Sue knocked it out of the park again today by closing that deal.  You want to recognize her hard work, long hours, and dedication but that small budget for employee recognition dried up months ago.  Looking for some ideas to show your gratitude and reinforce that success with the rest of the team?  Look no farther – here are some great ideas employee recognition ideas that don’t break the bank.

TOP TEN Cost Effective Employee Recognition Ideas:

Recognize your employee in front of the team.

This is a win/win. Not only does your employee get the compliment from you and her colleagues, but it is reinforcing the desired successes to the rest of the team.

Write a note to your employees’ spouse or partner.

Thank him or her for their support, and let them know how much you admire and appreciate their partner’s service.

A Day Off.

Yes, it is as simple as that.  An extra day that doesn’t dip into their vacation days can provide some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Have your boss or the head of the department/company send a handwritten thank you note.

A lot of employee’s value recognition from the top and most will display that note as a constant reminder of being valued and appreciated.  The gift that keeps on giving…

Add an Employee of The Month parking spot in your lot.

Every morning and afternoon your employees’ colleagues see them getting out and in their car, knowing that they did something extra special to earn that spot.  Plus, BONUS – shorter distance into the building and maybe a couple of extra minutes to sleep in/beat the traffic home!

Offer to swap a work task or responsibility for a day or even week.

Mundane paperwork, dreaded filing, answering customer complaint calls.  Give your employee a little break from their least favorite task(s) and gives you the opportunity to show to the team that nothing is beneath you!

An extra-long lunch at their favorite restaurant.

Consider inviting your boss or department/company leader.

A “Reward Box.”

Each time an employee goes above and beyond, write it down and put it in the box.  Each week or each month get the team together and pick a name out of the box.  Let the team know what that employee did to get in the Reward Box.  Optional – give a small gift card to that employee.

Talk with your employee.

Let them know how great their achievement was and how it positively impacted the company.  Tell them funds are low for recognition but it is important to you and the company that they know how appreciated they are.  Then ask them “How can I best show my appreciation for you.”

An ice cream social to celebrate the employee or team’s accomplishments?

Yes, this one never goes out of style. But you should be the one to serve the ice cream and clean up!