How to Incentivize Employees for Increased Productivity and Engagement

Are your employees suffering from disengagement or lack of motivation? If the answer is yes, they may be costing you a fortune. It’s time to take steps before it becomes a problematic stretch and turns your business upside down. One of the most impactful ways to engage employees is through incentive programs.

Incentive programs are designed to engage, motivate, and attract employees by providing rewards, benefits, or recognition. They have the potential to make your employees happy, and therefore, more productive. Such programs work as they create a sense of healthy competition by linking activities to goals.

That said, organizations using incentive programs have more success rates. You can incentivize employees in different ways, here are a few that have worked in the past:

Group Trips

You can set standard or customized goals for each employee. Later, you can pick a few outperforming employees and offer them a group tour, especially millennials. For instance, you can rent motorhome vehicles or other customized tour buses and select a destination that all the incentivized employees will like. It can be anything from a small local round-trip with lunch and entertainment stops or an extravagant weekend tour.


Although money might not be the biggest reason behind choosing a job anymore, it sure motivates productivity. When you compensate workers for their valuable efforts, it begins to run competitive adrenaline in them. You can reward employees for their punctuality, attendance, sales, etc. One thing to ensure here is to pay a sufficient amount. Hence, don’t do it just for the sake of starting an incentive program. If you want to reap the actual benefits of compensation, the amount should be good enough, if not great.

Tuition Reimbursement

As technology advances and penetrates almost every sector, ongoing education has become essential. Hence, today’s employees consider up-skilling a vital competitive advantage. While they perform great for your business, you can help them strengthen their careers by providing tuition reimbursement. There are tons of online learning courses available. You can either ask your employees’ preferences or select a course to help them get promoted in your company.


The workers will only sweat for your business if they consider it to be their own. This is where profit-sharing proves to be vital. These are more flexible contribution plans that you can offer your employees. Flexible because you can give cash bonuses, company shares, contributions to employee’s retirement accounts, etc. Besides providing a financial advantage, these plans also offer a sense of ownership. This will further loyalty and retention. When your employees hold a few shares of your company, they will make all the possible efforts to increase their price.


You would have seen workers fighting hard for employee of the month or employee of the year rewards. That’s because these rewards provide them an organization-wide recognition. While these are the most obvious recognition, you can go a step further. There are many ways to do this. For instance, you can have a social recognition program where you can ask co-workers to show their gratitude towards a hard-working employee. Another example can be featuring the person in a company’s promotional video.

Points-Based Reward System

Points-based reward systems can best complement the saying, “there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.” A gift or incentive that you like don’t need to be equally embraced by your employees. Hence, it is sometimes best to let them make the final decision. This reward system works by assigning points to the employees for all the milestones they achieve.

Each point will hold some value, either tangible or intangible. After accumulating a certain amount of points, you can provide them with gift cards to let them buy whatever they want.


You can take performing employees for a lunch or dinner party. Let them choose the restaurant and have fun with them. It would be best to keep the professional talks to the bare minimum and learn more about their life outside work. You can also organize small appreciation events while having lunch to show gratitude towards the employees.

While these are just a few options, you can incentivize your workers in different ways. Something as simple as saying thank you can also help. It’s all about showing your employees that their efforts are being recognized, and you are grateful to have them in your team. Building such a work culture where hard work is appreciated is essential to ensure a company’s success. Also, try to personalize the incentive programs as much as possible.

There’s no point in having incentive programs if the employees are not happy with the incentives. Hence, don’t just think about the upfront cost because you will anyhow get the back in the form of extra revenue. Instead, keep the employees at the center and then make a decision.

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