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Business men bumping fistsSmall businesses don’t usually have the available cash to offer monetary bonuses or top-notch benefits to their employees. Often times people enjoy working for small businesses because they are treated in a more personal way as opposed to just a number on a corporate HR list. Small businesses can leverage this to their advantage when it comes to employee engagement. When you have a small group of employees to manage, you can evaluate the motivations for each employee and tailor their incentives. While a gift certificate to a restaurant may be valuable to one person, it may seem worthless to another.


Here are seven low-cost options that can increase employee morale and performance without breaking the bank.

Gift Certificates

Some employees love receiving gift certificates for restaurants and retail stores. This is an excellent incentive for young couples with children. Dinner at a nice restaurant or a new pair of shoes may not have been in their budget. Either way, it gives the employee an opportunity to spend some time with the family on the company’s expense, and that means a lot.

Half Day of Paid Time Off

As a reward for great employee performance, offering a few hours of paid time off is an incredible bonus for any individual. It allows the employee an opportunity to have an extended weekend or additional time to handle personal matters without losing pay.

Input on Business Operations

For some employees, having a say in how the workplace functions can add a significant amount of value to a company’s growth. Creating an environment that encourages and rewards employee suggestions can increase productivity, engagement, and create a stronger line of communication between the employee and management.

Company Luncheons

Offering a pizza day when a goal has been accomplished is a great way to motivate your team as well as promote teamwork. A potluck where the owner provides the main course is a favorite for many employees. It also gives management an opportunity to talk about the business in a more casual environment.

Employee of the Month

Honoring an employee once a month, once a quarter, or once a year, can have a very positive effect on morale. Some forms of recognition can include receiving the best parking spot, a certificate or plaque, or even a chance to be featured on the company’s next promotional ad. Surprisingly, employees will compete for the title. Just be sure to outline the specific criteria for the winner. A committee made up of a diverse cross-section of management and employees makes the competition fair.

Keeping the workplace fun and as pleasant as possible is the absolute best way of retaining great employees that stay motivated and engaged. The work environment should be clean, organized, and allow personal touches of immediate workspaces, such as hanging those rewards or certificates they have earned. Adding color creates spaces that can improve the overall mood of the work environment. Motivational posters or banners with your company’s logo and mission statement can re-enforce the company’s goals and culture.

Posted 1:06 AM

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