A little bit of appreciation never hurt anybody now, did it? Of course not! In fact, in the business world, there are a variety of great benefits of employee recognition that can do wonders for your business or team, no matter its size.
Perhaps the best thing about employee recognition is that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Some smaller companies or even larger companies that are experiencing some lean times might not be able to splash out on lavish nights out in the city or extravagant end-of-year parties. But cost-cutting doesn’t have to mean you have to forego important employee recognition that contributes to the creation of a strong workplace culture. Here are a handful of fantastic employee recognition programs that won’t put you in the red.
1. Take it public
Calling one of your employees over and giving them a private high-five or pat on the back for a job well done is a perfectly fine exhibition of employee recognition. But you can take it a step further at no extra cost to yourself by broadcasting your appreciation to others. You can do this in-house on a corporate email, in a team meeting or on social media. Feel free to use your organisation’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles and your website for employee recognition. Seeing their names in lights and knowing others are seeing them, too, can make workers feel like a million bucks.
2. Make it personal
A lot of famous TV shows and movies feature a line that goes something like this: “It’s not personal; it’s business.” Well, it’s alright to make business personal when it comes to employee rewards. The best leaders will communicate well with team members and know what their interests are. This knowledge can then become a tool that can be called upon when it’s time to reward somebody. Buy them a book that you think they would enjoy, or a small gift voucher that you think they will use. This reinforces the fact you care about them personally while also rewarding them for their efforts.
3. Loosen the reins
Another example of employee incentives that don’t cost a thing are special privileges. These can take many forms. Have your employees been busting their rears for you? Treat them to a casual Friday or let them play some tunes in the office one afternoon. You can even make such privileges recurring, so long as the team is taking care of business. The glorious early mark is always appreciated as well. Bestowing privileges might sound like something a parent does for children, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable no matter what age you’re dealing with.
4. Unleash the animals
Think about how much people love cute dogs and cats. If your office can handle it, and if the animals are suitably domesticated, hold a quarterly day where workers are allowed to bring in their pets. Having some docile dogs and cool cats around the office that love a pat on the belly or rub on the head or back can bring smiles to the faces of animals and humans alike. Now, this one might be a disaster from the start, but give it a try. You might be surprised how well it works out.
5. Spring for lunch
This one is good for somebody working in a team that isn’t too large. You don’t want to blow out your budget by paying for 100 lunches, but if you have a handful of workers in your team that you want to reward, get them out of the office for a couple hours and shout them lunch. This will not only reward them for their hard work but also serve as a venue for some out-of-office interaction that can help strengthen morale and relationships between members. If you can’t take them out, just have some pizza or other food ordered in. Give them the chance to pick the cuisine as part of the reward.
Employee reward and recognition can have heaps for great benefits for your company’s bottom line. The return on your investment is on display in a variety of ways, from motivating employees to do their best work to retaining your best employees. While big bashes, nights out on party cruises and fancy performances are great perks, it’s understandable that you might not be in a position to lay out thousands for employee awards. Fortunately for you, actions like the ones listed above can do the job just fine.