Top 10 Employee Incentive Ideas that Boost Productivity

Employers want and acknowledge a productive staff, and boosting productivity means knowing employee incentive ideas.

It’s a problem with an easy solution: rewards and recognition programs contribute to enhancing staff productivity.

According to Inc., for a total of 2 hours and 53 minutes in an 8-hour day, the average worker is productive.  Yes, you have heard right – most employees are only 37 percent productive every day.

From stealthy social media checks to food preparation in the office and a few moments away from a desk add up.

Harvard Business Review data shows that 82 percent of Americans feel that their bosses do not sufficiently recognize them for their job. In addition, 40% of Americans also said that if they were recognized more often, they would put more effort into their work.

The links between motivation, money and productivity are changing. Ashley Whillan, an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, says that employees cannot be encouraged by pure income any longer.

So, how can organizations prevent the establishment of an ineffective award and recognition platform – one that doesn’t honor employees in a meaningful manner?

First, you can focus on data-driven tactics and leverage tools to optimize the process.

Employee Incentive Ideas that Boost Productivity

The article examines the top 10 employee incentive ideas that boost productivity. Let’s begin.

1. Make Sure that Employees Know How to Earn Incentive

Cross-cutting awards can annoy and alienate staff. Employees with selection criteria left in the dark can perceive unfairness or prejudice in announcing beneficiaries.

The best employee incentive ideas effectively describe and report their criteria for judgment.

Moreover, they describe the distribution criteria of awards and accolades (e.g., who the decision-makers are, which employees are eligible, and who will receive what).

Employees who understand how they function are more likely to increase their performance.

For example, assume that your organization is implementing a health program centered on prizes. Whether you’re a doctor or an event planner, make sure your staff understands how to earn a reward using this program.

Read More: 5 Examples Of Successful Employees Engagement

2. Link Incentives to Standards of Performance

Link Incentives to Standards of Performance

Another important employee incentive idea is to harmonies rewards and recognition with the performance of our employees. Employees need to understand how their behaviors and productivity work in parallel to the company’s work. Staff awards are a fantastic method to show this on a granular level.

For instance, if you have a project that your organization would want to focus on. You can create a prize program that focuses on employees and teams.

Let’s imagine your organization has a quarterly objective to collect more consumer feedback on your product.

You might set up an incentive program, encourage them to approach their customers for quotations. Reward the excellent achievers with lunch or unusual gifts.

3. Unique Offer of Rewards

Unique Offer of Rewards

Offering a range of unique and precious prizes can encourage staff to perform firmer and unmistakable.

Every workplace has a distinct culture, so your staff can differ substantially from the wishes of other employees in an awards program.

It is crucial to look beyond merely financial incentives and find out what your staff wants. Do they desire the freedom to schedule? Perhaps they appreciate social activities or a good catered lunch.

Maybe it’s a combo of everything above. Everything crucial to your employees must be included in your plan.

4. Acknowledge Small and Large Achievements

Acknowledge Small and Large Achievements

Too frequent, businesses are obsessed with significant achievements. It is, of course, crucial to celebrate huge triumphs.

But a narrow vision of significant achievements may impair recognition of all the work present on the lesser levels of your journey – milestones that were important for producing your big win.

Your prizes program should deliver praise, benefits, and recognition throughout the entire project life cycle, not only at the end.

In this approach, your staff feel encouraged and inspired at every step. Moreover, this employee incentive idea will boost productivity, as well.

5. Encourage Teamwork

Encourage Teamwork

Teamwork increases the productivity of each employee, leading to better commercial outcomes.

In addition, developing interdepartmental relationships enhances collaboration, creativity, and communication across your firm.

A significant employee incentive idea should concentrate on engaging and rewarding team contributions.

For instance, if you assign a project to an engineering team and they deal with it in record time, consider awarding it as a team.

Potent team-based awards promote and boost the cooperation, commitment, and productivity of employees.

6. Gamify Incentives, Not Appreciation

Gamify Incentives Employee incentive ideas

A little friendly competition between peers in the office is healthy. It should, however, be moderated, particularly given the benefits of teamwork as mentioned above.

An overly competitive climate can lead to disappointment and exhaustion, which is the opposite of a good award and recognition initiative.

Ideally, an effective employee incentive idea includes competitive rewards (e.g., plays, gift cards, prizes, spot awards) and awards earned through excellent performance (e.g., team lunches or hand-written notes).

In this way, your organization offers multiple rewards, and employees are under healthy pressure from their colleagues and management to work.

7. Update your Incentives Frequently

With certain rewards, employees can quickly feel boredom, which over time might reduce the value of the prize.

If you want employees to strive for excellence consistently, update your rewards often to make your staff feel more urgent.

Benchmarks for incentives and recognition should vary as your business goals change. Rewards should always be an incentive, not “granted” at work.

Refresh them repeatedly, so that your staff is continually interested in their rewards program.

8. Create Custom and Particular Appreciation

Create Custom and Particular Appreciation Employee incentive ideas

A customized employee incentive idea engages employees better in the process of recognition.

Announcements of recognition and personal appreciation are crucial aspects of creating a thriving company culture.

For instance, let’s imagine you’ve got an employee who goes far and beyond to achieve team objectives. They have been with the company for some years and always have value for the business.

A generic “good job” or monetary award offers nothing to indicate the impact on the company of this worker’s accomplishments.

Try to recognize hard-working staff with an individual touch, such as a hand-written note or a one-on-one lunch with a managing team member.

Experiences like these remind your staff that their care and incentivize them to go above and beyond.

9. Human Development Investment

Human Development Investment

One of the most important things you can do as a leader is to invest in your talent’s future.

A highly qualified workforce may provide value for your organization and build confidence and admiration for top personnel.

This form of employee award may be more costly, but over time it can pay rewards.

Sponsor your outstanding performers’ certificates or pay for registration into a valuable conference.

You can even encourage staff to take online training classes and help with resources.

The knowledge acquired is vital to their careers and improves the quality of their job.

10. Spend in the Cause Employees Care

Spend in the Cause Employees Care Employee incentive ideas

Company culture is an immensely broad notion that you may use to reach all employees.

Some firms promote the charitable interests of their employees by making matching gifts or offering a certain amount of paid time off for voluntary activity.

There is a vast range of employees in any business with different viewpoints, experiences, and ideals. The beauty of contemporary work is that these varied perspectives merge to produce an environment that motivates and rewards brilliance.

This is a terrific employee incentive idea to deliver a reward that has an impact outside the office and builds a better relationship between a firm and its employees.

This connection can be shown in improved commitment, social support, and productivity.


Incentives and recognition are a win-win for both businesses and employees.

Employee productivity and decreased turnover rates can be achieved by companies with improved recognition programs.

Rewards and recognition programs linked to incentives for performance information offer a better picture of what a “top performer” is like and the ability to recruit and retain those people.

In addition, analyzing the cost benefits of every incentive issued allows your organization to invest in employee incentive ideas that improve the productivity of your employees.

The experience of the employees will expand only in the future. If your firm aspires to grow, you should attract the proper personnel and bring a pleasant experience to those employees.

Awards and recognition programs are ideal for many businesses on both sides of the coin. BRAVO is an excellent example of a well-equipped modern employee recognition platform.

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