7 Low-Cost Employee Incentives to Increase Employee Productivity

June 4, 2021 | 359 views

7 Low-Cost Employee Incentives to Increase Employee Productivity
7 Low-Cost Employee Incentives to Increase Employee Productivity

As a manager or business owner, employees are valuable to your organization and, sometimes, difficult to motivate. When we deal with people on our team, we face personality issues, skills limitations, and large payroll costs. It is not always a positive experience. Yet, employee performance affects our organization and is deeply entwined with human behavior. To get the best performance and responses, I suggest utilizing some kind of employee incentive program.

Now, before you scoff at giving more to employees who already cost a lot to pay, consider some of the data about incentive programs:

  1. If you don’t have one, you are in a small minority. Most businesses have some sort of incentive program. But it’s not about keeping up with the Jones’s. Read on.
  2. Incentives create higher employee engagement which leads to higher sales, higher profits, and higher productivity.
  3. Companies with employee incentive programs realize revenue gains up to 300% higher than those who do not have incentives.

Given the obvious benefits, what low-cost incentives will work to keep your staff engaged and highly productive? Money does boost employee drive when tied to a reward, but it’s not the only way to create effective incentives. Here are seven low-cost options to consider:

1. Paid Time Off. Maybe your employees get time off already, so more is better, right?. If you can tie PTO incentive to something appropriate like never being late or securing new customers, then it is well-deserved and well-earned.

2. Recognition. A simple pat on the back for a good job goes a long way. A low-cost appreciation program to recognize good employees does, too. Whether it’s a preferred parking spot or a perpetual wall plaque, show appreciation publicly to gain employee loyalty and dedication.

3. Travel. Many companies have corporate cards that accrue points. For no extra cost, you can provide employee awards like hotel stays and flights. Combine that with an extra day off for a long weekend, and you will discover motivation to perform among your employees.

4. Education and Training. Some employees highly value training or coursework reimbursement. And the benefits to you include higher morale and engagement which lead to higher productivity and loyalty. Offer education benefits as incentives for a younger workforce to continue their education or only for work-related coursework. It depends on what your company wants and can afford.

5. Celebrate Together. Casual days help ease the stress after a long week or season—spring for snacks, some corn hole, or a game in the break room to celebrate teamwork. When people can enjoy each other with ease, it makes stressful days easier to tolerate.

6. Reward Cards. Reward incentives tied to gift cards are easy to organize and simple to provide. Many offer options so that employees can choose which kind of gift card to select, too, so they can choose retail, entertainment, or food options that they enjoy most.

7. Wellness Programs. As with the other suggestions, this does not need to cost a lot. Local gyms might waive sign-up fees for your company and discount ongoing fees. Or a yoga coach might provide classes on-site for your team. A healthy cooking class is fun, too. Encouraging wellness benefits everyone, costs little and keeps employees ready to give more to your company.

No matter which incentives you use, they don’t need to cost a lot. When your team feels valued, the employees will show it through positive actions and increased productivity. That’s a win-win.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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