Rewarding High-Performing Employees in Start-Ups

• Reward top performers with extra time off or health benefits.

• Create an employee rewards system to track progress and ensure efficient use of time offs. 

• Give out gift cards with tailored values for individual needs to show appreciation.

• Make use of recognition tools such as internal newsletters and awards to show your staff how much their work is valued. 

• Ensure that rewards remain cost-effective for the business but still make employees feel appreciated. 

Keeping employees motivated and engaged is a huge challenge for any business, especially those that are just starting out. A strong team is the key to success for any start-up, so it’s important to reward and recognize the hard work of your high-performing employees. Here are some simple ways to do this without breaking the bank.

Time Offs

A great way to reward top performers is with extra time off. This could be a few extra hours here and there or an extended break over a weekend or holiday. The benefit of this approach is that it doesn’t cost you anything; all you have to do is make sure that someone else can cover their duties while they’re away.

To make everything go as efficiently as possible, consider setting up an employee rewards system. This way, employees can track their own progress and know exactly when they’ve earned extra time off or other benefits.

If possible, you can also offer additional holidays. This could be an extra day off each month or a bonus week for outstanding work.

woman stretching in the morning in bathrobes representing rest day

Health Benefits

Another great way to reward your high-performing employees is with health benefits. The benefit of this approach is that it shows that you care about the well-being of your team and want to provide them with the best possible care. Here are some ideas:

Gym Memberships and Fitness Classes

Gym memberships and fitness classes are a great way to reward your employees for their hard work. Not only is this good for their physical health, but it’s also beneficial for their mental wellbeing too. You can find packages that are tailored to each individual’s needs and budget, making it a flexible and cost-effective option.

Dental Implants

Partner with clinics that offer durable tooth replacement, such as dental implants, for your employees. Dental implants are a more permanent solution than dentures, and having them can help to boost confidence and morale in the workplace. This is especially true for those who may need dentures but cannot afford them otherwise.

Discounted Health Insurance

If you have the resources to do so, consider offering discounted health insurance plans for your top performers. This will help to keep them healthy, productive, and motivated in the long run. It will also show your employees that you are investing in them for the future.

Health and Wellness Products

You can also reward your high-performing employees with health and wellness products. This could be anything from fitness trackers to vitamins and supplements, depending on what is best suited to their individual needs. If you are going down this route, it’s important to ensure that the products are of high quality and come with safety assurances.

supplements spilling out an amber bottle with greens on the side

Gift Cards

Gift cards are another easy way to show your appreciation for a job well done. It’s also relatively inexpensive, depending on how much you want to spend.

For example, if you wanted to give each employee a $25 gift card as an incentive for meeting certain targets, then the total cost would only be $500 (assuming 20 employees). This isn’t an extravagant sum by any means, but it will certainly help boost morale and motivate your staff.

Furthermore, you can tailor the gift cards to the individual, such as providing a restaurant voucher if they’re a big foodie or an online store card if they love fashion. This small gesture will go a long way in making your employees feel valued and appreciated.


Sometimes all it takes is a bit of recognition from their peers and superiors. Publish success stories in internal newsletters or share them at staff meetings.

You could even create an online award system where people can vote for the best-performing employee each month or quarter. This will not only make your team feel appreciated but also encourage others to strive harder in their roles too.

Alternatively, you can give out awards such as certificates of excellence or trophies at the end of each year. This is a great way to show your team that their hard work is being noticed and appreciated.

Rewarding high-performing employees may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. By taking the time to recognize their achievements and implement small rewards, you can keep your team motivated and engaged in the long run. Doing so will help to ensure that your start-up is a success.

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