20 Ways to Reward Your Employees Without Spending a Dime

Many leaders think that the only way to reward their employees is with higher salaries and bigger bonuses. But the best leaders and bosses know how to motivate and empower employees without spending a dime. What really counts is showing appreciation.

Here are 20 proven techniques. See where you can begin right now to reward your worthy employees!

1. Use your words. Send out handwritten personal notes to employees who deserve acknowledgment. Touch someone’s heart and make it meaningful.

2. Bend the hours. When everyone’s working hard, one of the nicest things you can do to show you care is to institute a flexible hours policy.

3. Reward effort, not results. Reward great efforts even if they didn’t succeed. When you reward effort, you encourage risk-taking.

4. Make it meaningful. Offer your employees work that is interesting; create special projects and opportunities that allow them to excel and showcase their talents.

5. Build a culture of success. Make the culture of your company one of connection and communication and care. Show a sincere interest in employees by investing in their success.

6. Connect the dots. Make sure people are sharing information, expertise, and strengths with each other. Encourage everyone to help and to look out for each other.

7. Provide a hall pass. Let employees know they don’t have to pretend they’re sick to miss a day without notice now and then.

8. Swap it out. Allow employees to pick their projects or swap with a colleague. It empowers and motivates them, helps them develop and showcase new strengths, and is a great reward.

9. High five. Literally give an employee a high five when they’ve done something that warrants acknowledgment. Encourage the entire organization to give high fives for work well done.

10. Walk it off. Encouraging employees to take walks, to move around, to leave their desks. They’ll stay fit and be less stressed.

11. Phone it in. Allow employees to be present by phone or email when necessary–be agile enough to allow life balance for your employees.

12. Park it. Reserve the best parking spaces for employees who have done an outstanding job.

13. Room to chill. Set aside an unused office space so employees can relax, meditate, take a nap, or do whatever they need to give them a break.

14. Wall of fame. Set aside wall space for employees who have accomplished something of significance. Place their picture on the wall with a placard saying why they’re being honored.

15. Chain letter. Start an employee blog or email chain where everyone can share helpful information.

16. Catch ’em. Catch your employees doing something right and make a point of praising them–in public, if possible.

17. Family day. Host an open house or family day, where employees’ families can come share in what they do.

18. Graffiti wall. Allow space on a wall or board for people who have worked together on teams to write short testimonials and praise for each other.

19. Go public. Proudly publicize when employees do something great so everyone can share in the accomplishments.

20. Give thanks. The simplest and most profound reward you can give is to say THANK YOU.

Take the time to reward your employees and show your appreciation. The cost may be nothing, but the payback is great.

N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R


What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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