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Incentive Ideas to Keep Your Employees Motivated

Puja Lalwani Nov 20, 2018
We all need a little motivation and incentive to keep us going, especially at our jobs. Here, find some ideas that you can use as incentives for your employees to bring out their best at work.
There are two things people want more than sex and money - recognition and praise.
 - Mary Kay Ash
There couldn't be any more truth to this quote. We all crave recognition and praise for our efforts a little more than we desire a monetary compensation for it in the workplace. In fact, achieving a balance between the two is what we strive for the most, though it is not a very easy task.
There are times when employees themselves believe they are doing well, that they are putting in maximum efforts to achieve results, yet they don't get the incentives and recognition they deserve. Perhaps as an employer, you believe that they are only doing their job, and that the salary they are given is incentive enough to keep them going.
However, in today's day and time, to retain efficient and hardworking employees, it is essential to view the world from their point of view and fulfill any legitimate demands or requirements they pose.
To do so, giving them some incentives and recognition will help. You may take a look at some of the ideas mentioned, and choose from any that you believe are suitable for your employees.

Low-Cost Incentives for Employees

A look into these ideas will help you notice two basic principles on which the entire process functions: respect and recognition. No amount of recognition is too little, and sometimes, a simple 'thank you' or a few words of appreciation can do the trick.
Most employers fail to realize that it is these little things that make a lot of difference. Even so, sometimes a little extra goes a long way in getting your employees to feel special and wanted in your organization.
1. One of the most important employee recognition ideas entails taking a genuine interest in your employees' choices, habits and hobbies, and remembering them. When you believe an incentive is due, the knowledge of these details will help you.
For instance, if one of your outstanding employees is a bookworm, gift vouchers to the best book store in town will serve as a great incentive. Such a gesture will make her/him feel special, and enhance employee performance.
2. Usually in larger organizations, the completion of one or more number of years is rewarded and appreciated well. However, it is in the smaller ones that some employers fail to keep such records.
If you belong to this group, start recording such dates, and as employees complete a year, congratulate them and give them a small incentive like a bonus for remaining loyal to your organization; or simply give them the day or a few days off.
3. Plan a day out with your employees when an important project has been completed. It could be an office picnic, or a lunch together. Ensure that you, as the employer, make it an unofficial time where all of you can get to know each other.
4. If your employees have full attendance through a specific time period, reward them with some time off. Everyone deserves a break, and sometimes that is all they need to jump back in action.
5. While providing incentives is important, employee grievances should also be given equal importance. Find out if anything is affecting them and their work. This is an activity that should be performed on a one-on-one basis.
This is also a way of giving them the right kind of incentive to work with a positive mindset and the knowledge that their grievances will not go unheard.
6. Have co-workers and colleagues recognize each other's performance. Set up a box where every employee can write a bit about the colleague they appreciate and what they appreciate about them. Have a weekly session, say perhaps on the last day of the week, where all these comments are read out.
7. Perhaps every month you could have a gaming session in your office. Get together a collection of classic board games, or a video gaming console if you can afford it, and challenge your employees to a fun day together.
8. Try and reward smaller achievements of your employees. Recognition gifts are helpful in this area, where even a simple thank you, or a CD of their favorite musician, or a small kit with good stationery will be appreciated and enhance employee motivation.
9. When your employees have to work late to meet a deadline, and you have to keep them charged, why not order in some food they will enjoy while finishing their work? Some Chinese, or even a pizza is great to keep them going.
10. Finally, reward your employees with a party where they can let their hair down and forget all about work.
Do not forget the importance of monetary incentives when you are considering any of these ideas, particularly at the time of performance appraisals. While these ideas are essential in ensuring employee motivation and performance, along with job satisfaction, monetary rewards are extremely essential in this endeavor.
Help your employees strike a balance with the help of these employee appreciation and recognition ideas, so you will be able to get the best out of them and have your organization benefit from the entire process.