Start-up companies don’t necessarily have the money to provide employees with the same rewards that large corporations can — when the company has just started making a profit, it’s difficult to pay out bonus checks every Christmas. This doesn’t mean that employees at start-up companies don’t deserve rewards, or that they can’t receive them; start-ups should consider a few of these creative, and often more coveted options, that personalize a work experience and remind employees why they took on a career with a small company in the first place.
5 Rewards that Don’t Break the Bank
- Flexible hours
The most useful rewards for employees aren’t necesarily monetary. Job seekers are often looking for flexible hours, because everyone has a busy schedule — employees with children, especially, are prone to want hours that make it easier to see their children. By providing more flexibility as employees grow within the company, employers are offering not only the freedom to get work done when the employee finds it best suited to his or her needs, but also recognizes that employees are people too — by providing flexible hours, there is a mutual respect established that strengthens bonds within the office, and keeps both employees and employer happy.
- Education benefits
Providing compensation for education makes sense for everyone in the office; the employer has more useful employees, and the employee is increasing their worth within their field, which benefits both his/her time at the startup, and his/her future career. Employees will appreciate the ability to take time off in order to attend conferences that pertain to their work, and, if possible, providing some compensation for college credit at local or online schools is also a big plus for prospective job seekers and current employees.
- Recognition awards
Everyone wants to know that they are doing their job well, and that their boss recognizes their accomplishments. In order to improve employee satisfaction, consider recognition awards for a job well done — this could mean something monetary, like a gift certificate or small, personalized gift, or something simple like a letter or card. A note with recognition awards: unless working with a pre-established system, it is best to keep these private unless employees comment that they want a more overt recognition around the office — before giving out plaques, consider what will make employees comfortable. Oftentimes, a private recognition letter is enough.
- Opportunity to travel
For startups with a bit more money in the budget, or small companies that are well-established, offering employees a vacation for a job well done is one of the most thrilling awards. Though monetary, a vacation, or even the opportunity to attend an enjoyable work-related function at a distant location, is a nice break for any hard-worker. Consider company retreats if the company is small enough — a personalized vacation package can be worked to fit almost any budget, and traveling together will strengthen relationships within the office, as well as improving individual attitudes.
- Office improvement
Startups especially are usually housed in slightly less-than-ideal quarters — using money to improve office spaces for employees can boost morale, is an indicator of the success of the business, and thus the success of the employees, and reminds the employees that it isn’t all about business, and that their employer is interested in their well-being and their happiness. Upgrading to a larger office isn’t always necessary — providing a nicer lounge space, with a kitchen, or even a new appliance like a Keurig to make life more convenient for employees, can be enough for employees to know that their employer is interested in their happiness.