If you’re looking to increase your employees’ motivation and productivity, one of the ways you can do this is by implementing an employee incentive program. In an employee incentive program, you can create a competition or a challenge to motivate your employees. You can also reward employees for being efficient, courteous, productive, and cooperative. When your employees are motivated, they’ll be more likely to increase their productivity levels.
However, before you implement an employee incentive program, there are a few things that you need to consider first. For one, it needs to be something that your employees really want. This is not a handout, but an opportunity to earn some money in return for doing a good job. It’s beyond just offering money for the sake of doing so.
So, the first thing you need to decide on is how you can boost your employee incentive program so you’re sure it’s something that your employees will truly appreciate, like booking a corporate cruise charter, for example. It’s not just a program that you thought of so randomly at the very last minute, which won’t be of value to the recipients. Here are a few suggestions:
Offer Small, Daily Rewards
You may have already heard of the saying, “Reward the daily homework, and the final grade will take care of itself.” Typically, employee incentives are rewards for the big achievements. These are based on monthly, semi-annual, or annual achievements. Rather than stick to this, it’s also worth considering small, daily rewards. These could be for as little as a week’s worth of perfect attendance. Note that the key here is to give small rewards or incentives, now that they’re given more frequently. This can help boost productivity and better results than to wait for the bigger time frames, or the end of the month. Examples of these small, daily rewards are:
- Reduced prescription drug expenses for those who need them for the week for their maintenance, if applicable
- Give free food, such as a free lunch or free dinner for Friday night with the family
- Present a discount coupon for shopping or groceries for the week.
Offer Meaningful Experiences
Today, the workplace has shifted from a physical office to a remote or virtual setup. This doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t reward your employees. Because of the lack of human interaction that your employees will now have compared to when they reported to work physically, they may get drained in the long run. People still need to feel as if they’re engaging in something meaningful even if they’re just at home. So, another tip for you to boost your employee incentive program is to offer them with new, meaningful experiences even if they’re just at home. For example, you can offer free virtual cooking, baking, or yoga classes. These are a good way to build connection with your employees, giving them the opportunity to indulge in new hobbies even if they’re just at home.
Give Travel Discounts
Another thing that you can do is to give your employees travel discounts. Surely, your employees are going to use up the vacation leave credits they have from your company. Make it even better by giving them discounts for their holidays. That way, you can encourage them to really take a break, be it a small or a big trip. Here are big reasons why travel discounts mean a lot to employees:
- The biggest elephant in the room is the cost. Even if employees have enough vacation leave credits, if it’s still going to be costly for them to pay for these expenses, chances are they won’t even go on a holiday. Offering them travel discounts that can slash a portion of the travel expenses will give your employees that push to relax and take a break.
- Travel can boost your employees’ morale. When they know that a portion of the expenses is already covered, this can take a huge load of stress off their shoulders.
- It relieves stress. No matter how fun your work environment is, work will always be a stressor to employees on top of the bills they’ve got to cover daily. Giving them the rare opportunity to travel with family and friends can help reduce stress. When they report back to work, chances are they’re happier, more relaxed, and are more inspired and motivated to work.
Offer A Choice Of Rewards
As you present rewards and incentives to your employees, give them the gift of choice, too. Don’t give a uniform reward for everyone in the team as each one will undoubtedly have their preferences based on what they need. For instance, the parents in the team might prefer something that their families will enjoy, while the foodies will prefer food perks, and the list goes on. Giving them a choice of rewards, tiered based on their achievements or contributions, will ensure that you’re also not wasting money on your end. Your employees will truly be happy with what you’ll give them. Here are other examples of rewards that you can include in your list of options:
- Discount coupons on retailers, like Amazon
- Spa treatments
- Vouchers to breweries
- Subscription to Apple Music or Spotify Premium
- Coffee membership
Ask For Feedback
Apart from giving your employees the gift of choice regarding the incentives they want to receive, ask for their feedback as well. You can create a survey or send out a form on what activities the employees will want to have, or what rewards they wish to receive. Asking for your employees’ feedback will also make them feel appreciated. While you certainly can’t grant each of their wishes, it’s something you can have on file as you rotate possible reward options.
Here’s the Bottom Line
If your business already has an efficient incentive program in place, then you need not implement anything new. You can simply work on boosting what you already have by changing up the reward or making them more frequent. However, it would be worth considering the addition of some other types of recognition. The key is to look at your employees or put yourself in their shoes. What would motivate them to continue working well for the company? What would make them feel appreciated for the hard work that they do? Your answers will be dependent on the people that you have with you in your organization.