In order to maintain a positive, productive and happy workplace culture, it is imperative that business owners acknowledge and reward their staff whenever possible.

This does not have to be in the form of financial perks, they can in fact cost a business nothing at all and yet have a huge and positive impact amongst their employees.

This article will provide you with 5 key ways you can reward your employee’s performance without it costing your organisation a penny!

“Thank You” letters

At first this may seem like a relatively simple method of recognition, however, you would be surprised at just how great of an impact this can have.

The findings by Employee Benefits Magazine in 2014 found that a little over 70% of employees would overlook a pay increase if it meant working with an employer who regularly expressed their thanks and gratitude. Not only is this a quick and cost-effective form of thanks, but it is also a method that could be more powerful in the long-term, as unlike pay rises which are costly, the simpleness of a “thank you” is infinite and far more personal.

Personalise your Rewards

As thoughtful as a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers may seem, when it comes to saying thank you, employees could potentially see this as taking little to no effort from their employer, which could, in fact, have negative implications and cause a divide between the employer and employee.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that a gift that is personalised for an employee will go a long way in creating a positive attitude. Simple techniques like listening or posting an employee survey can be a great way of getting to know the workforce on a much deeper level.

Use opportunities such as this to find out things such as any hobbies, food or music they have a strong interest in and how you can personalise this to that particular individual.

Paid Time off

When it comes to employee happiness, a major factor stems directly from their work-life balance. This can be similarly understood by reading Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Sometimes it can be quite difficult for employees to plan a weeklong holiday or even a break as they may not have enough holidays or need an extra Monday to make their break possible.

Rewarding an employee with days paid leave can be huge for boosting their overall feelings towards their work environment. What may cost an employee an extra paid days leave, can result in that employee returning to work with 5x more productivity boasting huge financial gains for an organisation

Flexible Working Hours

In today’s world, we live in an era that accommodates for remote based working. However, in many industries such as sales or manufacturing, it’s just not logistically feasible.

This is where rewarding employees with flexible hours can be a huge incentive for their productivity. Ensuring that the workload doesn’t impede their colleagues, it can be awarded to an individual for the month.

Dressdown Fridays

A simple and super effective way of rewarding employees is by hosting a dress down Friday. It may sound too simple but the positive effects that accompany it are astonishing.

Not only are you handing back something to employees that they can be in charge of, but you’re also creating a more comfortable atmosphere in which employees can work which can have a great effect upon their overall productivity.


It’s important to note that human beings are motivated by other things and not just money. People such as Dave Peer state that “cash is not a motivator, it’s a compensator”. Personal rewards have more of an effect on an individual than financial gains.