Cheap Employee Incentives that Motivate Staff

The cost of hiring and training new employees is ever-increasing, and on top of that cost, can also be incredibly time consuming for you as an employer. Competing firms are most likely offering some fantastic work perks, and you must therefore adapt your offering to remain appealing to any potential superstar applicants.

From simple acts of kindness and appreciation to larger gifts and treats, providing employees with additional motivation can make all the difference to how they feel about their job, the quality of their work and even their loyalty to you as an employer.

Here, we share some great options for cheap employee incentives that motivate staff that little bit more.

  1. Instead of, or as well as cash incentives that are taxable, try rolling out a holiday-based incentive scheme. Should another employee or manager recognise someone else's hard work, they can anonymously get in touch with a director and nominate that person to receive a half or even full day off. This is a fantastic and cheap employee incentive that allows employees to be publicly recognised for their hard work as well as receiving extra holiday time, it's a win-win.
  1. Offer employees flexibility in their work. Whether this be in their start and finish times, or allowing them to work from home occasionally, employees feel significantly more valued by employers that allow them to create a work-life balance that suits them. This could be helpful should they have an important appointment they have waited months for and are required to finish work an hour early in order to make it or simply wish to take a friend for a dinner on their birthday. Given the recent Covid-19 outbreak, huge numbers of employers are allowing additional working flexibility for employees, so this particular incentive may become standard practice for employers. In which case, can you afford to be left behind?
  1. Remember their birthdays and encourage celebrations. Some businesses provide all employees with a free day off for their birthday, others do not, but whatever your particular business does, don't forget to celebrate birthdays. Should it be on the last working day before, or the first one after an employee's birthday, try surprising them with a cake, a joint card and a token gift to make them feel appreciated. Some examples of token gift ideas could include a branded or personalised thermos mug, a box of their favourite chocolates or something a little more personal should it be appropriate.
  1. Take employees for a picnic or trip to the pub a couple of times a year. Consider doing a supermarket run, grabbing some sandwiches, drinks and snacks and inviting your employees to take a few well-earned hours off and enjoy a picnic in the sun. Alternatively, if you aren't lucky enough to have a big enough outside space nearby, why not pop down to the pub, order a couple of bar snacks and treat everyone to a drink. Although a cheap employee incentive, you would be surprised how much a pub trip or some finger food can motivate staff.
  1. Say thank you. This may seem like an obvious one, but too many employers pass this by. Saying thank you to your employees, whether they have stayed late to finish a document, helped another member of staff that was struggling with their workload or a particular task or even if they wash up your mug, appreciation is imperative to a fantastic work environment.
  1. Encourage and cater for professional development. There is a plethora of cheap and even free online courses that employees can take to further develop their knowledge. Should you not have the money to send them on a course in person, allowing them a couple of hours each month to focus on improving their skills and knowledge not only benefits them, but increases the knowledge among your team as well. Try providing them with this time to learn and then encouraging them to share any new findings or techniques with other members of the team. Another cheap employee incentive that shows you care.
  1. Provide them with the equipment they want, not just what they need. Whilst this employee incentive can work out a little more expensive than others, allowing your team to choose their equipment, whether this be a new mouse or a pair of headphones, can make them feel incredibly valued as well as enabling them to do the very best work. Offering to buy an employee a laptop to enable them to best work from home or even a more comfortable chair for working in should they have back troubles shows that you are happy to go the extra mile for your team.
  1. Introduce a monthly “bring your pet to work” day. Allergy and office location permitting, consider allowing one day per month for one employee to bring in their furry friend. You would be surprised how much this cheap employee incentive can motivate staff (both pet owners and non-owners). Who doesn't love an office mascot?

We hope these 8 cheap employee incentives have helped you on your quest to motive staff members, and remember, incentives need not cost the earth, sometimes a simple display of gratitude can do wonders.

If you would like some further advice on the employee incentive schemes available to you as a business owner, or require support in another field, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team who will be more than happy to help you.