12 Employee Incentive Programs to Improve Productivity

Table of Contents
Employee Incentive Programs Ideas
Reading Time: 10 minutes

The employees build the organizations. It’s essential to hire the right employees to help your company increase its output and profits. While recruitment is the first step to getting an effective team, you need to keep your employees engaged at work to maintain productivity.


That’s why employers use employee incentive programs that motivate their employees and keep them engaged in work. Incentive programs are a great way to keep your employees motivated and satisfied with their work.


In this blog, we will be discussing different aspects of work in detail but first, let’s start with what is employee incentive programs.


What are Employee Incentive Programs?

Employee incentive programs work with special rewards and privileges that are given to the employees to on exhibiting desired tasks and behaviour. Employee incentives are intended to keep employees engaged and motivated at work.


A company can use both monetary incentives as well as non-monetary incentives. You can also customise the incentives according to the need and interests of the staff. It is best to optimize employee incentive programs to fit the goals of the company as well as to adaption to a recent change or to motivate a particular type of behaviour in the workforce.


Also Read:

The Benefits of Employee Incentive Programs

Conducting an employee incentive program can be a great way to engage your employees at work. As you show your appreciation for their contribution they feel valued and feel motivated to continue putting efforts into their work.


Over time employee incentive programs will contribute to a significant increase in the organisation’s productivity. Let’s discuss some of the major benefits of employee incentive programs. listed below are some primary benefits of incentive programs.


Make Them Feel Valued

It’s important to respect people and make them feel happy if you want them to be happy. So why do you want to make your employees happy? As an employer, it’s very selfish if you keep your employees happy because happy employees are productive employees.


Appreciation is a great way to convey that you value your team members. Good incentive programs for employees make them feel valued as you appreciate their work. It’s important to staff that their work is recognized by their coworkers as well as the manager.


When an employee incentive program helps your employees to understand that you value your employees and appreciate their work for the company they are likely to continue exhibiting similar patterns in future. That leads to better productivity.


Team Bonding

You can utilize the incentives to improve the team dynamics in your company. For that, you must incorporate your business goals into the team goals in your employee incentive programs. That will encourage your workforce to coordinate with one another as that is essential to achieve their collective goal.


That way it will help to improve coordination and communication among the team members as they are working with each other to achieve their goals. That will also make your staff get to bond well together.


As they get to know about their colleague more and are likely to spend more time working as a team as compared with the time they spend focusing only on their individual targets. You can also customize your team goals or even entire incentive programs accordingly if improving teamwork in the firm is your goal.


For instance, you can make a more effective employee incentive program by rewarding customised goals to employees who are most helpful towards fellow team members, or the one who is good at taking initiative and sharing ideas.


Improve Retention

An incentive program is a great way to improve employee retention in the company. It’s important to the business that you retain the top talent in the company. When you regularly compliment your employees for their efforts and work with an incentive program that makes them stay in the company longer.


Most employees leave the firms sooner or later and as an employer, you don’t expect most of them to work for company till retirement either. But when an employee leaves their job that sets you to a string of tasks that otherwise won’t be necessary, starting with recruitment till the training.


And some times there are new relationship-building efforts if you are in the service industry and your employees need to interact with customers to drive business. That gives you immunity against one of the most dreaded concerns of the company, retaining top performers as your team members.


Employee incentive programs ensure the productivity of the team and of company keeps going up. In addition to that the firm does not have to spend repeatedly on hiring and training new employees.


Culture of Motivation

When you run employee incentive programs at the right times in the company you can have a really motivated workforce in your company. You need to understand the factors that are causing the drop in the performance.


The targeted incentive programs can make your employees self-responsible for the achievement of their goals and adopt the necessary discipline for it. This way you can get a constantly motivated workforce as you plan your employee incentive programs at the times when a company actually needs it.


Focused Work

One of the best way to ensure that the company achieve their business goals is to present it in the form of an employee incentive program. If you present your goals in different aspects such as recruitment, training, productivity or new policy in the incentive programs you are more likely to get the desired results.


Enhance Employee Well-being with Pocket HRMS


Tips for an Effective Employee Incentive Program

To make the most of the employee incentive programs you need to implement them properly. Here are a few important tips that you should keep in mind to keep your team motivated through incentive programs.



When you are running an incentive program in your company you need to ensure that everyone knows about your employee incentives. The incentive program can be a great success if with the enthusiastic participation of all your workforce.


You can send an email to everyone informing them about the incentive programs so they can participate in the program. You can also go for an internal marketing campaign to increase awareness and motivate your employees to try their best and improve their performance.


Treat Everyone Equally

Do not leave out anyone from your employee incentive programs and try to include everyone in the organization. You need to ensure that you give everyone who wants to participate in the incentive program an equal chance.


But that is not enough and you should work on targets to ensure it suits all the departments and teams in the firm. You can design incentive programs to work on the aspects of your business that you want to improve.


Be Flexible

While conducting the employee incentive programs in the company you should stay open to the suggestion and feedback from your employees. Start with the participation, pay attention to how your employees react to different aspects of the incentive program.


Ask your employees for any suggestions or improvements they think can be useful. As the incentive program is supposed to improve the performance of your workforce, they are your best source on the effectiveness of the program.


There is the possibility that you might find some really effective ideas for your employee incentive program. You can also make the some changes as soon as possible and inform people about the same immediately.


You can go ahead and ask your employees to give you their feedback in the well-curated survey forms regularly. This takes us to our next point of personalizing the incentives to be more impactful.



You need to ensure that your incentive program is meaningful to your employees. Not everyone is inspired to create to get motivated by the same things. Your team members are most likely to respond enthusiastically if the incentive programs can present some value to them.


To do this you need to find out the things that have some motivational value for your employees. If you are working in a small organization with small teams, you can ask them for their input and suggestion for the incentives. That will also make them feel valued and more involved in the process.


Ideas for Employee Incentive Programs

As you know how important it is to have good employee incentive programs for your company here are some ideas to help you with the same. Feel free to combine a few ideas or be creative when it comes to employee incentive programs.


1. Attendance Incentives

You can provide incentives to the employees for their attendance at work. This can be done by setting goals such as perfect attendance for a week, a month, a quarter and a year. This can be very useful for your company if you are facing the issue of low attendance while you need manpower. An attendance incentive program can motivate your employees to be consistently present at their workplace.


2. Flexibility at Work

Everyone loved to have some amount of flexibility at work. We love to manage and tackle things in our own way. Flexibility in the form of where and when the employees can work on their tasks can be a great incentive program for employee motivation.


Set a target and reward employees with a certain number of remote work days that they can utilise at their convenience. This way employees get the freedom to plan their work and from where they are going to work for those days.


Flexibility at work also allows employees to spend more time with their families by cutting down the travel. In addition to that they can run some errands where they need a couple of hours saving them a need to take a leave.


We say that work flexibility can be an incentive that can drive performance as it benefits employees in multiple ways and drastically increases employee satisfaction.


3. Branded Merchandise

If you want to promote your business along with incentive programs for your employees, then gifting your employees branded merchandise is one of the best ways. Give your employees work accessories that they can use regularly.


This way your incentive will help in reminding them every day that you value their effort. In addition to that when they carry the accessories with them every day or post about their achievements on social media it will promote your employer brand.


4. Invest in Employee Wellbeing

The mental and physical well-being of employees is important for the productivity of the entire organization. Well-being is also crucial to maintain the necessary work-life balance.


It is good to involve various health and wellness initiatives in your employee incentive programs. Some of the health and wellness-related incentive ideas are listed below.

  • Free healthy meals
  • Membership for Gym or health club
  • Health or Yoga workshop at work
  • Reimbursement for health related equipment


Also Read:

5. Assign Points

Make a point-based reward system for your employee incentive programs. This allows employees to redeem points to get the rewards of their choice. This can be much more motivating than branded merchandise as employees get the freedom to choose.


You can get a good employee recognition system where employees can check their reward points. The incentive points are likely to motivate employees to repeat the behaviour that brings them those points.


6. Sponsor Experiences

As a part of your employee incentive programs, you can sponsor some meaningful experiences for your team members. You can take them for dinner at the end of every month, sponsor their vacation or take your team members on a short trip.


It is most likely to motivate employees when it presents a meaningful opportunity to them. In addition to that in the form of their memories, it will act as a reminder for them to consistently improve their work in future.


7. Profit sharing

You can go for a profit-sharing plan for the incentives to recognise your employee’s hard work. Under this plan company contributes a certain percentage of the profit to the retirement fund of the employee.


That way you can provide employees with a feeling of ownership in the company. The more the profit company make the more the profit-sharing amount employee gets. making their efforts and their incentive directly related and that is a good incentive idea.


8. Upskilling or Tuitions

The top talent in the industry is always eager to learn and grow in their career, as that’s what keeps them on the top. When employees realise that they have already learned whatever they can at your organization and need to find another company to learn more, they will start looking outside for opportunities.


So if you offer your employees a paid course that will help them to improve their productivity further and advance in their careers they are likely to try their best to get it. This is beneficial to you in many ways as the productivity of your employees increases so does increase the overall output of the company.


That not only makes your employee feel valued but they are going to stick longer as they learn and implement their knowledge at their work. They also know that being better qualified in the company strengthens their chances of advancing in their career faster. Overall that makes them stay in a firm longer, improving employee retention in the company.


9. Additional Time off

Giving time off to your employees is a great idea to motivate people. Even the best employee needs time off to relax and recharge themself. Giving paid time off from work to your top performers will make them feel happy and appreciated as this is a special time off they are getting.


In addition to that you need to ensure that your employees are taking care of their physical and mental health. The time off will give them a chance to keep their mental health in check so they can continue being amongst your top performers.


10. Paid Vacation

Another way to motivate your team is to sponsor a vacation for them. it doesn’t always have to be an expensive one or a long one. You can do arrangements for their vacation ranging from a weekend to a week-long vacation or more.


It’s also a good idea to give your employees a vacation budget and allow them the freedom to plan according to their wishes. This way will motivate your employees and always be part of their memories. That also helps you to increase employee loyalty and retention.


11. Gift Cards

Giving gift cards as a part of employee incentive programs is a great way to recognize your employees. There are many benefits of gift cards as listed below.

  • You can handover the gift cards instantly without prior planning
  • It gives employees the choice to choose the gift of their choice
  • It can be given for any amount you find suitable for your goals


That makes it one of the most common rewards in incentive programs.


12. Subscriptions

If you want that your program to be working for everyone you need to consider the different things that motivate people. You don’t necessarily need different types of employee incentive programs but if you have options for rewards in your incentive programs it is more likely to be accepted by a larger portion of the workforce.


One such incentive is giving subscriptions. Here you can set the reward budget and allow your team to choose the one they want. There can be multiple types of employee subscriptions such as entertainment platforms, health clubs, dance clubs or magazine subscriptions and more.


This keeps your employee happy about not just the subscription but also the choice that you offer them. Similarly, there can be much more such incentives that could be used to motivate your employees to put in their best and also increase employee engagement.


Feel free to use some of the above employee incentive ideas to get better productivity and engagement at work.


Start Free Trial



Employee incentive programs play an important role in keeping your employees satisfied and engaged at work, which is crucial for productivity and employee retention.


You can enjoy multiple benefits with the incentive programs and also go for creative incentives and reward ideas to motivate your employees.

Found this article interesting? Share it on

Contact Us

Contact Us

We use cookies on our website to provide you with the best experience.
Take a look at our ‘privacy policy’