Has your staff been suffering from poor morale, low engagement or burnout? Many companies experience a lull in good feelings amongst employees. It doesn’t necessarily mean you did something wrong as a manager — long work hours, staff shortages and other stressful conditions can bring it on.
If you’d like to raise morale in the office, here are seven employee incentives you should try.
- Time Off
If your sales team has struggled to meet the demands of your growing business or your IT pros have spent long hours developing software using low code, maybe they can enjoy a break. Time away from the office can reduce burnout and aid employees with work-life balance.
First, ensure your workers are using all of their paid time off. If they need more, consider giving some extra days here and there. If you can’t spare much, offer them a long lunch or a chance to leave early for the weekend. Anything is better than nothing, and your efforts show that you care about their well-being.
- Raises and Bonuses
More money may seem like the most obvious incentive for employees. It is probably a welcome choice. You can make your annual raises contingent on meeting a specified list of goals you review together each year. However, consider giving a bonus to staff members who have gone the extra mile to finish an important project or go above and beyond to help other team members.
- Education Reimbursement
Your employees may be interested in continuing their education, especially if they plan to move up the ladder or take on additional responsibilities. Tuition reimbursement can be an excellent incentive for those working to improve their skills.
As an added bonus, you can create an employee recognition program for those who complete milestones. Finishing a degree and obtaining certifications are worthy achievements, and your attention reinforces their efforts. It also encourages others to do the same.
- Project Choices
One way to build trust between you and your employees is to present them with choices. Consider offering high-achieving workers the opportunity to pick which projects they want to work on. Giving them options is an excellent way to empower them while letting them know you trust their decisions. Working on tasks they like increases their motivation, makes them more likely to succeed and builds their morale.
- Small, Meaningful Gifts
You don’t have to hand out big raises to make a difference in employees’ satisfaction. Small gifts or incentives can pack a powerful punch. Consider ideas such as:
- Gift cards for lunch outings
- In-house chair massages
- Anniversary celebrations
- Catered lunches for the group
- Inexpensive but cool tech gadgets
- Health and Wellness Programs
Starting a wellness program at work offers a double bonus. Your employees can feel you care about their well-being while improving their health.
There are many options for wellness incentives. You can start with ergonomic equipment and on-site health screenings. If you’d like to build on these ideas, try adding walk-to-work programs, coupons for healthy lunches and smoking cessation incentives.
- Employee Surveys
At first, surveying your employees may seem like a strange way to reward them. However, it is an excellent way to get their feedback, encourage them to share their ideas and enable transparency. A survey can also improve engagement and build morale.
Surveys are a great way for managers to get fresh ideas. Your employees may be holding back, hesitating to share inspiring concepts. You may also be missing out on constructive criticism. Don’t shy away from it — in a civil exchange, you can show your workers you trust them when you offer them the chance to point out what’s not working well and make recommendations.
You don’t have to spend a ton of time, energy and money to offer your employees incentives that work. A little effort can go a long way to show them you appreciate their efforts and value their input.