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The drive to succeed: Are you providing enough incentives for employees?

The Drive To Succeed: Are You Providing Enough Incentives For Employees?

It’s every business owner’s fantasy to have a workforce full of self-motivated, results-driven and hyper-productive individuals. But employees are not pre-programmed robots.

The truth is, every employee needs the right environment and mix of incentives to be at their best. For example, if your staff received no payment for their work, would anyone turn up? Probably not.

However, if you provide the right combination of incentives for employees, they won’t just turn up, they’ll turn up motivated and ready to fulfil their potential.

In this article, we examine the different ways that businesses can best incentivise their workforce.

If you’re a business owner or HR professional looking to introduce (or rethink) an employee benefits scheme, we can help. Contact our team of friendly benefits brokers at [email protected] or use the chatbox in the bottom right.

What are employee incentives?

Employee incentives are a combination of rewards and employee benefits designed to motivate staff to perform at the best of their ability.

The best place to start is by identifying the types of behaviour and performance levels you want to see. For example, punctuality, positivity, energy, meeting specific performance goals etc. Once these are established, a programme can be developed which rewards and encourages those behaviours. These behaviours will be strongly linked to company values and, as such, can both stem from them and inform them.

Once your company core values are established, they can be embedded into every incentive, reward, and action of your business.

Different approaches to employee incentives

There is a huge range of incentives for employees out there, and choosing which approach best fits the goals and values of your company can be tricky. Below, we’ve listed a few ways you can implement them into the everyday workings of your business:

The recognition incentive:

This is all about encouraging staff to recognise each other’s achievements. Why does this matter? In short, it’s an important step toward creating a positive working environment that promotes pride in work and a supportive culture. In turn, this helps build motivation and individual self-esteem.

Recognition incentives can include:

  • Employee recognition platforms
  • Creating a ‘thank you’ culture: developed as part of induction and/or encouraged within weekly meetings
  • Customer reviews: shared across the business
  • Staff feedback: employee forums, encouraging 1-2-1’s, staff opinions/reviews

The compensation incentive:

This kind of employee incentive is directly linked to pay and performance-related bonuses. They encourage productivity, healthy competition, and motivate your staff to perform to the best of their abilities.

Compensation incentives include:

  • Performance bonuses (in terms of pay, extra holiday, special perks etc)
  • Profit-sharing
  • Stock options
  • Career progression (promotion, skills development etc)

The appreciation incentive:

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”

So said Jack Nicholson in the classic thriller The Shining. There’s a serious point here: being dull isn’t necessarily about being boring. It’s about being bored and unmotivated. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure employees remain interested in their work and buoyed by their environment.

Here are some simple and cost-effective ideas:

  • Company parties
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Early Friday finishes
  • Extra paid holiday
  • Prizes & surprise treats: staff feel appreciated from celebrating success
  • Team lunches
  • Company away days
  • Birthday as a paid holiday: boosts morale & staff birthdays fall evenly across the year, absences are unlikely to affect the key operational function

Not all incentives need to be financial

As you can see, not all incentives for employees come in the form of financial rewards. In fact, the most effective incentive programmes combine financial and ‘cultural’ approaches. While money is important, the wider workplace environment and culture has a deeper role to play in bringing the best out of your people.

Below we have broken down examples of non-financial incentives, to emphasise just how motivating they can be.

Employee incentives beyond the £££s

By looking beyond financial incentives, you can provide a deeper focus on recognising your staff’s priorities and lifestyles. This shows your workforce that you care and value their presence. This encourages employee attachment to your business, improving productivity and loyalty.

Here are a few examples:

  • Reward staff performance through perks & opportunities
  • Flexible working hours
  • Vouchers
  • Gifts
  • Company cars
  • Training opportunities
  • Further education opportunities

Some businesses also encourage staff to select benefits from a predetermined list e.g., staff having the option to choose between health insurance or a gym membership, or both! This is where the value of a good employee benefits package comes into play – ultimately, it underpins your workplace culture, which, in turn, incentivises your team.

Further reading:  What perks should I offer staff? Maybe you should let them choose…

The true value of incentives for employees

Businesses can be incredibly innovative in the way they provide incentives for employees. We’ve listed just a few above, but ultimately the nature of your business will provide all kinds of possibilities. Perhaps it’s time to take out a blank sheet of paper and start scribbling?

And not just innovative but cost-effective too. Because it’s not about how much you spend, but what you deliver. Ultimately, all businesses want a more motivated and engaged workforce, which is loyal to the brand. It’s not easy of course. Humans are a complicated species! Nonetheless, providing the optimal workplace is possible.

At Hooray, we can help you achieve your goals by ensuring the employee benefits you implement are the best for your team. Our friendly team of experts are here to find out more about your business and ensure your employee benefits match the wider business objective.


Need help establishing an exciting and cost-effective employee benefits scheme for your business? Our friendly team of experts can help! Contact us at 01273 222805 for advice and support.

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