How incentives motivate employees

by Heat Recruitment

Why incentives, perks and benefits are proving more important to modern day workers

From bonuses and commission, to cocktail nights and free lunches, many employers use incentives to increase productivity levels and reward their most hardworking employees. By 2020, it’s predicted that Millennials will dominate the global workforce. This is a generation who prioritise their work-life balance, seek flexible working schemes and – perhaps most importantly – expect to be recognised for their contributions in the workplace. So, it’s no surprise that they’re highly motivated by incentives.

Achievable milestones

The working day no longer falls between the traditional hours of nine to five, and the lines between corporate and private life have now become blurred. With many employees checking emails outside of working hours and working late into the night to meet deadlines, setting milestones helps to break up what can seem like a never-ending stream of assignments. When those milestones involve a reward, that’s even better. If staff can look forward to a social event, gift voucher or even an early finish after completing a big project, they’ll not only feel valued but encouraged to work towards it faster too.

Sense of achievement

Naturally, when an employee is productive, they will achieve more each day and feel a sense of achievement as they tick off each task. This keeps morale high and can be beneficial for staff wellbeing too. Rewarding individual high-performers with an occasional bonus or all-expenses-paid weekend away not only encourages them to keep up the good work, but it proves that their colleagues can do it too.

Stronger relationships

Many companies use social events to reward their team, and by doing so they bring the team closer together. Whether it’s an elaborate three-course meal or simply ordering pizza to the office on a Friday lunchtime, it’s sure to strengthen the bond between team members. A close-knit team is built on trust, communication and collaboration – which in turn improves the quality of their work as individuals too.

Company loyalty incentives

If staff feel valued as part of the team and enjoy the company culture, they’re more likely to stay with the company for a longer period of time. For younger generations, the work environment is one of the most important aspects of deciding whether to accept or apply for a new role. While Millennials tend to be more focused on benefits such as flexible working and indirect compensation, Generation Z tend to be more interested in career progression and training opportunities. Essentially, Generation Z may stay loyal to one company rather than jumping into different roles every couple of years, as many Millennials have.

As Generation Z continue to enter the workforce and Millennials begin to dominate it, we’re sure to see a rise in the number of employers using incentives schemes to attract and retain the best talent. Undoubtedly, we’ll see more competition between companies who have already implemented these schemes – and they’ll need to keep a close eye on it in order to stay ahead of the game.

Interested in how your salary and benefits programmes stack up? Check out the 2020 Heat Recruitment Salary Survey to benchmark compensation trends and enhance your employee acquisition, recruitment and retention strategies.

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by Lucy Evans