this award!

Energizer Bunny

For always going and going and going!

You can also incorporate a few more serious awards for your top MVP’s. If you do this, it’s best if the award is based on measurable results. Depending on your business, you could include awards based on sales processed, shifts worked, and even based on punctuality. And don’t forget your Rewards Program KPI’s. Call your Royalty Rewards® Coach and add these to your list (we recommend recognizing the top 3 in each category):

Top Employee
Reward Members

For enrolling the most new Reward Members in 2023.

Top Employee Reward Member Visits

For processing the most Reward Member Visits in 2023.

Top Employee Reward Member Sales

For processing the highest Reward Member Sales in 2023.

The Candy Bar Giveaway

Here’s a really great idea that doesn’t require much advance planning. Often, we focus on the big things like major milestones, or the end goal of a project, but there are many opportunities to celebrate smaller victories. This is something you can incorporate into your business on a regular basis. When you see behaviours that deserve acknowledgement – perhaps someone went the extra mile, helped a co-worker, or suggested a money saving idea – pull out one of these candy bars to show your appreciation:

  1. 100 GRAND: Your leadership abilities are worth more than 100 Grand.
  2. ALMOND JOY: You are full of joy and make your teammates happy.
  3. BUTTERFINGER: You make the business a butter place by serving others.
  4. GOBSTOPPER: You have gobs of determination and enthusiasm.
  5. JUNIOR MINTS: You always offer ‘encouragement’ to your teammates.
  6. LAFFY TAFFY: You are full of humor and always make us laugh.
  7. TWIZZLERS: You can untwist and solve difficult problems.

What To Keep It Simple

Stick to one candy bar, make it the ‘mascot’ of recognition in your business and give it out as a thank you whenever it’s deserved. OR incorporate the Standing Ovation: during a pre-shift huddle, post shift clean-up, or whenever the opportunity is there, pull everyone together to briefly recognize a team member and give them a quick standing ovation. Easy. Impactful. Make this a ‘tradition’ in your business.

Bigger, Better Things

If you’re ready to incorporate something bigger, something your team values and wants to earn, here’s a few ideas to consider. You can tie these rewards to activities, behaviours, or milestones that mean something in your business.

Preferred Shifts or Flex Time Coupons

Give the right of first refusal for the best shifts or provide flex time coupons employees can redeem when they need it most.

Primo Parking

We don’t need to explain this old-school reward. It’s been around forever… because it works as a great form of public recognition.

PTO or a Day Off Pass

You can’t go wrong with extra paid time off – made even better when employees can pick a day that accommodates their personal schedule.  

Health & Wellness Rewards

Reward big accomplishments with health and wellness benefits, like a spa day, a 3 month pass to a local gym, or a month of personal training.

Monopoly Money

Reward employees regularly with your own custom phony money (or use Monopoly money) that they can redeem for gifts at the end of each quarter.

Wall of Fame

Create a wall of fame to recognize employees for specific reasons. Include a fun photo and details of what they accomplished. And if you have a newsletter, feature them!

The current labor shortages and labor cost inflation challenges we are experiencing are the result of many complicated factors. Options for flexible work (for less money and more free time) like car share driving or food delivery services (and so, so many more things) will continue to impact your ability to keep a superstar team. Use these ideas and leverage one of the most valuable gifts you must give: Recognition.