Expressing employee appreciation during the holiday season is a powerful way to build good will that will last into the new year. But many lenders avoid giving holiday cash bonuses, since the LO Comp Final Rule limits the amount of profit-sharing bonus pay loan originators may receive in a given year. What, then, are some ways to show appreciation to producers without breaking out the cash?

Here are 7 ideas:

  1. Gift that keeps giving.
    There’s nothing quite like tearing the paper off a wrapped gift. Distribute some fresh company swag, or choose a present that speaks to your unique company culture. All about productivity? Give something that helps LOs work more effectively or more comfortably. Focused on health and wellness? Gym memberships last long after the decorations come down and even help some stick to their New Year’s resolutions. (OrangeTheory Fitness is a big hit here at LBA Ware. They offer corporate passes that can be used at various locations.)
  2. Support personal growth.
    “Every job should have the potential to lead to greater advancement,” said Finance of America President Bill Dallas in a recent LinkedIn post. Consider introducing an education stipend employees can use to pay for training or conferences that advance their skills.
  3. Loosen the reins.
    Encourage employees to work independently and exercise their autonomy. For example, after establishing company performance targets, you might invite employees to make their own plan for achieving those targets. Studies show that employees find their work more motivating (and success more rewarding) when they are given the latitude to participate in goal-setting.
  4. Give credit.
    Studies have shown that productivity increases as much as 50 percent when managers take time to express gratitude to workers. Whether delivered in front of peers at the holiday party or hand-written in a personal note, a few words of recognition could be all it takes to turn an average performer into a top performer.
  5. Relieve stress.
    The holidays can bring as much stress as they do joy. Help employees take an item off the to-do list by hosting a gift-wrapping station, or facilitate relaxation with an office massage day.
  6. Live it up.
    Hosting a team event — whether a potluck, luncheon, seated dinner or ugly sweater party — remains one of the most popular ways for mortgage companies to bring their teams together. From the intimate to the extravagant, these events share the common goal of bringing teams together to break bread, raise a glass and celebrate the year’s accomplishments.
  7. Give back.
    Today’s workforce wants to find a sense of purpose at work, which may explain why more than half of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For give employees paid time off to volunteer. Consider arranging a day of service where the whole team spends the day supporting your local food bank or shelter, or make a donation in your originators’ names to a charity of their choice.