FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA – (September 1, 2010) – It is not news that businesses around the country are financially struggling for the most part. As unemployment remains high, so do the number of businesses that are either closing their doors or are looking for ways to reduce their overhead and hang on during such a turbulent time. Millions of companies simply cannot afford to give their employees raises or bonuses at this time, regardless of how much they may deserve one. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t show those employees that you care and appreciate their services.

“Not giving out raises can have a real negative impact on employee morale and motivation. You may even lose some talented individuals,” explains Dr. K. Habib Khan, Chief Academic Officer and acting Dean of the School of Business at Stratford University. “But if you still take the time to show that you appreciate them during this rough economic time, they will be more likely to hang in there and remain dedicated and loyal employees.”

Companies are finding many different ways to reward their employees, without having the added expense of giving everyone a raise. Here are 10 ways you can reward your employees that will show them your gratitude, but will also cost you a fraction of what it would to give out raises:

Provide additional paid time off. Even if it is just one or two days out of the year, it will be appreciated.

Give them the ability to have a flexible schedule. Many people would appreciate being able to work four 10-hour days per week, or working one day per week at home.

Allow a casual dress code, even if it is just one day per week (like casual Friday).

Provide a catered lunch or pizza party once a month.

Celebrate each employee’s birthday with a cake and gift card.

Once a month have everyone’s car washed on-site by a mobile wash company.

Periodically, bring in a massage therapist to provide everyone with a complimentary chair massage.

Keep stashes of things to occasionally give away to those going above and beyond the call of duty. This could be gift cards, concert or event tickets, or health club memberships.

Set up a relaxation or recreation room where employees can de-stress and/or have some fun. You may want to include a TV, pool table, or an air hockey game.

Offer them a title change, even if you can’t afford to pay them more they appreciate being able to have a new title, which will provide them additional benefits for years to come.

“Even if you pick one of these ideas each year, your employees will really appreciate that you took the time to show them your appreciation,” adds Dr. Habib. “This is just a short list of all the possibilities that are out there. Get to know your employees and you will have plenty of ways to reward them without adding a great deal to your overhead.”

Stratford University offers nine specialty areas for their MBA program, which includes international business, accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, information technology, investment management, management, marketing, and supply chain management. In addition to the traditional MBA program, students also have the option of earning an International Master of Business Administration. Stratford University offers both online and on-campus MBA programs.