5 Very Nice Ways to Reward Employees Without Spending a Penny

4. Coffee

When an employee goes above and beyond for your business (perhaps they’ve arranged a cost-cutting, efficient paperless direct debit system in their free time.), you need to recognize it. With no incentive to do their very best, it can be difficult to encourage consistently excellent performance from your team. Striving hard to become the best is a personal motivation for team members, but if an employee really excels and there’s no recognition of their efforts, your staff can swiftly become demoralized.

If you’re  a start-up or an SME, you may not be in a position to reward effort with extravagance, but encouraging motivation and productivity is essential to your business. So how can you reward great performance without breaking the bank? Here are 5 nice ideas your office star will appreciate…

1. Give the gift of flexibility

Who doesn’t dream of a more flexible working life? Flexible hours may now be mandatory for parents and employees with special requirements, but when another team member consistently excels, rewarding them with the ability to set their own schedule can be very special. You could trial this by offering one flexible day per week to ensure productivity doesn’t slip, then extend flexibility if their excellent performance continues.

2. Award an extra-long lunch “hour”

Arguably this will cost you in lost hours, but we’ll bet your prize employee has already made this worth your while. An extra long lunch will give them the chance to treat themselves, treat a spouse to lunch or even enjoy a little spa treatment!

3. Get a thank you from the higher ups

Ask your business’s “top brass” to write a handwritten thank you to the team member involved. Not only does this show your appreciation, it also demonstrates that you’ve taken their name to the top for recognition – a potential career booster.

4. Give coffee round immunity

For smaller feats of excellence, and for hot beverage aficionados, instigate “tea and coffee round immunity”. This means that your star employee does not have to make the tea for a set period of time.

5. Award a desk swap

There’s always a “good desk” and a “bad desk” in the office. When a particular member of your team excels, offer them a desk swap. They can choose any desk they like and commandeer it – until the next employee wins the honor for their hard work. This can be a great, fun motivational tool for your whole team.

How do you reward your team without using financial incentives? Have any of your reward schemes fallen flat? Share your experiences, ideas and tips with our readers below.