What are some employees incentives that proved great long term results in your company? What are the ones that backfired?

What kind of incentives have worked best for your company (or the one you worked for). What are the ones that might have worked short term but then leaded to worse results. How do you set up incentives for non-sales people? I'm interested in startup ad well as SME perspective. Any advice is much appreciated!


Hi there, I recently worked in the internal communications department of a FTSE 100 insurer in the UK managing their national recognition program. We had over 10,000 employees across the country and looked at number of different options to engage our staff and managers when it came to rewards. While a number of our staff were front line (ie. call centre) the recognition rewards we decided on were focused on giving people things they really want. While this may be different for every company depending on the demographic here are a couple of basic rules that can help you get started:
1. Cash is king (I also previously worked in radio promotions and people always prefer cash over a set item, even a large item)
2. Make sure the 'claim' process is easy and simple and allows flexibility (We used £ value coupons extensively as this was easy to track and for managers to order - but the key to this being successful was where the recipient could use the coupon, how easy it was to use, and the validity of the voucher)
3. Make sure you educate your teams on what incentives are available and how they can easily take advantage of them (this relates more to employee incentives such as discounts, training and other entitlements)
4. Make sure the incentives reflect your desired employee experience proposition and your corporate identity (ie. if your company culture is all about health and fitness, it may not make sense to provide an incentive based around discount chocolates...)

At the end of the day, you want to first make sure you are clear on your objectives and restrictions (ie. budget, is the solution aimed at day to day recognition or long term incentive benefits, how does this align with the long term employee experience strategy) and then look for an option that ticks these boxes. This solution can vary greatly depending on the size and scale (geography) of your company. From experience, I wouldn't recommend trying an individual Christmas chocolate desk drop for 10,000 employees, across over 20 sites, all on one day..
(Yes, we actually did this, it was a nightmare to organise and on resources!)

If you would like to chat more I'd be happy to help as it is difficult to give a definitive answer without knowing your employees and your overall goals. Incentives are a great opportunity to reinforce your company culture and to engage your employees with the business. Feel free to book a call if this is something you would like to explore further.

Either way, I wish you all the best in finding the right incentives for your company that engage your teams and come in under budget. :-)

Answered 6 years ago

One of the best incentives for employees is recognition, reward them by communicating face-to-face about how great of a job they are doing. They will continue trying to please you. Another great incentive is to give them flexible hours. Other incentives that worked were giving employees prime parking, pizza parties, flip flop/jeans day, day off work pass and new office chair. Just be creative how you reward your employees and they will work hard. An incentive I don't recommend is cold hard cash.

Answered 7 years ago

One of the best incentive programs I have seen is award perks where individuals can buy products with points. For sales people, they would receive points based on quota achievement. For staff employees, it was reward based on recognition by peers and leadership. They would be noted for work effort and achievement outside the scope of their daily job. We had a Bravo program where people could be nominated for various levels of awards. I'd be happy to talk through this further if necessary.

Answered 7 years ago

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