Looking for Semi-Cheap Ways to Keep Employees Engaged?

Employees staying engaged in work while looking at a laptop computer

Are you looking for effective, yet economical ways to keep your employees engaged? Hiring managers must keep employees satisfied, but on a limited budget. You shouldn’t have to offer free drinks around the clock and hire an onsite masseuse to keep your employees captivated and productive. So, what are your options when you want to keep employees cheerful without having to hire a full-time bartender? Thanks to my company and manager, here are my favorite (semi-cheap) ways to keep staff content, positive and engaged:

Gift Cards. 

When an employee finishes a long term project – or you just want to show your appreciation, reward them with a gift card. It doesn’t have to break the bank; a $5 Starbucks card buys a morning coffee or $10 towards a Chipotle lunch can go a long way. Although small in monetary value, the unexpected gesture makes a HUGE difference in boosting an employee’s engagement and motivation. 


According to this infographic by Yast, four out of five employees are more productive at work and are more satisfied with their job when they can listen to music at the office. At my workplace, listening to music helps me tune out distractions like keyboards clicking or doors opening, so I can instead get down to work and stay focused. Just think, for a mere $100 you could buy an Apple TV and play iTunes radio or Pandora for the whole office! 

Handwritten Notes. 

If you’re on a strict budget, consider something that’s free and takes only a few minutes to complete – send a handwritten thank you card to an employee. A few lines acknowledging why you enjoy having an employee on your team or a note to congratulate them on excellent customer service can immediately boost their day and not max out your budget. I love getting cards from my boss, whether for my anniversary or just because, as they remind me that as an employee and person, I’m valued. 

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Celebrate Anniversaries.

Recognizing your employee’s anniversary is a great way to show your appreciation. A thank you card or gift can increase employee engagement and motivation. Work anniversaries are significant milestones for every company and employee – so use them to show your gratitude! I’ve been blessed enough to receive many unexpected surprises for my anniversaries at TheBestIRS. These acts of kindness remind me that my hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

Lunch for the office. 

Everyone loves free food. So, if it’s in your budget, splurge and buy lunch for your office. It’s as simple as that. Showing you appreciate your team will reflect in their work productivity afternoon.  According to The Social Workplace, a whopping 78% of employees say recognition helps with motivating them in their job. Proof that these little adjustments can really make a difference. When I talk to others about the ‘perks’ of my job, they’re usually quite envious. Employers, you can easily incorporate some of these employee recognition strategies – even if you’re on a limited budget.

What are your favorite ways to keep employees happy and engaged?

Check out the Yast infographic, “What Makes an Employee Happy.” 

By TheBestIRS Blog

TheBestIRS Blog is focused on providing helpful content to all job seekers, specifically those looking to further their career in the claims and insurance industry, as well as employers who are seeking to add to their teams in temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct hire roles.

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