We met absolutely brilliant Human Resources experts at the last CIPD conference and exhibition in Manchester. We’ve asked them to share top HR tips with SMEs and they were more than happy to do it. Now you can read them at SME Business Academy.

In this series of articles we are sharing with you Human Resources advice from experts including Andy Sumner (Managing Director at Monster),  Lauren Wright (Director at Glassdoor for Employers – EMEA), Declan Byrne (Managing Director at One4all), Richard Atkins (Exec Vice President Oracle Cloud Applications at Certus Solutions) and Adrian McDonagh (Founder/Director at EasyWeb Recruitment).

 COST-EFFECTIVE REWARDS AND INCENTIVES by Declan Byrne - Managing Director at UK One4all

Although 1 in 4 employees receives tangible rewards in the form of money, this may not be an option, especially for small businesses.

Thankfully, many employees will respond as positively to alternative forms of recognition and gratitude as they will to financial rewards. There are a great number of ways to deliver this without a big budget. The following are just some suggestions of alternative ways you can reward staff:

  1. Flexi-time

Rewarding those who go above and beyond with flexible hours can provide a significant boost to morale, as well as offering more freedom. This can help with those everyday demands on time, such as childcare and medical appointments, which may have otherwise disrupted the day. It is a visibly attractive reward which will undoubtedly encourage others to go that extra mile for your business.

Thanks to the array of flexible working tools at our disposal, such as smartphones, laptops and collaborative working software platforms such as Dropbox, flexi-time is becoming easier to implement than ever before. 

  1. Employee development

Providing opportunities which allow team members to develop and learn new skills can be very valuable to staff in smaller businesses, who may not receive the same level of access to training as those in larger companies. Moreover, encouraging staff to partake in extra training is also of benefit to the business as a whole, as the company can reap the rewards of the additional skills and confidence generated.

  1. Additional holiday days

Most employees will value an extra day of paid holiday, and for most businesses it shouldn’t break the bank. Offering an additional day of annual leave to those who have excelled or gone above and beyond the call of duty is an easy and effective incentive.

  1. Gift cards

The needs and interests of individuals will vary across a workforce, which is why flexible packages that allow staff the option to select the benefits most relevant to their needs or tastes are greatly appreciated – and particularly when compared with those fixed benefits which apply to all employees throughout the company. Gift cards are particularly effective as they offer the recipient great choice and flexibility. The One4all Gift Card for example, can be spent in-store within any of the participating 22,000 retail stores, or online with selected outlets. This allows staff to redeem their gift for something they really want from the retailer of their choice.

  1. Additional projects

Allowing employees to explore projects which don’t fit under their job descriptions and day to day duties can significantly lift spirits. It allows individuals to gain stature within other departments, challenge themselves and develop new skills. It will also help them to appreciate how the company works as a whole and begin thinking outside of the box within their own roles.

Providing personalised bonuses and rewards this Christmas allows companies to step away from the traditional cash bonus, which in many cases is used to fund practical necessities, such as home improvement or bills – and instead explore ways which will offer staff with the opportunity to treat themselves in thanks for their efforts.

Here you can find great ideas how you can reward your staff & customers.


Declan Byrne is Managing Director at UK One4all

Declan Byrne

Business development specialist with a depth of experience in postal retail industry, prepaid financial services, money transfer and retail insurance.

Declan has been involved at senior level and mostly leading several start-up operations including a Direct Financial Services operation, 3 pre-payment network operations in Ireland, UK and Spain, Pre-paid Gift Card operations in Ireland and UK and international Money Transfer/Pre-payment business.

His goal is to continue creating new value propositions in the broad financial services / prepaid markets.

One4all UK: http://www.one4allrewards.co.uk/
Follow Declan on Twitter: https://twitter.com/prepaidprophet


We also recommend other top HR tips and advice for SMEs:

The explosive rise of ‘social recruiting’
by Andy Sumner (Managing Director at Monster)

Andy Sumner - The explosive rise of social recruiting


How to attract new generation of workforce
by Richard Atkins (Exec Vice President Oracle Cloud Applications at Certus Solutions)

How to attract new generation of workforce - Richard Atkins


Solve a problem, know your customer and add value
by Adrian McDonagh (Founder/Director at EasyWeb Recruitment)

Adrian McDonagh Solve a problem know your customer and add value


3 things you can do right now to make a difference
by Lauren Wright (Director at Glassdoor for Employers – EMEA)

3 things you can do right now to make a difference - Lauren Wright

Editorial Staff

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