Four ways to incentivise your employees for free

John Rowley

To keep great talent within your business, it’s vital to recognise the great work they do. It may not be feasible for you to provide wallet-busting bonuses or international travel, but this isn’t necessarily a problem. Non-monetary incentives can be a more effective, engaging means of recognising hard-working, high-achieving employees.

By providing rewards that double as development opportunities, you’re not only investing in the professional futures of your employees. You’re also likely to improve their longer-term sense of satisfaction and work, as well as their confidence in their own abilities. These strategies are easy to implement, and benefit both business and employee.

Positive public recognition

It’s a simple truism: People love to be credited and thanked for their work. Reminding yourself of this and calling out top-notch work on a daily basis will ensure that employees feel valued for their contributions.

Attributing work to employees should happen both internally and externally. If an excellent piece of work has been produced or a stellar deal secured by an employee, ensure that all relevant stakeholders know where credit is due. For particularly big wins, consider specific ways of trumpeting your thanks and pride – think company-wide meetings or emails.

Employees will appreciate being given opportunities to suggest changes to inefficient or antiquated processes.

Sessions with senior business leaders

Bright sparks within the business should be nurtured. In order to make high achievers feel valued by (and loyal to) the business, set up time for them to work with you or other senior business leaders on career progression planning.

This will give employees a forum in which they can discuss their career aspirations, and how the business might be able to help them achieve them – both in the short and longer-term.

Consultation opportunities

Individuals who are able to navigate processes and bureaucracy to produce considerable achievements are likely to have valuable feedback on the way your business is run. Work with these employees to identify areas for improvement and explore potential avenues for making these improvements a reality.

Employees will appreciate being given opportunities to suggest changes to inefficient or antiquated processes that they deal with on a daily basis. Because of their familiarity with these processes, they’re also likely to be able to produce feasible alternative ideas.

Leadership opportunities

Employees who consistently deliver the goods should be considered as potential future leaders within the organisation, with their leadership capabilities developed accordingly. As well as giving employees consultation opportunities, task them with projects that will give them experience in managing people and resources.

High-performing individuals will thrive on the responsibilities given to them – adding value not only to the business, but also to their own professional skill set.

John Rowley

John is a Sydney-based writer covering small business and lifestyle.