As a business leader, you want to compensate your staff for exceptional work, while at the same time providing incentive for continued outstanding performance. The best way to do this? Give the team rewards…
However, rewards programs can add up — a bonus here; a raise there. Throw in some gift cards, a few staff appreciation events and before you know it, employee rewards could be eating up a healthy portion of your bottom line.
What’s the solution? Get creative! Financial rewards aren’t the only option. In fact, they aren’t even the best option in many cases. Research shows that low and no-cost recognition methods can improve employee engagement, reduce voluntary turnover, and create a measurable impact on business performance.
So the next time you’re tempted to reach into the corporate coffers to reward your staff, try these no-cost strategies instead.
- “Thank You” – We teach our kids to say it, but as adults, we get lazy and forgetful. These two simple words can be incredibly powerful when they come from the right person at the right time. When done in a direct, heartfelt, and genuine way, almost any staff member will get a boost from this kind of personal recognition.
- Public Praise – Some folks shy away from the spotlight, while others relish in it. Staff members who want to elevate their professional visibility will take absolute delight in a little public praise. Whether you send a mass email to the team, or make an announcement at a staff meeting, the pleasure gained from this reward will far outlast any gift card you could offer.
- More Opportunity – Career-minded professionals are always looking for a leg up. To reward them, consider offering expanded responsibilities, greater autonomy, or the chance to participate in an exciting new project. Let them leverage their skills in new and different ways and watch them flourish.
- More Flexibility – Some professionals will do anything for an afternoon off, or the chance to work from home now and again. A rigorous 9-to-5 schedule can be hard to maintain when you’re also running a family and building a life. Offering your staff a little flexibility in scheduling, or a few remote work options can be wonderfully rewarding—and the disruption to the team itself negligible. (In fact, studies show that workers who enjoy flextime and telecommuting options actually work more and are more productive.)
Talk to your team and find out what motives them. You may be surprised to learn that “money” and other costly rewards don’t make the list.
How do you reward your employees to motivate them and keep them engaged?
Let us know in the comments section below….