High Five Fridays—An Innovative Morale Booster


by Laleh Hassibi, PayScale


Companies are often looking for new, interesting and effective ways to retain employees. Getting employees’ pay right, and rewarding them for performance go a long way towards employee satisfaction, but there are also many additional incentives companies can offer to keep their people smiling.

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We recently saw some interesting and trendy morale-boosters among larger companies in the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work List. For example, NetApp built on-site sand volleyball courts to keep their employees jumping for joy. Then there’s Zappos who provides a full-time life coach to help keep staff reaching for their goals. GoDaddy.com takes their crew on off-site outings once a month to improve the happy factor.

What can companies do with a limited budget?
Grand efforts like building on-site volleyball courts are unattainable for most small companies. They simply don’t have the size or money to do anything on that scale. PayScale’s customer and neighbor in Seattle, Outdoor Research just introduced a unique incentive that represents a great model for other small businesses to follow.

High Five Fridays at Outdoor Research
From May through September, when most Seattle residents are eager to get outside to play in the sun, Outdoor Research’s 266 employees can take advantage of their adventurous spirits by leaving early, at 2:00p.m. Fridays. Once their work is done, and if they have weekend plans for adventure such as trail runs, paddling, mountain biking or the like, they can give their manager a high five and head out early.

We all like to have extra weekend-time for fun, but this is an especially well-played idea by Outdoor Research’s owner Dan Nordstrom. With a motto of “Designed by Adventure,” Outdoor Research caters their apparel products to outdoor enthusiasts and it only makes sense that their employees tend to be that way too. Giving them more time to pursue adventures not only fits the company’s brand, but is tailored to employees’ interests. It also fits the headquarters’ location in Seattle, where the debut of the sun after the long, drab Seattle-gray of winter has us all fidgeting in our seats and itching to get outside.

What about you? What’s unique about your employees, organization or location that you could use to tailor a customized, yet affordable, morale booster?

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5 Comments on "High Five Fridays—An Innovative Morale Booster"

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Dana Kozak

Would like more information on recognition programs and employee retention.


Laleh Hassibi

Dana, here are a few other related articles from the Compensation Today blog on the subject of rewards: 

The Carrot Principle
4 Ways to Rock Your Employee Benefits and Rewards Program

Also, you may want to join PayScale’s LinkedIn group, Compensation Today- HR Best Practices to join discussions on the topic with some of our 7500+ other members.



The last company I worked for gave the staff 4 additional days of PTO in the summer. We were able to use the PTO anytime between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The program was called “Summer Days.” I highly recommend this program!

angela snow

I’d like more info on incentives to retain employees and keep them happy.

bikin celana chino

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