Boost Employee Satisfaction with Affordable Incentive Programs

by: Nichole Gunn December 9, 2010

Employers are looking for budget friendly ways to boost employee engagement and motivation, especially in a struggling market.

For solutions to this dilemma, many businesses are following what studies have proven to work: employee reward programs. With creative and flexible incentive programs, employers can offer their employees a number of awards that will benefit both the employees and the company.

President of the Recognition Management Institute Roy Saunderson, in an article at Premium Incentive Products magazine, offers ten strategies for rewards programs. One such strategy for retailers in particular is to offer a tax-free holiday. Allow employees to buy company products tax-free on a specified day. This will work for other industries also, such as restaurants and fitness centers.

Other rewards Saunderson mentioned that will boost employee motivation, engagement, and loyalty, include: employee transportation; involve employees in company contributions by soliciting their views; offer instant recognition through gift certificates from local businesses; involve employees in a charity or volunteer organization; and go for a four-day work week.

Another strategy recommended is co-worker incentive. Using data from a report at Ideas, Saunderson notes, “Research shows worker productivity is significantly higher when employees work alongside friends who are more able than they are—as much as 10 percent higher—meaning people are motivated, in part, by peer pressure.

The flip-side of that particular piece of data is that employees who are better at their job than the co-workers they work along side of will actually tend to slack off and are “willing to exert less effort and forgo 10% of their earnings.” So, a better incentive may be to offer training and certification for employees to level the playing field and keep productivity up.

Bottom line is that there are many different and affordable rewards systems that employers can implement to keep their employees satisfied.

About Nichole Gunn