In today’s competitive market, the only way to get ahead and stay ahead is to hire and retain the best employees. The cost to replace a valuable employee can be as much as half a year’s salary, and that’s not chump change for a small business. Therefore, it’s critical to come up with methods of on boarding top talent and encouraging employees to become loyal as your business grows and flourishes. An effective way for maintaining your employee population with innovative and top performing employees is by offering them more than just a paycheck – with meaningful incentives.
Read on to learn some employee incentive programs that are perfect for the small business.
Health and Wellness Programs – Employees like to feel valued as human beings, therefore health and wellness incentives can go a long way to proving you care about them. Consider giving access to health and wellness services with corporate discounts for local fitness centers, smoking cessation programs, and supplemental health benefits. Bring wellness providers onsite for employee massages, educational events, and counseling to support better health.
Profit Sharing and Employee Ownership – When employees work hard to help your business be profitable, they should be compensated accordingly. Give back a portion of your profit by investing in your people through bonus programs, annual profit sharing earnings, and employee stock options. This helps employees to stay on for the long term and do their best to make sure the business is successful.
Flexible Work Schedules and Telecommuting – Having more work-life balance is on the minds of many employees today, especially those with growing family commitments. Consider the advantages of offering your employees the option to choose from several work schedules, when it best meets their needs. Or allow at least some of your eligible employees the opportunity to work from a home office at least once per week.
Industry Educational Support – In order to remain competitive, companies must always be developing their people through educational efforts. This means asking employees to be challenged to learn in an environment that demands this. Provide incentives for employees who go the extra mile with generous tuition reimbursement and scholarship funds, as well as financial support for earning industry credentials.
Community Entertainment Discounts – All employees need time to unwind after a hard week’s work. You can provide an easy incentive by signing up for corporate discount programs for staff to take advantage of community entertainment perks. From reduced cost dining and travel discounts to free movie and sporting event tickets, your employees and their families will thank you for this incentive over and over again.
Floating Time Off – Oftentimes, employees will need to take some time off unexpectedly to handle family or personal matters. Instead of asking them to book their time off in advance, provide some flexibility and provide two, no questions asked, days off per year on a floating schedule. Just be sure to document this time and clearly provide a written policy for using this. This can enhance overall employee attendance.
Technology Perks – Giving your employees access to the latest and best technology, as well as an amazing environment to work in, can be a major incentive for employees. Update your meeting rooms to include soft seating arrangements and create collaborative work stations. Assign employees with new tablet style computers for on-the-go work, and pass your technology discounts on to those who want to upgrade their personal computers with the latest software.
Leadership development – Progressive workplaces are focused on transferring knowledge from one generation to the next. One perk you can offer to your employees is a mentoring program that leads to more employee leadership development. Recognize your top performance employees and help them to be successful with rewarding projects and internal promotions.
Remember, running a successful small business is all about how well you treat your employees, so try the above incentive plans for better performance and retention.
Contributor info: Mike Walters is a writer for Engagement Health. Mike enjoys writing about health and wellness programs and employee benefit plans.