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10 Unique Free or Low-Cost Employee Rewards

November 18, 2022 | Rachel Gee

Recognizing and rewarding employees for their accomplishments isn’t just a nice thing to do – it can be a huge motivator and a key to retention. A quarter of senior care workers surveyed by OnShift said that more frequent recognition for work contributions would help retain them at their current jobs. The same amount said a rewards and recognition program for contributions at work is a top valued perk.


Rewards and recognition don’t need to break the bank as long as they are fair and consistent. No matter what your budget looks like, you can easily implement a program to recognize your employees for their accomplishments and hard work. Below are 10 free or low-cost ways you can reward top performers at your organization.


  1. Deliver Handwritten Thank You Notes

While digital rewards are great, there is nothing quite like getting a handwritten, personalized note from your boss. Make a guest book or blank cards available to residents and their families so they can have the opportunity to write words of praise, too.


  1. Gift Cards

Think retail, gas, grocery, restaurants, massages – or better yet, let the recipient choose! Use technology to automatically deliver e-gift cards the moment someone goes above and beyond and allow them to select their gift card from an online catalog of options.


  1. Extra PTO Day

Who doesn’t love an extra day off? Reward your top performer with one extra day to spend how they please.


  1. Employee of the Month Recognition

Recognize your top performer by giving them a certificate, featuring them in your newsletter, and/or asking other employees to write them a nice note.


  1. Streaming Subscription

Incentivize employees with a month or two of a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, or Audible.


  1. Day of Relaxation

Book a massage for a hardworking employee to provide them with a well-deserved, relaxing, and stress-free day.


  1. VIP Parking Space

Let your employees pull up in a style with a VIP parking space for a month. Have a small budget? Install a sign to designate a custom spot for months to come.


  1. Lottery Tickets

Celebrate successes and reward employees with a lottery ticket. These are easy to keep on hand to give out the moment someone goes the extra mile.


  1. Donate to a Charity of Their Choice

Determine a set amount of money you’d be willing to donate to a charitable organization and then let your employees select which charity will receive the funds.


  1. Award Party

Throw a special party for employees who consistently go above and beyond. This could be during work and include a special meal, shout-outs, and a few extra minutes to relax.


Technology Makes Rewards and Recognition Easier

With OnShift Engage, you can quickly enable an automated rewards and recognition program while maintaining the freedom to set a rewards budget that fits your organization’s needs. Click here to learn more and schedule your personalized demo.

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About Rachel Gee

Rachel Gee is the Content Marketing Manager at OnShift.

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