No matter your company's budget, you should be taking time to recognize your hardest-working employees.

Employee retention is a major issue for companies in 2023; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average employee tenure is just 4.1 years. In 2021, the average turnover rate across the U.S. was 47.2% — an alarmingly high figure. But implementing successful employee recognition programs can go a long way in retaining employees.

Many companies assume they don't have room in the budget for employee rewards. In reality, recognizing and rewarding employees does not need to be expensive, but it can provide an exceptional return on investment. Below, we explore unique employee recognition ideas and programs for any budget. 

Employee recognition programs for small, medium, and large budgets

Successful employee recognition programs may reduce turnover by up to 31%. Here are the top employee recognition ideas for small, medium, and large budgets: 

Small budgets

If you don't have much room in the budget for an employee recognition program, consider a points-to-rewards program model. In this model:

  1. Employees earn points for arriving on time, meeting sales goals, or receiving recommendations or other desirable behaviors.
  2. Employees collect points over time.
  3. Employees redeem their points for rewards.

Depending on your program model, you may only spend $20 to $50 per month on gift cards for the employees who collected enough points. Still, employees will feel like they are working toward a goal, which can improve loyalty. 

Medium budget

If you have more room in your budget, we recommend an employee-of-the-month campaign. Recognized employees can receive desirable rewards like $100 gift cards to their favorite restaurants, extra PTO days, or the restaurant choice for the next catered luncheon. Providing a sizable reward to one employee each month can encourage other team members to work harder toward that goal. 

Larger budget

Companies with larger budgets can implement ongoing bulk rewards programs when employees complete specific actions or reach certain milestones. Integrating a rewards program with API or Zapier triggers provides a hands-off approach to employee recognition. 

For instance, when employees reach certain sales goals, the Zapier app can trigger a gift card link to their email. 

Check out our video to learn more about using our incentives and leveraging digital rewards seamlessly.

List of unique employee recognition ideas and different brands to choose from

If you're looking to make the most of small-budget employee recognition efforts, consider offering unique, personalized rewards. While anyone can find a use for a fast food gift card, giving more specific products and services shows that you understand and care about your employees' interests. 

Consider offering personalized rewards for any of the following brands:

  • Airbnb: Give your employees a day off work and a one-night stay at an incredible Airbnb getaway in your area — or let them choose their lodging with an Airbnb gift card. 
  • Barnes & Noble: Support the passions and hobbies of book-loving employees with a Barnes & Noble gift card. 
  • CharityChoice: Give employees the option of using their rewards to give back to worthy causes through CharityChoice. 
  • 1-800-PetSupplies: Pet lovers will appreciate gift cards to 1-800-PetSupplies or Chewy, where they can buy food, treats, toys, or other necessities for their furry friends. 
  • Twitch: Are any of your employees gamers? Send them Twitch gift cards they can use to support their favorite streamers. 

Personalize employee recognition programs with Giftbit

Giftbit makes it easy to implement employee recognition programs for any budget through the power of e-gift cards. Customize your gift card amount, integrate Giftbit with Zapier and API for automatic rewarding, and allow employees to choose from a long list of gift card options — no coding experience required. 

Sign up for free today to begin boosting employee retention. 

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