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Did you ever get a gold star for doing something really well? The thrill of receiving praise for going above and beyond never goes away and taking the time to say thank you to your employees is one of the important things you can do.

happy employeesRewarding employees brings loads of benefits, from greater job satisfaction and increased morale to building a culture of continuous recognition, a vital part of increasing job satisfaction. According to a survey, 50% of SME employees said they would leave a company that did not praise them enough and 61% said they would rather work for a place where they were regularly praised versus one that paid more. 

The good news is, it doesn’t take grand gestures to make people feel valued. 

There are four simple building blocks for employee recognition success that one MUST include in their reward and recognition tactics:.

  • Meaningful - Make your rewards detailed and meaningful, outline what that person did well and explain the impact their hard work had
  • Unified - Introduce an initiative that allows everyone to give and receive kudos to make your teams feel connected
  • Spotlight - Shine a spotlight on people that go above and beyond to celebrate achievement and reinforce good habits
  • Timely - Make your rewards truly impactful by recognising them in the moment wherever possible

Whether you have a limited budget or none at all, in this blog we’ve outlined four low-cost ways to reward your employees, plus examples of tips and tools.

Spotlight them to the company

spotlighting employeesA word of thanks at the right time can go a long way. 78% of SME employees agree that recognition is one of the strongest motivators and they’re likely to work harder if they feel appreciated.

If saying thank you in private can be such a powerful tool, imagine how much impact it could have on employee satisfaction if you took the time to recognise their hard work in front of the rest of the business.

When somebody goes above and beyond, consider spotlighting their achievement in a company-wide newsletter, posting a thank you on your internal intranet or team communication system, or give them a special shoutout at your next company gathering. All of these small ways of showing appreciation will add up to happier and more productive employees.

Say thank you in the moment

As touched on in our MUST model, recognition should always be timely. Often, employees go above and beyond in such a way that they deserve to have their hard work recognised in the moment, rather than waiting for a bigger occasion. This is especially true during demanding periods, when a small gesture of thanks can mean the world.

eCards are a great way of showing appreciation in a small business. They’re also an initiative that everybody can get involved in, by letting your employees send notes to each other. There are a range of pre-designed eCards in Reward Gateway for Small Business including Great Teamwork and Problem Solver. You can also add a personalised message detailing exactly why they’re so brilliant, helping you reinforce great habits.

eCards on phone

Discover unique ways to reward and recognise your small business employees Learn more

Create an informal award ceremony

Celebrate good times - and good work - by adding an informal award ceremony to your next company social or all-hands meeting. Ask your teams to nominate their colleagues for categories such as ‘Best Team Player’, ‘Makes The Greatest Cuppa’, or ‘Always There When You Need Them.’ If you use eCards in your employee reward and recognition strategy for small business, you can also see see how many eCards are being sent and identify which employees receive the most recognition from their peers. 

Consider inexpensive but thoughtful prizes such as a gift card for their favourite coffee place or an extra day off that year! 

If you did want to offer a financial incentive, in Reward Gateway for Small Business managers can send an Instant Reward as a special thanks. Instant Awards lets you select a moment such as ‘Well done on your achievement’ and select a value. Once your employee receives an Instant Award, they can purchase an Instant Voucher or Reloadable Card for a retailer of their choice.

Treat the team

happy teamReceiving rewards is a wonderful feeling and sometimes it’s even better to share it with friends! A great way of rewarding employees for their hard work is to gift a small amount of budget to a team activity of their choice, whether that’s spending Friday afternoon at an escape room or splashing out on a fun lunch together. If you decided to make rewards a team effort, you could even use it to create friendly competition among your teams. For example, the team who meets their sales targets first wins a fun day out! 

If your budget doesn’t stretch far enough to accommodate a day out, you could also keep it low key with a pizza party to say thanks. All in all, spending some budget on team rewards is a great way to show appreciation for the individual, as well as building relationships and giving morale a serious boost.

Key takeaways

So, what have we learned? Taking the time to reward your employees is good for their wellbeing, good for your business, and generally makes your company a better place to work for everyone. Here are the key ideas for low-cost ways to reward employees.

  • Spotlight them to the company for bigger impact in your next newsletter, your intranet or teams messaging system, or at your next gathering
  • Say thank you in the moment, whether that’s by giving them a quick call or sending an eCard to really show your appreciation
  • Create an informal award ceremony that your employees can get involved in and give out thoughtful prizes such as an extra day off or an Instant Reward
  • Spread the joy by letting employees earn rewards for their team to encourage good habits, increases motivation and build relationships

We are obsessed with our mission to make the world a better place to work. Sign up for a free trial of Reward Gateway for Small Business and let us help you motivate and reward your workforce.

Billy Enever

Billy works on the Reward Gateway for Small Business team and is passionate about helping businesses to engage and motivate their people. Outside of work, he loves travelling, music, and sports.

Reward Gateway for Small Business Consultant

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