30 Easy, Non-Monetary Ways to Reward Your Staff

More pay equals more productive workers, right? Not exactly. A popular motivational theory suggests that this equation may not compute. What works better are things like recognition for a job well done or a new responsibility. Notice that neither of these cost money? Here are 30 ways to cash in on this idea and use non-monetary rewards to motivate your staff.

How to Use This List

What might reward one employee could embarrass another. So the key to using this list is to personalize it. Pick the one that means the most to that individual. Choose from these categories:

10 Ways to Recognize an Accomplishment

  • Establish an employee of the week (chosen by business owner or peers)
  • Recognize an accomplishment at weekly staff meetings in front of peers
  • Praise the employee privately in a one-on-one meeting
  • Share customer compliments with your staff
  • Rename the employee break room after a staff member for a day
  • Write a note to the employee’s family about an accomplishment
  • Celebrate a service anniversary
  • Give a reward for the best idea that didn’t work
  • Have staff give the employee a standing ovation at a staff meeting
  • Give customers the opportunity to nominate staff for good service

10 Ways to Bestow a Privilege

  • Designate a parking spot near the front of the business
  • Let the staff member plan a company social function
  • Offer first choice on vacation days
  • Give time off for volunteer work in the community
  • Allow flexible work hours
  • Let the employee use the boss’s office for one day
  • Allow the employee to work from home one day
  • Allow a casual dress day
  • Let employee delegate their least favorite task to you for a day
  • Allow the employee to bring their pet to work for a day

10 Ways to Empower

  • Ask for the employee’s opinion on a problem facing the business
  • Provide the opportunity to train another employee
  • Offer to mentor the employee
  • Assign a challenging new job responsibility
  • Assign the employee to a high profile project
  • Allow the employee to bid for a desired project
  • Let the employee have more autonomy with a task
  • Give the employee a chance to lead a team
  • Authorize the employee to make a decision
  • Offer the opportunity to pitch a new product or service

Rewarding an employee doesn’t necessarily mean giving them more money. Consider these non-monetary ideas to reward peak performance from one of your small business staff members.

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