Sure, cash incentives are great—but what are some more out-of-the-box incentive ideas for employees?
Whether trying to reach a new goal or maintain a current goal, an incentive motivates people to achieve higher results. This is especially true in the workplace. When employees feel their efforts are noticed and appreciated, they are driven to perform at their best.
Incentives not only motivate employees and boost morale, but incentives provide an opportunity for your employees to care and be more invested in your business. People care more about a situation if the outcome affects them; incentives allow people to have skin in the game. Let’s face it; work is more exciting when given an extra perk here and there!
An incentive does not necessarily mean extra money or cash payouts. Creative incentives can be equally effective as cash. Since these out of the box incentive plans don’t cost as much, you can give them more frequently—and frequency is key to creating excitement for team members.
So what are some non-cash incentives that can be implemented in your office?
No Cost Incentives
Best Parking Spot – While this may not work for everyone, if your office has limited parking (or a huge lot to traverse early in the morning), giving an employee the best-reserved spot for a certain amount of time is a nice perk. For example, the team member with the highest prospect call to appointment set ratio in a given week could receive the coveted parking spot for a designated amount of time.
Schedule Flexibility – Another no-cost incentive is to allow a team member to choose their schedule for a given day or week. Obviously, the schedule they pick should be within reason; if they prefer an earlier shift over the later shift, this could go a long way in recognizing an employee who has met their goals.
Employee of the Month – Awarding an employee of the month is an easy way to recognize top-performing employees. A monetary award can be given along with being named Employee of the Month, but even just being recognized for their efforts can improve employee morale. According to an article published in Harvard Business Review, one study found that simple recognition not only has “a powerful effect on those being called out, [but] it also has a significant impact on peers who see great work is rewarded.” An easy act of recognizing employees can have a big impact in the office.
Low Cost Incentives
Extra Time Off – Who wouldn’t love a little extra PAID time off? This could be anything from an extra vacation day, getting to leave two hours early (or come in two hours late for those non-morning people), or getting a long lunch.
Gift Cards/Coupons – Giving $20 to the local coffee shop, 50% off a house cleaning service, a free carwash, or tickets to a local event such as a county fair or concert are all great options. The possibilities are endless! If utilizing this type of reward, it is best to let the individual pick from some options. What motivates one person may not motivate another. For example, a gift card for a dog walking service may be exciting for a dog owner but not so much if the person doesn’t have a dog.
Catered Lunch – A catered lunch is a great reward when setting a team goal. Group incentives promote collaborative efforts and employees push each other to perform at higher levels. Team members begin to feel a sense of camaraderie when working together towards a common goal. Rewarding them as a group rather than individually strengthens their bonds.
Things to Consider
Before implementing any incentive program, conducting a needs analysis of the office is key. Below are a few items to ask yourself.
• What are you trying to achieve?
• What are your business goals?
• What is your team struggling with?
The plan you create should help address these questions/concerns. Also, the reward given should reflect the effort needed to meet the goal. Lastly, have fun with it!
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