11 Budget-Friendly Ways To Reward Your Employees This Holiday Season


How To Reward Employees On A Budget

Our team members sacrifice a lot to give their best efforts at work. The time and effort they give deserve to be rewarded!

Key Takeaways

  1. Employee recognition is perhaps the most low-cost, high-impact reward
  2. Give an extra day off to spend with family during the holidays
  3. Start a rewards program such as recognizing an “Employee Of The Month”
  4. Give a personalized and touching token of appreciation
  5. Hand-write a “thank-you” note
  6. Send a care package to remote workers
  7. Give flowers!
  8. Treat your team to a food basket
  9. Host a lunch or dinner outing
  10. Host a virtual company event
  11. Give your team members gift cards

Especially during the holiday season, it’s essential to indulge in the gift of giving. Plus, rewarding our employees can do more than we may realize.

Want to know some budget-friendly ways to reward employees? Keep reading, and we’ll let you in on the details.

See Related: How To Celebrate The Holidays At Work This Season

#1. Offer Plenty Of Employee Recognition

When pondering ways to reward our team members, we are often naturally drawn to monetary gifts. But, in fact, low-cost (or no-cost) options are usually better at showing our appreciation!

Meaningful rewards are meant to demonstrate our appreciation for the time and hard work presented by our corporate team members. Not only does this motivate employees, but it also goes to develop a strong and healthy company culture.

There are limitless benefits to showing gratitude in the workplace. Expressing gratitude and offering employee recognition go hand-in-hand, and it’s arguably one of the best gifts out there!

Intangible Gifts Are The Most Meaningful Rewards

Monetary gifts are restrictive and bland. That’s why genuine recognition and appreciation are the most powerful gifts you can offer.

The best ways to reward team members stem from employee recognition.

We all know that warm, cozy feeling we get inside when someone goes out of their way to tell us “well done!” When someone we are close to compliments us, it is much more touching than a meaningless nicety.

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Employee Recognition Has A Slew Of Amazing Workplace Benefits

Recognizing your employee’s accomplishments and efforts promotes genuine connections and boosts morale.

Employee recognition helps team members feel more connected to their work, mission, and organization. Without adequate recognition, it’s easy for people to feel disconnected and resentful towards their workplace.

Tying together recognition and rewards also helps to:

  • Boost employee engagement and productivity
  • Improve mood and morale
  • Build foundations of strong workplace relationships
  • Improve employee retention

If you want to give a gift this holiday season with a personal touch, focus on improving and prioritizing employee recognition!

#2. Reward Employees With The Gift Of Time

We all know that the holidays are a time for family and friends. However, many of us still spend more time than we’d like at our workplace.

Even if we feel undying love and passion for our careers, it’s still satisfying to focus on spending time with those closest to us at home. So be the one to help your team members get there!

No One Ever Said “No” To An Extra Day Off

Instead of giving money, give the gift of time. Give your team members the unique opportunity to spend more time with their loved ones. That means do something like:

  • Let your team leave early some days
  • Give an extra day off
  • Let their lunch run long
  • Have work start late a couple of days

You can take this idea and run with it however you’d like. But there’s no denying that time is one of the best rewards you can offer!

Especially if your team has been working late and grinding particularly hard, reward their exceptional effort with time off. This reward will be significantly excellent as the holidays come closer and your employees long to be at home.

You can also make it a surprise and drive home the impact!

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Bonus: 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Comedian

#3. Develop And Implement An Employee Rewards Program

Employee rewards don’t need to be a one-time deal. Instead, making a tradition or program out of it is a great way to give a gift that keeps giving!

There are countless ways to implement a rewards program in your company or organization. You can do something standard, such as recognize an “employee of the month” or make it more unique.

Ideas For The Best Employee Rewards Program

Want to treat your team members to fantastic rewards? Here are some ideas to get you started:

Designate a parking spot to reward a team member

You can alternate who gets it on a weekly or monthly basis. Not only is it easy and straightforward to implement, but it’s also a pretty sweet deal.

Frame an “Employee Of The Month” photo

This classic reward method perfectly satisfies our human nature of competition. Let your team members show off their accomplishments!

Give spot awards or annual awards

Reward team members for exceptional performance or a great attitude. Spot awards allow you to immediately reward your employees, while an annual awards ceremony is perfect for helping your team feel connected and have a deep sense of belonging.

#4. Give A Small, Yet Meaningful Present

The holidays are a season of giving. And there is even a deep psychology behind giving a physical present to someone. So if you want to treat your team members to a touching token, go for it!

When we give a reward, not only do we want to invoke feelings of happiness in the recipient, but we also want to strengthen the relationship we have with that person.

Finding the perfect budget-friendly present can be tricky, but we’ll give you a hand.

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#5. Send A Handwritten Thank-You Card

This simplistic but wildly touching present pairs perfectly with the idea of employee recognition. Hand-write a letter or “thank you” card to your team members and give them a personalized token of your gratitude!

The best gifts aren’t items that only take money to buy. Instead, meaningful presents are something that comes from the heart.

A small handwritten letter is something your team members can hold onto for a long time to remember your gratitude!

#6. You Can’t Go Wrong With A Care Package

Many of us are working remotely. Virtual office spaces are increasingly gaining popularity, so finding a way to give a present to your team members working across state lines can be hard to do.

That’s where personalized care packages come in. There are so many options for items to include to give your team members something they can use!

#7. Everyone Loves Flowers!

A timeless way to tell someone “thank you” is by giving flowers. And who wouldn’t love a bouquet of beautiful and enlighting buds?

Flowers are simple and easy to give, making them an obvious option to reward your employees!

#8. Nothing Says “Employee Rewards” Like A Food Basket

The way to many people’s hearts is through their stomachs. That’s the truth, even for us!

If you’re on the fence about the best rewards to give your team members, don’t stress about it. Not everyone likes the same movies, music, or hobbies, but everyone needs to eat!

So if you want to give a present that your team will truly enjoy, opt to provide them with a delicious treat, they will relish! And there are so many ways to bring this tasty vision to life.

Especially for remote team members, a food basket is a way to go. Sweet treats and delectable snacks your employees can enjoy at home are ideal.

There are many different food basket options to choose from, so you can give a unique offering to each employee.

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#9. Go For A Group Meal Outing

If you don’t want to go for a food basket, you can treat your team to a lunch or dinner outing. This allows everyone to spend quality time together and develop genuine workplace relationships.

#10. Have A Virtual Company Event

There are many ways to reward employees. But instead of items, time, or food, give them a memorable experience that will live in their hearts for years to come!

Company events are the best way to:

  • Help your employees connect with each other
  • Teach your team something new
  • Share in laughter with employees and co-workers
  • Build the foundation for a healthy and happy company culture

Employee events are commonly in-person, but virtual events are also rising. And with Clean Comedians®, you can find the perfect remote speaker to make your event incredibly touching and memorable!

Speakers That Set The Perfect Tone For Your Event

We know exactly how to make your company event something meaningful.

Our speakers are 100% clean, free of dirty and crude jokes, to ensure everyone in the audience is included. We don’t resort to inappropriate jokes to score cheap laughs. A professional setting calls for genuine humor from top-notch corporate entertainers. (Or, at least, that’s what we think.)

We also do deep research into your company and business beforehand to create content that’s unique to your team. That’s our little “secret” on how to truly connect with your team members!

We know how to captivate the audience for both in-person and virtual events. Between knee-slapping laughter and real magic, we are the masters of professional entertainment!

#11. Give Out Gift Cards

Some people can be hard to shop for. And finding the right item that’s the ideal mixture of valuable and personalized can be tricky.

So if you want a simple and down-to-earth idea, go for gift cards. Not only are they easy to find and distribute, but they’re also efficient as it allows your employees to use the funds towards whatever they want.

No matter how you reward your team, make sure it comes from the heart and expresses genuine gratitude! 

Keep Reading: 6 Reasons Why Soft Skills Are Essential For Your Career

Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.