Employee incentives keep employees engaged
Employers should aim to inspire their staff to work hard, succeed targets, and remain loyal to the business. When employees are engaged this way, you should do your best to reward their efforts. A great way to do this is through offering employee incentives.
There are countless rewards you can introduce to your business – all motivating and encouraging your workforce. Good incentives for employees help boost individual skills and talents – resulting in better workplace productivity, morale, and future retention.
Below are some of the best employee incentives used by businesses. Some use financial motivators, whilst others are free. And some incentives work on an individual basis, whilst others are best placed for teams. It falls on you to pick rewards suitable for specific work achievements.
Let’s take a look at different employee incentive ideas you can use to engage your teams:
One of the biggest encouragers for employees are workplace promotions. This is a clear reward that recognises hard work and efforts. Promotions often come with a new job-title, salary rise, and further work entitlements. Whatever benefits you offer, employees are bound to keep working hard and stay employed in their current job.
Who doesn’t love receiving extra money on top of one’s salary? Bonus incentives for employees are often used to celebrate additional company achievements. They’re given to individual employees who’ve gone beyond their normal work expectations. Or they could be paid to all employees from a company-wide shared pot.
Many businesses offer their staff the opportunity to earn more money through commission. This is usually based on personal or team efforts. Employers must ensure they give out commission payments fairly across their workforce – without discriminating against those struggling to hit targets.
4. Additional paid time off
Most people are entitled to paid annual leave per working year. This could be the statutory minimum amount of 25 days, or more (depending on their contract terms). Additional paid time off can be highly motivating when it comes to employee engagement.
Some employees are better motivated at work when they’re offered training and career opportunities. Training is a great incentive that helps boost overall business productivity. Not only does it encourage personal development, but employers also gain a more talented and skilful workforce.
Continuing from the previous incentive, employers can also offer certification programs as a type of training opportunity. These programs allow employees to become more efficient at their job – making them investible individuals. They’ll probably choose to stay employed at the same company – increasing your loyalty and retention rates.
7. Job responsibilities
In some cases, employers may not be in a position to offer further promotions or salary rises. However, this shouldn’t stop you from furthering their job responsibilities. Why not give them the opportunity to enhance their skills, manage projects, or lead teams? When the time is right, you’ll be able to see who’s the best fit for a potential senior role or salary increase.
Outside of the workplace, many employees spend their time volunteering for charity or community causes. Whilst these don’t directly benefit your business, it’s always best to support them. Why not allow them to promote their cause at work, sponsor their event, or even round up further volunteers?
9. Team rewards
It’s always nice to celebrate shared achievements with your peers. Team rewards are a great motivator and come in all kinds of examples. Employers can offer gift card vouchers, personalised hampers, or even weekend retreats. Incentives like this strengthen workplace relations, collaboration, and even morale.
10. Profit-share schemes
Another popular financial incentive used by businesses are profit-share schemes. These usually come from specific departments, like sales teams. However, they’re often shared out on a company-wide basis. The benefits of employee incentives like these help drive further performance, engagement, loyalty, and retention for any business.
11. Flexible working
In recent times, hybrid or flexible working has quickly become a normalised workplace add-on. If you don’t already, why not offer flexible rotas as an employee incentive? It encourages better work-life balance and wellbeing – which is a ‘win-win’ for you and your staff.
12. Employee wellness programs
A healthy workforce is a happy workforce. That’s why lots of employees prefer to be given wellness-related incentives. There are thousands to choose from, like gym membership discounts, health class referrals, and even therapy sessions.
13. Office happy hours
Scheduling happy hours gives employees ample opportunities to unwind, socialise, and relax during workdays. You can schedule them for Friday afternoons; or when celebrating huge business achievements. Remember to be inclusive and offer non-alcoholic options, too.
14. Workplace amenities
Many businesses offer perks and benefits to certain employees, like senior management. They might have access to things like personalised parking spots, free lunches, or even dry-cleaning services. You could easily roll out these sorts of workplace amenities across your entire workforce. They’ll probably work just as hard for them in the long run.
15. Free lunch
Nothing boosts engagement than a well-fed workforce. Whether you’re providing finger-food or catered meals, offering free lunch is a popular incentive to use. Even if you don’t have catering facilities on site, you could offer to pay for delivery meals of their choice.
16. Office pets
Who doesn’t love having pets in the office? Employers can allow staff to bring their pets to work as an incentive. It provides free entertainment, boosts socialisation, and encourages a positive workplace environment. Just be sure to do allergy checks before you roll this one out.
17. Travel benefits
Many employees spend time budgeting expenses for their daily work commute. They may need to think about petrol prices, parking costs, and seasonal train tickets – all of which are constantly on the rise. Offering travel benefits is another popular incentive for employees; especially for those with particular financial troubles.
18. Gift cards and vouchers
Giving out gift cards and vouchers is a sure-fire way to show someone gratitude for their hard work and efforts. Employers should provide them based on individual achievements – the bigger the result, the greater the reward. Try to give gift cards and vouchers that you know your employees will love and appreciate.
From food delivery parcels to TV streaming apps, there are countless subscriptions we all sign up to. Offering discounted (or even free) subscriptions are great incentive ideas for employees. Not only is it a great way to show your appreciation, it can also be a huge help for them on a personal note.
20. Social events
From festivals to football tickets, there are so many different kinds of social events you can treat your employees to. Try to tailor these incentives to their individual interests. There’s no point sending them off to the races if it’s not really their thing.
21. Student reimbursements
Many of us are still paying back our student loans and tuition debts – well after graduation. Employers can help relieve their staff from this stress by offering student reimbursements. This can be in small increments or as overall payoffs. In the end, these incentives encourage long-term retention and loyalty towards the business.
22. Spontaneous gifts
Who doesn’t love surprises? Spontaneous gifts are usually received well – either with a smile or confused laugh. These types of gifts show care and thoughtfulness, especially if they’re well-planned. Use these incentives to celebrate anniversaries, personal milestones, or even to show appreciation for recent achievements.
23. Wall of Fame
It’s always nice to publicly congratulate employees for their recent hard work. Not only does it boost their morale, it also encourages others to aim for the same goals. Employers can celebrate individuals through company-wide emails, weekly newsletters, or even on an actual, physical ‘wall of fame’ that’s set up in the office.
24. Certificates and trophies
Nothing celebrates a person’s individual efforts better than certificates and trophies. These types of awards are a popular method used to show appreciation and admiration. They can also help motivate employees in both short and long-term projects.
25. Dinner with the CEO
When your boss directly recognises an employee’s hard work and achievements, it evokes strong feelings of pride and joy. Having dinner with the CEO can lead to employees receiving all kinds of secondary benefits. Like, great mentoring advice, networking contacts, and even promotional recommendations. It might seem like just dinner, but this one evening could change the course of their professional life.
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Rewarding employees for their hard work and great achievements is beneficial for businesses on a whole. That’s why many use gift cards and vouchers as a staple incentives to motivate employees.
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