Employee Incentives: Do You Need It?

employee incentives

When it comes to business, it’s a war of talents out there. To acquire and retain top performers, you need to create a workplace where employees always deliver their best work. As we struggle to deal with this global pandemic, the best thing we can do to entice workers to put their best foot forward is through rewards and employee incentives. 

According to a study by Cicero, 69% of employees would be willing to work harder if they felt that their efforts at their job is appreciated. Just by simply providing employee incentives in the most meaningful and memorable way, you will be able to significantly lower employee turnover, heighten productivity levels, and create a sense of belongingness within the community. 

What Are Employee Incentives?

Employee incentives are rewards that are given to workers who were able to achieve a specific level of quality contribution to the company. It can be as simple as giving thank you cards to John who successfully delivered a demo to a client. You can even take employee incentives a step further by setting up a points system for employees. What makes this an excellent employee incentive is that people will be able to exchange their points for merchandise or a discount to one of their favorite brands. 

5 Benefits Of Employee Incentives

In a general sense, providing incentives to employees means that they will become productive and quality workers. But to break it down, here is how exactly your company can benefit from employee incentive programs:

1. Enhanced Corporate Culture

Some people think that employee incentives only have a positive impact on people receiving the reward. But this is hardly the case. 

For instance, if you rewarded David with a new desk for successfully leading the tech team to a new milestone this month, not only are you giving him public recognition and confidence, but you are also setting him as an example to other employees what excellent work looks like and what rewards they are most likely to receive if they hit this standard. 

In that sense, the rest of your team will become more motivated to reach or even surpass the goals that you’ve set for them. Before you know it, high-quality work already comes naturally to each and every one of your workers. 

2. High Employee Retention Rate

In this time of pandemic, it has been more critical than ever for companies to retain their top talents and workers. 

Lots of factors contribute to people’s decision to leave a company but employee satisfaction remains to be one of the crucial ones. 

What makes this quite a challenge for employers is the fact that people these days value reward and incentives more than high package deals. 

When you make it a point to make people feel appreciated through the means of employee incentives, they become emotionally invested in their jobs. They will feel that they are part of some bigger mission. With that, employees will naturally want to stay with your company for the long term. 

3. Good Branding

The great thing about actively providing employee incentives is that you get to boost your branding with little effort. That’s because employees will be doing it for you. 

When employees feel that they are appreciated at the workplace, they stop working for a paycheck. They work because they love what they do. Since they’ve sincerely blasted their efforts on their tasks, they would naturally become active advocates of the company as well as its product. 

When employees are passionate about their work, customers can see through that. And so, they will be more convinced that you are a credible and reliable brand. 

4. Employee Empowerment

It’s one thing to encourage people to deliver quality work and it’s another thing to empower them. An empowered employee does not only perform well but they also take ownership for their tasks. They are proactive which means that they are inclined to walk an extra mile if it means bettering the company or at least moving the goals of their department forward. 

At the same time, employees will start thinking of ways they can contribute more. Some of the most empowered employees that we’ve met would even go as far as paying for training programs and coaching sessions that enables them to grow in their career path. When they do, you know that the one who benefits the most from their skill development is the company they are working for. 

5. Boost In Team Spirit

When you incorporate employee incentives into your company, you don’t just give appreciation to one employee, you give confidence to your team collectively. When people are happy in their jobs, it becomes a pleasure to build and develop meaningful relationships with their co-workers. When this happens, you will notice exponential growth in all areas of your company. This is because great things are built through teamwork. 

What Are The Dangers Of Employee Incentives?

In every situation, there is always a bad side. When you start to incorporate employee incentives into your company, you need to carefully set protocols and boundaries into place as a way to avoid the following:

  • Employee Entitlement 

If you make employee incentives easy to acquire, there might be one or two employees who will start to feel entitled towards their contribution to the company. If this happens, they could start acting in ways that will move their professional development forward but would have dire consequences for the company.

  • Some Employees Will Feel Left Out

There needs to be a balance between performance standards and skill development opportunities. If some employees always receive incentives and others don’t due to differences in skill levels, some of your staff members might feel a bit left out. So, while your star employees are excelling in the company, others might lose interest in their jobs. With that, you should make it a point to provide advanced training to your staff every few months or so as a way to give everyone a chance. 

  • Gossip 

No matter how hard you try to help your employees, some workers will perform really well and some won’t. Sometimes, when a certain group receives incentives and others don’t, gossip ensues. You don’t want this to happen because it will spread toxicity within the workplace. With that, you need to set standards that are not so easily attainable but aren’t too hard to attain either. 

Employee incentives are usually a source of worker motivation that is overlooked by a lot of companies. It’s not easy to incorporate the first time around. You need to set the right tone, tools, and conditions. Otherwise, it won’t work as well as you’d expect it to. But surely, we’d a little tweak, providing incentives to your people could be the best investment you can make to your company. 

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