No cost employee incentives are a great way to increase productivity and result in a higher level of job satisfaction for employees. These incentives don't have to be costly to be successful.
Value Your Employees
Incentives and rewards show employees that you value their contributions to the workplace, and statistics reflect a positive effect on the company's bottom line when rewards and incentives provide employees with recognition for a job well done. When you make an effort to show your appreciation for a good work ethic, originality of ideas, efficient teamwork and other admirable habits, it reinforces the behavior being rewarded.
No Cost Employee Incentives
Small businesses often can't afford expensive reward and incentive programs, but that doesn't mean you have to forgo the idea. There are plenty of inexpensive and no cost employee incentives for you to implement in order to give your employees that extra boost of confidence that comes from being recognized for their work. No cost incentives include:
Extra Vacation Day
Offering an extra day of vacation makes a great incentive for employees. If you choose to offer this reward, be sure to make it clear whether the vacation day or days rewarded can be carried over into the following year if they're not used. A day off with pay doesn't financially cost the business anymore than already budgeted for operations and motivates and inspires all your employees to do their best.
If your company issues pre-assigned parking places to CEO's and lower-level management, offering a coveted parking place near the door can be added to your list of no cost employee incentives. This reward not only allows your employee the convenience of parking near the entrance, but his or her car positioned near the door makes a good reminder for other employees that you reward good work. When you use an assigned parking place as an incentive, be sure to specify the time frame with a starting and ending date.
If your company puts out a newsletter, another no cost incentive is to spotlight an employee for their accomplishments in the newsletter. If your newsletter is published once a month, it can be a regular column titled "Employee of the Month." Make the article a bit more personal and include the employee's interests and accomplishments outside the workplace as well recognizing them for their achievement in the workplace.
Certificates of Appreciation
Certificates of Appreciation are another way to show employees that you appreciate the work they've done. These certificates can be used to recognize achievements of an individual or teams. Customized certificates can be created with templates available through Microsoft Office Online. Template text can be modified to fit your specific needs and allows for a detailed account of the employees accomplishment.
Ask the vendors you do business with to take part in your incentive program by donating gift certificates good for services or products they offer. Then announce or post a list of available gift certificates to choose from as incentives. This not only makes your employee happy, costs you nothing, but also provides plenty of word of mouth advertising for the vendor's business as employees discuss prizes among themselves as well as outside the workplace with friends and family.
When asked, most employees say they would prefer money as a reward, but the downside to offering money as an incentive is that after enough time passes, the employee doesn't remember receiving it. Once it's spent, it doesn't have a lasting influence. Using tangible employee incentives like the ones listed above generates more pride in accomplishments and influences behavior changes and improved performance because they make more of a lasting impact throughout the workforce. Seeing a Certificate of Appreciation on the wall, your buddy's car parked near the door, or listening to how they spent the vendor gift certificate they won are all tangible rewards that provide lasting incentive.