9 Employee Incentives All Business Leaders Can Afford


In the business world, almost everything will boil down to money. Still, job satisfaction does not necessarily have to be one of them. While giving raises to your employees will give them a short-term happiness boost, this does not mean that you will be able to retain them for a long period. Still, should you want to retain your best employees, you should go ahead and offer incentives that cannot be found at another workplace. Any company can offer a plain old raise, but not all companies can offer employees the things they actually want.

Moreover, if you cannot afford to offer a raise, make sure to check the list below. Here are some incentives any company can afford. Moreover, trust me when I say this, your employees will be far more motivated and productive.

1. Offering a flexible work schedule is one of the things employees will appreciate, especially if they have children, have to take care of aging parents, or simply aren’t morning people. Offering flexible hours to employees enables them to work, within reason, on their own schedule.

Yes, employees should still be a part of meetings, but they can schedule around such commitments. By offering flexible work hours you’ll notice less job turnover, given the fact that people are thankful to have a good job where they can set their own schedule.

2. Offer dress-down possibilities for employees for a number of days or weeks. As a business owner it is your job to constantly meet with clients. Therefore, you need a strict dress policy. Still, when companies with fewer client meetings are concerned, offering the employees to come to work dressed in jeans or T-shirts are a plus. If you stop and think about it, this will allow your employees to save up some money instead of buying office wear.

3. Consider offering more bonus days off
Should you not afford offering raises or bonuses, maybe offering your employees days off can be the next best thing. Actually, some employees prefer taking time off instead of receiving more money. Consider offering a company-wide day off after Thanksgiving. Regardless of the strategy, your employees will appreciate the gesture. In turn, they will become more dedicated.

4. Give employees some positive reinforcement
It is in our human nature to enjoy being praised. People go mad for it when it comes from the heart. Encourage your team leaders to praise their co-workers. This way, all of your employees will have a high morale and will be more eager to continue delivering your amazing products or services.

5. Help them get into shape
The obesity rate is soaring not only in the U.S., but in the entire world. Therefore, if there is anything you could do to encourage not only fitness, but also the adoption of healthy eating habits should be warmly received. For example you could hold meetings in an office gym or even bring homemade healthy muffins to work on Mondays instead of offering your employees donuts. Also, you could even go as far as run a 5K together as a team or even start an office weight-loss competition.

6. Encourage your employees to take breaks. According to recent studies, employees become more productive when they take small breaks during a workday, rather than concentrating on one task until they burn themselves out.

You could suggest to your employees to take two or even three 10 minute breaks a give. Create a lounge for them where they can disconnect and browse through their Facebook feed. Also, go ahead and ask for their input on how you could make breaks more enjoyable for them.

7. Don’t forget to say “Thank you”. Do you remember the last time you offered a word of kindness to one of your employees? If it has been a while since you last did this, you could offer your employees some positive reinforcement. As we mentioned before, every employee likes being praised. Yet they love it even more when they are singled out for recognition. You could even go as far as acknowledging them in a meeting, putting their name on a plaque. A small gesture can go a long way.

8. If there is a company that offers many perks to employees, that company is Google. So why not borrow some cues from them? For example, you could provide your employees with coffee or tea. Given, if you’re a small company you probably can’t afford buying gourmet food on a daily basis. Still, upgrading the coffee selection or simply offering creamers may create a more enjoyable work environment for your employees.

9. Try doing more fun activities. Just try and think outside the box. Remember those pesky company retreats everybody hates? Try and stay away from those. For example, some companies actually let employees bring their pets to work. The possibilities are endless. There are thousands of ways in which you can engage your employees and make work a more fun place. You just need to put your creativity cap on.

Regardless of what you decide on doing, you’ll be building your team and learning more about one another. This, in turn will make your workplace much more high-spirited.

What other creative and cost effective incentives have you come up with or used? Let us know in the comments!

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