7 Creative Ways to Reward Employees without a Salary Raise

7 Creative Ways to Reward Employees without a Salary Raise

By being creative with how you offer raises, you can stay within budget while still making your employees feel valued.

Giving your employees a raise is a significant way to show your employees that you value their work and compensate them appropriately for their contributions. Failing to acknowledge the work of your employees can be ‌costly for startups. A OnePoll survey of 2,000 workers found that almost half of ‌American workers (46%) have quit a job due to feeling unrecognized, and 65% of respondents said they would put in more effort if they felt like their efforts were noticed by management. However, with limited resources and an inflationary environment in 2023, salary increases may not always be feasible

Fortunately, there are alternative methods of rewarding employees that don’t require you to bust the bank. In this article, we explore some of these alternatives that can help you demonstrate your appreciation for your team’s hard work and dedication.

Team outings

Team outings are an effective way to boost morale, productivity and creativity by allowing employees to bond with one another outside the office.

To cater to a diverse group of employees with different interests, there are many options to choose from. For the active folks, you may try outdoor activities like hiking or go-karting; if the team prefers something more relaxed, consider going to a movie or concert or spending a day at the spa together. By offering a range of options, companies can ensure that there is something for everyone, making team outings a fun and memorable experience for all employees.

Bonuses instead of salary hikes

Rather than base rate increases, consider giving bonuses based on performance and experience. Acknowledge and reward employee achievements, such as when reaching sales goals, exceeding job duties, making referrals, etc. with bonuses, which can incentivize them to continue excelling in their roles. Frequent bonus plans can be budget-friendly and boost employee satisfaction and engagement.


Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does buy gym memberships, skill-related courses memberships and bookstore credits—all of which can lead to a happier, healthier workforce. This sort of reward also creates valuable business connections down the road, thus helping them level up their skills. So why not offer your employees a yearly membership to a gym, club or bookstore instead of a salary raise? It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Company awards

While some may argue that salary increases are the best way to show appreciation for hard work, research indicates that employees care more about feeling valued than they do about making more money. 52.5% of employees want more recognition from their immediate manager. And yet, only 18% of organizations give employee-of-the-month awards. After all, what good is a raise if your employees feel unappreciated? 

Awards are a great way to show your employees that you value their hard work and contributions. They can make your employees more confident and feel appreciated, leading to a more efficient, innovative workforce with lower turnover rates. It also shows potential candidates that your organization is a fantastic place to work, which may help you attract top talent.

Family vacations

Offering a family vacation instead of a salary hike may seem unconventional, but it can actually be a creative and cost-saving way to show appreciation to employees. It’s a meaningful gesture that says, “Thank you for your efforts. Here is something special for you and your loved ones.” 

When organizing this perk, clearly outline specifics, such as the number of family members allowed, the duration of the trip and available transportation, to ensure everyone is informed. This attention to detail will ensure everyone is on the same page.


Four in ten adults who left their jobs in 2021 cited long hours as the main reason. Startups often require extensive work that can sometimes stretch into weekends and holidays. While remuneration and potential for growth are important to employees, companies must also offer flexible work arrangements to help them balance their job and personal responsibilities. 

65% of people would prefer an employer that offers remote working options, with the added perks of reduced commuting time and greater control over family matters.

Training opportunities

When it comes to incentivizing staff, training opportunities are often overlooked. However, 94% of employees report that they would stay longer with a company that invests in their development. Investing in employee growth benefits both the employee and the business. 

A McKinsey study found that 87% of companies have identified (or predicted) skills gaps in the years ahead. Hence, taking steps to train employees is essential to fill these gaps, reduce recruitment costs and avoid falling behind.

If you take all of these factors into consideration, rewarding your employees doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little planning and thoughtfulness, you can show your appreciation for their hard work without breaking the bank.

Also read:

Header image courtesy of Freepik


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


How Does Rihanna Promote Fenty Beauty

How Does Rihanna Promote Fenty Beauty—and Some Hot Tips for Your Brand

Rihanna’s Superbowl performance left the social media world quivering—for both good and bad reasons. While some thought the pop star did the bare minimum, others resorted to recreating her dance moves, celebrating her pregnancy announcement and lauding her for her genius marketing move.


From Budget to High-End: Our Top Picks for Gaming Computers 2023

Gaming has evolved from a mere hobby into a full-blown lifestyle for countless gamers worldwide. From casual gamers to professional players, everyone understands the importance of a high-performance gaming computer. These computers come with specialized components that are optimized to deliver the ultimate gaming experience.

The Most Anticipated Foldable Phones of 2023 You Won't Want to Miss

The Most Anticipated Foldable Phones of 2023 You Won’t Want to Miss

Innovation in the smartphone industry is the key to staying ahead of the curve, and foldable phones are leading the way. These devices offer innovative designs that provide larger screens in a compact form factor, generating new excitement and anticipation among tech enthusiasts.

How to Get the Most Out of Reddit Marketing

How to Get the Most Out of Reddit Marketing: A Guide for Businesses and Bloggers

In recent years, Reddit has become one of the most popular social media platforms on the internet. With over 430 million users, Reddit provides businesses and bloggers with a unique opportunity to reach a vast and engaged audience. However, many businesses and bloggers struggle to effectively leverage Reddit for marketing purposes.

What Happened and What It Means for Startups and the Crypto Market

3 Successive Bank Closures: What Happened and What It Means for Startups and the Crypto Market

The recent spate of bank failures in the U.S. has sent shockwaves through the financial world, with experts warning of a repeat of the 2008 crisis. In just one week in March, we saw the failure of two banks—Silvergate Bank, which announced plans for liquidation, and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which struggled to cut losses on bond investments because of inflationary conditions.

Top 5 Important AI Applications (And a Bonus One for Fun)

Top 5 Important AI Applications (And a Bonus One for Fun)

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way since its inception. Today, it has numerous applications across various industries, and it is changing the way we live and work. Besides AI’s more serious applications, like in healthcare and financial services, it can also be used to create art, write content, taste-test beer and make memes. Here, we explore its most life-changing inventions along with some fun applications we can all look forward to.