Any company will benefit from an efficient, hardworking and motivated workforce. These attributes can be attained and enhanced by ensuring the staff enjoy their work, are valued and treated well. Employee incentives are an effective method to motivating, encouraging and setting goals to get the best from staff. Incentives can prevent the drudgery of work repetition or the feeling of being stuck in a job or career rut. One-off incentives for employees are good for when a specific target requires reaching, or to maintain good morale, regular incentives will help keep the staff happy.
So what makes a good incentive? It has to be something that is of value to the workers. It is of no use to offer incentives that are of little use or hold no value to the receiver. For example, tickets to a ball game may be a praised reward to some, but of no value to someone with no interest in sport. Also be aware not to patronize. Rewarding additional hours, worked in order to achieve a goal within a specific time-frame, with a chocolate bar or small bag of mixed candy is very likely going to be regarded as an insult rather than a reward. To truly know what incentives will work, the employer will have to get to know them. Understanding the staff’s needs, values, interests and responsibilities outside work will give a much better idea of the type of incentives they will appreciate.
Recognising and acknowledging when something has been done well costs nothing but can be of great value. This can be done as easily as going to the shop floor and talking personally to the staff member, praising their efforts during a staff meeting or mentioning them in a column in the company newsletter. Knowing their efforts are appreciated and for the employer or boss to take the time to convey this to them will show their work does have value and worth and has meaning. It can also nurture mutual respect and inspire other staff to do well.
Money or Vouchers
For most people, earning money is the primary reason for them working, so a chance to increase their income will be a powerful incentive. Regular pay rises will help to maintain motivation but if this isn’t possible, one off gifts of cash or vouchers can be a great motivator.
A healthy work-life balance is essential in maintaining a healthy workforce. Giving time off as an incentive or reward for good performance will often lead to the staff member appreciating their job more. Offering a staff member an extra day to their holiday can be worth its weight in gold.
Having a job that fits in with other commitments can be a prized asset. A member of staff, knowing that they can have a job and earn a salary while still meeting all their commitments outside work, is often a reliable and loyal member of the team.
Promotion is a valuable tool in staff motivation and retention and perhaps the ultimate way to show recognition and value.
Sometimes gifts can be enough of an incentive on occasions when saying thanks to staff for their hard work, commitment, and results they have achieved, making sure they are gifts staff would actually like. Company branded t-shirts could be construed as a devious attempt by the company to achieving a bit of free advertising whereas fresh coffee and bagels every Tuesday will be enjoyed as a welcome regular event in the working week.
Bio: Jen Smith is a Life Coach, Mentor & Writer. She has tried many career paths herself and now helps people achieve their goals and dreams.