Many employees anxiously await a coveted bonus from their employers at the end of the year. Yet, in this recovering economy, many employers have eliminated or scaled back on bonuses because budgets are tight.
When cutting back, employers need to consider the long-term effects on employee motivation, engagement and performance, and find a way to supplement smaller bonuses with non-monetary praise. As employees work longer hours with fewer resources, don’t look past praising their efforts.
Non-monetary Ways to Show Appreciation
Although your organization may need to eliminate or cut back on bonuses, here are some ways to make your employees feel appreciated:
Be straightforward about bonuses. Do not assume that avoiding discussion will make employees forget about receiving a bonus. “Out of sight, out of mind” does not apply to this situation. Instead, explain to your employees how you will acknowledge their hard work.
Make bonus criteria extremely clear to employees. That way, they will understand exactly what must be achieved to earn a bonus and can use this as a goal throughout the year.
Recognize employees with items other than monetary rewards. There are many ways to encourage employees and recognize their efforts.
Make praise visible. Consider complimenting productive individuals publicly or starting an employee of the month award program.
Offer length of service awards at the end of the year in the form of gifts that can be chosen from a select group of items. These could be suitable for various lifestyles by including items such as cameras, espresso machines or camping gear.
Start a new tradition of offering a vacation bonus for employees who have worked for the company for a long period of time (five years, 10 years, etc.). Others will strive to remain dedicated to the organization so they can earn a trip as well.
Ask management to write handwritten thank-you notes to employees for their hard work all year long. Employees will see that their managers took the time to personally thank them.
Few things are more genuine than an in-person thank you. Have managers show employees that they are really paying attention. For example, managers can go find employees when they have done an exceptional job and praise them on the spot
Ensuring that your employees feel valued, especially in a recovering economy, is vital to the success of your organization. Employees that feel as though their employers appreciate their contributions are more loyal, work harder and tend to feel a sense of commitment toward the organization that will outlast any economic woes.