How to Reward Your Employees on a Small Budget

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

Your small business doesn’t need a big budget to reward top performing employees. Often, non-cash rewards that show your appreciation are more valued by staff and have a greater impact on increasing employee morale and productivity. Employees who feel valued are also easier to retain.

Friday Happy Hour

Reward your employees by providing Friday afternoon beverages and snacks. It brings your team together to unwind at the conclusion of the work week and gives you the opportunity to get to know them better in a more informal setting. Only have one happy hour per month; this saves you money and gives your staff something to look forward to when it occurs. For example, you could have a Friday happy hour on payday each month. To encourage your team to leave their desks and mingle, hold your happy hour in the boardroom. Consider issuing an employee of the month award at your happy hour. It is an opportune time for colleagues to acknowledge the hard work of a team member.

Flexibility

Running a small business lets you offer flexible working arrangements. Reward your staff by giving them flexibility. If the job permits, reward employees by letting them choose the hours they want to work. For example, if you own a small insurance business, you could allow your monthly top performing sales team member to work their allocated weekly work hours on a schedule they choose. Reward employees by letting them work from home occasionally. The latest cloud business software allows your staff to work remotely with access to all your business’s real-time information.

Promotions and Projects of Interest

Promote employees as a reward. Let your staff know that a promotion is on offer for exceptional performance. Promotions don’t have to elevate employees into a management role; a small business could fill newly created positions, branded as a promotion. For example, if your business is an online retailer and you intend to put a team member in charge of your digital marketing, you could give the role to an employee who has shown influencing capabilities using social media. Reward employees by allowing them to work on projects they have an interest in, but that fall outside the scope of their day-to-day role; it develops your staff’s expertise in other areas of your business, allowing them to contribute more.

Gifts

Giving your staff gifts provides a more traditional way to reward employees. Gifts do not need to be expensive to have an impact. Give gifts that align with each employee’s interests. For example, if a top performing employee is an avid soccer fan, reward them with tickets to a game. The employee may use the opportunity as a networking event and take a client. Consider combining rewards and professional development for employees who value self-learning. Millennial employees value experiences; reward these employees with gifts such as movie tickets, travel vouchers, or tickets to concerts.

References & Resources

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