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9 Simple Ways of Rewarding Employees On A Budget

Rewarding employees

Employee-Recognition Ideas

At the core of any business lies a group of people who make things happen. Great companies become great due to the work put in by their employees. Happy employees make clients happy and make shareholders smile all the way to the bank. However, it can be hard to keep employees happy on a tight budget but the truth is, rewarding employees does not have to cost an arm and a leg.

Employee recognition makes your employees more engaged and to make this happen, you only need to have simple rewarding schemes, which build relationships in the workplace. We shall look at some affordable ways of rewarding employees, which can go a long way in boosting employee morale.

But first, what are some of the benefits of rewarding employees?

  1. Boosts Employee Retention

Employee retention

Employees stay longer in places where they feel appreciated for their efforts. High turnovers affect the business as it brings discontinuity and breaks trust with customers. Therefore, if you are struggling with employee retention, you might want to consider using employee recognition to keep your employees on board for longer.

  1.   Boosts Staff Morale and Improves Performance

Most employers set targets for their employees, which are followed by punishment in the event that they do not meet their targets. Few employers have rewarding schemes for those who perform well. But, you might want to consider using rewarding schemes as a way of boosting your employees’ morale and having them achieve their targets. This is a more effective way of ensuring that they perform well as opposed to just resorting to penalties when targets are not met. 

  1.     Makes It Easy for The Company To Attract Top Talent

Attracting top talent

Companies that are known to treat their employees right rank highly in terms of top places to work. Such companies have an easy time recruiting as talented people want to offer their skills in an environment where they are appreciated.

  1.   Increases Customer Satisfaction

Happy employees keep customers happy. As a result, customers want to come back and they become great ambassadors for the company. In a world where word of mouth is still a great marketing tactic, happy employees can be the fine line between a successful business and a struggling one.

Rewarding Employees In An Affordable Way

While you may want to throw lavish parties and take your best-performing employees on expensive vacations just to show them what they mean to the business. Your current financial status may not have room for that. Otherwise, it would mean doing away with basic things like stable internet connections, which would mean frustrating everyone else and defeating the purpose of staff recognition in the first place.

So, how do you make your employees feel valued on a limited budget?

  1. Develop A Formal Appreciation System

Formal appreciation

A formal system helps you allocate a budget for the program, which will mean that you do not over-stretch yourself. A formal program should also include things like nomination processes, which makes it all-inclusive and boosts staff cohesiveness. Such systems will help you encourage things that you want your employees to do more and can include small rewards such as leaving the office earlier or giving out shopping vouchers.

  1.    Verbally Praise A Person

Sometimes, all a person wants to hear is, “Good job” or “That was a brilliant idea.” These may seem like small things but praises show a person that their work is being recognised. Most people in the modern workplace want to feel valued and want to make a difference. Verbal praise does just that and does not cost anything. However, such praise must be immediate for it to be effective.

  1.  Ask Employees to Contribute Ideas Towards Projects

This may seem obvious but it is not. Asking employees for their ideas makes them realise that they are truly part of the team and increases their commitment towards projects. It is important to encourage employees to share their ideas based on their experiences on how to make a project successful or how to improve on certain elements so as to achieve success. Staff engagement keeps employees happy and makes them go the extra mile to achieve targets.

  1.  Put It In Writing

Rewarding employees

Verbal praise is nice but an employee feels better when the praise is in writing. It shows that you actually took your time to recognise the person’s efforts and written praise makes the recognition personal. You can write a short email or a note and pass it on to the person. It goes a long way.

  1.   Wall of Fame

This is a nice way of showing off a person’s recognition. A wall of fame is simply a place where names are written down on a monthly or quarterly basis, to publicly recognise those who perform well. It is a simple tactic that boosts staff morale and increases job satisfaction.

  1.  Spontaneous Treats


Maybe your employees have been working hard on a project and they have finally pulled it off successfully. Or the team has put in a lot of work this quarter and you want to tell them that they are doing a good job. You could surprise them with a breakfast treat, which is a simple way of saying, “Your work here is appreciated.” Such laidback sessions also give you a chance to interact with your employees informally and share ideas.

  1.     Profile Your Employee-of-The Month/Year On Your Website and Social Media Pages

This is 2 way. It puts a face to all the hard work that makes the company successful, which endears the company to customers. At the same time, it boosts the employee’s morale as their recognition does not simply stay within the walls of the organisation. Sharing their great deeds on social media and your website will also give them a chance to broadcast their efforts to their friends, which adds a fun twist to recognition.

  1.  Harness Their Other Talents

Extra talents

Of course, your employees have other skills outside their work. Maybe one of your employees is a DJ or another one has great interior design skills. Well, you could pay the DJ to offer his skills during the end year party or pay the interior designer to give you ideas on how to improve your workplace. Whatever the case, the employee feels valued and appreciated.

  1.  Informal Chats

Maybe you bumped into each other at the water dispenser or the lift and you are trying to have some small talk as the water drips slowly. You can take this time to find out the progress of a project the employee is working on and praise the person for their efforts. It shows that you are interested in what the person does and makes the person feel like an integral part of the team and not just a cog in the wheel.

At the end of the day…

Rewarding your employees does not have to cost you a big part of your budget. Simple activities such as spontaneous treats, profiling on social media, recognising other talents, verbal praise, inclusive decision-making, and formal appreciation systems go a long way in making an employee feel like an important part of the business. These are simple ideas that have long term effects and boost your employees’ morale. So, go ahead and create champions out of your workforce without fighting with finance.

Do you think rewarding employees motivates them? Join the discussion.

Njeri Karanja
Njeri is a reading and creative writing enthusiast who is neck-deep in research writing. She is well versed in researching and writing on various topics.
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