Rewarding employees for a great performance is one of the best ways to ensure the business is able to attract and retain the right staff. While financial incentives are of course important, they are not the only way to show staff you appreciate their work.

So here are five great ideas to motivate your team without breaking the bank.

1. Pay staff what they are worth

Stacey Price from Healthy Business Finances says this is the first step when it comes to rewarding great employees.

“I also pay for them to do training and I know my business has benefited from my employees’ extra skills. Staff also love the challenge of undertaking training they would otherwise not have done,” she says.

2. Communication is just as important as money

Great communication techniques are a critical business management tool – especially when a quick fix can address an employee’s concern. For instance, one of Price’s employees told her they didn’t like the timer function in the program the business uses to track time for client jobs. 

“So I bought a $4 miniature electronic timer which I gave to her and she was over the moon. Listen to what your staff need to make their job easier,” says Price.

3. Recognise different staff need different rewards

Don’t expect because one person loves wine all staff are happy to receive a nice bottle for a job well done.

“Some people might want to finish 30 minutes earlier on a Friday to get home to see their family. This costs the same as a bottle of wine and I know my employees love getting an early mark once a month,” she adds.

4. Be unique

Giving employees Christmas puddings every year is boring and predictable. Plus, if staff don’t want the incentive you are trying to give them then it really is not an incentive. Price suggests researching alternatives and giving staff personalised gifts. “Last year at Christmas I gave staff themed wine charms. People loved them and they cost less than $10 each.”

5. Say thank you 

Above all, never forget to say thank you to your staff. It’s easy to forget to praise staff when they do a good job and we’re often very quick to criticise if things don’t go to plan. Instead, make sure you acknowledge staff every time they turn in a top performance.