Many employers assume that a bonus or salary increase is the way to their employees’ hearts. While salary is important, money isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to work. In fact, 71% of employees would consider taking a cut in their wages if it meant finding a better job. What constitutes as a good job will vary from person to person, but it goes to show that your workforce values much more than how much they’re paid. So, how can managers make sure their teams feel recognised when money is taken off the table?

If you want to make sure every member of your business is thriving and satisfied, here are some ways you can recognise the good work of your staff:

Listen to feedback and make processes easier

Sometimes your internal processes can be outdated, but it never seems like a priority to update them when things are working as they should be. If your team have raised their concerns to you on multiple occasions, now might be the time to really listen and make some changes. This could involve buying new equipment, such as a printer for the office that’s more efficient, or updating software that’s being used on a daily basis with more up-to-date solutions, like this VAT Calculator. It could also mean removing steps in a particular process to reduce admin and streamline processes. Your employees know what they need to do their jobs well, so show them that you recognise this and they’ll reward you further by being even more productive.

recognise your employees
Happy boss photo created by master1305 –

Increased flexibility

Remote working is becoming more and more common, with many employees now seeking jobs with companies that offer a more hybrid approach to the traditional 9-5. Not every member of your team will want to work from home every day, but most will appreciate having more options. If members of your team have been struggling with balancing their home commitments with their work, flexible working could be the perfect reward.

Flexible working doesn’t have to mean working completely remotely. It might mean having flexible working hours, allowing staff to catch up on tasks in the evening, or it could mean being in the office only for meetings. If you want to take flexibility to the next level, introduce a 4-day working week or scrap working hours completely and base everything on output. Just be careful that this approach doesn’t lead to excessive overtime.

Extra holidays

Time is one of the most valuable things a person can own, so giving your employees extra days off can often be appreciated even more than a salary increase. Whether you decide to increase the total number of holidays staff can take across the year or offer everyone a long weekend after a challenging project has been completed, nobody will say no to extra time to themselves.

If your business isn’t in a position to offer additional holidays, think about creating a scheme where staff can buy extra days off. You can cap this at three, five or seven days, but it allows people who really want the extra holidays to have them, while other members of staff might prefer a bonus or small raise.

Training and development sessions

Giving employees the chance to further develop their skills shows that you recognise they are more than the role they currently do. Most people value their career progression, but often it can be hard to find the time or opportunities to learn new things. Set aside some time each week so that members of staff can take an online course or shadow someone in another team to learn more about other people’s jobs. If you’re offering widespread training, it can be easier to offer staff a subscription to Skillshare or LinkedIn Learning, but if it’s just a few employees, ask them where they’d like their career to go and see if you can arrange some specialist training for them.

Prioritise wellbeing

One of the best ways to show your team that you see them as human beings and not just as employees is by supporting their general wellbeing. There are lots of things your HR department can do to make sure staff are feeling happy and aren’t too stressed. Consider offering access to a counsellor, or an online mental health solution such as SilverCloud. Alternatively, host mental wellbeing workshops where a speaker discusses topics such as mindfulness and breathing exercises. Some people may also find yoga sessions or group breakfasts helpful for maintaining their happiness levels. Don’t be afraid to get creative and always take any employees who come forward about mental health struggles seriously.

Shout-outs and feedback

Sometimes the simplest way of recognising employees is by giving them some positive feedback. It’s easy to get swept up in the working day and forget that staff value praise just as much as anyone. If someone has done a good job, it’s important to let them know. On a bigger scale, you could choose an employee to feature in internal e-mails on a monthly basis. Ask other members of staff to send in comments about who they think has worked especially hard and give that person a special shout-out so that everyone can recognise their achievements.

There are so many different ways you can recognise your employees, so if you think some of them may be feeling undervalued, get started with one or more of the tips above.