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How to Reward Top Performers on a Tight Budget

A proven way to engage and retain employees is to reward those who perform well.  However, what happens when money is tight and ongoing increases or other cash rewards are not feasible?

Rather than do nothing, there are a number of other things that matter to your employees. 

Before you move to reward or recognise your employees, it is important to speak with your performers individually to understand what motivates them.  As your employees will differ in their responses, it is very important not to create a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.

If your employee is driven by public recognition, look for options where they will be recognised in front of their peers ie. at a staff meeting, via personal email copying in senior management and other stakeholders or send them as a representative of the business at a conference or similar.

If your employee is driven by developing their capability, assist them by providing a mentor or coach or providing an opportunity for them to work with a ‘buddy’ to learn other roles or skills within the business.

If your employee would like to climb the corporate ladder, you may look at providing stretch assignments that will assist them to achieve their goals in career enhancement.

Another reward may be to provide the employee with opportunities to fill in for more senior positions, or provide them with the choice of the type of work they perform and how they achieve it.

Finally, additional paid time off or flexible work arrangements is increasingly becoming a popular benefit for employees. 

For team achievements, inexpensive rewards may include, team lunches/dinners, team outings to sporting events or concerts, team activities such as bowling, barefoot lawn bowls, escape room, or other fun team activities. Again it is important to understand the interests of all team members to ensure all feel equally rewarded.

For further information in relation to reward and recognition or any other HR matters, please contact us at [email protected] or 1300 720 004.

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors such as government legislation changes, may not be up-to-date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.

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