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3 Ways to Recognize Your Employees, On a Budget

Yes, everyone in your company would probably prefer a raise, but there are a number of employees that say they’d be satisfied with a simple “thank you” – which to me, suggests that many of them probably aren’t getting that. Sometimes we aim so high that we fail to see the opportunities within our reach, so here are 3 ways you can show appreciation to your employees, without breaking the bank.



1. Partnering with Local Vendors. There are a number of small businesses and start-ups that offer free services so that they can get their name out there. You could partner with a bakery that’s willing to provide some samples of their products, a massage therapist willing to do 5-minute chair massages on site, or perhaps a bank or financial company willing to offer free lunch & learns about personal finance. Partnering with local vendors will not only allow you to show appreciation to your employees, but it also creates the potential for mutually beneficial business relationships going forward.


2. Volunteering and/or Donating. Donating time and/or money generally improves a person’s mood, self-esteem and sense of value. You could implement a program that recognizes and engages employees for getting involved in the community. Perhaps host a “day of giving”, in which employees come together to work on a project with a non-profit organization in your area. You could also consider allowing employees to take paid time-off from work to volunteer with an organization of their choosing, and ask them to share pictures or stories. You could even implement a donation program in which your company makes a donation to non-profits on behalf of your employees. These types of programs create a bonding moment for the employee and company because they are able to see their employer investing into something they feel is an important cause or has some special meaning to them.


3. Peers Recognizing Peers. Employees spend a lot of time working with their peers. Setting up a program that allows employees to recognize one another may help build a more positive and cohesive culture. Consider tying the program to your company’s core values. For submissions, you could use an online submission method, or simply have employees complete a card by hand and drop it in a lock-box. There are a number of way to choose individuals to reward (i.e. most recognition, best story, etc.), but regardless, make sure that every employee that receives a peer recognition is informed.

There are a number of ways for employers to get creative about recognizing their employees and top talent. It is important to know your personnel; as always, it may be beneficial to implement some type of survey to see what your employees care about the most. What are some ways that you’ve gotten creative to show appreciation for your employees?

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