Employee Rewards and Recognition: 10 Cost-Effective Ways

Published On
September 28, 2023
Read Time
4 Minutes
OnBlick Inc

Employee Rewards and Recognition: 10 Cost-Effective Ways

Employee engagement has been a buzz phrase in the corporate world for a long time. Rewards and recognition are instrumental in increasing employee engagement and retaining a productive workforce.

Some reward programs are avoided by businesses for their costly and time-consuming nature. However, small and considerate gestures by employers, such as appreciating employees’ work in real-time can be beneficial in making them feel valued.

This article discusses a few simple and cost-effective ways in which businesses can recognize and appreciate their employees.

Significance of Rewards & Recognition

There are myriad reasons why businesses should adopt methods of recognizing and rewarding their employees. The most important ones are better engagement and productivity, improved job satisfaction, reduced employee turnover, and a positive organizational culture.

SMEs could be worried about the affordability of employee recognition plans, but it is many a time economical to make your people feel appreciated. At the end of the day, money alone doesn’t make happy and satisfied employees. Several studies have found that receiving praise or appreciation is correlated with productivity at work.

So, here are ten low-cost but powerful ways to reward your employees who are doing a great job.

Fact:  According to Gallup, employees who don’t feel recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit within the next year.

10 Cost-Effective Ways Businesses Can Consider

1. Say “Thank You”

A simple ‘Thank You’ can help you in making your employees feel valued. As per a survey by CNBC, 75% of U.S. employees believed that their motivation and morale would increase if managers simply thanked workers in real-time. With technology that allows instantaneous communication, saying Thank you is no more a barrier to remote work. Some experts also suggest sending handwritten notes of acknowledgment to employees who perform well as they reflect that you’re willing to put in some time for them.

2. Acknowledge Publicly

Public acknowledgment is a great way to motivate people while rewarding them for a job well done. Announcements at company meetings can be of help. In this age of technology, you can make use of your social media handles to post shout-outs. When you post a picture of the employee of the month and write a few lines about their good work, it will make them feel recognized. If you have a company newsletter or blog, you may write up a small feature on the top employees.

3. Offer Personalized Rewards

Not every employee is interested in the same reward. And, this calls for an initiate to offer customized rewards to the best performers. According to a study by Deloitte, a mere 8% of organizations say that their rewards program is very effective at creating a personalized solution. Research suggests that employers can surprise their teams using personalized stickers, mugs, magnets, etc. printed with their names or pictures. Other options you can consider are access to premium products/ software, gym memberships, and personal training vouchers.

4. Provide Paid Time Off

There are a lot of businesses that still don’t offer PTO to their teams. As stated by a QuickBooks survey, 31% of employees said they did not receive PTO. It is mentioned that adequate time is more of a “necessity” than a “reward”. Research by SHRM found that 68% of employees who worked at companies that encouraged time off were much happier with their jobs. PTO not only makes employees feel appreciated but also helps them to continue performing well. Moreover, this provides other employees a chance to make their efforts known and to receive recognition.

5. Offer Flexible Hours

Organizations ought to create flexible HR policies to help their workforce achieve the right work-life balance. Offering flexible work hours is one of the most significant aspects pointed out by studies. Recent research on U.S. workers reveals that 80% of the participants would choose a job that offered flexible hours over one that didn’t.  

6. Make Learning Opportunities Available

By offering them opportunities to improve their skills and knowledge, you let your employees know that you value their career growth. As you demonstrate that you’re willing to invest in an employee’s skills and future, you improve the chances of retaining your talent pool.

7. Personal Recognition Note from the CEO

Employees generally feel great when they are appreciated by the top management. Managers can take their time to make a note of the great work done by their team members and recommend the employers to write letters of appreciation to the best performers.

8. Schedule Company-Wide Activities

You can plan a spontaneous activity that gives employees a chance to interact with their co-workers and enjoy a few hours off from work. Several companies have weekly or fortnightly happy hours that have proved beneficial in helping build relationships and collaboration between departments.

9. Celebrate Work Anniversaries

Irrespective of their performance throughout the year, you should recognize employees in team gatherings when they reach their work anniversaries. This would develop in them a sense of gratitude for being appreciated for reaching this milestone.

10. Encourage Peer-To-Peer Recognition

Your people feel good when they are recognized by their peers. For this reason, experts suggest fostering peer-to-peer recognition that provides every employee with an opportunity to recognize one another. When they receive compliments from their coworkers, they feel valued. And this breeds positivity and builds a culture of gratitude.

In Summary

Rewarding the best employees is not as difficult as several employers think. Small yet thoughtful gestures often make a big impact on the employee recognition process. Industry experts warn businesses to be sincere whether they’re recognizing the work of an individual or the whole team. We hope the cost-effective ways outlined here would not only help you in boosting your employee engagement and morale but also enhance your work culture.

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