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Short-Term Employee Incentive Programs: 4 Best Ideas

written by: Tess C. Taylor, HR Expert•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 1/5/2011

Incentive plans are not just for full-time workers. Short-term employees also deserve incentives and bonuses for hard work, which will instigate higher performance and a more positive workplace.This article explains four of the best types of short-term employee incentive programs.

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    The key to using different types of short-term employee incentive programs is to identify what actually encourages and motivates employees to perform in a relatively short period of time. This is important when dealing with short-term, temporary, or seasonal employees. Somewhat different from traditional employee incentive plans, short-term employee incentives should focus on immediate goals that can be achieved. By learning what gets employees excited about the work that is done and then setting attainable goals, this action can result in top performance over a period of weeks or months. Fortunately, there are several different types of short-term employee incentive programs that focus specifically on reaching these goals quickly.

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    Short term employees love incentives!
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    Gift Employee Incentive Programs

    One of the easiest short-term employee incentive programs to implement is a gift system. This can be as simple as purchasing a few gift cards to stores, restaurants, and entertainment vendors in the area and then using them as incentives when setting up fun contests and goals for short term employees and temporary staff. Employees who reach these objectives in a certain amount of time or meet an important deadline then get a gift card that can be used at their leisure. There are also pre-paid cards that can be used to purchase gifts online or saved up for even better prizes.

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    Bonus Employee Incentive Plans

    In the general sense of the working world, employees are motivated by financial gain. That makes a bonus employee incentive plan particularly appealing to short-term employees who may not be eligible for other forms of incentives. A bonus plan can be set up as a percentage of actual sales generated or a bonus given for each completed project. Employees can be paid a bonus periodically, such as during business quarters, or at the end of their temporary employment period. During short periods of employment, such as during holiday retail seasons or tax seasons, there can be bonuses given to employees who stay on to work the entire season.

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    Paid-Time-Off Employee Incentives

    Another excellent short-term employee incentive program is that of the paid-time-off model. As short-term employees work a certain amount of shifts, they earn the right to take a few hours off with pay. This is an attractive incentive for part-time or temporary employees who don’t otherwise earn paid time off. This accrued incentive encourages employees to show up for the allotted hours to work and earn more paid time off. In addition, this gives short-term employees more flexibility as enjoyed by full-time employees. This helps to create a more pleasant working environment and happier, more productive employees.

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    Team Awards for Employees

    When team work is vital to the success of a company, a good way to offer a short-term employee incentive program is by offering team or group awards. This works in two ways: first the employees have accountability to each other; second the employees motivate and encourage each other to succeed. Once a goal is met, the group can enjoy a special day to honor achievements and further develop team building. As part of this type of incentive plan, it’s important to post a graph that shows the progress toward the incentive with regular meetings to discuss how things are progressing. The outcome is a positive outcome that all short-term employees can enjoy.

    Photo used with permission from http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/228806