Incentives that retain good staff

Gold class movie tickets, a harbour cruise, a dinner voucher, a hot air balloon ride, an all-expenses paid holiday or a free ipad. Has your employer offered you any of these for reaching that sales target, finishing that big project on time or meeting quality goals?  Or is your pay check your only incentive?

In a recent social media survey conducted by Happening People  73% of respondents said employee incentives were ‘important or very important to them’ when considering working for an organisation.

Yet a recent half yearly survey conducted by Accounting firm PWC of 1000 medium-sized clients with revenues between $10 million and $100 million has shown a shift in attitudes.  PWC Partner Gregory Will said ‘Non-financial staff incentives are being cut significantly’ compared with 18 months ago.  It appears according to the survey those incentives and benefits like childcare, flexible work practices and gym memberships  were ‘nice to haves’  and have been cut due to ‘tight times.’

The survey indicated that 9% of those organisations surveyed did not have a strategy for retaining staff, yet 42% responded that finding the right staff was their most challenging issue.

How can you incentivise and retain employees when you are being impacted by organisational cost cutting measures?  Happening People offer youOur Top 5 for Incentivising and Retaining your Staff.’

Decide who will be incentivised
Incentive programs were once associated with Sales roles and initiatives.  These days the remit has grown to include any employee whose work impacts on company performance.  You may have different teams under your guidance so you might choose to vary the incentive given different job roles or a more general scheme might be the answer if it all seems to complex.  If in doubt talk to your team, they will know what they want.

Link incentives to business objectives
The saying what gets focused on gets achieved works well here.  Research shows when you link incentives to business objectives output for those objectives dramatically increases.  A well-known retailer offered incentives to their staff to reduce Occupational Health and Safety incidents to zero, a major cost to their business and impacted the well-being of employees and their families.  Whilst this is an ongoing target they have more than halved the number of OHS incidents and are on a strong trajectory to zero in the coming years.

3. Get buy-in and find out what they like
It’s easy to overlook the need to find out what your team wants when you are focused on getting the incentive program in place.  Take time out, meet with the team and let them do the ‘brain work’.  Set some guidelines around budgets and company policy and let them come up with the incentives.  This is a great way to get buy-in, a significant key to the success of the program.

4. Communicate
Create interest, a sense of anticipation and a general office buzz by communicating throughout a prelaunch and again through the incentive program to maximise engagement. This needs to be more than an email or office flyer.  Organise a morning tea, or team breakfast to launch the incentive, invite senior members of the organisation who will support the team along the way.  Regularly update the teams and how they are tracking against the program in team meeting and don’t forget if you have remote staff, include they by sending a video of the launch, or sending regular sms’s with updates to help them engage.

5. Keep it fresh and think outside the box
For any initiative to survive after the initial excitement you need to be constantly checking in and making sure the program is working, refresh the incentives on offer and to do this you need to think outside of the box from the standard movie tickets and dinner vouchers.  If your team is into fitness, offer them a weekly 1 hour team jog or invite a Health Consultant into your business for a lunch time session on improving health.  Keeping your team involved and engaged will ensure success.  Having visual tracking measures helps and linking incentives to the community can also motivate people to stay with your organisation.

Now it’s your turn!! We would love to hear from you! Tell us about some of the great initiatives you, your organisation or team have implemented to incentivise and retain staff.

HAPPY STAFF STAY! Call Happening People on 1800 68 67 69 we can help you implement an Incentive Program that will see your staff doing the ‘Happy-Clappy Dance’. Call or go to



Filed under People Management

2 responses to “Incentives that retain good staff

  1. As a token of appreciation or recognition to the employee we offer them vacation leave all expense from the company. And sometimes we gave them items with our own personal touch.

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