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The Best Ways to Incentivize Employees

Incentivising employees is tough in a world where the majority of workers feel disengaged from their labors. As much as you believe in your company, sometimes your enthusiasm just won't transfer onto your workers day-in and day-out.

Incentives are great ways to change that. Offering perks that work doesn't have to be expensive, and you can opt to only spend money on incentive programs that will lead to long term benefits.

1) Pets!

Everybody loves pets, especially their owners! You can leverage this almost universal love for cuddly friends by allowing employees to bring pets into work. This is free! You can use it as an incentive after employees pass a certain deadline, or you could make it a regular thing. Humans love animals and bringing pets into work boosts happiness, which boosts morale and productivity. When you associate your workplace with fun, employees are less likely to disengage.

2) Digital Workplaces

Digital workplaces are ways of revolutionizing workplaces to involve more than just a desk. They involve the incorporation of digital platforms in such a way that team members can easily be on the same page, with improved operational function. This can be as simple as creating a shared messaging space, automatic work-flow notifications and other efficiency-improvers, but they allow an interesting incentivizing program: gamification. You can turn tasks into games, giving employees scores, XP, ways of levelling up and more. There are many creative ways of doing this, as you can imagine, and it can be expensive to design, but once you have done so, you will be able to incentivize employees for years to come.

3) Unlimited Illness Leave

Why should you limit the number of days your employees have off if they are feeling sick? There is only one reason: you don't trust them. If you don't trust your employees, they won't trust you or the company, and they will feel like they are working for a machine instead of being part of a machine. In a post-COVID world, this might be a legal requirement, but make sure you make a big deal out of it and show your employees that you do trust them and care about their welfare.

4) Unlimited Vacation Time

This is far less conventional than unlimited illness leave, but some companies are now telling their employees that they can have time off for however long they feel is necessary. This sounds insane, but humans are social beings that feel bad if they don't give back – it's called reciprocity and is a large reason for companies to give out free samples. What's more, employees will get bored with too much holiday and will return to work with the most powerful motivation of all – to escape boredom by doing something that gives their lives meaning.

These four incentives are very different from one another. Still, they are tried and tested by companies across the world (though unlimited vacation time is much less mature than bringing a pet into work, which has been happening for millennia).

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