A workplace with happy, motivated employees is a productive workplace. High productivity means everything when it comes to your business’s bottom line. No doubt, you want to recognize your employees for the good work they do, but it isn't always in the budget to reward your workers with the generous bonuses you'd like to give them.
You do have options besides monetary compensation that will reward your employees while keeping their morale and productivity high. Let's take a look at seven ways you can do that.
1. Personal Thank You’s
It can be incredibly disheartening to put all your effort toward doing a job well, only to be left with the feeling that no one cares or that they don't even notice.
The easiest way for you to make sure your employees aren't left with the impression that the work they do doesn't matter, is to occasionally make it a point to say thank you. Doing it in person face to face is definitely effective but a written, personalized thank you note can make someone's day, too. Just make sure that you do make it personal -- a mass produced note that everyone else in the office receives as well won't have quite the same effect.
2. Public Praise
Everyone enjoys being on the receiving end of public praise. Public recognition in front of the office during a meeting or in front of the entire company at a picnic or other function is powerful. Employees recognized immediately feel supported, respected, and encouraged to continue succeeding.
3. More Responsibility - More Choice
Many top performing employees will appreciate the opportunity to take on new challenges and additional responsibilities. For highly motivated people, a lack of mobility can prove deadly. As long as they know they will be able to continue learning and growing with your organization, they won't feel as though they are stagnating. Other options besides promotion are offering to send them to a conference or asking them give a presentation at an upcoming meeting.
Moving up doesn't have to be the only choice for movement within the company -- sometimes rewarding a talented employee with a move to another department or role is what they would prefer.
4. Flexible Schedules and Time Off
Many businesses have seen employee morale and productivity rise with the implementation of flex time, or flexible working arrangements. Offering workers the chance to come in to the office a little earlier or later -- at a time that suits their schedules better -- can do wonders for work-life balance and quality of life. For example, parents can breathe easier knowing that picking up or dropping off young children from school won't interfere with work, and no one has to stress about taking time off to visit the dentist or a doctor.
You can take top performing employees out to lunch occasionally as a special treat. The chance for a little one-on-one conversation with the boss or a supervisor gives you a chance to get to know your employees better while having the effect of making them feel singled out for special treatment.
6. A Fun Workplace
A method of rewarding employees that is longer lasting is to give them a workplace that they can look forward to coming to every day. This could be as simple as celebrating everyone's birthday, implementing a "shoes optional" policy so that employees feel comfortable kicking their shoes off while at their desks -- similar to how they might do at home. Even something as innovative as setting aside a room for occasional "meditation breaks" where workers can take a few minutes to release stress in a healthy way can do wonders for productivity.
7. Wall of Fame
An oldie but a goodie is the Wall of Fame. Every "Employee of the Month" (or quarter) can have their photograph framed and mounted on wall as a way of honoring their hard work. The great thing about it is that everyone in the office gets to see it daily -- including the person being honored.
With a background in Business Administration and Management, Tess Pajaron currently works at Open Colleges, Australia's leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and self-improvement.