Beyond the Pay Raise: How Great Leaders Recognize and Reward Employees

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Beyond the Pay Raise: How Great Leaders Recognize and Reward Employees

Sometimes, a pay raise just isn’t in the cards. You might want your best employee to have enough money to buy a yacht, but the company budget won’t allow for it. All employees who do their best deserve to be recognized and rewarded, and since a raise isn’t an option for all of them, great leaders find other ways to accomplish the same mission.

Through Meaningful Communication

Elizabeth did an amazing job coordinating a busy hiring cycle. She did almost everything by herself – she went above and beyond. You need to thank her. You purchase her a gift card to the local coffee shop, and she accepts the gesture. What you don’t know is that Elizabeth hates coffee – she’s a highly health-conscious vegan who would have been over the moon with some fresh fruit.

Meaningful communication makes a tremendous difference in the way a workplace functions. Recognition and reward of employees involve a lot of communication. The best way to recognize and reward an employee is by tailoring that thank you. It’s difficult to thank someone you don’t know very well, so get to know your employees.

Creating a Celebratory Culture

When everyone works together to achieve a victory, it’s not always possible to shake each and every hand. Your best bet is to reward the entire team for excellent unity. That’s why companies create a celebratory culture. You work together, you win together, and you play together.

Examine your company culture. Does everyone hang out and eat healthy snacks in the breakroom? Do you joke with each other, even when times are tough? Are coworkers happy enough around each other that they actually like attending group functions together outside of work? Fortify your company culture to foster the right environment for celebration. A great culture alone is rewarding enough for employees who just want to be happy with their jobs.

Helping Them Achieve Their Fullest Potential

A pay raise is when someone gets more money for doing the same job. A promotion is when someone gets more money for assuming a larger role. If you can’t give someone a raise, perhaps you can promote them. If an employee has spent a lengthy span of time proving themselves and adding value to the company, they probably deserve a promotion.

Recognize ambitious employees by putting them on the right track. It may be a while before you have to hire their replacement, but giving them a clear path to their career climbing goal is a great place to start. Speak with them regularly about their goals to keep them motivated. If you understand their ambition and are willing to accommodate it, you’re giving them the greatest reward they could ever ask for. They just want to earn their place – let them.

Empower Them to Move Freely

Giving someone more responsibility for the same amount of money may seem directly contrary to a reward, but it just might be what your best employees want. They’re competent and capable. They understand their position, the decisions they have to make, and the challenges they face on a daily basis. And they still need constant approval before they go ahead. Why?

Empowering your best employees to make decisions about the best way to do things or how to handle certain situations shows them how much you value their experience and expertise. Let them do a few things and tell you about them later without fear of consequence. Even let them make a few mistakes along the way. Empowerment is one of the most effective ways to reward hard work.

By Giving Them the Calendar

Work-life balance is necessary for happy employees. Letting your employees take control of their own schedule whenever possible shows that you recognize that they deserve to enjoy their lives. Let them cut out an hour early every Thursday to see their kids at soccer practice. Encourage them to use the vacation time they’ve built up, or at least take a working vacation. Don’t get upset at them for coming in an hour late if you know they’ll stay an extra hour to make up the time. Give them the freedom to pace themselves.

If you haven’t already done so, you can always ask your employees how they’d like to be rewarded. If everyone agrees on something as simple as a monthly pizza party, give it to them. The best rewards are meaningful ones, so be sure to listen.

We would like to thank Alana Downer from Learn to Trade for her great insights provided in this guest article. If you have any questions, you can find Alana on twitter @alanadownerLTT!

At Enkel, we understand that payroll can get confusing, especially when things like bonuses and flexible schedule come into play. We help small-medium business owners across to manage their payroll process and ensure every employee gets paid accurately and on time. Contact us today to learn more.

Alana Downer
About Alana Downer
Alana Downer is an established business and finance blogger. Working at Learn to Trade, an educational resource for the money-conscious, Alana often participates in discussions about money, helping both businesses and individuals manage their finances, increase their revenue, and fulfil their dreams. Feel free to reach out to her on twitter @alanadownerLTT.