7 Low-Cost Ways to Reward and Retain Employees
It’s a familiar refrain that constantly challenges employers: how do you incentivize and retain employees when your company is strapped for cash? How do you reduce turnover when you don’t have the big budget for raising salaries? What would make your employees stay with you and not give in to the lure of a higher take-home pay with your competitor?
The best employees are not always motivated by fatter paychecks; many are willing to forgo the promise of more money if it means they get to spend more quality time at home, or are given passion projects that bring meaning to their lives.
Stumped for low budget employee-retention ideas? Here are six suggestions to get you started.
1. Flexible work schedule.
This might translate to having a fixed schedule, but flexible time in and out of the office. For example, if they are required 8 hours at work, they may have the option to come to office earlier and leave earlier, so long as they’ve rendered the allotted time in the office. This could also mean that they have the option to work remotely, as long as they have internet connection and can be contacted by phone as needed. Staggered hours, compressed work-weeks, work at home opportunities are attractive incentives for employees.
2. Free food.
Eating out on a daily basis can really add up and put a dent on an employee’s take home pay, so many opt to bring their own meals to work. Make this easier for them by providing a well stocked pantry and refrigerator. Provide basic food items such as free milk, unlimited coffee, water and other essentials. You can also treat an employee to lunch to celebrate a work achievement. Bring donuts in the morning, or order pizza for the whole team. Do a monthly dessert day to reward achievements met by individual performers.
3. Provide a training opportunity.
There will always be something new to learn, and personal development is an appealing perk that many high performing employees will look forward to. Not only do your key employees feel more accomplished by developing their skills, your company also benefits from having a well-trained staff in your team. For a low-cost or even free seminar, invite well-known speakers who are willing to give a talk in exchange for self-promotion. With education, everyone wins.
4. Get feedback from employees.
Don’t leave all the decision-making to the managers. Crowd-source your ideas, and get your employees to give suggestions on how to improve matters in your office, starting with the bottom line. Doing so has the added bonus of making staff feel valued because you’re taking the time to listen to their suggestions.
5. Health membership discounts.
Gyms and other health clubs usually provide group discounts, so take advantage of this by giving this as a perk for your employees. You can also invite a yoga instructor to give classes in the afternoon on a regular basis.
6. Implement incentives or rotating prizes.
What makes this type of prize exciting is that you’re infusing the element of surprise to the reward system. Some options to consider: give a gift card to a local department store; give a “dress-down day” for offices with a strict dress code; have a movie day with the team during office hours (do this during slow hours so as not to disrupt office work); recognize high performing team members by sending an email newsletter to inform everyone in the office. Another bonus is the flexibility, in that a bigger budget affords you more expensive rewards, and vice versa.
Do you have anything to add to this list? Go ahead add them in the comments section below!
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