Motivate and recognize your staff with associate rewards.

There’s an old adage: happy workers are good workers. But there’s the rub; how do you keep your employees happy? Pay raises or bonuses are always a morale booster, but for many companies, that’s simply not something that can fit in their budgets. Here are some ideas for great associate rewards to help keep your staff satisfied and engaged.

Free rewards.

Thank you notes – A sincere word of thanks doesn’t cost a thing. A handwritten note goes a long way to making employees feel valued.

Give extra-long lunch breaks – Encourage top performers to take some extra time at lunch. It’s amazing how refreshing it can be to go out to eat and not feel the need to rush back to the office.

Honor them in a company-wide meeting – This one can be tricky because some people are embarrassed by public recognition, but a round of applause from the whole company is a great honor for others.

Low cost honors.

Have a pizza party – Free lunch doesn’t cost a lot, but it’s a huge morale booster. Order in and encourage your staff to have a good time.

Give a coffee or food gift card – Spending five or ten dollars on gift card can make a huge difference. Recognize your superstar employees with a weekly or monthly gift card reward. If budgets are really tight, you can have a drawing.

Hand out some company swag – Encourage positivity and company pride by handing out t-shirts, cooler bags and other items branded with your logo.

Higher priced incentives.

Hand out a personalized award – Everyone likes plaques honoring their achievements. Have one customized with the employee’s name and the achievement for a classy reward everyone will envy.

Give something tailored to their interests – If you have an employee who constantly does a great job and loves golf, give him a new putter. If your superstar is a music junky, a personalized speaker is a great gift. Find out what they like and give something just for them.

Find an extra-special item – When ordinary just won’t do, you need something extraordinary. Check out our Executive Gift Guide for ideas.