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Our top 3 examples of employee rewards for small businesses

The concept of employee rewards has moved beyond an afterthought to something that your business’ HR strategy needs to succeed. They’re not just nice-to-haves, they are essential to keep your team members motivated, engaged and loyal to you.

Why is that? Because the modern workplace is evolving. Employees are looking for more than just a paycheck, but a job that gives them recognition and value.

That’s why employee rewards programmes are so helpful. In my day-to-day at CharlieHR, I have to decide which combination of employee benefits and rewards to offer my fellow team members, in a way that resonates with their needs.

How do you do that? To answer this question, I’d like to dive into some employee rewards examples to inspire you with some ideas, and spotlight how CharlieHR can help you choose the right employee rewards discounts to make your company a workplace where people thrive.

Why employee rewards matter

When you’re an HR associate juggling the needs and priorities of your company and your team members, the most valuable asset you have is your people.

How do you show that you value them? You do that with employee rewards. They’re not just the right thing to do, they show your employees that you value the work they do and give them a reason to stay. That leads to outcomes that benefit everyone, such as:

1. Higher engagement and job satisfaction: When employees feel valued and acknowledged, it makes them want to go the extra mile.

2. Attract the best talent: When employees look for jobs, they look beyond salary packages and at the perks and rewards that enrich their lives somehow. A robust rewards programme can set you apart from your competitors.

3. Foster a positive company culture: Rewards that build in peer-to-peer recognition in some way can promote a culture of collaboration and appreciation.

Challenges for small businesses

While the benefits of employee rewards programs are obvious, small businesses grapple with the challenges of implementing them with tight budgets and limited resources. How can small businesses give rewards that compete with larger corporations?

There is good news. Effective rewards programmes aren’t just about extravagant perks or big, meaty bonuses. They’re about recognition and mutual respect. Even with a small budget, small businesses can make impactful employee rewards strategies in a way that is aligned with their team.

The key here is to know what your employees want, and then tailor your employee discount scheme accordingly.

What employee rewards give you: going beyond monetary compensation

When people who don’t work in HR think of “employee rewards,” they usually think of straightforward things like bonuses, raises and other financial incentives.

When I go about structuring an employee rewards programme, I try to think broader.

Try to include initiatives that team members truly value, and that can be a sustainable tool for your small business to recognise outstanding performance.

1. Shout-outs and recognition

A simple “thank you” or acknowledgement or a job well done can do wonders for an employee’s morale. It shows you see the work they do and are grateful for what they contribute, which can often be more motivating than a financial bonus. Looking for a way to automate peer recognition within your team? With CharlieHR, employees can create and post shout-outs  to celebrate their team members’ greatest achievements. What to try it out? Start a free trial now.

Use shout-outs in CharlieHR to promote peer-to-peer recognition

2. Professional development opportunities

Investing in an employee’s skill-building and career growth is its own reward. Offering training sessions, workshops or sponsoring courses can help team members grow professionally, and then bring that value back to your team.

3. Work-life balance initiatives

We live in a world where technology and trends change and advance with each passing day, and the demands of adjusting to them are strenuous and steep.

Flexible working hours, remote work options, mental health days and others can add to your employees' wellbeing at work in a way that keeps them rested, focused and effective at their jobs. It's one of the most common employee benefits for small businesses.

The impact of non-monetary rewards

A 2018 study by Glassdoor showed that employee benefits and perks drive employee motivation and satisfaction in a way that results in tangible, positive business outcomes.

Larger corporations might have deeper bank accounts they can use to dish out more posh perks, smaller businesses have more flexibility and adaptability to give a personal touch to offer tailored non-monetary rewards. This can help them compete when attracting the best talent. A good example of this is CharlieHR’s Perks for work, which give your team access to thousands of offers and discounts at popular brands - for no extra cost for your business. In fact, CharlieHR is the only HR software with a perks platform included in its standard pricing.

Give your team access to exclusive discounts

Examples of employee rewards

While some employee rewards in the UK are monetary, others are more quality-of-life enhancements that improve an employee’s day-to-day in the workplace. I’ve listed out some of the most effective employee rewards below:

1.  Monetary rewards

Bonuses: These are the most straightforward. Bonuses add an additional payment to an employee’s salary in return for exceptional work, or as part of a holiday tradition.

Profit sharing: Sharing profits involves offering a percentage of the company’s profits to give your team members a sense of ownership in their work. A rising tide lifts all boats.

Stock options: These are especially popular in startups. Stock options give employees the right to shares at a set price. Giving them a piece of the pie, so to speak, so that they can be invested in the company’s growth.

2. Non-monetary rewards

Flexible working hours: Not everyone works best at a traditional 9-to-5 schedule. At CharlieHR, we offer flexible schedule options so that our team members can start or stop their day as it suits their peak productivity.

Professional development: Offering workshops and online courses invests in your team members’ growth, and shows you are committed to their long-term success.

Recognition programmes: The classic “Employee of the Month” or peer-nominated awards help give the spotlight to employees who go above and beyond what’s expected of them.

3. Creative rewards for small businesses

Work-from-home allowances: Remote work is becoming the way of the future. Some companies offer allowances to set up a workplace office, or location flexibility that allows employees to work where they want.

Wellness programmes: Meditation sessions, fitness challenges, and other mindfulness programmes such as these help your employees feel recharged, focused and ready to be their best selves both in and out of work.

Shout-outs: Encouraging peer-to-peer recognition

Recognition doesn’t just have to come from leadership - your team members can all give each other the spotlight for a job well-done!

Peer-to-peer recognition is a powerful tool for creating a positive work culture where people feel supported and your team is bonded together through mutual respect and camaraderie.

A simple way to promote peer-to-peer recognition at your business is to have it ingrained into your HR tool. For example, Charlie’s HR software gives your team access to a “shout-outs” feature that they can use to publicly recognise each other for their achievements.

Try it for free, and see for yourself how a little incentive can lead to big rewards for you.

Click here to start a free trial of CharlieHR