Employee Appreciation: 7 Methods that Won’t Cost You a Dime

Employee Appreciation: 7 Methods that Won't Cost You a DimePulitzer Prize-winning Edith Wharton was an inspiring writer. She once said, “there are only two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

As manager, it is your job to make sure that the employees you meet at the water cooler are happy. Show strong employee appreciation and keep them properly motivated. Many HR reps find that some of the best methods of building employee morale is through the use of employee appreciation programs. These may involve things like contests with prizes or employee appreciation rewards.

Programs that provide bonuses to team members who perform well or exceed expectations. However, complex programs may not be feasible for certain companies. How are you supposed to ensure that your workforce is being properly recognized? Well, a reward doesn’t need to be expensive to be valuable. Here are eight things that you can do to show your employees some appreciation. Appreciation, that is, without having to spend a ton of cash in the process.

Share Positive Customer/Client Feedback

Everyone likes to know that the effort they put in is achieving results. When you get positive feedback from clients, make sure that the employee in question knows about it. This should be in person through employee appreciation reviews. You can also post positive feedback on company bulletin boards or feature them in company newsletters.

Receive Criticism

Have an online employee suggestion box. Employees like to know that their questions and ideas are being heard and considered. However, many employees fear there could be some form of retribution if they were to openly criticize company policy. Some people don’t like to point out faults with management. Providing a safe forum for these issues to be addressed allows team members to voice their issues. Allowing employees to speak up without any fear of reprisal is an important part of any employee appreciation program.


Facilitate interaction between employees and management. Employees who get to know their bosses on a personal level will feel more loyal to their company on the whole. In too many companies, an us vs. them mentality develops between employees and their supervisors. Combat this by allowing people from all departments and levels to mingle and enjoy each others company away from the work atmosphere.

Have a Fun, Employee Appreciation Ceremony

The reality is that being recognized for accomplishments in front of peers allows employees to share their successes. Who doesn’t like to brag a little bit? They may pretend to be disinterested in receiving their reward, but deep down they’ll feel a sense of pride.

Don’t Nit-Pick

It’s been said that if you give someone an inch, they’ll take a mile. This might not be the case. Sometimes if you give someone an inch, they’ll just enjoy it gratefully. If you have an employee who does exceptional work, but slips up a bit, just let it slide. If they are working hard but make occasional errors on their paperwork, let it pass. If you fixate on an employee’s mistakes and areas that need improvement, the employee won’t feel any sort of employee appreciation. Instead, they will focus on things the company is doing wrong.

Give Thanks

Take some time to personally thank an Employee for a job well done. Leave your office and go to the workstation of the employee who has been performing well. Tell them how important they are to the company. Be specific about the good work they’ve done. Refrain from calling the employee to your office. It might give them the impression that they have done something wrong.

Allow Employees to Telecommute

Not only does it not cost you anything, but it can actually save your company money. When employees work from home, they don’t use the company’s electricity or water. These are both expenses that can really add up over time. Employees who are occasionally allowed to work from home will feel employee appreciation through a perceived award. They get to avoid long commutes, uncomfortable work clothing and their performance and morale should spike.

Just Be Nice

Sometimes the most effective thing you can do to help improve employees appreciation is to just be friendly. Show genuine interest in their lives, and they will pay you back by working hard and keeping the overall success of the company in mind.

Robert Cordray

Robert Cordray

I'm a business owner and entrepreneur turned freelance writer who enjoys writing about business, and Technology. I have experience in writing software, mobile app development, and information systems.

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