How To Reward Team Members Or Employees Without a Budget

Many leaders would like to reward their subordinates, but don’t have a budget to do so. Liz Ryan at Forbes has some suggestions for leaders, managers and business owners in regards to rewarding employees without dipping into funds they may not have.

Allowing employees a work from home day can be a good way to reward them. If this doesn’t apply to your situation exactly, figure out how to reward your team member by allowing them to work for a day on their own scheduling or location terms.

If you have a dress code, ease up on it. It is no longer just the tech sector or other “young” businesses that have discovered that it is kind of absurd to pretend we need special clothing to get our work done in the business world. Ditch the white collars (at least on Fridays).

Find a way to give your team member a special project that suits their interest or under used skill set or find another job-related opportunity to give them.

Bring in one of the “big wigs” to have a sit down with your team and discuss the vision and future of the company and how they all fit into that picture. If you are the big wig (or not) you might consider bringing in a relevant outsider to lead your pow wow.

Take the time to write an honest and positive letter of recommendation for the team member. Talk to them about why you’d be happy to be a reference in the future, either for advancement within the organization or if they decide to move on.

The latter could be part of regularly scheduled one-on-one sessions with your teammates. Focus on the teammate’s needs and thoughts. Ask them questions. How can you help them?

Whatever you choose to do, a simple gesture highlighting the accomplishments and talents of your employees when monetary or material rewards aren’t an option is the best way to let them know they are appreciated.

Good Leadership Habits

Dr. Travis Bradberry, coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, has written an article about the 12 Habits of Exceptional Leaders. He says, “Great leadership is indeed a difficult thing to pin down and understand.” You know a great leader when you encounter one but what makes him effective? He lists 12 essential behaviors that these exceptional leaders rely on.

1. Courage
People like to know the one they are following is courageous.

2. Effective Communication
You need to be a great communicator to effectively manage and inspire people who work for you.

3. Generosity
Great leaders share credit and praise where it is due. They are committed to their followers’ success.

4. Humility
Leaders who show humbleness will jump in and do the dirty work.

5. Self-Awareness
Dr. Bradberry says this is the foundation of emotional intelligence. They have a clear and accurate image of their own strengths and weaknesses.

6. Adherence to the Golden Rule +1
The Golden Rule says to treat others the way you want to be treated. Dr. Bradberry says to take this a step further and treat others the way they would like to be treated. That means learning more about the people you work with.

7. Passion
Passion is contagious. If a leader is enthusiastic, others will be as well.

8. Infectiousness
Not only have a clear vision but a plan to make that vision become a reality.

9. Authenticity
Be honest in everything. Make sure your words and actions align with who you claim to be.

10. Approachability
Welcome challenges, criticism, and viewpoints other than your own.

11. Accountability
Back up your followers. Don’t shift blame when facing failure.

12. Sense of Purpose
Understand your purpose and why you’re going there.

Of course you don’t incorporate all of these traits at once but focus on a couple at a time.

Are you a leader or a manager?

According to skillsyouneed.com, leadership is not the same as management although it is possible to be both. Managers plan while leaders have a vision. Leadership asks what and why and empower others while managers ask how and work with the processes and systems.

There is a chart that shows the differences between a manager and a leader:
A manager administers; a leader innovates
A manager maintains; a leader develops
A manager focuses on systems and structure; a leader focuses on people and emotions
A manager controls systems and people; a leader inspires people
A manager accepts the way things are; a leader challenges the way things are
A manager has a short-range view; a leader has a long-range perspective
A manager manages tasks; a leader leads people

Leaders are more apt to take risks. Sometimes the roles of leaders and managers are blurred but there are definite differences.

~ Jody Victor