Every business, be it small or large, relies on its employees. However, being a small business, it is crucial to keep your employees engaged and feeling appreciated. This not only helps to retain good employees but improves work productivity which ultimately grows your business.

The smaller the business, the tougher the challenge would be.

However, the bigger the challenge your business faces, the more room would it get to grow & expand its horizon. The best place to start tackling the challenges would be employee appreciation.

Earlier expensive bonuses used to be the best reward for employees, but the times have changed. But do not worry, we have listed down 5 ways you can reward your employees and keep them motivated.

Motivating and rewarding your employees

Photo by Memento Media on Unsplash

5 ways to motivate employees of your small business

Adopt an employee loyalty program

Many businesses, from small to enterprise level, offer loyalty points to customers so why not provide similar benefits to your employees for achieving certain business goals? This will not only motivate them but will help them financially.

You can start off by listing down some specific goals & their corresponding points. Here are some examples:

  • Up-selling a product/service or cross-selling: 5 points
  • Getting a certain number of sign-ups of customers to the customer loyalty program: 4 points
  • Customers offering unprompted feedback (to the manager or in the feedback book): 3 points
  • Assisting a customer to locate a particular product: 2 points
  • For each sale worth more then certain amount: 1 point

You can set milestones for the program. For instance, offer your employees two weeks or a month to collect the points and claim prizes depending on how many points they earned.

Here are some ideas for the rewards:

  • 100 points: A complete weekend off
  • 75 points: A Saturday or Sunday off
  • 50 points: Letting them leave 2 hours earlier on a day of their choice
  • 25 points: A gift card worth $25-$50 to a store of their choice
  • 10 points: 2-5 lottery tickets

Flexibility goes a long way

Including monetary benefits in employee incentive programs for small business is a great idea but offering flexibility in work is much better. Employees appreciate a workplace that lets them enjoy a healthy work-life balance.

Remember, people (or employees) can make more money but they (or anyone for that matter) won’t be able to make more time.

That’s where you can introduce flexibility in hours and try improving employee appreciation. If possible, you may even offer them the opportunity to work from home at least for a few days a month. Even if you can’t offer them flexibility in hours every day, you might offer them the flexibility to leave work early in exchange for coming in to work early.

Flexibility is not just good for employees but it’s good for even employers.

Communication is a two-way street

Small businesses are some of the best places for employees to directly observe how their efforts and time are yielding real-life results for the business. If there is anything employees would appreciate more after monetary and flexibility benefits, it would be to know they’re being a part of the business growth.

You should try involving your employees in certain small decisions, taking their inputs and ideas seriously. This will make them feel they are an integral part of your business.

Keeping communication open so they feel welcome and appreciated for their thoughts would do wonders for their confidence and ultimately for your business’s growth.

Employee recognition programs

Did you know? Employee recognition can improve employee engagement, productivity, and performance by 14%!

Through employee recognition programs, a healthy competitive work environment promotes their personal growth as well as your business growth. This can instill a healthy competitive work environment promoting their personal growth as well as your business growth.

How are you currently acknowledging your employees’ hard work? If you have not started yet or planning to begin, here are some ideas:

  • Take them to lunch
  • Give verbal praise in front of the team
  • Offer subscriptions to OTTs, meditation, etc.
  • Share it on the social media handle
  • Help them develop their skills further

Provide them the opportunity to upskill

Employees stay motivated at workplaces that offer room to grow professionally and personally. Upskilling your employees is a crucial business decision that can take both your employees and your business to the next level.

It will also make your employees feel like the business is invested in them, improving loyalty and performance. Remember, skilled and knowledgeable employees are much better than mediocre employees.

If your employees get upskilled regularly, your business will keep growing!


Keeping your employees motivated through different rewards and recognition programs is crucial. Acknowledging even the smallest of their efforts and wins will give your business a workforce that is result-driven.

The ideas shared above are just to help spark inspiration so you may create the best work environment for your employees and appreciate them.