3 Ways to Reward Employees Without Breaking the Bank

5 min read

Everyone loves a good pat on the back for a job well done. 

Usually that recognition comes in the form of financial rewards such as annual raises and bonuses.

Afterall, money talks.

Yet, during these exceptional times, many businesses’ (such as restaurants, amusement parks, and retail to name a few) are taking a big financial hit. 

Now more than ever, rewarding employees for their hard work and ability to bring their A-game to your company all while juggling a disrupted personal life is crucial in maintaining employee engagement.

Studies have shown a positive correlation with employee engagement and turnover.

In other words: An employer’s level of commitment to your company has a direct impact on your turnover rate

If an employee doesn’t feel valued or motivated in their role, chances are they’ll be looking elsewhere to get their needs met.

Businesses’ experiencing an economic downfall are faced with the dilemma of wanting to retain their most valuable employees by rewarding them yet not having the financial means for it.

Which begs the question: 

If your business is taking a hit financially, how can you reward your employees and show them you value their worth without breaking the bank?

The short answer: Give them what they need.

Here are three ways to reward employees without breaking the bank:

1. Offer Flexible Scheduling That Meets Their Needs

Nothing says “I value you”, more than giving your employees the gift of time.

With work/life balance being even more challenging than before, adding some 

flexibility to their work schedules provides some breathing room.

From enhancing worker morale to boosting productivity and improving retention are just some of the many benefits that offering a flexible schedule to employees provides.

Since every employer has their own set of challenges, the important part is offering flexibility in areas they need it most.

Whether it be offering flexible work arrangements for working parents, rotating days/ weeks or compressed workweeks, there are multiple ways to create a flexible schedule for your employees.

One of the best and modern ways is to use scheduling software and apps to automate your manual staff scheduling.

With a healthy work/life balance, they’ll come in to work with a refreshed state of mind, and more motivated to pick up where they left off.

2. Offer Specific and Timely Recognition            

 They say the best things in life are free.

Recognition, for instance, doesn’t cost a thing and is one of the core drivers of employee engagement.

 At the end of the day we all want to be acknowledged and valued for our 


According to a Glassdoor study:

“53% of people said feeling more appreciation from their boss would help them stay longer at their company — even though 68% said their boss already shows them enough appreciation.”

The key takeaway ? More is better.

Whether an employee works overtime to help out the team, achieves a sales benchmark or is able to meet all their deadlines and handle working remotely like a champ, it’s important to address the specific behaviour or achievement you would like to see more of.

Doing so reinforces the behaviour and adds more value from you noticing it in the moment.

Reason being?  Timely recognition makes it more meaningful

Waiting for the quarterly or annual review to sum up their achievements, quite frankly,  diminishes the importance of it.

Which in turn, kills the momentum and gives off the impression you’re not attentive or care enough to acknowledge it in the moment.

Afterall, when you come across a star shining brightly in the sky, the impact is a lot stronger when you acknowledge it in the moment rather than talk about it a day later.

There are several ways you can make your employees feel appreciated through timely  recognition.

This includes: 

  • Sending a hand-written personalized Thank You card to their home (highly underrated yet effective).
  • Celebrating their small (or large!) wins via a group channel like Slack
  • Highlighting the employee’s achievements verbally via a personal video call
  • Creating a virtual  “Employee Hall of Fame” that allows you to nominate employees for specific achievements they made. 

There are endless creative ways to acknowledge the hard work and accomplishments your employees achieved. 

It’s essential that you know your employees well enough to provide a personalized approach that’ll make them feel valued.

And most importantly: Offer timely recognition. 

3. Win Them Over Through Small Gestures

As much as words provide recognition, actions do as well. 

After all, actions speak louder than words.

It may involve more effort but the payoff is totally worthwhile.

Small gestures don’t need to break the bank either.

Here at Evolia, we make it a priority to acknowledge when an employee goes above and beyond.

As much as we’ve been hit by the pandemic like everyone else, we still want to show how we value our employees.

For instance, our development team has been working extra long hours to launch new features.

Since the team has a liking towards doughnuts, our sales team surprised them by using UberEats to deliver a fresh batch to them. 

The end result? 

Pleasantly surprised faces, lots of sugar frosting on work desks and general smiles all around:

In the end, offering a small gesture of appreciation goes a long way in making employees feel valued.

It not only shows you know them well enough to give them what they like, but also you’re thinking of them, which speaks volumes.

So go ahead and make their day by ordering them lunch from afar.

Not only do you support a local restaurant in need but you put a smile on your employees face as well.

 As the saying goes: It’s the thought that counts. 


Now that you know several ways to reward employees without breaking the bank, it’s time to put them into action!

Need help with recruiting, scheduling and managing your workforce? Start a free trial of Evolia today.

Featured Articles

See Evolia in action. Request a Demo!

Let our experts show you how we can streamline your scheduling and optimize your HR operations.

Get a personalized demo to:

  • Automate scheduling and time & attendance.
  • Find the workers you need and optimize your internal resources
  • Integrated with most HRIS and ERP softwares


We make it work for you!