5 Employee Incentive Programs That Work

A happy employee is the best employee. It sounds like a pretty simple concept, but so many businesses and managers fail to acknowledge or reward their employees properly, leading to a drop in morale, motivation, effort and productivity.

Keeping your employees happy is an integral part of running a successful business because, in the end, the employees are the most important asset a company has. Ensuring that your employees are happy in the workplace will make your company stronger and ensure long-term stability. It should be a no-brainer but, although 90% of business leaders believe that an engagement strategy could positively impact their business, only 25% of them actually have a strategy in place. The difference an employee incentive program can make is huge. Properly structured incentive programs can increase employee performance by as much as 44%. So what’s the problem?

To be successful, a company needs to develop a strategic reward system for employees that covers multiple areas. Incentives are much more than your standard benefits package and RRSPs. Similarly, despite what many would think, a raise isn’t the perfect solution either. “Pay raises are generally effective for three months,” says Richard Bead, Vice President of HR for Telus Corp.

Not only will your employees notice you making an effort, but your customers will as well. 41% of customers are loyal to a brand or company because they consistently notice a positive employee attitude, while 68% of customers defect from a brand or company because of negative employee attitude.

Here are some effective ways to motivate your employees and keep them happy:

1. Financial Rewards

While money might not be everything, it still means a lot! Offering financial bonuses is an excellent way to reward employees and increase their motivation. A great way to do so is by giving them a branded prepaid card. As opposed to gift cards, an open-loop prepaid card can be continually reloaded with rewards/funds, and it allows your employees to purchase items virtually anywhere in the world. And to add to their sense of loyalty, every time they use the card, they will see their company logo and remember that their employer recognizes and values their continued efforts. The cards are convenient and easy to set up–everything can be done online in a matter of minutes. Prepaid cards are also secure, offer lost/stolen protection, and protect employees from fraud or theft.

2. Social & Networking Events

After a stressful day–or week–at work, most employees will want to relax and unwind. Host team gatherings and networking events and give them something to look forward to that is still connected with your work. Social activities will build camaraderie among your employees and strengthen the boss-subordinate relationship, which will lead to an increase in teamwork and job performance. Off-site events can be anything from a dinner or a night at the bar to a night out bowling or at the museum. These events can be held during special occasions or could be a regular monthly occurrence. In most cases, venues will be more than happy for the large amount of business, so if you’re looking to plan an event make sure to contact the company in advance–they may offer you a discount or a private company-only room.

3. Points Program

A workplace points program rewards employees for specific behaviours or for reaching certain goals. Typically, these points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, or other items. However, this kind of program can be expensive. One great way to offer these kinds of points is as part of a prepaid card program. TruCa$h offers you unmatched flexibility and generous rewards on all of your online purchases. This multi-function prepaid card allows participants the ability to spend financial rewards by converting loyalty points to cash that can be spent on benefits they truly value. If you want to encourage competition and participation in workplace rewards programs, you can even make the results open to everyone in the office.

4. Learning Opportunities

A successful business is one that wants their employees to be successful as well. Offering employees the opportunity to improve their skills, knowledge, and education will allow them to not only keep their current jobs, but enable them to work towards promotions, and possibly work for the company in a variety of capacities. Every year, according to the most recent figures, roughly $11 billion is lost due to employee turnover. Incentives are a great means of curbing this loss. With the current cost of education being so high, many employees find it difficult to pay for schooling. Free seminars, subsidized schooling, and new training opportunities can help employees expand their skill sets and help with employee retention. This kind of incentive is beneficial to both the employee AND the employer.

5. Saying Thank You!

Seriously. More often than not, a simple “thank you” or “good job” from a boss can make a huge difference in the day-to-day life of an employee. Everyone wants to be recognized for their hard work, so have your managers, executives, and owners give employees special notifications, messages, or lunch meetings. After all, the difference between an ordinary workplace and an extraordinary workplace is just that little “extra.”

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