The 10 Best Employee Incentive Ideas

The 10 Best Employee Incentive Ideas

Employee incentives are monetary and non-monetary rewards you can give your employees for achieving certain objectives.

They’re also great for engaging and retaining your staff which is vital for any business’s success.

Sourcing, interviewing, hiring and training replacements can be a drain on your time, not to mention the company’s money.

So maintaining the staff in your business is essential.

With that in mind, here are 10 of the best (traditional) employee incentive ideas I can think of…

1. Social and networking events

Getting staff together for social or networking events is a fantastic way to break down barriers.

You’ll be surprised at the strong bonds created between team members. It can really work in your favour to encourage better working relationships.

It doesn’t have to be expensive either.

A simple monthly outing down to the local pub would suffice. Grab a bite to eat and have a few drinks to celebrate hitting target.

Or perhaps you fancy treating your staff to a lavish Christmas-do at the end of the year.

Either way, make sure everyone gets involved. Not doing so could create tension in the office!

2. Non-sales related bonuses

It’s fair to say that sales people bring in a lot of money for your business.

However, it’s also fair to say that they wouldn’t be able to do their jobs without the rest of the people in your business.

Every job in your business is vital – that’s why they’re there!

These members of staff can get disheartened seeing their colleagues living the high-life, being rewarded for their work.

That’s why it’s important to include incentives for everyone.

From cash, right through to leaving early on a Friday. It’s up to you to decide.

You could actually implement a bonus programme which tracks an employee’s progress.

This will not only provide some solid foundations for progression, but for your managers to evaluate their team too!

3. Flexible working hours

Obviously, not every business has the scope to be able to offer their staff the option of working flexible hours.

But don’t underestimate the importance to some people of taking up this option.

I’ve worked in organisations where you could start an hour early and go home an hour early.

It was invaluable for a job that would take me an hour and a half to reach in normal commuting traffic, but half an hour less if I started early and left early.

For others it could mean they can drop the kids off at school or pick them up. This perk is extremely valuable to certain employees and it won’t cost the company a penny extra.

4. Ability to work from home

This still has a little bit of a stigma attached to it, even in the modern day.

Some managers can’t trust that their staff will work as efficiently under their own roof as they would do in the office. It’s a fair concern.

Working from home does demand a level of self-discipline that many don’t have.

The key to ensuring that your staff work as effectively from home as they would in the office is down to objectives.

As long as you set out a clear outline of what you can expect the staff member to achieve in the time they spend at home, then you should have no complaints!

5. Ability to earn additional days off

Offering the opportunity to earn additional free days can be extremely desirable for many employees.

Sometimes the inevitable can happen and employees could be forced to use annual leave for family emergencies – it happens.

It could even be a case of they want to manage their work/life balance better, and so work harder to get more days off.

Whatever the reason, a lot of people are motivated by this type of incentive.

Plus, if the output is good enough to earn a day off then there should be no cost to your business.

6. Opportunities to learn

With a slowing economy, it’s imperative that employers look to support their best employees in any way they can.

One way to encourage employee retention is to reimburse the expense of any training courses or additional education that may be undertaken.

In sectors like social care, there is often training or educational demand that is expected of staff. Although, you can’t expect your staff to always be able to afford the training.

Think about it this way: your employee is learning more which will benefit your business.

Therefore the least you can do as an employer is support them in their career growth.

7. Health and wellness program

Gym memberships can be expensive and out of some candidates budget.  But it can be a highly appreciated perk if you set up a corporate membership with a local gym for the staff to use.

If the company’s budget will not stretch to a corporate membership, you could set up discounted rates to join the gym or discounts for the local bicycle shop.

At Response, we reward our employees by paying back a small contribution to our staff depending on their salary. For instance, anything under £20,000 per anum we pay a £10 contribution. Then the next bracket we offer £25, and so on and so forth.

A lot of the time staff are able to get gym memberships for a small amount like £15-£20 so it’s saving them over 50% of the cost.

Those who earn more tend to go for the higher membership packages or just don’t use the full amount.

Overall, it benefits us in the long run since our staff are generally healthy and are less likely to miss a day of work.

8. Points programme

This is probably one for larger organisations as it can cost a pretty penny for most SMEs.

Point’s programs work when employees are rewarded for certain behaviours or successes.

Over time they can save up a bulk of points and redeem them for a number of items.

It’s up to you what you provide!

9. Team and individual incentives

Not all incentives have to be individual based.

In fact, a lot of the time you can help to build team relationships by getting them to work towards a shared target.

An example of this could be if the team hits a certain target, everyone can leave early on a Friday.

You could also do monthly or quarterly targets such as team outings that we spoke about earlier.

10. Wall of fame

Staff of the month awards are thought by many businesses to be simply a political exercise.

But celebrating an employee’s success by posting their work on the wall of fame can have a massive boost to morale.

Failing that, how about giving them their own car parking space for a week?

It’s the small things that can make all the difference and they won’t cost you a penny.


There is a plethora of employee incentive programs available, some come at a monetary cost, whilst others just require just a little elbow grease to set-up.

The key to success is to figure out which incentives are likely to work best for your company and specifically your team.

I will reiterate though that employee incentives can make the difference between retaining the best talent or losing them to a competitor.

Hope these ideas work out for you.

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