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Keeping staff motivated on a budget

Rewarding and motivating staff needn't break the bank, even in times of austerity. Find out more.

Saying thank you to your employees needn't break the bank. Voluntary benefits and low-key social events are just two cost-effective ways of rewarding staff and keeping morale and motivation high.

With YouGov research suggesting that as many as half of workers won't be getting a pay increase this year, finding a low-cost way of offering benefits to staff is a good way of saying thank you without hitting you hard in the pocket.

Voluntary or affinity benefits enable employers to offer products and services to their staff, such as childcare vouchers or discounted shopping. Employees usually choose to pay for these benefits out of their own taxable income, meaning that employers can in most cases implement such benefits at little or no extra cost. Offering voluntary benefits also makes good financial sense, as they can help reduce the amount of tax and National Insurance contributions owed on the employee's remuneration package.

It's worth remembering too that small gestures can pay big dividends in terms of making staff feel valued. Office parties needn't be huge expensive affairs, and even a low-key barbecue or night out to a restaurant, theatre or cinema can give a huge boost to staff morale. Consider offering staff extra days' leave as a reward for their hard work, or offer to pick up the tab for staff who want to do voluntary work in the community.

Acas provides guidance for employers on personnel data and record keeping, together with training on protocols for email, web and social network use to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act.

Visit the Acas training and business solutions page for more information.

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