Tangible and Emotional Incentive Combos Boosts Employee Morale

by: Nichole Gunn December 13, 2010

Employee incentives come in many forms, and small and big businesses are all realizing their value. But, there are non-monetary incentives that can be added to the tangible ones already in place.

While it’s obvious that recognizing a valued employee’s performance is essential, the reward can be as simple and cost effective as the personal attention of a ‘thank you.’ This is not to say tangible employee incentive rewards, such as travel vouchers and gift certificates aren’t needed, but along with these rewards, a pat on the back, or a hand written note of recognition will go a long way in boosting employee morale and retention.

In a Business Week article, Carmine Gallo explains that employers should invest emotionally in their employees. Workers have a need to feel appreciated by their managers and employers in the workplace. Adding personal touch incentives in addition to bonuses, pay raises, and expected rewards can make a difference in employee satisfaction and productivity.

Founder and former CEO of 24 Hour Fitness Mark Mastrov notes, “Sales associates are looking for leaders to believe in. Managers should sit down with them and ask what their goals and aspirations are. Ask them what they want in life and how working for the company will help achieve those goals.” Mastrov suggests getting personal by asking about family and interests before jumping into questions about sales. He adds, “It shows that you care about who they are. It earns respect and it's the easiest thing to do."

Being creative and combining a variety of rewards and incentives, including emotional ones, is an effective strategy to keep employees content, motivated, and wanting to stay on board.