30 Employee Incentive Ideas for Lowering Your Turnover Rate
Research by the consulting group Mercer, found that U.S companies had an average turnover rate of 22%. The most common reasons given for leaving a company were family/personal (57%), promotion opportunities (35%) and career changes (27%). It is inevitable that some of your staff will leave your company at some stage. If you have implemented an efficient recruitment process to hire the best candidates, you will also need to do everything possible to retain them. Offering meaningful incentives not only reduces your turnover rate but may also result in a more loyal and productive workforce.
So, how do you keep your valuable employees on board for as long as possible?
The first step is to utilize a workforce management solution that frees up your managers time from making employee schedules so they can focus on building strategies that better your business. If this resonates with you, take a look at Deputy. The workforce management solution trusted by brands like Nike & Amazon. To see it in action for yourself, click on the button below to start your free trial.
That said, here are 30 employee incentive ideas for lowering your turnover rate:
1) Provide competitive wages
Employees need a living wage to pay for food, shelter, and other basic needs. However, depending on your business’s budget, you will want to pay your employees the maximum amount for the work they’re doing.
You must comply with your state’s minimum wage requirement. But, you can go further and conduct market research on the way your competitors pay their employees. This involves investigating the wages of other companies in your area are paying employees doing the same kind of work.
2) Offer health insurance
Depending on the size of your company, this may or may not be a mandatory requirement. In the U.S, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 does not require companies employing 50 or fewer employees to provide workers with health insurance. However, health insurance is a popular employee incentive for finding and keeping highly qualified workers.
3) Allow flexible work schedules
As far as your business permits, provide your team with the employee incentive to work on a flexible basis. This way, your employees can enjoy a healthy work-life balance to care for their families, go to important appointments and pursue personal interests. Even if your business needs makes flexible working too complicated, you may be able to offer flexible lunch hours or break times.
4) Give recognition
Employees want to know you appreciate them. So pay attention to the work they’re doing and provide them with verbal praise and other tokens of appreciation when you see them performing well. For instance, express your appreciation when your employees complete a challenging project before the deadline.
5) Show public appreciation of your best employees
You can use social media to shout-out your employee of the month or other employees who have achieved great results. Public acknowledgment will incentivize your employees and qualified candidates to apply to your job openings.
6) Make career opportunities available
Many employees may enjoy their jobs for a period of time. However, they may begin to feel that there is nowhere for them to advance or grow within your company. Depending on the size of your company, there are a few ways to let your employees know there are different directions they can advance to within your company.
Some employees may want to be promoted to a management position. Other employees may simply want to move from one job function to another. Maybe you have an employee you hired to work in sales, but they’ve demonstrated a technological interest with a promising aptitude. Let your employees know about the positions available in your company before you start the recruitment process for external candidates.
7) Invest in the right technology
You should aim to streamline your employees’ work whenever possible. Make room for your employees to do more meaningful work by automating some of the tasks that can be time-consuming. For example, if your employee is creating and managing staff schedules manually, consider introducing Deputy to streamline your scheduling process. Introducing Deputy to take care of your scheduling needs, not only reduces the frustration of the manager who organizes shifts but also of your shift workers.
Sign up for a free trial of Deputy below (no credit card required) to see how to schedule your team in minutes.
8) Provide retirement benefits
Small businesses have options for retirement plans to offer their employees, including the Individual Retirement Account (IRA). According to Nerdwallet, small business owners or self-employed individuals can arrange for a Simplified Employee Pension IRA. This type of IRA functions much like a traditional IRA and provides that employees own and control their accounts.
Federal law defines eligible employees as those that are 21 years of age or older, have worked for your company for three out of the past five years and have earned a minimum of $600 from your company within the past year. Therefore, if an employee has worked in your company in 2016, 2017 and 2018, then you would need to contribute to that employee’s account for 2019.
Research has found that very small businesses on a tight budget should consider a multiple employer plan (MEP) to provide their employees with a retirement plan. The short definition of this plan type is that it’s a single plan sponsored by multiple employers. This retirement option has been successfully used by organizations such as professional employee groups and trade associations.
9) Give discounted insurance plans
Employees could be liable for paying for different types of insurance themselves. However, you may be able to secure reduced group rates that will help your employees manage their finances. Such plans could include:
- Long-term care
- Identity theft
10) Make vacation and sick leave available
The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that small businesses paid vacation to 70% of workers. The same report found that paid sick leave was available to 62% of small business workers. When deciding to offer vacation and sick leave, it’s important to make yourself aware of your state laws to ensure your state doesn’t require sick leave for businesses of particular sizes.
11) Offer goods or services
Some employers may offer their employees discounts on the goods or services they sell. Another employee incentive idea is to forge a partnership with other businesses to offer reduced prices to employees of those partnership companies.
12) Provide disability insurance
This type of coverage gives employees the assurance that they will have their basic needs met by providing at least partial pay if they should experience an illness or injury unrelated to their work. There are a few states that require all employers to provide short-term disability coverage. Those states are New York, Hawaii, California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
13) Demonstrate your respect for family life
Make sure your employees feel comfortable when they have to take a day off or work from home because of a child’s illness, snow day or half-day at school. If you work with hourly staff, ensure that you have a seamless process for them to communicate with you when they’re unable to come to work. With Deputy, your workers can notify you quickly and easily when they can’t attend work. Additionally, Deputy will also suggest replacements, taking into account factors like pay grades, overtime requirements and whether predictive scheduling laws are applicable.
14) Provide the best equipment for your employees
Are your employees’ computers or monitors light years behind those in standard use by most workers in your industry? Are their chairs causing them discomfort? Show them you care about their experience at work by supplying them with the best equipment you can afford.
15) Put together a state-of-the-art office
This is an unusual incentive idea. Pull together all the best office amenities your facility can accommodate – for instance, standing desks and the latest in ergonomically designed chairs for employees who choose to sit at a desk.
16) Have a party
Have an occasional meal catered at your office. Make an arrangement with your local restaurant to deliver nutritious and healthy meals that your team can enjoy over lunch. You can add music to the lunch for a party atmosphere.
17) Establish a casual dress day
If your employees are generally required to dress in professional clothing most of the week, consider designating Friday as a day to dress more casually as your business needs permit.
18) Conduct occasional meetings to allow employees to share about themselves.
Everyone likes to share their interests and personal activities with their co-workers, so schedule time for your staff members to get to know each other better. This activity can further employee cohesiveness.
19) Reverse your company hierarchy
Arrange a day or an event where the bosses serve lower-level employees at a lunch or picnic. This will give employees the feeling of being valued and appreciated.
20) Foster an atmosphere of positivity
There are many ways to do this. For example, recognize particular employees for positive contributions they’re making to your business. Also, encourage random acts of kindness among employees.
21) Incentivize community service
Pay your employees for time they take off work to serve their communities in ways that are meaningful to them. You can also donate to non-profits that your employees vote for.
22) Communicate with your employees
Make sure your employees are aware of your company’s status, whether it’s good or challenging. Encourage a leadership style that values open communication to avoid rumors spreading.
23) Establish an educational assistance program
Encourage your employees to obtain further training in their field, which can help them move forward in your company by assisting them with college or trade school fees.
24) Offer additional vacation
Give your employees an extra day off after they have achieved a specific target. Extra vacation days have a positive effect on productivity. A study found that 92% of workers believe that taking time off made them more productive.
25) Provide your employees with free or discounted gym memberships
Encourage your employees to maintain their health to benefit themselves and your business. Offer a fully-paid gym membership if possible. If you are a small business and paying the entire membership fee is too expensive, offer to cover a percentage of the fee instead.
26) Maintain a general atmosphere of respect
This employee incentive idea can often be overlooked. People want to work in an environment that values diversity. Encourage a leadership style that places an emphasis on respecting the values of different people.
27) Treat your employees as individuals
Take an active interest in your employees. Make appropriate inquiries about their lives outside of work. This will help them feel valued as a human being and not just a worker.
28) Survey your employees
Ask your employees about the work incentives they find valuable. You may have an idea that one type of reward would work best for your team. However, they may appreciate something else. Show that you value their opinions by finding out which incentives they would prefer.
29) Create a funny award
Make your next office party more fun by creating awards with funny names. Recognize employees who have gone above and beyond in different aspects of your company. Awarding names with a twist should be fun for all involved, so the names should be funny but remain respectful.
30) Offer employees occasional double break time or lunchtime
Incentivize your employees by allowing them to have a longer lunchtime or extended break as a reward for meting specific goals. You could also offer a longer lunch break once a week so that employees have the opportunity to catch up on personal errands.
Employee incentives should be a constant theme in your business. Your leadership style and workplace culture should reflect an environment of appreciation. A great way to incentivize your employees is to give them the right tools to do their work as efficiently as possible.
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