What’s the point investing in employees?
Employees are replaceable, and they’ll quit at a moment’s notice. This is the stance of a bad company. Mounting evidence shows that happy employees are more productive and less likely to leave.
Read on below to learn more about how employee incentives can benefit your company.
Motivation and Productivity
Unmotived workers aren’t productive.
It’s an obvious statement, but many businesses still neglect the effect of morale on productivity. Demotivation leads to slow work, excessive sick leave, and more interpersonal incidents.
Incentives are one of the most visible ways for a business to show it cares.
Employees who feel cared for are more likely to put effort into the business. You can think of it this way: the wage you pay your employees buys the basic service. But most of your employees will only upgrade you to the premium package if they’re getting something more for it.
Increased motivation nets you better teamwork, more ideas, and more effort. It’s almost like employing more staff, but for a fraction of the price.
In an age where companies are trying harder than ever to do more with less, employee motivation is a key factor in keeping ahead.
Incentives could be a deciding factor when it comes to staff retention.
Without incentives, staff don’t feel rewarded for their loyalty to the company. Their morale is lower, and they can feel short-changed.
These are all considerations that will drive your staff to look elsewhere.
Thinking you can just replace them and not notice?
Think again. Companies waste huge amounts of money on the recruitment and training process. Searching for new employees soaks up the time your current employees should be spending on core tasks.
Even after the arduous process of finding a replacement, they could be gone in a matter of weeks if they get a better offer.
High turnover also has a cumulative effect. The higher your turnover, the more projects will be dragged down. You may find it difficult to get suitable replacement staff once word of your reputation gets out.
High turnover is rarely the mark of a healthy company, after all.
Investing in the Future
By offering employee incentives, you’re committing to your employees. Along with rigorous staff training programs, this is a great way to invest in your company’s future.
Employees who believe in a company will remain longer. That means they’ll continue to increase their knowledge. A company with experience will always have the edge on a similarly-sized company with an inexperienced team.
Employees with long tenure are also more likely to offer useful advice on company direction and policies. They have a bigger-picture view that can suggest genuine insight.
Aligning your incentives with personal development can really show your employees that you’re committing to them as people.
For instance, why not subsidize training that isn’t directly related to their role? That way, your staff can experience new things. It can even bring new talents into your business.
If you have employees who’ve always wanted to learn a new language, why not encourage that? It may be the start of your company’s international future.
Brands are always looking for ways to advertise and promote their image. The workforce should be part of that strategy.
Employee incentives can turn employees into brand champions.
Those who feel positive about the company’s image will pass that positivity on to people they encounter. Effectively, you can multiply your number of employees by the people in their social circles. Then, you can get a sense of how much further your message can reach.
Pride In The Workplace
One of the most common pieces of small talk is to ask about work.
The follow-up question to “Where do you work?” is usually “What are they like to work for?”
Employee incentives can go a long way to turning the answer to that question into a positive. And an employee who feels positive about their company is more likely to recommend them to both potential customers and their friends who are looking for work.
So by turning employees into brand champions, you can reap two different types of reward. Firstly, you expand your advertising for free. Secondly, you make your recruitment easier.
Promoting through your own employees is an overlooked aspect of modern marketing.
Especially with social media in play, your employees can reach a huge range of people in a short amount of time. Many company’s pay good money for this kind of grassroots promotion. Why not turn your employees into advocates by doing the right thing?
When crunch time comes, you’ll soon know who your loyal employees are.
Imagine you go through a difficult period. Profits are down and the workload is up. What reasons do staff have to remain in the environment?
Employee incentives can drive a deeper link between your business and the employee than any paid wage. Employees are more likely to remain loyal in difficult times to a company that’s proved how much it cares about its employees.
Conversely, low loyalty levels can be devastating.
Instead of weathering the storm when you hit hard times or a big project, employees are more likely to jump ship. That gives you a snowballing problem which will continue to get worse. Loyalty might just give you time to restore confidence in your company and get the house back in order.
And everything we said about high turnover? You can soon expect to face that, as well!
Companies that offer employee incentives realize that employees aren’t automatons.
A company can’t expect to throw together a group of staff and have them work well as a team. People have different backgrounds and styles of communication.
So how do employee incentives minimize these problems? Well, team-building events and interactive workshops are a great form of incentive. They offer employees the chance to step outside of their usual environment. They can also learn new skills, and bond more closely with colleagues.
Teams that go through teambuilding have better communication skills. They’ve established how to work together. They can also plan and execute. All of these are vital skills when it comes to team projects.
And teams can be far more than the sum of their parts.
This again allows a company to do more with less. Effective teamwork can go a long way toward amplifying the workforce of your company without actually increasing headcount.
Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies
Some companies are smart enough to offer incentives that directly improve the health of their employees.
A healthy workforce greatly boosts productivity.
Healthy workers are less likely to come to work sluggish and drained of energy. And as science has proved many times over, cognitive functions are closely tied to the health of the body.
Yet, many people don’t understand the impact this can have, and fail to isolate excessive stress to a physical cause.
Healthy employees are also unlikely to eat into company productivity through excessive sick leave. They’re less likely to break down with stress and anxiety issues.
This can also save a fortune when it comes to equipment, such as workstation adjustments. Offering company yoga, for instance, might save on expensive chairs designed for chronic back conditions.
The body’s pent-up physical stresses also drive interpersonal conflict. Employees who don’t get enough fresh air or physical activity are prone to snap at colleagues and drive conflict. Investing in their health can push down HR’s workload at the same time.
But many companies don’t stop at physical health. Offering perks in the form of helplines or counseling can give your employees yet another outlet. Contracting an anonymous, third-party service to support your staff demonstrates that you care about their well-being.
One popular form of employee incentive is to offer a bounty on new ideas.
This is a win-win situation. You might be surprised by what your employees come up with.
Employees often feel their ideas aren’t being listened to. Or, they might not know who to approach about a good idea. It can also be demotivating to feel your idea was ‘stolen’ and you weren’t properly acknowledged for it.
By creating a central scheme for new ideas, you make the process easier and incentivize staff at the same time.
Whatever the form of the reward, the employee feels they’ll get something out of it. This positive reinforcement gives them more reason to submit ideas in the first place. It also means they’ll feel appreciated if their idea is accepted.
This idea generation also drives higher employee engagement. Employees who feel engaged with their employer will put in more effort.
Employee Incentives Are the Future
As if all of the above wasn’t enough, employee incentives are the future of business.
Think about it: if employees can get the same wage elsewhere along with incentives, where are they going to go? But with the points we just outlined, you can see it isn’t only about keeping employees where they are.
Employee incentives can transform your company!