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How to Reward Employees without Breaking the Bank

Rewarding employees within a tight budget is a common challenge in today’s HR climate. Employees want perks and employers want to maintain employee satisfaction and loyalty without going over budget on those employee perks. Here are three ways to reward employees without breaking the bank.

  1. Flexible Work Hours: Be flexible with work hours. Allowing employees the chance to work around family obligations or make up time on the weekends is an easy way to reward employees and show them that they are valued. Here are two examples of this:
    • Early bird vs. night owl: I am a morning person. I might be slow to get out of bed but once I am, I want to get things done as early as possible, and use the evenings to relax. I would work from 7-3 given the opportunity because that’s when I feel I can do my best work. On the flip side, someone else may not be functional in the morning, but a real night owl. They may do their best work from 12-8. Why limit when people work, as long as they can be in meetings when they need to be and with their team when they need to be. Let them do their own individual work when they are most productive.
    • Any parent: Every family situation is different. However, most parents would appreciate some flexibility to be home for their kids after school. If they can work an earlier schedule or work around their familial obligations it shows that their employer values them, values their work life balance, and will reward employees for a job well done.
  2. Reward with Time Off: Providing extra time off as a reward for exceptional work is a great way to allow employees to spend some extra time out of the office to decompress, reset, and come back to work ready to tackle projects, solve problems and be more productive. Time off can often improve in-office productivity more than it hampers attendance rates.
  3. Hand-Written Notes: This seems simple but it goes back to something my grandmother taught me: if you really want to say “thank you” put pen to paper. It indicates that you really care if you take your thank you’s offline and take the time to write and deliver notes personally to employees who do exceptional work. Reward employees inexpensively by taking the time to tell them personally how much they mean to your organization.

Having inexpensive ways to reward employees is a great standard practice. It gives you the flexibility to improve rewards or offer something bigger when there’s more budget. Have any other great ideas for rewarding employees inexpensively? Let us know in the comments!

Topics: Employee Recognition, Employee Rewards, rewarding employees, reward employees, Employee Recognition & Appreciation, positive outcomes of employee recognition

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