We all know that the best way to keep employee morale high is by recognizing and rewarding our people for the good work they do.

What, however, are exactly the rewards that work best in encouraging our team and employees the right way? Here are 5 proven and powerful things you can do right now that don't cost a lot of money.

1. Provide your people with opportunities to learn, grow, and advance

Showing that you care how every single person is doing as a human--not necessarily just as a member of the team--demonstrates that you, as a leader, value their well-being and growth. When you express to your employees that you care about them, no matter how rare those instances might be, they feel valued and appreciated, leaving them much more inclined to keep working.

2. Form genuine bonds

In dealing with people, it can be easy to remain surface-level, especially during interactions in the office. However, if leaders show that they care about forming true relationships with other employees in the office, the team as a whole will feel ready to contribute even more than their personal best. When we feel like a personal relationship is growing--especially with someone in a position of leadership whom we value--we're usually content that our work has allowed us to come so far.

3. Make work a happy place

Although it can sometimes seem like an afterthought, creating a happy work environment can actually be a great reward for employees putting a great deal of time in a specific place. Putting together a space where people are able to feel welcome, happy, valued, and appreciated is an enormously rewarding way of showing your employees you care about the work they're doing.

4. Ensure honesty

Great leaders maintain transparency, even when it comes to important company-wide issues, and this is a huge perk for employees. Holding presentations, team check-ins, and thoughtful meetings demonstrates that a leader is completely open to sharing the most integral aspects of a company with the whole team--something that feels like a great reward.

5. Thank your team

When you thank people for the work you do, people feel appreciated and valued--an action many leaders don't make the time to do. Tell your team how much you appreciate their work. That, often, is reward enough.