It would be impossible for your business to operate without members of staff who carry out the critical tasks that keep the business going. 

Recognizing the hard work that your employees put into your business is one of the quickest and most efficient methods to make them know how much you appreciate them, which can further improve their productivity.

While many business owners believe appreciating their employees means giving monetary rewards, it’s not always possible for small business owners to give cash bonus payments on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are some low-cost but effective ways to renew the passion of hardworking staff members. We’ll show you how to reward excellent employees without breaking the bank.

1. Create a Culture of Recognition

Everyone craves recognition: children crave recognition from their guardians at an early age, and adults need it too. Your star employees who are doing the much-needed work feel the same. 

Recognize employees for their achievements, when they go above and beyond in meeting expectations when they hit milestones in their work relationships and duties, or for their stellar habits and behavior like punctuality.

When you recognize hard-working employees, you encourage high performance, boost employee satisfaction and engagement and hopefully even retain your top talents. 

Recognized employees are more willing to go above and beyond to ensure your business succeeds. You can recognize awesome employees by:

  • Thanking them individually for their contribution.
  • Appreciating them at staff meetings.
  • Sending an internal email to members of staff requesting that they join you in appreciating hard-working staff members.
  • Dedicate an appreciation day to recognize employees. 

2. Provide Training and Learning Opportunities 

Another non-monetary way to reward hard-working employees is to invest in their growth and development. Help them succeed and grow by presenting them with training and learning opportunities that allow them to increase their knowledge and experience. 

You can create an avenue for them to learn from you directly, learn from other business departments to understand how the business operations work, or look for local training in your immediate community that will be helpful for them whilst speaking to their interests. 

By doing this, you not only motivate them to do better, but they also become smarter employees who will use the acquired knowledge to better your business. 

3. Give Them Time Off

Taking regular breaks improves mental health, lowers stress, and increases productivity. What better way to reward your hard-working employees than to show them you care about them and their well-being?

Reward employees with additional time off so they can relax, refresh or spend time on what matters to them, and then they can resume work with a renewed mindset and motivation to take on new work challenges. 

4. Give Them Your Undivided Attention 

As a small business owner, you’re wearing multiple hats at once and may not always be available for your team members. But giving your employees your undivided attention can be important. 

When you spend one-on-one time with employees, take time to get to know their motivations and aspirations. You may be surprised by the amount of value they bring to your organization. Your employees will feel appreciated and will know that you are investing in their development. 

Beyond the above, below are some other non-monetary ways you can say thank you to hardworking employees: 

  • Give books based on personal interests
  • Assign flex hours for hardworking employees
  • A simple and honest appreciation note from you to them
  • Cool company swag you know they’ll use
  • Brand new office furniture 
  • Find out what they like to collect and donate one to their collections
  • A gift card to their favorite store
  • Movie tickets
  • Create a wall of fame and include them on it
  • A new job title 

Rewarding employees is one of the best ways to keep them happy and loyal to the business. Follow these tips to keep your small business employees feeling valued and appreciated.