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More Ways to Reward Employees with a Small Budget

Submitted by  on September 21st, 2011

Male figure carrying dollar symbolOur employees are our greatest asset, we often hear. Unlike other assets in the organization, employees have feelings! Those feelings can either drive an employee to switch to neutral (or even go into reverse gear) or switch to top gear. Some organizations seek to tap into people’s positive feelings with financial rewards. They do so at their own peril. I have warned against using money as a carrot to encourage superior performance.

In my last post, I shared some useful practices for rewarding employees for great work when there is not a lot of money to throw around. In this post, I continue the list with some more ideas on how you can reward and motivate your employees without spending big. Here is my list:

  • interesting and challenging work

    Meaningful and ambitious work is a prerequisite for inspiring top performance in any organization. Spur people to even greater performance by reserving your most absorbing and demanding jobs for your top performers.

  • employee of the month award

    This kind of regular award can be given in public or private for the most customers satisfied, the most improved employee, and so on. Use your imagination.

  • extra long lunch break

    A long lunch break can be a real bonus for some employees who welcome the extra down time or who need time to run mid-day errands.

  • assignment to another area

    Working in another department or project spurs new interests and learning. Many employees will want to experience your business outside of their currently constrained view.

  • paid dinner with partner/family

    Giving a dinner voucher for a local restaurant can be icing on the cake for many workers. For added benefit, let employees chose where they would like to eat.

  • fruit basket delivery

    Encourage healthy living and reward your team member or the entire team all in one go. Seemingly smalls acts such as this leave an indelible impression that you care for and appreciate your employees.

  • personal praise

    Saying thank you face-to-face for a job well done taps into the power of personal interaction in strengthening bonds. Highly developed scripts are unnecessary. Simply speak from the heart.

  • thanks from manager’s manager at a special meeting

    For major achievements, a special commendation from two levels up in the organization can be a real buzz. Make sure that you brief your manager thoroughly on the person’s name and achievement.

  • discounted parking space

    Lowering the cost for the employee to park their car is a tangible reward that can have lasting visibility. Ensure that the discount is commensurate with the achievement gained. Too low a discount can breed resentment instead of encourage even greater performance.

With both my lists, have you noticed that some practices require setting up as a formal system whilst others are impromptu and informal? Can you identify the forms of reward and recognition that a manager can use on a daily basis with little to no advanced preparation? Do you have managers in your organization that have the right attitudes and skills to reward and recognize in this way? Are they currently doing it? Please share your answers and experiences here.

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Are your managers inspiring employees to stellar performance? How are they at giving and receiving feedback? Give your managers the tools and skills they need to bring out the best from your employees. Download our 2 Way Feedback e-book. This practical guide will help your managers, supervisors and team leaders get everyone on board and going in the same direction -with enthusiasm. Find out more about 2 Way Feedback and download today.

Posted in Communication, Performance, Talent | Comments (0)

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