Are your employee incentive programs not getting the results you hoped for? Motivation is a complicated thing and different for everyone.
These days, raises and promotions aren't enough to keep your workers happy. Money doesn't always make up for job-related stress.
So what can you do to retain your employees? You can keep reading.
In this guide, we have not one but 10 employee incentive programs that offer more than just money. When money's not enough, try these incentives to boost morale and productivity at your business.
They say time is money. But in this case, time may be better than money at motivating your employees.
One way to show your employees that you care is to honor their ideal schedule and vacation requests as much as you can. Flexibility may be an incentive they won't find elsewhere and can keep them at your company.
Giving employees the schedule they want also reduces conflict and stress at the office. And it makes them feel like you care about their needs. This will earn you more respect.
There's even a way to use schedule flexibility as a reward for a job well done. You can award employees who perform well by honoring their schedule requests above the requests of others.
Or offer "write your own schedule" as a prize for the "Employee of the Week." Then schedule others around their schedule.
2. Don't Let the Clock Be the Boss
If your employees are paid by the hour, they'll soon figure out they get paid the same whether they're working at their desks or napping. If "milking the clock" has become an epidemic at your office, switch to a task-oriented workday.
If you simply demand employees show up from 9-5, that's all they'll do. If you tell them they can leave early and get paid the same when they finish their work, then the work will get done.
Whatever your daily expectations of your employees are, put it on a list. If the employee gets through the list, let them go early but still pay them as if they stayed till 5. You'll find the work will get done faster and you'll actually save on electricity by getting to close up the office earlier.
You may never have considered this, but you can actually use telecommuting as an employee incentive.
How many of your employees drive over an hour to get to work? I bet they'd love to skip the drive and work from home for once. And therein lies the incentive.
Plus, it makes a lot of sense to offer this as a reward anyway. When an employee shows that they do a good job without having to be nagged and micromanaged, you can reward them with even more freedom.
If employees know they can earn freedom from their drive, their cubicle and their boss looking over their shoulder, they'll try harder to prove they can do it. And if their productivity slips, you can force them to return to the daily office grind.
This incentive also has other benefits. Fewer employees at the office means you use less electricity and they use less gas. This incentive program is both effective and green!
4. Employee Health Programs
It's not only happy workers who do a better job but healthy ones, too.
Workplace stress is a leading cause of a number of employee health problems. And those health problems mean low morale, more sick days and higher turnover. Why not try an incentive that improves the health of your workforce?
Perhaps you can offer expensive gym memberships as a reward for performance. Or, if you have the means, you can add a gym on one floor of the office that's free for employees to use. A free gym membership may be reason enough for many employees to stay with your company.
But then again, maybe not. If you notice employees taking advantage of the gym while underperforming, you can restrict their access. Meanwhile, you can give top-performing employees all the gym access they want.
But in general, healthy people have better attitudes, better endurance and better motivation than stressed out cubicle slaves. However, this option may be too expensive for your budget.
5. Training and Tuition
Many of your employees are students. It's hard enough to hold a job and earn a degree. Tuition makes it even harder.
Offering to pay their tuition will definitely inspire them to meet whatever goals you need them to. Furthermore, you can offer them free job training courses of your own.
When an employee performs well at one job, they're likely to perform well in others, too. Cross-training your employees gives them the additional job skills they're already seeking to learn.
Plus, it provides them more opportunities for growth and advancement within your company. It's a great way to get your best employees ready to move into the higher-up positions.
It is also a huge help for reducing scheduling problems. Having many different employees able to do several different jobs makes it much easier to get a shift covered when necessary.
6. Redeemable Points
This incentive program is tried and true. You can probably remember one of your grade-school teachers using this incentive in the classroom. If you did a good job in class, the teacher gave you points that you could spend on candy.
It worked great then and still works great. But it may also cost more than you have to spend on it.
You start by coming up with a variety of tempting prizes. These can be as simple as breakroom snacks or as valuable as VISA gift cards.
Put the prizes where all your employees can see them. The fact that they are tangible and right within reach is what makes this strategy so effective.
When employees perform certain actions, meet certain quotas, or perform whatever goals you want to be incentivized, reward them with redeemable points. Employees can then spend these points on the prizes they've been salivating over for days or weeks.
The points are a great and tangible way for employees to measure their success. This makes them feel like they've done a good job and that they've been recognized.
7. Really Good Company Branded Promo Products
Rewarding performance with really awesome or useful promo products is similar to the points system. You can even use these promo products as rewards for the point system.
Find a place that sells branded products and get a bunch of the more useful items. T-shirts, sweatshirts and other clothing are usually appreciated.
Flash drives are also very useful. You can even find branded luggage, cameras and other electronics to offer. If an employee does a really good job, offer to let them customize a branded product and order it for them.
Not only will these gifts be appreciated, they will advertise your company wherever they are used. If an employee incentive budget is an issue for you, consider this part of your advertising budget.
8. Bonus Vacation Days
This incentive program may have you kicking yourself for not already thinking of it. Plus, it allows a lot of options on exactly how you want to do it. But it does depend on whether or not your superiors will allow it.
Undoubtedly, your company already has a policy concerning how many paid and unpaid days off each employee gets. What this incentive does is offer well-performing employees extra days off in addition to their allowed vacation time.
These days can be paid or unpaid. And you can choose whether or not to pay them out for them if they aren't used. However, you do this is totally up to you.
Or, you can leave it up to the employee. Let them decide if they want the day off or bonus pay.
But if you don't own your own business, you may have superiors who don't consent to this program. If you're a manager, be sure to check this with your boss first.
9. Don't Forget About Group Incentives
While individual employee incentives help each individual strive for their own improvement, they don't do much to strengthen the team. You can set up (and pay for) fun team building activities in a variety of ways according to your company's needs.
You can offer group parties, sporting events or other fun social gatherings as a reward for meeting a goal you've been struggling with. But this strategy may backfire. If the team continues to fail the goal, the "unreachable" party might actually demotivate them.
Consider team outings as a regular event every certain number of months. This makes team-building and positive job-association a part of the job for every employee. You can further incentivize it by allowing the team to earn bigger, better gatherings for the next event.
Also, don't just have pizza delivered to the office. Make sure these gatherings happen somewhere outside the dreary, daily grind atmosphere. Give employees a chance to mingle in "the real world."
Use These Employee Incentive Programs
Try these employee incentive programs at your office. Your team's morale and productivity will reach new levels of awesomeness.
Looking for more ways to make your team succeed? Check out our guide for Setting Up Your Teams For Success.