Can’t afford a pay rise? 9 alternative ways to reward your staff

If you can't afford to give a pay rise to your top-performing employees, there are a few other ways that you can reward them.

If you have an employee who is doing a sterling job and you’d like to thank them in some way, but are lacking the resources to offer a pay rise, then there are many other ways you can reward them.

Yes – many of us would probably prefer money, but for some companies this just isn’t feasible. The experts over at Veritas Gifts have come up with nine ways you can reward your staff without offering a raise.

A vacation day

One good way to thank them is to offer one or two days holiday on top of their current holiday allowance – this allows them to book longer holidays or have the flexibility to take a break and do something they love, whether that be lazing at home or enjoying a day out.


Vouchers are quite a popular way for employers to reward their staff. Figure out what they love to do and get them something along those lines, whether it’s a spa day or a super-car experience, they are bound to be over the moon.

Give them a new improved job title

For many people it’s not just about the money, it’s also about the promotion or progression, with many employees simply looking to work their way up. A great way to allow them to do this is to give them a better job title.

So, if someone’s an account executive, why not promote them to senior account executive?


Offering an employee some training courses out of work is a great alternative to a pay rise, as you are essentially helping them progress at a much faster speed. It will also help retain staff morale and keep them loyal to the company.

Take them out

Sometimes a good old-fashioned knees up is a great way to show your thanks, whether it be out to a restaurant, a bar or something more extravagant. It shows them you care and you want to spend time with them.

Write a letter of thanks

A personalised letter is also a great way to thank somebody as it is much more personal, especially if it’s handwritten.

Upgrade the desk space

Offering your employee a better desk space is something that can easily be done and shows that you believe they are ready to move up.

If you can’t give them their own office, you could move them to an area with more space and perhaps better equipment.

Ask them how they would like to be recognised

If you’re unsure on how to show your employee that they are valued, you could always ask what they would like instead of a raise. It may be that they would like more flexi-time, a gym membership, or a longer lunch break which are things that you are able to offer.

Provide them with one-on-one mentoring

If they look up to you, the chances are they will really value what you have to say on the industry you both work in.

Perhaps you could arrange some one-on-one training sessions where you can enlighten them on how you got to where you are today, and to just generally offer some personal mentorship.

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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