Not every business can afford to give employees a pay rise or cash bonus when they have done well or smashed their targets. Nevertheless, your employees are at the core of your business - without them, your company would not exist. So, it is essential that you reward them in some way or another. With this in mind, here are 6 low-cost ways to reward your employees for notable achievements.

1. Praise and recognition

One of the most effective ways to reward your employees costs nothing at all. Make sure to praise your workforce when they have done well or hit their monthly targets. You should also make sure to give recognition to employees when they have come up with a good idea or an effective solution to a problem. In doing so, you will be able to boost employee satisfaction and engagement without having to spend a penny. After all, who doesn’t like to be told that they have done well!

2. Food

Whether you offer something like free fruit and biscuits throughout the week or have pizza and doughnut Fridays, buying employees food is an effective way to reward them for their hard work without breaking the bank. Whenever a massive achievement is made, why not order a round of pizza, fried chicken, or even fish and chips to say thank you?

3. Rewards programme

Instead of offering an increase in salary, consider offering consider offering employee rewards and benefits as part of their employment contract. This can include things such as gift cards, vouchers, discounts from major high street brands, or even wellbeing rewards like life insurance, private healthcare, and 24/7 access to mental health services.

In fact, one study found that 80% of employees would prefer additional perks and benefits over a pay rise. Even better, there are many different rewards and programmes to choose from, so it can also be a much more cost-effective option for your business.

4. Flexibility

When you can’t offer your employees money, how about offering them time. Reward employees with additional paid vacation days, or the ability to work more flexibly. In doing so, employees will be able to gain a better work-life balance and have more time to spend with their loved ones. This is simply something that money can’t buy, and so can be an invaluable employee reward.

5. The employee of the month

It might seem a bit cliched or ‘old hat’, but having an employee of the month can be a fantastic way of rewarding employees. Not only will it recognise employees’ hard work, but it will also encourage friendly competition and enhance productivity. From a financial perspective, it also means that you limit gift or cash rewards to one employee per month, which is much more feasible on a budget.

6. Cards and gifts

Cards and gifts don’t have to be expensive - something personalised and meaningful can often have a bigger impact than a large present. A simple thank you card and a gift card or bottle of wine can go a long way towards boosting employee morale and thanking them for their efforts.

As you can see, rewarding your employees does not mean breaking the bank or blowing your annual budget. Instead, use these low-cost and meaningful rewards to thank employees on a more personal level for their hard work.