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8 ways to incentivise teams for their hard work

It is important for a company to practice rewarding employees as it creates a much more productive work environment.

However, it is not easy or realistic to offer them extra money when they’re doing their job well.

If your company is established enough to afford financial incentive programs such as regular raises and bonuses then you can continue to do so. But what if you are unable to do that?

The good news is that there are dozens of ways you can reward your employees without offering more money.

Sometimes, intangible benefits like recognition and growth opportunities are even more important in communicating your respect and increasing employee satisfaction.

Why is it important to motivate employees without money?

Employees who enjoy coming to work and want to reach their goals usually provide a number of benefits to your company and these includes:

a) Taking fewer off days

When employees stay motivated, they tend to take less time off as they enjoy the positive company culture.

b) Higher retention

A company’s culture that is positive and supportive will have no issue motivating employees and keeping top talent around.

c) Healthy work environment

Employee satisfaction is important as when they feel valued, they will be motivated to do well as a team member.

d) Increased productivity

Employee incentives can be a key to motivating employees to produce high-quality work throughout their careers.

e) Improved customer interactions

When the team member is motivated and happy, they tend to serve their customers better compared to those who don’t feel the same way.

Here are a few employee incentive ideas – without having to fork over more money.

1) Engage employees

It is important to remember to engage employees from time to time especially if you are the head of your department or the owner of your own company.

Consistent employee engagement has been known to boost morale as they feel seen by their respective team leaders.

Spending one-on-one time with them allows you to really see the value they bring to your organization, and allows you an opportunity to offer positive feedback that will boost morale in the long run.

You can even consider offering one-on-one training and development sessions with key employees to show you’re invested in their role, and to motivate your team by acknowledging their personal contribution to the company.

2) Employee Recognition

Everyone likes to be recognized for their work, especially in professional development.

You can set a recognition system in place by offering tangible rewards or custom rewards such as discounted gym memberships, company stock, training sessions or even free food.

A great incentive for employee recognition can also be in the form of public recognition:

  • offering a quick conversation thanking specific employees for going above and beyond their duties
  • recognizing them at a team meeting
  • sending an email to all employees
  • asking them to join you in thanking an individual for their commitment and effort
  • hosting a special employee appreciation day.

Recognizing your employees will promote a culture in which everyone strives to do their best work together.

3) Job Titles

The best way to reward employees is by giving employees a new job title to appreciate top talent as well as acknowledge leadership skills and provide job security.

Employees who are taking on extra responsibilities and have additions to their job descriptions might like to be recognized with an addition to their title that shows progress and growth to those around them.

Not everyone needs to be made a manager, but even adding things like “Lead” or “Director” to new titles can boost employees’ confidence and motivation whilst creating healthy competition amongst team members.

4) Extra Responsibility

This is actually a great way to motivate staff especially when they are young and a part of a small team.

Younger employees are looking to learn as much as possible when they start working, therefore offering more responsibility shows that you trust them and recognize their hard work and efforts.

Take the opportunity to sit down with them as this will build overall team spirit and find out what roles they’d like to grow into, or what they’d like to learn.

The conversation you have with them will uncover their interests and skillset in their professional development and this will help you continue to motivate your team.

5) Learning Opportunities

Training sessions are a great way to incentivize employees as it is important for overall professional development.

You can reward employees by offering them opportunities to explore classes or seminars that help them become more familiar with their team activities or with other departments.

Giving them the bridge to learning more not only helps with employee engagement but also makes them smarter and more efficient.

Efficiency has been proven to improve work-life balance as employees learn to manage their time better.

6) Non-Monetary Perks

There are so many ways to reward employees without giving them money.

You can offer healthy snacks, branded merchandise, company swag (if any), meal delivery, standing desks, catered lunches, house cleaning, coffee memberships or even cooking lessons if that is what they are interested in.

There are more ideas to show employees that you appreciate their efforts – you might even think about asking them what would be most meaningful to them.

7) Team Building Events

Hosting an event on a Friday afternoon is a powerful reward for employees as they get to enjoy delicious food whilst socializing during work hours.

Social gatherings are a great way for employees to forget the day-to-day stress of the job and connect with each other on a more personal level.

Most companies prefer organizing team-building events on a weekend or after working hours but celebrating during work hours is actually more efficient as employees have lives outside of the office.

If the companies understand this, it will create a much more positive impact on many employees.

8) Extra Time Off

It is common for employees to work extra hours to get work done.

You can compensate by allowing them to come to work a little later the next day instead of paying overtime.

If they have work to catch up with the next day, you can offer them an extra paid leave instead.

They’ll appreciate the opportunity to relax and put their feet up – even more so if you surprise them with an unexpected day off on one of their regular shift days.

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