IN ALL COMPANIES, it is important to reward those employees whose performance is above and beyond their peers.  This can mean superior sales, customer service, behavior, productivity, etc. All that matters is that you show that individual’s peers, who might not be performing as well, that rewards come to those who go above and beyond for their company. This promotes loyalty and appreciation from both the employees and the business owner/manager.

But what do you give them? A raise? A bonus? What if you don’t have the cash, but want to reward them anyway? 

In times like these, when cash is hard to come by, it is always good to have inventive ways in which to reward the top performers in a company.  Ideas can include exposure to others, praise, personal appreciation, allowing the employee flexible time schedules, gift cards, a better parking space, a special ‘thank you’ to that person sent to the entire company, etc.  The first and only step to getting what you want out of your employees is by motivating them consistently and often.

Exposure to others. This can be done incrementally as we all deserve a pat on the back for a job well done.  An example would be telling the person to attend a conference in place of a senior manager.  Attending seminars would enable the employee have a better understanding of the company and induce a sense of pride in being chosen to appear above the actual pay grade.

Praise. Send out a bulk email to the entire company recognizing the person’s performance or get an “employee of the month” wall. Add a caption that describes what he or she has done for the organization.

Personal Appreciation.  We all desire to be appreciated for what we do. This doesn’t necessarily mean cash; it could be in the form of vacations and leave days.  Flowers work best in most instances or even a box of chocolates.  I had a boss once who loved to give out Honeybaked Hams to top performers. It pays to be inventive when it comes to picking the right gifts for your staff.

Gift card rewards and vouchers. This is a good way of further showing the employee that you value what he or she does in the company.  The vouchers are handy as they help the individual save money buying specific items and it gives them the freedom of choosing their own gifts.

Flexible time schedules. This is also a way of showing one’s appreciation and works well to demonstrate to others the freedom that responsibility and peak performance affords. Perhaps instead of coming in at 8 and leaving at 4, someone would rather come in at 10 and leave at 6. By allowing top performers to make slight changes to their time schedule, you are giving a reward without actually giving anything.

All of the above are just some of the ways that one can reward a top performing employee in the company. This should not be seen as a waste of company resources for, in the end, the company benefits as they are able to put in more hours and give a hundred percent of their time and resources to the growth and expansion of the company or organization.