Incentive Programs Prove to Increase Productivity and Retain Employees

by: Nichole Gunn December 2, 2010

Productivity goes hand in hand with employee satisfaction. And, studies have found that employee incentive programs that engage and motivate employees are a means to an end. In addition to boosting productivity, contented employees are much more likely to stay put in a rising job-jumping market.

Businesses of all sizes are noticing the benefits of reward and incentive programs that develop employee potential, and according to resources consultant Janet Flewelling, in an article by Rieva Lesonsky for Success Magazine, due to salary freezes or minor increases, “people are starting to take advantage of [employee incentive] programs to improve job satisfaction.” She adds, “With more job satisfaction comes higher productivity, and as employees improve their skills, the company gets immediate benefits.”

Reinforcing the benefits of employee wellness programs, the results of a study conducted by the American Journal of Health Promotion demonstrated, “workplace wellness programs reduced absenteeism on average by 27 percent and healthcare costs by 26 percent.” In line with this study, a Harvard University study found that with the implementation of a corporate wellness program, “companies received a return of $3.27 in lower healthcare costs for every $1 spent on the program.

While the benefits are well noted, many businesses are concerned about the cost of incentive plans. But, there are a number of strategies employers can use to create affordable and effective employee incentive programs:

  • Offer flexible work schedules
  • Offer in-house education programs
  • Offer work-related, safety, and health seminars with experts
  • Allow employee involvement at all stages of the program
  • Set clear goals and objectives
  • Keep tabs on the effectiveness of the program by intermittently surveying employees

Being creative and doing appropriate research will go a long way in developing cost effective incentive programs that will engage employees, increase productivity, and keep employees on board.