Low-Cost Ways to Reward Employees

If you believe you need to think of more ways to reward employees, you’re right on point. Now more than ever, mostly owing to the pandemic, it’s crucial that organizations figure out how to not only attract talent, but to keep the key people you have. It’s a new ballgame, folks, and no longer is a nice paycheck the be-all, end-all when it comes to recruitment and retention.

But here’s the rub: like most businesses, you have a finite number of dollars that you can spend on your workforce. But there are ways to show employees that you value and appreciate them without busting the bank. Keep reading for low-cost ways to reward employees.

What are Employee Rewards?

Employee rewards are basically incentives aimed at reinforcing or motivating desired employee behavior. They can be implemented on an individual or employee-wide basis and are typically considered distinct from salary or wages but may be monetary – or not.

What are Some Inexpensive Ways Companies Can Reward Employees?

  1. Go public. That’s right, let the whole world know you’re happy with an employee! Well, okay, maybe not the whole world, but at least the whole company. You can give your employee their props via, say, a Slack blast or at a company meeting.
  2. Send a handwritten note. Everyone gets tons of electronic messages daily. Go the extra mile and wow them with a card or write out a note. The employee will be appreciative and surely keep up the good work.
  3. Give them a break. As employee rewards go, a day off to cool their heels after they’ve, say, completed a tough assignment is sometimes just what the doc ordered. It’ll be a nice surprise.
  4. Give them a little something. Some movie tickets or a gift card for the local eatery that he or she likes are nice gestures that won’t put you over budget.
  5. Give them something fun. It’s okay to be a little playful at times when it comes to rewards. For example, you could carve out a section of the company newsletter for a quirky-yet-coveted award that will make them feel good about themselves.
  6. Pay for travel. You can pick up parking costs, for example, or give them a bus or gas card.
  7. Bring in a masseuse. This is cheaper if you get a group rate, but still, a day for chair massages would surely boost morale.
  8. Take a field trip. This is another way to reward all employees rather than just one, but a day trip to a ball game or great barbecue joint could work wonders. Or perhaps you can pick up the tab for a happy hour or rent out a bowling alley. The possibilities are endless.
  9. Spotlight them in a blog. Yep, you can use your organization’s blog to feature an employee and give them the recognition they deserve. At the same time, you’re sending everyone a message about what kind of actions and behavior your organization values.
  10. Free lunches. Hey, they’ve got to eat, so why not think about sponsoring lunch for an employee for a week. You could find out where they like to get their grub and have something delivered daily.

Now that you know some low-cost ways to reward employees, you can begin working with leadership to put some of these ideas in place. Just remember that it’s all about recruitment and retention and producing satisfied employees, all of which results in a better business performance. If you’d prefer to have a consultant handle your employee rewards, we suggest you go with Mercer.