Everyone knows that it is important to reward staff for their hard work (you do know that right?). Equally everyone knows that currently money is tight and the discretionary employee reward bucket is pretty low to empty. But without some form of recognition then morale is going to plummet and your organisation could suffer.

So how can you reward staff without breaking the bank? Well here are five ideas that you might consider.

1. Say thanks

It’s amazing what the power of such a seemingly small gesture such as saying thank can do. And it doesn’t have to be verbal either. You could just write it on a post-it note and stick it on their laptop. However you choose to say it the feel good factor for the recipient is enormous and will be repaid many times over.

2. Time off

When I was at primary school, a long, long time ago, they ran a reward scheme there that had all us of longing to win it. What was it? The person the teacher thought had performed the best that week got to leave five minutes early on Friday afternoon. Yes, five whole minutes. It was amazing how much it meant to the person who was awarded those five precious minutes.

Now I am not suggesting for a minute that you should let your star employees leave five minutes early on a Friday because that would be insulting but you could grant some time off, such as a half day. It could make a real difference.

3. 20% time

Made famous by Google where employees can take 20% of their working week to work on their own products it has led to a number of now well known offerings such as Gmail, Google Maps and AdWords. The latter alone now represents around 25% of Google’s annual revenue so it can be a profitable way of working and rewarding for the individual too.

4. Buy a round of coffees/ice creams

Yes this one costs money but the payback can be enormous. I guess that in your organisation employees either have to pay for coffee from a machine, make their own or buy for a local coffee shop. How about buying a round for the team or in summer ice creams when the weather’s hot and the air conditioning’s on the blink. Oh, and don’t send someone to get them and provide the money. Be a team player and go yourself!

5. Wash their car

At the moment my car is in a right state with the salt from the roads making it grimy and unsightly and your employees cars will be similarly grey and drab. Why not pay for a quick run through the local car wash. Everyone feels better when their car is gleaming.

For extra brownie points and saving money, clean it yourself!

Bonus extra idea to reward staff! Cinema trip

Everyone likes a night out and the cinema is a cheap(ish) way of rewarding people. Make it a pair of tickets so they can take a partner too and both will thank you.

So there are six ways that you can cheaply reward staff without breaking the bank. All of them will raise the morale and make sure that everyone stays productive even when money is tight.

WorkinConfidence offer a range of services to help organisations get the most out of their employees, ranging from Pulse Surveys, 360 Appraisals, and Engagement Surveys. Our online anonymous dialogue platform, SpeakinConfidence is where staff can raise ideas or concerns and give candid feedback to management without barriers. You get the immediate benefits of listening and understanding your organisation and staff - leading to engagement and better governance. Contact us today to find out more or arrange a demonstration.