Ways to Honor Star Employees on a Tight Budget

by Michael Haberman on March 15, 2018 · 0 comments


There are many ways to reward employees without spending a lot of money.

Today’s post is brought to you by my friends at Socialmonsters.org. 

Many businesses go through lean times, but that does not mean you have to put recognition on hold. Consider the following options for rewarding employees that are beneficial for your business, budget, and staff.

Work/Life Balance

If your business model supports it, offering a flexible work schedule can be a huge advantage for some employees. Announce the possibility of this reward in a quick survey of your staff to gauge interest in the program and request feedback for potential options. Some examples of a flexible schedule include four ten hour days, later or earlier shifts and working from home. If your employees show an interest in this benefit you can offer the option at little or no cost to your organization. Items for consideration include shift differential and home office setup and security.

Rewards like the new iPhone SE allow employees to do more while away from the office. This is substantially less expensive than setting up a second workspace for a work-from-home employee, but if the funds are available to allow work-from-home as an option, the iPhone SE could greatly compliment that model.

Social Recognition

Present rewards for great performance during quarterly all-associate or team meetings. Recognition is great, but it can have a larger impact and also serve as motivation for other employees when given publicly. Leave a candy gift with a play on words like Extra gum (Thanks for going the “Extra” mile), Lifesavers, and coffee drinks “Thanks “a latte” and the rewarded associate names listed on a sign of top ten performing employees. Post this in a meeting or break room space. Pinterest is a great resource to search for low-cost employee recognition ideas like these, but make sure you are aware of any allergies or diet restrictions beforehand or it could fall flat and even backfire if it highlights a lack of personal knowledge about the recipient.

Health and Wellness

Speak with local gyms and fitness studios to see if they will provide a discount or even a few free classes for employees. More companies are offering daycare at their facility, but this requires extra space and a willingness to cover the added insurance and other regulations required for this option. An economical alternative would be to work out a discount with an established daycare near your offices and promote the daycare provider in your facility.

Consider providing free healthy snacks like fruit, salad kits, and whole grain cereals or PowerBars in your break room to encourage healthy eating and remove the need to leave the office. Finally, have employees put lists together of their favorite healthy apps to download on their smartphones, and help them keep track of weight loss, quit smoking or start exercising. Reward associates by allowing them work time or covering one of the employee’s duties, so they can compile this list and then present their findings at your next meeting.

Many businesses go through lean times, but that does not mean you have to put recognition on hold. Consider options for rewarding employees that are beneficial for your business, budget, and staff.

These options reward good work by your staff, save your company money and increase business in your organization’s community, so everyone is rewarded.


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