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Employee Incentive Program Ideas: How to Create Incentive for Employees

Most entrepreneurs and business managers don’t see the need to provide incentive for employees; so in this article, I am going to share with you some employee incentive program ideas. Are you struggling with low productivity rates and seemingly unmotivated employees in your work place? If so, chances are that you simply haven’t given your workers enough reason to care.

As a manager or business owner, it is all too easy to blame employees when things are not going well, but more often than not, the problem lies with you, or at least, with the way you have been managing things. Bo Bennet, best-selling author and self-made multimillionaire, summed it up nicely when he said:

Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.

If morale is low and you haven’t found a way to inspire and motivate your employees, it’s unlikely that you’ll see good productivity, and you certainly won’t see any creativity. Of course you care about the greater good of your company and want to see it succeed, but would you care even half as much if you knew that no matter how hard you worked or how well the company was doing, you would still see the same paycheck at the end of each month?

Hard work should be rewarded, and if your company is not doing this, then it hasn’t yet reached its full potential. Follow these steps to develop your own effective employee incentive plan to boost morale and foster creativity in the workplace.

Employee Incentive Program Ideas: How to Create Incentive for Employees

1.            Identify the problem

This may seem like stating the obvious and maybe you’re thinking “well clearly, the problem is that my employees are unhappy,” which is certainly true. However, in order to introduce the right solution, you’ll need a bit more information than that. Are your employees unhappy with their base pay? Do they feel underappreciated? Is morale low because they feel they have nothing to work towards? Would a little healthy competition boost productivity? In order to get the answers to these questions, you need to find out what your employees are thinking.

There are different ways to get to the core issue, and depending on your workforce, you’ll have to decide which approach will work best for you. Perhaps you feel comfortable enough to come right out and ask them during your next staff meeting. Or maybe you are concerned that they won’t be upfront in a face to face meeting, in which case you may choose to do an anonymous survey.

2.            Choose an incentive plan that suits your company’s needs

There are many different types of incentive plans and choosing the right one isn’t as easy as it may seem. In the past, many companies implemented incentive plans that used negative reinforcement, such as plans where employees would only earn their full salary if certain objectives were met. However, recent studies have shown that such plans only serve to discourage employees, while plans that use positive reinforcement are far more effective. The following are just a few examples of positive reinforcement plans you may consider using:

Employee Incentive Program Ideas: How to Create Incentive for Employees Profit sharing

With this type of incentive plan, the company shares a predetermined percentage of its annual profits with employees. This can inspire employees to work harder because they know that more company profit means more money in their pockets.

a.          Rewards for goals reached

This plan uses certain objectives to measure the performance of your workforce as a whole, or on an individual level. If objectives are met by the end of the week, month or year, employees will receive a bonus. This doesn’t necessarily always have to be money; it could be extra time off, a paid vacation or a free product or service.

b.        Individual bonuses

These bonuses are generally based on an individual’s annual performance. It is a good way to reward each person’s performance separately and ensures that everyone will be rewarded according to how much effort they put into their work.

c.        Keep track of the results

Once you have decided on a suitable incentive program, you will want to ensure that you execute it properly, which requires that you develop an effective method of measuring your progress. If you are following the individual bonus incentive plan, it is preferable to keep results private and share them only on an individual basis.

If you are following a profit share or goal reward program, it can help to display daily, weekly or monthly results in the office as a motivational tool. This enables everyone to see how close they are to their goal or how much profit the company is making as a whole.

Author bio: Patrick Del Rosario is part of the team behind Open Colleges. It is one of Australia’s pioneer and leading providers of Business management courses and Human resources courses. When not working, Patrick enjoys blogging about career and business. Patrick is also a photography enthusiast and is currently running a photography studio in the Philippines.

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