17 Employee Incentive Examples Your Staff Will Be Thankful For!

by: Nichole Gunn November 19, 2019

Are you looking for employee incentive examples to let your staff know how grateful you are for everything they do for your organization? Employee incentive programs help keep employees motivated, high-performing, and can increase the overall profitability of your organization.
These employee incentive examples will give your employees a reason to be thankful they work for you, improving employee retention and workplace culture.

1. Performance Incentives

Performance incentives for employees engage employees and make feel rewarded for a job well done. Not only that, the KPIs you use for your performance incentive program help to train employees by laying out clear expectations for what you want them to do. Plus, performance incentive points can be rewarded almost instantly, keeping employees engaged in between quarterly reviews.

2. Learning Opportunities

Opportunities for personal development are a powerful incentive for many employees. This is especially true for Millennials, who are the most at-risk for low levels of employee engagement and loyalty. Even if your organization doesn’t have much room for advancement, that doesn’t mean your employees should ever be stagnating. Paid-for certifications, courses, and conferences are a way to encourage employees to invest in themselves and your company. Additionally, helping your employees grow on a personal level will make them a better resource for your company.

3. Flex Hours and Remote Workdays

Advancements in technology enable your employees to be productive no matter where they are. New channels of instant communication mean that collaboration can happen between employees who are working remotely. Flex hours and remote workdays incentivize employees to earn your trust and make them feel like your organization is empathetic to their lives. Let’s face it, many employees deal with challenging commutes or family situations that make rigid office hours unrealistic. Plus, this is an employee incentive example that doesn’t cost any money.

4. Company Events

Holding company events, be it a catered luncheon or a trip to the ballgame (or even just taking members of your team out to lunch), give employees a chance to bond by interacting with each other outside the workplace. Additionally, you can create qualification metrics for more exclusive high-level evens and networking opportunities to reward top performers.

5. Social Recognition

Many employees crave social recognition from their peers and managers. They want to feel like the work they do matters and that their contributions are valued. Naming star performers for the month, mentioning helpful colleagues in companywide emails, or using interactive social recognition software are affordable ways to recognize employees who go above-and-beyond. This will keep employees engaged and motivated.

6. Points Programs

A points program is a fun employee incentive that makes the workplace feel more interactive. Employees earn points for beneficial behavior that they can redeem towards millions of online rewards. One of the advantages of points programs is that they are highly scalable, with rewards ranging from Redbox movie rentals and Yeti coolers, to HD projectors and high-end merchandise. This gives employees at every level of performance something to strive towards.

7. Debit or Gift Card Programs

Although debit card and gift card incentives are less personal than merchandise rewards or recognition, they provide financial incentives for employees to meet their goals. Card programs are flexible, with quick delivery and detailed reporting, so you can be sure your employee incentive program stays in compliance.

8. Group Incentive Travel

Out of all these employee incentive examples, corporate incentive travel is the most memorable. Group travel is a great way to build loyalty with top-performers and boost productivity as employees strive to be included on the trip.

9. Gamification

Gamification is the use of points-scoring, badging, randomized point bonuses, and other game like elements to keep employees engaged. Think of apps or games on your phone that you spend a lot of time on – chances are those apps use gamification principles to give you a constant sense of progress and to keep you coming back for more. These same elements can help make your workplace more fun and engaging.  

10. Enablement

Offering incentives for completing training or taking quizzes helps your staff do their job more effectively. Providing enablement to your employees encourages them to grow with you and inspires a sense of shared goals.   

11. Social Networking Platforms

Try giving your employees online platforms where they can interact with each other, have fun, socialize, and give recognition to their coworkers who go above-and-beyond. Millennial employees, especially, crave this kind of connectedness.

12. Wellness Incentives

Employee health is an important component of a productive workplace. Employee incentive examples for health and wellness include gym membership reimbursement or competitions to see who can get the most steps.

13. Charitable Donations or Events

Many employees have a strong desire to give back to their community and help those who are less fortunate. If you are running a points or card program, consider giving employees the option to donate their rewards to the charitable organization of their choice. Additionally, local charitable outreach events provide an opportunity for your whole company to rally together to give back.

14. Friendly Competition

Promoting some friendly in-house competition can go a long way towards boosting the effectiveness of your employee incentive program. Using interactive leaderboards is a good way to let employees compete for bragging rights.

15. Experiential Rewards

Many employees, especially of the Millennial generation, place more value on experiences than materialistic objects. The option to redeem points for airfare, hotel accommodations, sporting events, concerts, festivals, and tours are examples of experiential incentives you should consider offering in the modern workplace.

16. Fun in the Workplace

All of these employee incentive examples lead to making the workplace more fun and engaging. However, there are additional ways to create fun in the workplace that don’t have to run up your HR budget! You could have a day once a quarter for employees to bring in their favorite boardgames, or a bring-your-dog-to-work day, or host themed and seasonal events, such as costume parties, chili cookoffs, or Hawaiian Fridays.

17. Ask for Feedback

The success of your employee incentive program depends on getting buy-in from your employees. Employees are more motivated when they feel their opinions matter and their voice is heard. Plus, many of them might have great ideas you can incorporate to make your employee incentive program even better!

Looking for to learn more about these employee incentive examples?

If you have more questions about employee incentive programs, check out our brand new Employee Incentive FAQ page. Of feel free to give us a call to discuss how we can help you improve your organizational culture!


About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.