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Great Incentive Program Ideas for Hourly Employees

written by: Tess C. Taylor, HR Expert•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 2/28/2011

Do you have grumbling or low performing employees? There are some great incentive program ideas for hourly employees that you can use now, some of which are completely free! Learn more here.

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    Managers who want to improve employee morale and encourage better productivity from workers may choose to develop hourly employee incentive programs to achieve this goal. Employee incentive plans can run the gamut of simple verbal praise and employee recognition events, to bonuses and other employee rewards. The following sections include some great incentive program ideas for full or part time hourly employees.IMG 1639 

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    Non-Monetary Hourly Employee Incentive Plans

    In order for an employee incentive plan to work, it doesn’t necessarily have to be based solely on financial gain. Work isn’t always just about bringing home a pay check. It also involves other aspects like how and why work is done in a certain way. Hourly employees are often left out when it comes to being able to have a say in company procedures, which can result in low morale and poor performance across the entire company.

    An effective non-monetary incentive plan for hourly employees is providing a suggestion box and letting employees vote on the best ideas periodically. Employees who go over and above the call of duty on the job should be praised at every opportunity. Provide a bulletin board in the company break area and post an employee of the month photo for all to see. All of these methods provide a way for you to demonstrate your appreciation for the hard work your employees do daily.

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    Low Cost Hourly Employee Incentives

    Any company, even a small organization on a budget, can institute low cost hourly employee incentive programs. Instead of focusing on just a few employees, why not encourage all employees by holding impromptu company pizza parties or have a group birthday cake for all employees who have a birthday in a particular month? Hourly employees who generally get a small mid-day break will appreciate it when they get a little more time to relax on the clock and a free snack at any time of the day. This can be a good incentive that all enjoy, even short term and part time hourly employees.

    In addition to company meals, plan some interesting events for your hourly employees as an incentive for a job well done. Invite speakers to come in and have them educate your employees in a fun way at the next company meeting. Your company can host an outdoor sporting event or a movie night, and distribute group discounted tickets to employees and their families to enjoy some much-deserved entertainment on a weekend. All of these incentives give hourly employees something to look forward to and create a sense of loyalty and concern for the company.

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    Financial Incentives and Bonuses for Hourly Employees

    If your company has the means to provide financial rewards and bonuses as part of your hourly employee incentive programs, then there are some best practices for doing this. First, be sure that all financial incentive plans are fair to all employees involved. Make sure that the bonuses are based on reachable goals and objectives that are important to the overall growth of the company. Do not base bonuses on favoritism or nepotism on the job, unless you are willing to deal with the legal consequences.

    Bonuses should be based on a percentage of each employee’s annual salary and should be carefully determined during certain time periods, such as quarterly or annually. They may be based on performance, years of service, sales quotas, or other factors that are directly related to each employee’s job requirements. An alternative to handing out bonus checks can also be time off with pay offered for a certain amount of hours worked. Many employees enjoy being able to choose when they can use this PTO and plan family activities around this bonus.

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    References and Photo Credit

    Article References:

    HR Management " Finding the Right Employee Incentive Company and Programs that Work", retrieved on February 21, 2011 from www.hrmreport.com

    Walden University "Do Employee Incentive Programs Work?", retrieved on February 21, 2011 from "Think Up: College of Management and Technology" magazine, www.thinkup.walden.edu

    Image credit http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/57435