6 ways to reward your employees beyond their bank account

April 9, 2020

In today's ultra-competitive recruiting and hiring environment, retaining current employees is a crucial component of your business’s success. While a good salary is a strong start, monetary compensation is not the only way to reward — and, most importantly — keep your employees.

The evolving nature of today’s workforce demands that employers look for more creative ways to attract and retain talent. Increasingly, flexibility, purpose, growth opportunities, and belonging factor into prospective and current employees’ decision-making about where they work. None of these necessitates a big price tag. However, for many organizations, they represent a shift in thinking and attitude around how employees are managed and how business is conducted.

Here are six recommendations for improving your employee experience without breaking the bank.

Offer flexible schedules, work-from-home options, time-off rewards

Each employee’s life is likely to be different, so one-size-fits-all scheduling can be restrictive. What seems ideal for a twenty-something part-time student may not be the dream schedule for a working parent who lives in the suburbs. Allowing for flexible work hours not only reduces the need for micro-managing timesheets, but it also alleviates some pressure from your workers. If a sudden traffic jam strikes, they should not come running into the office, panicked, in fear of being reprimanded for being late.

The same mentality should apply for work-from-home options. It can be built into your employment offer, to be used at the employee’s discretion, or as a reward, based on seniority, sales goals/quotas, etc. Additional personal days can be calculated and accumulated on the same basis.

While this loose structure may seem like chaos to some, it’s important to note that the kind of employees any hiring manager wants to onboard and keep are not going to be the type to abuse these privileges. A little trust can go a long way in making the right type of worker feel valued.

Provide opportunities for training

Continuous training is an important component in keeping employees engaged because it can help reduce complacency and stagnancy. If you allow your team opportunities to build on their knowledge and training, they will feel challenged, and in turn, bring better results to their role.

Consider allowing for training outside of their respective field as well. Learning and developing skills outside their role may not only build confidence in your workers, but it may also show you rising stars you didn’t know you had among your team. This can include conferences and events in your area, as well as training capsules hosted by various teams in your organization.

Recognize large and small achievements

Employees should be rewarded when they meet large goals as well as smaller milestones. Being genuine in recognition is key, and this is especially true when it comes to acknowledging your employee’s accomplishments. Your people want to feel valued for their hard work, but they do not want to feel infantilized for submitting a report on time, or following email etiquette correctly.

Giving verbal recognition in a public way, such as during a team meeting, can be a good option. Use a meeting to formally recognize someone’s efforts or results, if they are the type of person to be comfortable with that type of attention. Some employees may find more genuine value in private recognition.

Choosing the right achievements is key. Pick moments that feel natural — if you were in their shoes, what types of acknowledgments would you like to receive?

Reduce supervision

Employees appreciate independence. Autonomy taps into a deeper, more personal motivation, and boosts creativity and productivity which leads to a more successful business. When an employee or team has proven they’re highly capable, sometimes the best reward is to be trusted to continue performing well with reduced oversight.

Be sure to not fall into the false “no news is good news” trap, however — check in with your team regularly, but strive for a more hands-off where possible. They will continue to feel your trust, but not feel forgotten.

Catered lunches

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it’s a classic for a reason. Free lunch, whether frequent or occasional, is a simple and effective perk. It brings your team together in a more social way, instead of having them all scatter off to various fast food counters in the neighborhood on their break. By assembling everyone in one place for mealtime, you help build a sense of camaraderie amongst your team. Positive workplace relationships are a huge part of a happy work-life for any person.

Bonus tip —choose healthier food options. Healthier diets create healthier employees, so encouraging better health choices can reduce the need for sick days and increase productivity.

Fun social events

Team-building activities are a great way for employees to get to know each other better. Leaders that create a more socially engaged workforce can keep their teams working well together longer.

Celebrating team or company achievements and milestones with a party is another great way to encourage teamwork. It doubles as recognition for an individual’s role in this larger-scale success, as well as pride in being part of a team with successes worth celebrating.

Timing is everything

While all these recognition tools can be successful, it’s important to use them with intention. They should not be used as a consolation prize when a promotion or raise is deserved, or as a last-ditch effort to boost morale. They are part of an ongoing culture of employee engagement, so be sure to be mindful when you use them. Being genuine and well-timed is the key to any good recognition.

Recognition in the palm of your hands

At Qarrot, we understand the importance of employee engagement. We make employee recognition easy, fun, and effective for small to mid-sized organizations by providing a complete solution. Book your demo today to see more about how Qarrot can help you be leaders in employee engagement!

Written by

The Team at Qarrot