According to the Harvard Business Review, a 5% increase in employee retention could lead to an increase of 25%-85% in profits for an organization. However, as per the “Job Forecast Nationwide Survey of Employers” conducted by USA Today and CareerBuilder in 2009, 56% of the HR Managers who were surveyed feared that the top talents in their firms would leave for better prospects as soon as the economy improved. This makes it quite clear that in order to retain good employees in a firm, new and improved employee incentive ideas are a must.

Well, what makes up an effective employee incentive program for an organization? This can only be decided by employers keeping a firm eye on what targets they wish to achieve.

Top 5 Employee Incentive Ideas:  Strategies that Work Without Spending Too Much

Cash incentives do help to boost an employee’s confidence levels. However, it has been noticed that such employee incentive programs are perceived by workers to form a part of their compensation package. This is why cash reward programs are quickly forgotten by people as most tend to use it on everyday expenses such as paying household bills. On the other hand, non-cash incentives aren’t usually forgotten, which is why employers these days are considering non-cash rewards to inspire and motivate employees. Here are some effective non-cash employee incentive ideas:

  1. Flexible Work Hours.
    Most employers as well as employees consider this to be the best perk that can be given without causing much harm. These employee incentive ideas involve giving workers a chance to determine their work schedules. This can include giving them time to manage their personal or family issues such as going for a doctor’s appointment etc. However, it must be made clear at the onset of such incentive programs itself that it is a one off privilege and that the employee must not abuse it. If everything goes as planned, such an endeavor may lead to building supporting relationships and trust between an organization and its workers.
  2. Sending Hand Written Notes.
    The top brass can send out personal handwritten notes appreciating an employee for completing tasks successfully. This helps to create a bond as well as a feeling of being valued by the organization among workers. There is a good chance that the worker will flaunt such a note in public, thereby encouraging and motivating others to perform better so that the people who matter recognize and appreciate their efforts as well.
  3. Providing Fun Activities.
    It has also been noticed that if employees and employers interact outside the work environment, there is a better chance of establishing a good relationship among the two. For this, organizations can adopt employee incentive ideas wherein monthly fun activities can be organized, such as going out for a movie, sharing personal experiences or even playing games. These employee incentive programs help workers socialize, have fun and get some time off work. It has also been noted that after engaging in such fun activities, when people resume work, their productivity levels see a massive boost as they are totally refreshed and recharged to attain their goals.
  4. Giving Them Decision Making Power.
    Another employee incentive idea worth giving a shot is giving the best workers an opportunity to pick a task or project on their own. Such an initiative is known to empower workers and at the same time develop a sense of ownership of the project, which ultimately helps to increase their productivity levels.
  5. Recognizing Employee Successes Publicly.
    Another employee incentive idea, which is known to work really well, is openly appreciating workers for projects completed or targets achieved by them. Here, organizations can award gift vouchers to employees for their outstanding performances. Another employee incentive program which is sure to create buzz and a desire among workers to perform better is constructing a wall of fame. Usually in such cases, a public space is set aside in the workplace wherein photographs of people who have achieved something extraordinary are clipped.

These are some employee incentive ideas, which are sure to generate enthusiasm among workers and help an organization achieve its goals without having to break into the bank.

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Posted in Employee Rewards, Incentive Ideas