According to a recent survey by Achievers (a company that has developed an employee engagement platform), 53 percent of employees in North America don’t feel recognized for their achievements at work.

Celebrating your small business’s successes should ideally include celebrating the hard work of the employees who have helped you achieve them.

According to a recent survey by Achievers (a company that has developed an employee engagement platform), 53 percent of employees in North America don’t feel recognized for their achievements at work.

Although giving raises may not be financially possible, there are relatively inexpensive alternatives you can put into action to show your appreciation and thanks to employees. The creative possibilities are virtually endless.

Below is a list of some ideas. While not all the suggestions will appeal to your employees or accommodate your budget, hopefully they’ll start you thinking about ways you might reward your dedicated staff members.

• Surprise them with a “way to go” cake and some ice cream.

• Tell them they can leave the office an hour or two early.

• Tell them to take an extra-long lunch hour.

• Order in lunch from a favorite local deli or restaurant.

• Take them to lunch at a favorite local restaurant.

• Give them gift cards to a local coffee shop.

• Host a summer picnic.

• Bring in a professional massage therapist for a day to give them some stress-busting bodywork.

• Give them a hand-written thank you note.

• Hire a caterer and host an onsite holiday luncheon.

• Take your team bowling or miniature golfing.

• Create personalized framed certificates of appreciation.

Regardless of whether or not you try any of the above, remember that you can’t go wrong with a sincere and heartfelt face-to-face “thank you.” That’s one thing anyone (in person or via Skype) can—and should do—to keep their valued employees engaged and motivated.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, one of the main reasons people voluntarily leave their jobs is because they don’t feel appreciated. Stellar employees aren’t always easy to find, so minimize your risks of losing yours by showing them how much you value them and their contributions. Their efforts and their impact on your small business’s success is something well worth celebrating. 

You’ll find a wealth of small business-related information, resources, and training, plus free, confidential counseling from more than 11,000 business experts. For more information about contacting a mentor or volunteering contact the Lake of the Ozarks SCORE Chapter at www.LakeoftheOzarks.SCORE.org, by e-mail at admin.0493@scorevolunteer.org or call 573-346-5441. Serving Camden, Dallas, Hickory, Laclede, Miller, Morgan and Pulaski Counties.