Employee incentive programs don’t have to take the form of “Employee of the Month” mug shots or birthday cake in the break room. Nor do they need to include cash bonuses or even tangible rewards to drive results, which is good news for companies strapped for cash. In fact, the best programs to keep employees “engaged, productive and invested,” according to Forbes, are incentives that encourage and empower workers to harness their drive, break their own records, and pursue their personal bests with the promise of a well-earned reward that has sustained impact, reinforcing the perks of high performance.
Creative new frontiers in incentive programs include:
Flex time. As its name implies, it can take many forms. Employers can designate days for working remotely, or issue the challenge to work shorter days with more efficiency. By relaxing the strictures of “nine to five,” employees remain productive while in the office and engaged while away. If an eight-hour shift is a must, some businesses allow employees to choose their start time. Work and life aren’t meant to function in silos, especially for parents and caregivers; and by incentivizing work-life balance, employers can help workers negotiate the gap.
Health and wellness. Vouchers or discounts for gyms, yoga studios or fitness equipment are an investment in the health of not just your employees, but also your business. Healthy employees are shown to take fewer sick days and focus better at their desks.
Friendly games and common goals. Never underestimate the power of the spirit of competition. Confer with your employees to set a goal that’s achievable in strategic steps; issue each employee or team its own challenge, and establish a point system toward pre-determined rewards. This incentive works especially well to counter the stress of “feast or famine” in certain industries; and to keep your team on track to meet monthly, quarterly or annual goals. Day by day, week by week, incentives that kindle the “drive to win” will contribute to sustained productivity and morale.
Acknowledging a job well done. Whether in a meeting or in a group chat, brief edification of employees for jobs well-done will bolster confidence and engagement among employees, creating incentive for a coveted mention.
Surprise rewards. Cater a corporate picnic, invite a masseuse into the office, or even announce an upcoming Monday or Friday off. These carrots are all low-cost ways to surprise, delight and strengthen bonds among employees.
In a climate where businesses seek to do more with less, simple employee incentive programs can enhance quality of work and life, align workers in friendly competition, and encourage a fresh flow of ideas, inspiration and energy. Our business consulting services optimize your resources to deliver the programs that build your success. Visit www.tysllp.com to learn more about what we do—and how it’s different from what you’d expect.