While a company may be profitable and successful, it is still constantly affected by the personalities and motivations of its employees. One month the team may be inspired by a huge growth in sales, and a month later inspiration and motivation may be sorely lacking. This can be the result of how things are going within the business and employee’s personal lives. So, what are the things that you can do to help inspire your team? Here are 9 incentives that get the job done.

  1. Acknowledge Achievements. Feeling appreciated is a basic human need. When an individual is praised for a job they worked hard to complete, the return for them isn’t just analytical, it’s emotional as well. Acknowledge both large and small achievements with a hand-written note (emails get lost in the shuffle), along with public recognition to inspire others.
  2. Give Rewards. Inspiring a team to give their 110% can sometimes feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be with a little bit of thought. There are no cost and low cost ways to reward employees without making a huge dent in the company budget.
    -Movie Tickets
    -Buying a gourmet coffee machine for the break room
    -First-rate parking space
    -Gift Basket filled with an assortment of chocolates, wine, gourmet snacks
    Gift Cards – Convenient and easy to track balances online, can be used at a multitude of online and brick and mortar vendors
    -Friday donuts or a monthly breakfast
    -Half day on Friday
  3. Align Rewards with Employee Interests. Employees have wide and varying interests, and your recognition of those individual interests and effort to accommodate them will go a long way in making them feel appreciated. Get the sports fanatic tickets for an upcoming game, the adventurer a pair of warm hiking gloves, and the crafter a gift card for a hobby store.
  4. Be Instrumental in Advancing their Careers. Use your connections to set up meetings for your employees with mentors in their industry, trade conferences and any other avenue to meet with other high-ranking executives in the field. The ability to made headway in advancing their career will help them feel truly valued for their skill and individuality.
  5. Provide a Great Work Space. Full time employees spend a third of their day at work. Although there is a clear line between a home and a business, bringing some elements into the work place will have a positive effect on employees. Be sure the environment is kept clean, and consider bringing outside elements indoors. Real and faux greenery, soft lighting (fluorescent lighting can cause tremendous anxiety over time), soothing music, and lots of natural lighting will help people stay happy to go to work.
  6. Try Positive Encouragement Not Criticism. Depending on the person, even the smallest criticism, regardless of the good intentions behind it, can seem devastating. It’s proven that positive encouragement works more effectively than criticism so when an employee makes a mistake, acknowledge the mistake and move quickly forward from it.
  7. Access to Health & Wellness Benefits. Encouraging overall health and wellness is becoming more of a priority for businesses everywhere. People are realizing that a holistic approach is more effective and long lasting when it comes to happiness. Consider offering:
    -On site health screenings
    -Free healthy lunches
    -Standing desks
    -Gym memberships
    -Tickets to wellness events
    -Walking groups
    Biking to work reimbursements
  8. Regular Raises & Bonuses. Implementing regular salary increases will show employees that you are mindful of the cost of living and aren’t taking them for granted. Create clear metrics for bonuses so they know what is required of them for achievement. Never foster a sense of rivalry among team members because that is likely to backfire on the company.
  9. Tuition Reimbursement. If given the opportunity, most people would at least strongly consider continuing their education if they had the financial support. Continued education can only help the company; whether or not the employee ultimately remains with the business they will support it throughout their career in one way or another. Studies have found that employees who are given tuition assistance are more likely to stay with the company than those who are not.

Companies nationwide are struggling to keep employees happy. There are many avenues to take to help achieve this by fostering a work/life balance, showing gratitude, offering rewards and incentives, and investing in their future.

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