COMP NEWS – New research from the Incentive Research Foundation sheds light on the incentives employees want most. #1 on the list? Cold, hard cash.

Implementing a workplace incentive program is about recognizing employees, not holding a contest. Frame your survey to discover the incentives that will help employees feel more valued. To get an idea of the incentives your employees may want, consider the top six incentive offers the Incentive Research Foundation found in a 2022 survey:

  1. Cash
  2. Gift cards 
  3. Gifts
  4. Points toward a larger reward
  5. Individual travel
  6. Non-travel experiences

The study found that employees appreciated choices for incentives.

When you offer and award incentives, consider the following tips:

  • Offer employees incentive choices. To make incentives work as intended, make sure they are open-ended enough that employees can make their own choices. For example, they could choose from desirable incentives, like restaurant gift certificates, concerts and weekend travel opportunities.
  • Let employees personalize their rewards. There’s not much incentive in a concert you don’t want to go to, a restaurant that’s too far away, or preselected travel that doesn’t align with someone’s availability, interest or budget. Consider letting your employees choose a restaurant, concert or experience that fits with their interests.
  • Be wary of gifts as incentives. Although employees cited gifts as a desired incentive, it’s challenging to select a gift that would motivate a variety of team members. Not everyone wants electronics, and clothing is a gift that requires personal input. Consider including questions in your employee survey about specific gifts or gift cards, or choose gift cards everyone can appreciate, such as Visa gift cards.

Employee incentive programs can be strong motivators for teamwork and productivity. They can also help employees feel valued for their contribution, leading to greater job satisfaction.

  • Employee incentive programs increase productivity. Employee incentive programs increase productivity by motivating workers with performance-based rewards.
  • Employee incentive programs make employees feel valued. Recognition for a job well done is a significant performance and engagement motivator. Employees who feel valued are encouraged to keep up a high level of performance. If incentives are offered in the spirit of recognizing a job well done, they go a long way toward improving a worker’s sense of fulfillment and loyalty.
  • Incentive programs can foster teamwork. When incentives are offered to a team, team members’ sense of cohesion increases, and so does their productivity. And, of course, any recognition in the workplace is bound to raise morale.

To read more about the finding from the Incentive Research Foundation, click here.

For more Comp News, see our recent posts.


Comp News by CompXL

Comp News is brought to you by CompXL, the flexible compensation software provider that enables mid- to large-size organizations to implement competitive pay structures such as vested stock options and variable incentive pay.