Your employees are turning in quality work and you want to keep them motivated, but without extra room in the budget, is there a way to reward them? As it turns out, money isn’t everything.
Say Thank You
Acknowledging and appreciating your employees’ efforts may seem like a small thing, but it can go a long way. As it turns out, low employee morale can lead to lowered productivity or even an exodus of top workers seeking employment in a more responsive environment. There are multiple ways to do this--handwritten notes, flowers, even a verbal comment. Best case scenario? Your employees follow your lead and create a culture of praise, keeping each other motivated in a constant loop of appreciation.
Flex Their Work Hours
Flexible working hours are the number one perk, providing the biggest payoff with the least amount of effort. While not feasible in every industry, flexible working hours--or at least some latitude in needing time off for doctor’s appointments, children, and other miscellaneous personal errands--can go a long way to keeping employees happy. If you’re worried that employees might abuse the system, start out slowly and offer it as a bonus incentive for going above and beyond. Who knows? Once people start realizing flexible working hours are on the table, they may start putting in the extra effort.
Even the best of employees produce ideas that fizzle out into nothing. Not all ideas are winners, but the last thing you want is for employees to get discouraged and stop innovating or contributing. Reward employees efforts separately from results to foster an environment that focuses on creativity and positivity instead of competition. Rewards of this type can be silly and presented in a casual way at a work function or dinner. The point is, even if their ideas came out to nothing, employees still want to feel like their contributions are being recognized and supported.
Create a Hall of Fame
“Employee of the Month” may seem like an impersonal method of recognizing employee achievement, but with a few tweaks, it can become an amazing morale and productivity booster. Again, make it personal. It’s not enough to put up a name and photo on the wall. Dedicating an entire wall to honoring employees who have distinguished themselves in some way--along with a note that explains how with a monthly spot bonus or incentive can boost employee productivity. Vary the reward every month to keep interest high.
Help Them Relax
No employee wants to feel like a robot. Setting aside a small, secluded space for them to relax, decompress, and even nap tells them you value the quality of their output and the state of their mental health. It’s unconventional advice, but the science bears it out--even a 20 minute nap can boost focus and re-energize employees for the rest of the day. A fatigued employee is often a more stressed, forgetful one. And even if they aren’t sleepy, having a quiet space to decompress and gather their thoughts can only make them more efficient.
While employees always appreciate a cash bonus, it’s crucial not to overlook the importance of installing a rewards system or personally acknowledging their work and efforts. Personalized incentives create a unique culture to your company that helps keep employee morale and satisfaction high, preventing rapid turnover rates and boosting productivity.