When measuring the success of incentives programs for employees, it pays to look at overall engagement.

In the 2017 State of the Workplace report, Gallup claims that 51% of employees are just showing up to work. They aren’t engaged. They aren’t disengaged. They’re just there. Doing the minimum.

What would happen if you could find the right incentives programs for employees to shift more of them into the ‘engaged’ category? Other statistics on employee engagement show great results. Higher productivity. Higher retention rates. Less absenteeism. And if they start posting on Glassdoor – a better employer brand.

The science of employee engagement shows that traditional incentives programs for employees based on a once-a-year cash bonus or temporary competition aren’t going to shift those employees into the highly engaged category. The yearly bonus just doesn’t meet employees day-to-day needs for connection, having a voice, or feeling valued.

So, how do you get meaningful incentives programs for employees? Looking at the data, smaller, more frequent, meaningful recognition beat out big-ticket incentives across the board. Employees want to be coached and thanked for specific work. They want recognition awards ideas that are tied to that thank-you. Find out more about this  in our latest guide.

Here are five science-based recognition award ideas that can boost employee motivation:

  • Let employees buy lunch for a coworker. Data shows that having $20 to give away boosts individual and team performance more than giving an employee $20 for themselves.
  • 10-minute team dance party. Rewarding the whole team often pulls in better performance than rewarding an individual. Plus, putting a little movement into the day boosts everyone’s energy.
  • Quarterly award catalog. Over time, rewards might get stale. Dan Ariely’s Cash vs. Pizza research shows that being able to choose an employee reward is a big motivator. Rotating a variety of awards keeps employees involved.
  • Mentorship time from senior management. McKinsey found that employees think praise from their manager, time executive time, and opportunity to lead projects is at least as motivating (if not more!) than a cash bonus.
  • Do your employees’ laundry (or just hire a service for them). Our friends at the University of British Columbia and Harvard have found that employees that value time over money are happier. See our guide on 30 time-saving ideas to get more tips.

If you want to learn more about the science behind our recognition award ideas, see our guide: Employee Rewards that Work.

Incentives Programs for Employees that Work

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About YouEarnedIt:
YouEarnedIt is the employee experience platform that scales the core of an organization’s culture. As companies evolve, champions for the employee experience need a solution that appreciates and adapts to what makes their culture unique. In one trailblazing platform, YouEarnedIt provides real-time recognition, transformational behavior bonuses, continuous feedback, and actionable analytics to deliver an unmatched employee experience and a powerful return on investment. When people feel connected to core values and to one another, cultures and organizations thrive — because YouEarnedIt. Visit youearnedit.com for more information or schedule a quick demo here.

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Susan Mack