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Idea Exchange: Recognizing and Rewarding Employees When Cash is Tight

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Idea Exchange: Recognizing and Rewarding Employees When Cash is Tight

Published: January 7, 2011 Updated: May 18, 2011

The holiday season is a popular time to recognize employees for a year well done. Many businesses routinely give out holiday bonuses in December as well as host holiday parties.


However, with many businesses struggling to maintain a profit and trying to hold on to their current customers, it has become difficult if not impossible for companies to monetarily reward employees.


Balancing recognition, employee morale, and the budget can be extremely challenging. Following are some recommendations from the community on ways to recognize your employees for a job well-done without spending a lot of money.


Giving and Spending Quality Time


Dandylion suggested treating your employees to a cooked meal - when she owned a childcare center and business was tight one year, she showed her employees appreciation by cooking a meal for them herself.;Just let them know how much you appreciate them in small ways all year lon-a word here and there can mean a lot to someone- said Dandylion.


KeavysCorner is a small business owner with 3 employees and takes them out to dinner with their spouses. He said,


wena_cuyos said not only giving them awards but also planning team-building outings as a suggestion, which allows them to leave work for a while and enjoy free time.

robwar97 suggested giving your employees an extra unannounced half day on New Years Eve, which works well for his call-center employees.

Planning and Throwing a Party

jgut12 keeps his business morale up by throwing a company holiday party at the office while his employees would normally be working.

weight-training had a catering group come in to set up a party and gave a small appreciation speech for employees.

Public Recognition throughout the Whole Year

katie_byrd11 believes the best way to recognize a valuable employee is by recognizing their talent on a consistent basis. Instead of offering them a one-off bonus, it would be better to give them public recognition within your company. katie_byrd11 added, Remember, a good leader recognizes publicly and condemns privately'

bill316 also said to hand out the recognition all year.

Gift Giving' Even If I's a Small One


When times are tough even small gift-giving gestures are appreciated.


TShirtsNY said, We always do a Christmas bonus, even if it's smaller on years when cash is tight. He expressed that employees are your most important investment. When his business needed to downsize, it resulted in asking a little bit more out of the remaining workers. He wanted to reward them during the holiday season, and purchased gift cards at the local food market - enough for them to buy a Thanksgiving turkey.


crosby52 owns a cleaning business and performs random quality checks each day. We used to offer incentives to the cleaners every time they passed with a perfect score. This did get to be a bit expensive so now every time they pass with a perfect score, we put their name into a hat, so to speak, and at the end of each week we randomly draw a name and the team we drew gets their bonus.



About the Author:

Sarah Millican
I'm a digital strategy consultant with ENC Strategy (www.encstrategy.com) and work full-time to support the Small Business Administration in growing and developing this online community to the best that it can be.


I have a pretty small company, but we always have a Christmas/end of the year party and we give them all a gift card. It is not a lot, but just something to show we appreciate all their hard work throughout the year. Everyone is always very appreciative and we have happy employees. Definitely worth going that extra step to have happy workers!
Any company success is based on ther worker efforts
The issue of corporate culture is extremely important. The group works to exchange ideas with each other. Like capture the needs and desires of employees
It's important to recognize the workers efforts in words, not just in money.
We do a few things 1) Give that resource a free half day to use and get out of the office 2) Office BBQ - bring the grill in, pick up some cold beverages - and grill out for the last 2-3 hours on a Friday afternoon
I think it's very important to recognize your employees as they are the backbone of any business!! Sometimes all it takes is a pat on the back but I also agree monetary if at possible is also a great way to show appreciation to your employees. Team building outings are also a great idea....we went and played paintball, it was fun and gave the employees a chance to let go and gang up on the boss!! it was great!! We then laughed about it for weeks and the office moral was very high!!
When cach is tight things is bad. but I like your idea for office party.
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