Personalised Rewards, or ‘Why Your Money is No Good Here’

Personalised Rewards, or ‘Why Your Money is No Good Here’. In Blackboard Fridays Episode 80, Jacob talks about Leadership and Productivity. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.

Thanks to everyone who sent me feedback for our recent episode on Career Progression. You may have noticed as part of that wider ‘Empowering your Team’ conversation, that I talk about the incredible value of Personalised Rewards.

Did you realise this applies outside your team as well? And if so, are you implementing this tailored approach to wow and delight your key clients and suppliers?

In this week’s episode, which you can watch here, I walk through a simple way of planning these personalised rewards so they’re efficient for you (or your PA) while still feeling spontaneous to the recipient.

Less obviously, though you may still like to make a note, I touch on how much I personally love to receive movie tickets and new additions to my craft beer wall.

Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?

“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.

Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.

At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.

You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.

That’s me.

Learn more here. Or Let’s chat.


All of us want our team and our clients to be more engaged, to be delighted that they are in relationship with us. We don’t always get it right. Sometimes we fail our clients.

More often than not, we do meet their expectations, and that gives us the opportunity to exceed expectations, to well and truly wow either our team or our clients in a way that delivers ongoing value to our relationship. Doing so can sometimes be quite taxing for the business owner who often has a lot of other competing demands.

So, I want to talk about how simple you can make this as an exercise, because even though it’s going to be a surprise for the recipient, you yourself can plan these well out in advance. In fact, I have some clients where establishing a personal reward system for the year is something that they actually do in under an hour every January.

So, here’s how it starts. We need to think about, okay, well, who are we going to seek to wow, to seek to delight? This is often a combination of team members making sure that our team are engaged and feel valued, as well as clients. Not necessarily every client, but those clients that we want to make sure stick around. If they’re our ideal clients, we’d like some referrals from to other ideal clients.

Now, the critical element of giving rewards, giving bonuses, is personalising them, is understanding what specifically each individual values. Let me give you some real world examples. I often talk about how I, when I was a young whippersnapper, would get movie vouchers as a bonus from my boss. The idea behind that was that he could give me $50 of movie vouchers, and I’d me more delighted than if he’d given me $500 in cash.

Now, yes, I could go out of my way, I could use that $500 to spend it on movies, but most individuals don’t see cash as quite as meaningful as something that’s personalised. I’ve got another client that actually personalises their bonuses by giving their training team vouchers to a large bottle shop, off-license.

Their logic is that if they give each of their team members a $50 or $100 cash voucher or a general voucher that can be used for groceries, that money tends to go into consolidated revenue in the household budget.

To truly reward their individual team members, they get them a voucher that they have to spend on beer, that they have to spend on themselves, and therefore they feel that engagement and they feel that love. Of course, for their team members that don’t drink and that do actually have too, they make sure that that voucher is for something of a similar value, but something that is specific and personalised to that individual.

A third example from another client of mine who is a team leader in their large national corporation. Now, they had a fantastic year, but unfortunately the business overall did not. How demoralizing did he feel, having to go in to his team and explain that they were all getting a tiny bonus not because of their performance, which was exceptional, but because the business overall hadn’t lived up to the expectations that they’d achieved.

What he did have control over, however, was leave policy. So, he’s now established a much more flexible policy for personal leave within his team. They’re not only continuing to achieve, but they’re now exceeding the success that they had last year, even though they’re not getting paid very much more, because for each of them, having that extra flexibility in time was something that was enormously valuable.

When it comes to clients, we often make the mistake of not thinking about when. Too many businesses give their clients a thank you at the end of financial year and/or at Christmas time, and guess what? I get a lot of love at Christmas time. All of my clients, all of my suppliers, all of my key relationships, and of course the team itself are all feeling very festive at Christmas time.

If I got a dozen gifts, an invitation to six Christmas parties at Christmas, which I do, it’s difficult for me to remember actually who did what. Who gave me that great gift. This is doubly true when those gifts are all generic. When I know that that supplier has given exactly the same bottle of wine to every single person they’re in relationship with.

Much better to personalise exactly what you wanna give to each of your clients and to schedule when in the year you’re going to do it. That’s what I say about my clients that do this really well is they actually schedule randomly in advance when they’re going to do some of these things for their team. So that they’ve got a schedule, they know that on the twelfth of June they’re going to go and buy movie vouchers for their personal assistant.

That’s a random date, the personal assistant doesn’t know that it’s coming, it comes out of the blue and will delight that assistant, but it hasn’t required much from the business owner and it’s the same with clients.

A great example I had a few years ago was actually connecting two of my clients in this regard. As some of you know, I’m dressed for Blackboard Fridays by my good my mate Mark Ferguson at Wil Valor. He makes bespoke men’s wear, and so one year in October, so ahead of the Christmas rush, I gave all of my male clients a voucher to go and get a free fitted tailored shirt from Wil Valor.

Now, that was something unexpected, it was something delightful and yes, I gave it to all of them, and so it didn’t fully fit my context of understanding each of them personally, and I did know that for each of those clients it was something that was going to delight them. It also then built a relationship between them and my other client in Wil Valor.

So, in doing that, I created an enormous amount of value and goodwill around the marketplace and I did it at a time that allowed me to stand out. So, think about your team, think about your clients. Who are the individuals you want to delight, you want to wow? What is their personal context, what’s something that’s really going to be meaningful and valuable to them?

And then when in the next three months, six months, 12 months, are you going to spend a little bit of money or exert a little bit of effort to go out of your way to give them something personal to really demonstrate that you understand them as a human being, that you value the relationship, and that you want to wow them when it comes to working with you.

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