Everyone likes to be rewarded. It is natural to associate reward with monetary benefits. But thinking through it, you will realize that it doesn’t always boil down to money. Let’s discuss some ways to reward your employees at almost zero cost.
If you are short on time, head right over to the Key Take-away section.
Praise them at right time, for right reasons
A right dose of praise goes a long way towards improving employee productivity.
Keep the following in mind when you deliver your praise.
- Choose the right time. Ideal occasions would be team meetings, department meetings etc.
- Choose the right reason and format. You need to make sure that the praise doesn’t appear artificial. Also beware of side effects on other team members. So be your own judge
Delegate interesting Work
Delegating work almost always implies trust.
When you indicate that you trust your employees, their sense of responsibility and productivity goes up. They develop an innate feeling that the value of their contribution is recognized.
As a Manager, it is a win-win situation for you. You get happy employees and you have time to focus on more important things.
Allow them to be Flexible
This reward is little tricky and can have repercussions across the team, especially if work flexibility is not part of your organization culture.
Assume that to reward a sincere and excellent worker, you give him/her the flexibility to work from home whenever needed. It is certainly a reward that the individual might cherish but it can be a starting point for more such requests coming your way.
So think of everything before you reward an individual this way. All factors being favorable, this is an excellent reward and goes a long way.
Make them more Visible
Increased Visibility across the organization is another reward with an excellent cost-to-benefit ratio (in fact there is normally no cost here). Again this is a way to make them feel important.
Here are some ideas to increase their visibility:
- Involve them in activities like preparing and sending status reports to stakeholders
- Appoint them as a backup for some key responsibilities (and communicate this to everyone)
- Invite them to key meetings
These are just some ideas and may not be possible in all organizations at all times. Use your judgment and look for ways to increase their visibility across various levels.
Asking for Suggestions
Treating people as experts in their areas of expertise, always have positive impact. When you need their opinion on some decisions, be genuine and ask for their suggestions. It is secondary if you implement them or not. But merely asking their inputs and taking them into consideration is a reward in itself.
- Rewarding is not always monetary
- Consistent and thoughtful rewarding of employees go a long way in making them more efficient, without any financial implications
- Some ideas include: Praising them at right time, Delegating interesting work, Increasing their Visibility, Asking for suggestions and Allowing them to be flexible
- Not all ideas work all the time, so use your judgement to see the right fit for your organization