Workplace culture

But Wait, There's More: The Benefits of Unique Employee Incentives

July 20, 2016

You’ve likely heard about the impressive employee benefits offered at Google, Netflix, or Facebook. Many companies believe that investing in unique employee incentives attracts and retains top performers—and they aren’t wrong! Additional employee perks rank higher than salary in terms of job selection and job satisfaction. While you may not have the funds to offer perks like Google, Netflix, or Facebook, there are plenty of unique and low-cost alternative employee incentives emerging in the job market in order to attract and retain top talent.

An Oregon-based architecture and engineering firm offers its employees cash incentives if they walk, bike, bus, or carpool for their commute to work, which appeals to employees concerned with environmental practices.

A Canadian digital marketing firm pays off its junior employees’ student debt. A burden borne by most graduates today, this incentive fosters loyalty, and ensures a continual supply of applications.

Many companies allow employees to bring their pets to work, believing that pets decrease stress in the workplace. Moreover, some companies offer their employees pet bereavement leaves.

Download the Employee Incentives Document Bundle, which can help you think about your employees’ total compensation packages.

Some of these incentives may be more feasible than others, and certain incentives will appeal more to some employees than others. When implementing employee incentives and rewards, it’s important to ensure they increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and loyalty.

Incentives should benefit both employee and employer. High-end fitness centres or a pet-friendly atmosphere will definitely attract a large number of applicants, but you should ensure that these incentives actually enhance company output. After all, it’s only worth keeping employees around if they are productive. There is a positive correlation between job satisfaction and employee productivity, and in return employees are loyal to employers who treat them well. But if you’re still focused on overall funds, there are many incentives that cost next to nothing, but focus on workplace factors like culture, career advancement, or health and wellness.

Consider employee “fit” within your culture when designing and implementing incentives. While you may have highly qualified applicants knocking at your door, you still should ensure your team works well together. Annual retreats or company social outings can bring that positive external energy into the workplace. Organizational sports teams, yoga, or fitness classes can also make physical activity, team bonding, and fun a top priority and incentive.

You might also offer paid time to volunteer together as a company. This allows team members to bond outside of the office, and contribute to the company’s public reputation. Many businesses allow employees paid days off to volunteer for a charity of their choice. Some employers even match any employee donations. Volunteering makes for great networking opportunities and boosts company reputation and morale, and volunteering as an organization also increases the chances of attracting strong candidates who want to better the world.

Opportunities for recognition, open communication structures, or prospects for advancement contribute to an employee’s satisfaction with their position. Today’s workforce thrives on challenges, self-improvement, and acknowledgement. Offering training opportunities, and providing peer recognition platforms or employee suggestion boxes signal how the company values employee contributions.

Employee incentives can work wonders for companies. The more thought you put towards aligning them with your company strategy, the more the incentives will improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and loyalty. By using unique incentives, you can achieve a harmony between business objectives and work-life balance.

Does your organization have an opportunity to improve employee satisfaction? Read more about the "Top 5 Employee Complaints and How to Address Them".

Want to learn more about employee incentives that may help improve your organization?

Download our Employee Incentives Bundle today, including our comprehensive Employee Benefits Best Practice Guide and Employee Compensation White Paper! 

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