Throwing money at employees to thank them for their hard work isn’t helping companies retain their talent much like it might have in the past.

These days, rewarding employees with something other than tanglible compensation is especially prevalent with millennials who seek more purpose in their work than previous generations. Organizations are looking for ways to reward their employees that align with these values all the while being conscientious of their own budgets. Sometimes your team does a great job, but you’ll go bankrupt if you give them all bonuses and a destination trip to  like you wish you could.

Finding ways to reward employees that positively affect their physical and mental well-being are great ways to leave an impact. Not only will your employees feel respected and appreciated, but ensuring they are rewarded for their jobs well done can build a strong, unique company culture that boosts employee relationships.  

Whether you’re a new company or simply trying to stick to a strict budget, here are four ways you can reward your employees that cost nothing.

Public Recognition

Employees that feel as though they don’t receive an appropriate amount of recognition from their employers are twice as likely to quit their job in the next year than those that are not. Public recognition of employees has many clear benefits, and the costs avoided each time an employee feels valued enough to stay on board are invaluable.

Public recognition allows the workforce to see that their company values their employees. Additionally, this form of reward helps the organization because, if articulated appropriately, the team can see what behaviors the company values.

Public recognition is most commonly associated with whether an employee reaches or exceeds a sales goal, successfully executed a marketing campaign, and so on and so forth. However, what companies often overlook are the opportunities to publicly recognize employees that are doing well with their wellness program.

Next time you feel your team deserves appreciation, think outside the box. Give them praise for how they’ve been kicking butt with their workouts or reaching the goals of the wellness programs. Recognize them for getting together outside of work to take fitness classes or take walks during lunch. This will show your employees that you care not only about their work, but about them and their health, as well as their relationships with each other.


Exchange Services/Product with a Supplier or Partner

Depending on what type of product or service your company offers, it’s very possible that your organization can seek to barter or exchange services with a supplier or partner you work with regularly, or even have never, worked with.

If it’s a business you’ve never partnered with, it would be good to start with an understanding of what services your employees would value. Maybe it’s a local store, massage therapist, yoga studio, or mechanic. Once you’ve pinpointed a few options, you’ll be able to approach these businesses with a plan of what you can offer them in exchange. Then, you can make these services available to your team. If it’s a supplier or partner you’ve been working with, the conversation to exchange services should be much easier.

One example we’ve been able to utilize at Peerfit is an exchange of services with shared working space. Our team gets the opportunity to use the coworking space to work together or host meetings while the employees of the coworking space get access to Peerfit credits.



Many employees would love to spend time volunteering for a cause they deem significant, but between a full time job, family, and life as whole, it can be hard for them to find the time do so. With more companies allowing their employees to spend a “work day” volunteering, it's an option for you to consider for your team as well.

Since the cost of the employee is typically already budgeted, you can use this as a way to reward your team at no cost. In this scenario, the employee would be able to spend a work day volunteering at a predetermined charity or maybe even one that’s important to them on behalf of the employer. This day ‘off’ would allow the employee to feel good not only about what they’ve accomplished, but also knowing that their employer cares.


Remote Working Day

Fact: avoiding mind-numbing commutes and office distractions by working from home allows for greater productivity among many employees. According to a 2016 survey, 91% of people that work from home reported feeling more productive than when they worked in their offices.

While some organizations would have trouble allowing employees to work from home, it’s certainly an option for many. Giving your team the opportunity to work from home gives them added flexibility and decreased stress levels due to the fact that they don’t have to rush into the office that day or week. Working remotely is a great perk to give your team because it also gives them the feeling that you trust them to get their work done even though they aren’t in the office.

Additionally, allowing for some or full-time remote work within your company gives your employees better accessibility to exercise because of a more flexible schedule. With many complaining that their lack of time results in a lack of exercise, working from home gives people much more opportunity to take the fitness classes they otherwise could not.

A person that feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected. Focusing on team appreciation as a priority and value within your organization is crucial. Employee praise is often looked at in a one-dimensional manner, the focus being on monetary compensation. You don’t have to break the bank to let your team know they are valued. By utilizing these means of praise, you are able to provide more recognition more often than if you only focused on costly recognition.

What are some ways your company rewards employees?

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