Employee Incentives That Actually Work

In addition to DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) consulting and training, I also offer my innovative Total Engagement Consulting Career Mapping solution to retain top talent through offering long range career planning and growth. In addition to my own offering, there are many other incentives companies can offer to employees to engage and retain this important human resource.

There are many benefits to offering employee incentives. They can boost loyalty, morale, and productivity, and if done right, they can help you to create a positive atmosphere and build a great team. However, not all benefits and incentives are equal. To be effective, you have to offer incentives that people want to earn. The good news is large cash bonuses certainly aren’t the only way to motivate your team. Let’s take a look at some other options.

Bonuses. Perhaps the most well-known and appreciated incentive is, of course, the bonus. People will work hard for a bonus and undoubtedly enjoy receiving it. But bonuses shouldn’t be expected, they shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve, and for the best results, it shouldn’t take your employees too long to earn a financial bonus. Offering bonuses can be tricky for small businesses, and some of the other options below might be better suited.

Gift Cards. Gift cards can be ideal because you can purchase gift cards in bulk so that you always have them to hand. A small gift card to celebrate a milestone, reward hard work, or say thank you after a tough day is a nice touch that will be remembered and appreciated. This can be a much more accessible option for smaller businesses and teams.

Shared Experiences. Not all incentives have to be monetary. Shared experiences like staff days out, trips, lunches, or other fun adventures can be a fantastic way to motivate people and improve morale. They can also boost your reputation as an employer and help you to attract the best staff.

Incentives focused on health and well being are increasingly popular, plus they are good for employees!

Health and Wellness Benefits. Offering health and wellness benefits is a great idea. Busy workers don’t often have time to exercise as much as they’d like, and things like gym memberships might offer convenience, but they can be costly. Offer things like cycle-to-work schemes; workplace yoga and mediation sessions; and discounted fitness classes and memberships for those who walk, instead of free parking. This helps your team to stay fit and boosts their moods. It also shows them that you care about their health and well being.

Days Off. The ability to earn extra days off through hard work is one that your employees will love. Just make sure any scheme you offer to earn the time is transparent and fair and that you can’t be accused of favoritism in the office.

Extra Breaks. Extra breaks are easy to offer and make a great incentive. Offering an extra lunch break to people who have hit targets, or even just a 10-minute coffee break during a tough day, is a great way to show you care, boost morale, and avoid fatigue in the workplace.

Gifts for Special Occasions. Remembering people’s birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions always goes down well, simply because it shows that you’ve taken an interest in the people you work with. A simple acknowledgment is excellent, but a card and a small gift can be a wonderful incentive if you can. Giving them important days off is always a fantastic perk.

Of course, different people respond to different things. Getting to know your team and building honest relationships with them is the best way for you to find out what they want and what they will be willing to work for.

Happy New Year! My Top 7 blogs of 2020

2020 saw a renewal of the Black Lives Matter movement superimposed with the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Every Year for the past several around New Year’s, I share my top 7 most read blogs of the year. It is really fun to go back and pull my website stats to see what people read the most. And interestingly enough, once again a few blogs I wrote several years even ago made it into the current “Top 7” List.

Quick stats about his year’s list:
• Four of the top 7 were published this year, and 3 are from previous years
• Six of the 7 dealt with some kind of diversity topic and one was around career development
• Three of the 4 blog published this year had a connection to Black Lives Matter

Here are the seven most read of 2020, starting with number 7 and working up to number one.

7) This year’s number 7 was last year’s number 3 – a blog published way back in 2011 on using career mapping as a tool for career development. This performance of a 9-year old blog certainly signals an ongoing focus on the importance of investing in skills and career development as a way to recruit and retain the best employees. You may also want to check out my 11-question Skills Development and Career Road Mapping organizational self-assessment.

6) Published in late September, Trump cancels federal racial sensitivity training – Five reasons why this is so wrong discusses Executive Order 13950, which basically attempts to curtail any discussion of the USA’s historic systemic racism.

5) Published this past June given the intersection of June being LGBTQ Pride Month and the recent protests around racism and police brutality following the killings of George Floyd and other Black and Brown Americans; Five Intersections – LGBTQ Pride Month and Black Lives Matter.

4) Also published in June, yet another example of blatant racism and sexism in American life and politics. Black Lives Matter and the $20 Bill – An Awful American Travesty. What happened to the plans to place African – American abolitionist Harriett Tubmam on our $20 bill? This story is a slap in the face to “Black Lives Matter” and women’s rights.

3) And published in July, another blog that deals with our nation’s racism and connection to our monetary currency. In “A Black Lives Matter and an American Coinage Travesty – blog 2,” I recount the sad story of a Ku Klux Klan-inspired coin.

2) With the growing number and visibility of Hispanic Americans, Number 2 for the third year in a row was “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People”, a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

1) And finally, With over 5,500 hits across the two blogs were 2018’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman) and my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.”

I wish all of my faithful readers a happy 2021 and hopefully a return to normalcy both with a new more inclusive President and with multiple vaccines leading to an end to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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