Friday, June 2, 2023

4 Employee Incentive Programs Your Business Should Consider Implementing to Boost Morale and Retention

We’ve all had those days when getting out of bed to start our daily work routine seems nearly impossible, even though we do this task most days. Having a negative start to our day can often impact the rest of our workday, making us feel sluggish and less motivated to complete work tasks than usual: but what happens when this lack of morale becomes tangible across all your organisation?

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Lack of morale can cause employees to become unhappy and more susceptible to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, costing UK-based businesses an estimated £340 billion per year, not including low turnover rates, low productivity, etc. To prevent this, employers and those in management roles must provide much more than a compelling salary, attractive benefit packages etc., to engage employees and retain their top talent.

One way businesses can boost the morale and retention of their employees is by implementing employee incentive programs, which can provide employees with bonuses, recognition, development opportunities, and much more. But, with so many employee incentive programs, how do you know which ones to implement for happy, retained employees? We outline several of the best in our article below:

Salary Sacrifice Scheme

Salary sacrifice schemes are an employee incentive program that has become increasingly popular for UK-based businesses. In a nutshell, when an organisation signs up for one of these schemes, their employees can trade in a cut of their pre-taxed annual earnings in return for non-cash benefits or services, some of the most popular being gym memberships, childcare, increased pension contributions, and many more.

Not only can they be a valuable tactic for retaining and boosting employees’ morale, but they can also save them money in the long run because the amount sacrificed usually comes from pre-taxed salary, lessening how much that employee pays in tax each month. However, if childcare, pension, or healthcare benefits don’t apply to you, you’ll be pleased to learn that another non-cash benefit has emerged from salary sacrifice schemes: car leasing.

A salary sacrifice car scheme enables employees to choose a company car from a range of brand-new petrol, diesel, and electric vehicles for a much lower price than it would be to purchase them outright, which can be attractive for working professionals who are reluctant to reach into their own pockets for their own vehicle or those who can’t afford it.

If you’d like to learn more and discover the benefits of a car lease with a salary sacrifice scheme, consider visiting providers’ websites like LV ElectriX, which specialises in the leasing of electric cars. Consider enquiring today using their helpful on-site form, or contact a team member directly today to see how their electric car salary sacrifice schemes could help you retain and boost the morale of your employees!

Health/Wellness Programs

After three years of being unable to do anything besides sit in the same four walls of our homes, employees’ physical and mental health/well-being has become a top priority for modern-day businesses. Especially since problems with employees’ psychological or physical health are one of the leading causes of working professionals’ inability to perform at their best, due to this, health/wellness incentives have become vital for businesses wanting to promote optimum health.

Some of the best examples of health/wellness employee incentives you could implement at your workplace are offering free-of-charge healthy meals/snacks during breaktimes, on-site health screenings that are available at all times of the day, providing staff with standing desks or under-the-desk exercise equipment, hosting wellness fairs, and much more.

You can encourage staff to use these incentives by celebrating/rewarding staff who hit certain health/wellness milestones, like quitting smoking, cycling for a specific number of miles, hitting their ten thousand steps a day, etc. Acknowledging their achievement will make them feel valued and more likely to repeat the behaviour you praised them for and inspire other employees to do the same to be commended like other team members.

As well as offering the above incentives, it is best to foster an open-door community, as not all staff members will readily engage in the above incentives even if they’re offered! Instead, communicate to all staff members that employers and anyone in senior positions are always available for a chat as and when employees need support.

You might find that some individuals would rather talk to someone about the issues they’re experiencing before devising solutions to tackle them. By fostering an open-door community, you can make these types of people feel more inclined to open up to you about the physical/mental issues they’re experiencing and, in turn, happier and more likely to remain with your business.

Professional Development Opportunities

Unbeknownst to many, but without sufficient professional development opportunities, two out of three employees will consider leaving their jobs in search of a position elsewhere that does offer further learning opportunities. Especially younger working professionals want to dedicate their skills to an employer invested in their personal and professional lives. One of the best ways of doing so is by providing them with professional development incentives.

With further learning opportunities, employees can improve their existing skillsets, develop new skills, connect with like-minded individuals, and much more. All of these can help them apply themselves to their roles better and shape them into a more all-rounded employee who will benefit both the employee in question and the organisation at the same time.

Typically, there are two ways to provide employees with professional development opportunities, either by developing your own learning and development program that you can conduct in-house or by outsourcing third-party programs like Adobe, Salesforce, etc., that provide pre-made courses for a price which can be taught off-site or at home in the employee’s spare time.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to use a learning and development program, you could consider connecting them with a mentor, getting them to shadow a senior staff member, providing online training sessions or webinars, challenging them with something new, asking them to give a presentation, and much more.

Giving Them A Gift

Nothing quite warms the cockles of our hearts more than when someone tells us they saw something and thought of us. As much as we all love money, company cars, etc., sometimes nothing shows that you are appreciated more than a gift that someone has picked out for you, no matter how small it might be in value or size.

Whether it’s an employee’s birthday, work anniversary, or simply because they’ve done a good job, gift-giving is an excellent way to boost their morale and increase their loyalty to the company (especially if they weren’t expecting to receive anything!). Plus, one of the best things about gift-giving is that the items you choose as presents don’t have to be monetary.

Suppose Jackie’s told you hundreds of times that her favourite restaurant is Pizza Express; why not reward her for a job well done with a gift card to make her next visit there even more special? Or that Mark’s waxed poetic about the latest episode of ‘The Mandalorian‘; why not surprise him on his birthday with a Star Wars-themed gift?

Ultimately, no matter how small the gift, gift-giving is an excellent way to show employees that you are interested in their hobbies and interests outside of work (and that you listen to them when they babble on about them!). This can make them equally happy as receiving monetary items and make them more inclined to stick around because of this!


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