Have you told your employees lately how much you appreciate them? Showing your appreciation encourages more efficiency within the workplace and creates a blissful atmosphere. Providing incentive programs and recognition to your employees will provide you with this blissfulness.

Researchers have proven that incentives can significantly increase work performance when they are carefully implemented, and performance is measured before and during incentive programs. In order to achieve this, we must know some basics.

What is an incentive?

An incentive is something that motivates or encourages one [an employee] to do something. An incentive can be tangible or intangible, and may or may not have cash value.

5 types of incentive programs

  1. Recognizing coworkers — Employees praise or reward each other for good work.
  2. Contests — Create a companywide contest and have coworkers compete against each other to achieve the end reward.
  3. Goals — Have a goal for your company, whether it is sales, new customers, sign-ups, etc. You can have all employees work together to achieve this goal. This way you not only have team-bonding within your company, but they are also all rewarded together, which will encourage your employees to give 100 percent.
  4. Instant reward — Recognize the work your employees do each day. Praise them for their efforts and hard work. Just as it’s said, “a smile goes a long way,” so does recognition.
  5. Earn and redeem — Along with numbers 2 and 3, employees can collect points throughout a timespan to receive a reward for meeting various goals; points can be redeemed immediately or saved.

What do you provide as an incentive?

According to the Incentive Research Foundation, “Each year, U.S. corporations spend nearly $27 billion on noncash incentives, such as merchandise, meals, travel and recognition awards. When cash incentives are included, the figure is estimated to be as high as $117 billion annually.”

5 types of incentives

  1. Perks — Casual dress day, front-row parking, catered lunch.
  2. Travel — Weekend getaway, dining at a restaurant, spa day, shopping excursion.
  3. Merchandise — Company apparel is the way to go. Not only do your employees receive some new merchandise, but they’ll be branding you at the same time.
  4. Trophies — Provide certificates, plaques, medals or pins. These are the lasting reminders that your employees performed well.
  5. Financial — The most popular, gift card, gives your employees the opportunity to pick what they want for their own incentive.

Providing incentives can increase productivity, enhance performance, provide job satisfaction, shape behavior or outlook toward the workplace, and motivate employees to work. Creative Business Resources states that “recognition and incentives are a major part of motivation, and motivation is a major part of economic success for any company.”

These incentives not only will help your employees, but you as well. If you haven’t adopted an incentive program, then you should consider it.