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10 Bonus Programs for Employees

If your staff’s morale has been low recently, you must have noticed motivation reduction, numerous burnouts, and a lack of engagement or initiative. If it’s an advanced case, there may be higher turnover rates among the best employees and poorer performance throughout the company.

Lack of engagement may well be rooted in poor management, communication gaps among the team members, or work overload. Have you ever thought about how much money discontented workers cost the US? If employers cared about it more, the country would not lose about $550 billion per year.

We do agree that motivation goes both ways. The internal one depends on the worker; still, there is the external one. Without stretching the point, bosses and HRs are the ones who have to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining a healthy and motivating environment in the workplace. It will help the staff to reach resourceful conditions, never experience a shortage of commitment, and get rid of the slightest idea to start searching for a better place.

So, what can be done to achieve high levels of engagement among the workers? Most likely, a company should offer something more than just a competitive remuneration. It should be an appealing impetus to help employees understand what they should be devoting their time and effort to. According to the statistics, 85% of workers tend to do their best at work if this term is met. For this reason, an excellent option called incentive programs has been introduced and successfully implemented among many companies.

What is an employee incentive program?

A magic wand for employers to boost their staff’s motivation apart from the money can be non-cash rewards or benefits. Those may be professional development opportunities, wellness and welfare programs, monetary rewards, etc. Incentive programs are usually based on the company’s values and staff’s preferences and desires.

Why employee incentive programs are so valuable

Incentive programs are effective because they clout people’s behavior directly. According to Cornell University research, frequent rewards stimulate inner motivation due to establishing a link between an activity and a goal. Therefore, workers complete tasks faster and more qualitatively, backed by a 79% rate of successfully achieved goals in the research. So it’s in organizations’ interests to implement regular incentive programs and not rely only on yearly or productivity awards.

Should you want your employees’ morale and involvement to grow up to 44% and increase the chances of decreasing turnover by 66%, consider introducing incentive programs. Your workers will remain happy and content, but your company will thrive, and revenue will scale up. We’ve included ten possible options for incentive programs to use in this article.

Recognition and rewards

Everybody knows about the sticks and carrots approach. However, rarely do they use carrots. Monetary rewards matter, but not for everyone in the first place. Today, 69 percent of workers distinguish recognition as one of the central driving powers not to quit their current workplace. Thus, retention and engagement rates skyrocket, respectively.

Recognition should turn into a constant item on the employer’s agenda. One may consider using specific apps or software to provide it faster and easier. However, one thing is clear – everyone will benefit from it, as recognition incorporates motivation into each employee’s working routine.

Referral programs

Recruiters have to consider transforming their approach to luring qualified candidates. Why post vacancies on numerous job sites if there are referral programs? It’s a win-win situation for both the recruiter and the employee. The first one gets a steady flow of reliable candidates who are highly likely to match the company’s vibe. Employees, in their turn, get a monetary reward and a friendly colleague in the bargain.

It’s good to introduce a tiered approach to reward the employees. The number of points rises depending on which level the recommended candidate has reached, and so does the bonus.

Professional development

You might be surprised, but 40 percent of workers who are offered few professional development opportunities are highly likely to quit within five years. Millennials are the ones who value it particularly seriously. It’s logical since investing in people’s development creates a feeling of care and a long-term relationship perspective with the employer. Your employees will feel more secure at work, but your company will also benefit as the level of literacy and skills among the staff grows.

There are a few options for how to organize the process. It may be either your in-house development programs or you may use external services. The main idea is that employees get recognition points, which motivates them to take the learning process seriously and responsibly.

Profit sharing

Introducing profit-sharing plans is an excellent way to make your employees feel their value and a decent alternative to a 401k plan. It’s a regularly made contribution to their pension account that can be paused or changed. It gives employees a share in their company’s profits, either quarterly or annually. The percentage typically depends on the worker’s income.

Health and wellness

Luckily, most businesses have started talking about burnout and mental health overall. Performance and productivity are directly dependent on your team members’ wellness. Why not help make your employees’ lives easier and more comfortable by offering free healthy snacks or lunches, introducing a bike-to-work campaign, giving points for using staircases rather than lifts, drinking enough water during the day, or just regular corporate wellness events? An advanced level would include serious encouragement programs for quitting nasty habits and cultivating healthy ones at work and home.

Tuition reimbursement

Learning is life, no matter how old you are, what position you take, or how much you’ve already achieved. There is always more to be learned and done. Therefore, tuition reimbursement has to be another brick in building a culture of recognition in your company. It takes no time to congratulate some individuals for completing another miniature course or their Master’s degree. On the flip side, a powerful effect public recognition provides inspires everybody to work harder and achieve further progress. Even the statistics say that 79 percent of candidates would prefer a company that offers tuition assistance programs to one that doesn’t.

Bonuses and raises

Nobody will argue that this incentive may well be the most powerful among others. No wonder 65 percent of employees throughout the USA opt for the bonuses given for personal performance.

The requirements for effective implementation of bonuses:

  • Clear performance metrics;
  • Specified goals;
  • Real chances of achieving the objectives;
  • No clashes or provocations between the employees.

Promoting healthy competition might benefit your company. However, there should always be a clear awareness that teamwork and an expected result are the priorities everyone has to stick to.

Fun gifts

It might seem to be not that serious; however, everybody likes gifts and celebrations. First of all, giving presents demonstrates your appreciation, care, and respect for another person. Secondly, why not give your workers a chance to celebrate life even when they are at their workplace? It may be as significant celebrations or just some work anniversaries, professional holidays, global holidays, etc. Provide the points system here, too – actively encourage people to participate in fun competitions or quizzes. We tend to be so focused and concentrated all the time that some people could forget what fun may feel like and how it can help us cope with never-ending stress at work.

Additional time off

‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.’ Hopefully, employers realize that this proverb can be applied not only to children but also to adults. The definition of “work-life balance” has finally become something more than just a title in a fancy magazine. If 85% of employees agree on a pay cut to get additional time off, this idea is worth paying attention to, isn’t it?

And surprisingly, it’s not only about the paid time off options. People clearly understand that having more freedom and flexibility at work is way more important than just earning much and being reluctant to do this work.

Choice of projects

The choice is the primary indicator of freedom a person has. By providing your employees with such an opportunity, you are to build credible relations with them and between them. However, according to Harvard Business Review, subordinates tend to trust their leaders more if given empowerment and freedom of choice in their working routine. What can be more important than a reliable and trustworthy environment at a workplace? Such employees are more loyal, engaged, and devoted to the company. It means they are more likely to take extra steps to reach incredible results when the company is in a tough spot.

Regarding the projects, a good idea would be to apply a personalized approach. It’s up to team leaders to establish effective communication with their team members, including their goals and preferences, and base their project options on this knowledge.

Date: 3 June 2022
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