Employee rewards needn’t cost an arm and a leg, but in this instance it’s not just the thought that counts. To effectively motivate against a target, or enhance individual (and team) morale by singling out a high performer - the reward counts too. But it’s definitely possible to find high impact incentives which have a relatively low outlay. Here’s how:

Let Them Choose Their Own Reward

To galvanise the team to work towards a target - you’ll need something that motivates everyone. So get them to thrash it out themselves. Steer the ship by offering a range of options. Christmas Eve off is always a good way of rallying the troops (and no one actually does any work then anyway).

Get Personal

While you might not be in a position to offer extravagant gifts like some of the ‘Big Boys’ - you have 2 huge advantages over them when it comes to incentive  and reward selection: You know your employees and have the flexibility to allocate individual gifts. Whether it’s tickets to see their favourite football team, band or west end show  - you’ve got the opportunity to find exactly the right thing, and in doing so demonstrate how much they mean to you.

Make A Fuss Of Them

Yes the reward is important but don’t forget the fanfare to go with it. Arrange for them to receive the gift and some choice words in front of the team at a Team meeting or weekly huddle if you have one. This isn;t just for the recipients benefit either. Seeing a valued team or team member given the appreciation they deserve can be hugely motivating for everyone.

Have A Staff Jolly

An annual party/function it’s one of the most tax efficient ‘rewards’ you can give. Employers can proved functions/parties to a total cost of £150 a head with no tax liability. And remember legally this doesn’t always have to involve alcohol… Family days, for example are becoming more and more popular.

A Personal Loan Could Be Just What They Need

As of 6 April 2014, the interest-free beneficial loan limit went up to £10,000, with no tax implications. Such loans are most commonly used for commuter season tickets but can also be used for employee incentives.

Random Acts of Kindness

Rewards don’t have to be for anything specific. A little something to show you care always lift the mood in camp. And you get extras points if you personalise it. For more ideas here, check out our post ‘Personalisation For Your Internal Customers: 5 Easy Ways To Make Your Employees Feel Special’.

And while we’re on the subject general gift-giving…..

Don’t Forget Your Older Crew Members

Those in their 20s and 30s often clean up when it comes to company gifts. Weddings and births are of course excellent opportunities to show individuals you care. But I’ve always felt this is rather unfair on older members of the team  - who may have been ploughing away for years without so much as a gift voucher. So make sure you acknowledge important milestones for them too such as a special wedding anniversary or birth of a grandchild. Gift equality is a smart move!

For a more indepth look at how to structure your overall reward, download a copy of our FREE eBook: Show Me The Money! The Ultimate Guide to Reward and Recognition in an SME

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Photo Credit: Crafting Our Summer Away by GlitterandFrills

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