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Tips on Creating an Employee Incentive Program

written by: Amber Neely•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 4/21/2012

If you own a company, a company incentive program can be used to create a more pleasant and productive work place. This also is likely to promote company loyalty as well as employee bonding. Not to mention, who wouldn't be more inclined to work harder when work is more fun?

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    Creating an employee incentive program isn't only an easy way to help encourage your employees to work harder, it can also promote company loyalty and bonding among coworkers. Not to mention, this helps bring a sense of fun into the workplace, and happy employees are prodcutive employees. This article will give you a few ideas for creating an employee incentive program that is sure to fit well with your company.

    Take a look at Top 6 Disadvantages to Employee Rewards Programs to see how you can avoid making costly mistakes.

    You should also check out: Can a Business Make Rewards Work?

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    Don't forget to actually say Thank You

    You'd be surprised, but people are often times most flattered by a simple "Thank You" for a job well done. Positive reinforcement is one of the things that drives people to work harder and work smarter, and simply reminding people that you do appreciate their efforts is enough to make them want to work harder. Everyone loves to be noticed for the effort they put in, after all. If you notice someone is pulling their weight, praise them and thank them for the effort they put in. After all, a business is nothing without its workers!

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    Party Time!

    While you don't want to stuff your employees so full of carbohydrates that by mid-day they're falling asleep at their desks, occasionally holding a party - with party food of course - can do wonders for everyone involved. Once a month, hold an hour or two long office birthday party for everyone who has a birthday in that month, or celebrate that months holiday. Skip the premade megamart cake and bring in fresh made cupcakes from a local baker, pizza from a local pizza joint, or holiday themed food! Encourage people to talk about anything other than work for that hour, giving them a chance to bond with each other, and you as well.

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    Offer Discounts

    If you work in a retail or travel based business, give your employees a discount on your company's products or services that your company may offer. Encourage them to let their friends and family use it as well, as this is great for your business as well as great for their budgets!

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    Celebrate Achievements

    If your company has goals (which they should) and you notice that a person or a team of workers have helped to really exceed them, reward them with movie tickets or gift cards to popular places like Starbucks or Netflix. People are willing to work surprisingly hard if they know that there is going to be a reward, even if it may be a small one!

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    Half Days for Important Events

    Time is Precious If you've got an office full of moms and dads, there's a good chance that you have an office full of parents who are missing sporting events, piano recitals, and the first part of birthday parties. Offer them a chance to take a set amount of half days, or even just take off an hour or two early during the year. However, remember that you'll also have to offer this to other employees who don't have children, as you don't want to seem like you're playing favorites.

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    Points Program

    One of my personal favorite ideas is to offer a points program in which you reward a certain amount of points for well done tasks. Say an employee is great with punctuality and is never late to work. Each month, reward them with five points. Go over the quota for sales this month? Offer a point or two for each percentage over what was expected. Post a list of rewards somewhere in the office that the employees can trade in points for, such as the ability to take a day off with pay, small trinkets or items they could purchase, or anything else you can think that would make a great reward!

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